Review: Secrets Don’t Make Friends by Lyla Payne

secretfriendsSecrets Don’t Make Friends
by Lyla Payne

officialsynopJeyne Dalton has graduated from college, medical school, and has slogged through half of a surgical internship year with flying colors, which she figures HAS to mean she’s put her past – and her family – behind her for good. If only she hadn’t answered that random ad for a roommate, her life would be pretty damn perfect.

Dinah Robbins knows that, no matter what she does, the horror that is her life will never be behind her…unless her controlling, threatening, abusive boyfriend finally kills her. She’s floating, waiting, and advertised for a roommate as a last ditch, listless effort to save herself a few beatings here and there.

Jeyne and Dinah may have been roommates for months, but they’re not anything like friends. In fact, they hardly know each other at all – until the night Jeyne comes home late to find Dinah in a heap of trouble. The two girls then find themselves sharing a secret that brings them together in a way they never expected. And upends their lives in a way they may never be able to set right.

TRIGGER WARNING: The beginning of this book deals with a physically and emotionally abusive relationship in a honest and realistic, violent manner.


Dinah and Jeyne were roommates who hate each other. While I found Dinah loud and obnoxious, I thought Jeyne was naive and unassuming. Until one night happened. A dead body was in their midst. Elementary school teacher Dinah wanted to report to the police. But Jeyne, to protect her reputation for she aspired to be a doctor, decided to hide the body and pretend nothing happened. Except, it really did.

Dinah and Jeyne didn’t want anything to do with each other’s lives. Dinah, spoiled rich brat, happened to have the most annoying, most despicable and most hated guy in this side of Iowa. Mentally battered and physically tortured, she almost did everything to get away from Tritt (what kind of name is this?!) even to the point of throwing parties in her place, to the annoyance of Jeyne.

Jeyne answered Dinah’s roommate ad, in the hopes of getting away from her family and establishing a career for herself. But all of her hopes went down the drain when she roomed with Dinah. She’s the studious type, quiet, reasonable, dreamy. All beautiful qualities, much to Dinah’s dismay.

One party night, both their lives changed. Decisions were made, plausible answers were rehearsed, secrets were shared. Will they be able to hide the truth until the end?

I enjoyed this story a lot, it was devastating, mysterious, suspenseful, intriguing and devastating. Devastating because, at the start of the novel, we are introduced to selfish Dinah, hard-hearted and mean spirited. I thought I would never like her because she was rude to her roommate. Until I read the succeeding pages and soon my heart almost imploded with tears. She’s been hurt, abused, tortured, maltreated, almost killed by her boyfriend.

I have asked what most women asked whenever they encounter this agonizing relationship – why did she stay with him for ten long tormenting years? Believe me, I found it really hard to accept her relationship with Tritt, I even wanted to strangle her myself. But her reasons, I soon learned, were surprisingly legit. It was either her or her family’s death. You decide.

I was also surprised at Jeyne’s character. I liked her instantly the moment I read her POV. I thought she was being true to to her personality. But when shove came into a push, she had to think about her future and became self-centered. I hated that she had to decide what’s right or wrong when it came to dealing with a dead body. I thought she was selfish.

But after I’ve finished the whole book, I was rewarded with a good story and believable characterizations. All’s well that ends well, that’s what they say. In Dinah’s and Jeyne’s cases, the secret they shared may have caused them some troubles, but that secret also became the cause of a real friendship between them. Add an Eli and Nathan to their mix, and you get a suspense story you’ll be excited to share to your bestfriend. I liked that it also came with a trigger warning, so I was prepared with the antagonistic scenes.

‘Tis my first book by Lyla Payne and I have a strong feeling that this won’t be the last. I’ll be checking out her other books as soon as possible.

My Rating: 




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