Letters to a Secret Lover
The last thing she needs right now is a man
Lindsey Brooks had it all—an awesome job doling out advice to the lovelorn, a fabulous high-rise apartment, and a to-die-for fiance. But then she got dumped—wearing nothing but a Kiss the Cook apron—and desperate to escape, she retreats to a tiny Montana town to reclaim a family treasure. She never dreamed anyone would try to stop her – or that he’d be sexy as sin.
Too bad she finds such a hot one …
Rob Colter isn’t into relationships—but Lindsey sees Rob as the perfect guy to help her “get back on the horse.” The sex horse, that is. Unfortunately, he comes complete with a mysterious past, which gets even more mysterious when she finds his passionate letters to another woman – whose name happens to be tattooed on his chest.
And too bad he has so many secrets …
Now Rob’s dangerous past is about to catch up with them both. And if that’s not horrible enough, Lindsey is falling for him – hard. For a girl who usually has all the answers, Lindsey is up to her neck in trouble.
A Note from Toni
In August of 2006, my husband and I took a trip to the Canadian Rockies, and I was overwhelmed by the beauty there. In particular, we visited a number of mountain lakes in the Banff and Jasper National Parks and I was stunned by the amazing sense of peace and relaxation I experienced in this setting. It inspired me to want to set a book in a similar place, and though I chose Montana for Letters to a Secret Lover due to logistical reasons, I thought often of the Canadian Rockies as I wrote. Above is a photo from Maligne Lake, whose historic boathouse inspired the boathouse in the book, and check out my vacation photo album to see more pictures from our trip.
As for the story itself, I wanted to create characters who started out feeling very opposite from one another – in particular, I wanted to create a heroine who would initially feel out of place in the mountains. So I went with a concept of “Carrie Bradshaw meets Grizzly Adams,” although if you’ve read the book, you know Rob is much hotter than Grizzly. The scenario was fun to write, but also served as a wonderful backdrop for helping these two characters learn some lessons about themselves and bond as they helped each other through some difficult times.
The original title of the book was Love Letters, to mirror Lindsey’s advice column and blog as well as the letters written by Rob that appear throughout the book, but alas, it was decided that the book needed a sexier title, so it was changed to the current one. I love using forms of written communication – like letters, diaries, and in this case, a blog – in my books both to provide a sense of structure and also because I think the written word is so powerful, so that made Letters to a Secret Lover extra satisfying to write.
Awards & Honors
- Finalist for the 2009 HOLT Medallion Award
- A CK2S Kwips and Kritiques Recommended Read
- Perfect 10 Award from Romance Reviews Today
Reviews for Letters to a Secret Lover
“Sexy and emotional - Toni Blake gives readers a 1-2 punch! Everything you want in a romance and MORE!” ~Carly Phillips, NYT Bestselling Author
“A stunning romance filled with intrigue, passion, and hope. I was mesmerized.” ~Robyn Carr, NYT Bestselling Author
“Toni Blake has woven a timeless tale of secrets and forgiveness. Letters to a Secret Lover is writing at its best. Be prepared to be swept away to the wilds of Montana … let the beauty that is Toni Blake’s talent mesmerize you.” ~Talia Ricci, Joyfully Reviewed
“LETTERS TO A SECRET LOVER made me laugh out loud, gasp in surprise, and coo over the major loving between Rob and Lindsey. Toni Blake has written a near perfect novel and rightly deserves RRT's Perfect 10 award!” ~Kate Garrabrant, Romance Reviews Today -PERFECT 10
“LETTERS TO A SECRET LOVER has become one of my favorite contemporary romances. Ms. Blake literally takes you to that place – you know the one – where you actually feel the emotions experienced by the characters. Her scenes are vivid, the dialogue swift, sweet and real.” ~Donna Pinto, Bookishly Attentive
“Toni Blake has succeeded in becoming one of my all-time favorite writers. When you read LETTERS TO A SECRET LOVER, you will laugh out loud, get butterflies, and shed tears. The ultimate love story!! I loved it!” ~Mandy Burns, Fresh Fiction
“A splendid read … sensual, hot, sexy. Toni Blake creates a steamy, and tantalizing delicious romance not to be missed. I was deeply touched by this story.” ~Cherokee Sanders, Coffee Time Romance, 4 CUPS
“With each new release, Toni Blake’s writing talent impresses me more and more. LETTERS TO A SECRET LOVER can only build both her reputation and her fan base. A story as inspiring as it is sexy!” ~Jennifer Ray, CK2S Kwips and Kritiques, 5 CLOVERS
“Toni Blake never fails to provide readers with a captivating story (and) intriguing characters. Lindsey and Rob are written so realistically that you can’t help but feel their every emotion and share their pain. I highly recommend LETTERS TO A SECRET LOVER to all romance lovers!” ~Laurie Damron, Romance Junkies, 4.5 BLUE RIBBONS
“Blake's story of trust and forgiveness is an emotional tale that's well narrated and infused with both steamy love scenes and touching moments." ~Marilyn Weigel, Romantic Times, 4 STARS
“A make-your-heart-smile read. 100% top notch steamy! A sweet story, the writing flowed well, and it was very clever.” ~Sashay Book Reviews, 4 STARS
Toni has always used music to set the tone of her books. Enjoy this playlist of songs featured in Letters to a Secret Lover:
Stop This Train – John Mayer
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For – U2
Upside Down – Jack Johnson
Suddenly I See – KT Tunstall
Barrel of a Gun – Guster
I Will Follow You into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
Got You (Where I Want You) – The Flys
Trees – Marty Casey & Lovehammers
Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
It's Only Natural – Crowded House
Closer to Fine – Indigo Girls
World Spins Madly On – The Weepies