Cover Image: Secret Crush Seduction

Secret Crush Seduction

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Member Reviews

I normally tear through a romance, especially friends-to-lovers or forbidden love, but this book was horrible.  The opening scene in the nightclub was horrendous, with a poor little rich girl dictating the type of music the dj should play.  I couldn’t care less about get rich family handing her a job that someone less fortunate would appreciate, and nothing about the plot changed my mind.
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My thoughts
Rating: 4
Would I recommend it? Yes
Would I read more of this series? Yes
Would I read more of this author? Yes
First off I want to thank Harlequin as well as NetGalley for inviting me to read and review it, as well as letting me know about this series, because I had know idea it at all and even though it it part of a series I had know trouble getting lost in the story so that's other win for them. Other that is is a win is how the author brings in  autism awareness and how she handles it so you learn a bit more about it . Plus her main character Adelaide is spirited; and has the  drive to make things happen. As for Michael , he took some time to actual start to like because he was afraid to believe that what he want was right in front of him.
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Wow, Jayci knows how to write a romance I would swoon over. Like Temporary Wife Temptation, Secret Crush Seduction pulled out all the stops and blessed me with a great, enticing and sometimes steamy story. I also have huge appreciation for the cover because it is absolutely amazing!

We meet Adelaide, an inspiring fashion designer and one of the Hansol Heirs. Due to her crazy college years, Adelaide isn’t treated as seriously by the people around her. Now in her twenties, she wants to prove to her Grandmother, The matriarch of the Hansol family that she is long passed her wild college days and ready to be a vital part of the Hansol Corporation. This does not come easy but her quick thinking to create a charity event definitely helps her out. This was one thing I really enjoyed about Adelaide. Her creative mind and quick thinking gave her the ability to visualize everything she wanted to do while also getting Michael to go along with it. Michael is the friend of Adelaide’s older brother Garrett and the Hansol Corp PR specialist. Michael initially turns down the offer, but the project and Adelaide grows on him and he becomes part of the dynamic duo creating a fantastic event. The one thing I did enjoy about Michael was his inner struggle. Throughout the story he was fighting feelings because he didn’t want to disrupt the Hansol family. Throughout the story and through that struggle he saw the beauty of Adelaide in every facet of her personality and how she took on planning the event. She was strong, independent and far from the wild child he has seen. Adelaide completely crushed those thoughts and opened up the doors to their lust.

Speaking of lust…The more intimate settings were steeeeeamy! You felt the sexual tension build and build until they couldn’t hold on any longer. Each intimate moment was more passionate than the next and through each scene, you can tell Adelaide and Michael were growing closer together. Did I enjoy their building romance? Yes! Did it sometimes feel like it wasn’t compelling enough? Yes! Did that stop me form reading? Of course not! I was rooting for Adelaide the entire time. She deserved to get the man she had been crushing on since she was younger. Overall, I enjoyed the romance in this book and was sad to see the story end.

When thinking about the plot, I was happy with it’s simplicity because it allowed me to zone in on the romance and character development of the story. There was enough of the plot to see the ball rolling, but the auto did leave certain parts to the imagination allowing the reading to fill in some pieces, which i appreciated. I also loved what the charity event was centered around and how it was close to Adelaide’s heart. It was her passion. The charity event focused on autism awareness through fashion. Adelaide came up with the idea after noticing that people with Autism/on the spectrum should be able to feel comfortable in their clothing and also have variety of the things they can wear.

If you want a romance that has a sizzling chemistry, good plot backdrop and is a quick, yet swoony read then  Secret Crush Seduction is the perfect read for you.
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Adelaide and Michael have TONS of chemistry and it was the best thing about this book. I loved that Adelaide is trying to prove that she's grown out of her former wild ways and reinvent herself in the eyes of her family. Michael is sexy but the whole "forbidden" thing and his "secret" were just kind of annoying. Still Jayci is a great author and I enjoyed this book a lot.
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I gotta admit, I am a HUGE sucker for unrequited childhood crushes that you can't escape. So when I began Secret Crush Seduction and it turned out that Adelaide had a crush on Michael and doesn't seem to be over it, I was SOLD. They had sizzling chemistry that rekindled old flames. Balancing nostalgia and yearning, Secret Crush Seduction features Adelaide, a passionate career focused designer. And don't get me started on how much I enjoyed how supportive Michael was of Adelaide's creative and career moves - that is the sexiest thing a partner can do.
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I was thrilled to return to the world of Hansol with this second novel in the series! What I realized when returning to this series is that I love the female characters. In both the 1st and 2nd books, the heroines are ambitious, hard working, and accomplish their goals AND the men that are attracted to them love that they’re ambitious and want them to reach for the stars. After reading a few other billionaire trope romances, I think this dynamic was what was lacking for me. I want that upfront and center. While these novels have the ‘rich people living rich lives’ part of the story, it doesn’t drip with references to expensive brands or have the hero being a sugar daddy.

Moreover, Lee excels at writing vibrant characters with electric chemistry that kept me from setting down the novel. Despite the rather limit page count of the Harlequin Desire series, Lee does an excellent job of creating fully fleshed out characters with hopes, dreams, and baggage. This is truly astounding in such a short page count to create dynamic characters, a believable chemistry between the couple, and root for them to get a happily ever after.

My only issue with the novel was that at times the charity even that the heroine is passionate about that supports LearnAustism was a bit heavy handed. Despite this I still appreciate the inclusion in the book especially one that’s billed as a billionaire romance. I liked that Adelaide had talent and ambition and that she wanted to use it for good. Additionally, Lee leave breadcrumbs throughout the about Michael’s baggage from his previous marriage and why he thinks he cannot be with Adelaide long term. Without spoiling this, it was not really dealt with until late in the book and it seemed like a missed opportunity to really dive into the issue and how it impacts the couple. I chalk this up to Lee’s attempt to have fully fleshed characters within the parameters of Harlequin Desire. I’d much rather have these little issues with realistic characters and couple rather than flat dull characters.

Overall, I loved this follow up novel! I cannot wait to read the third novel, which will be out later this year and features Colin Song and Jihae Park. As mentioned earlier, Lee is now and auto-read writer for me and I cannot wait to see what else she writes! (still shipping James Song and Mrs. Kim from the first book)
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Secret Crush Seduction is my first Jayci Lee read. First of all, the cover, the cover, the cover. That was one of the main reasons why I wanted to read this book. It is absolutely beautiful.
So, I was hoping the story would suit the cover. Adelaide song is a heiress trying to overcome her past reputation and be taken seriously to take her place in the Hansol empire. Michael Reynolds is a PR person for the family. I didn't read the first installment. They both have an intense attraction that they can't resist and soon embark on a temporary relationship. The problem is their hearts yearn for a permanent solution.
For me, it was a nice read but not one that I totally fell in love with. But I did finish it.. Their conflict could have been resolved by a conversation. I liked the aspect of the story where Adelaide designs clothes for people with Autism and I also liked the familial story line.
I look forward to seeing this author will grow in her craft. 
Thank you Harlequin and #Netgalley.
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Thank you netgalley and Harlequin for access to this arc. Unfortunately this one isn't for me. I adored the first book in the series and was looking forward to seeing a book featuring Adelaide. Even as a minor secondary character in book one, she made an impression. 

I started this book excited to see her again but almost immediately I was put off of the story. The hero Michael storms into a nightclub where she is dancing off her frustration and literally hauls her out against her will. He even thinks he shouldn't be taking his anger at the men ogling her out on her yet he does it anyway. Go head and pee on her, too, Michael. 

Adelaide whinges to Michael about how she keeps being denied her place in the family business because of her wild school days and yet then claims she can't understand why. Well, she just said why. But does she do anything like approach her brother? Apparently not. Michael throws out some off the cuff suggestion and she acts as if she never thought of it yet she's got an MBA. Huh?

The introduction of her idea for the society "do" also set off alarm bells as Adelaide appears to be utilizing autism - particularly because of a friend's brother's condition - merely as a means to getting her place in the family company. It felt off and uncomfortable. 

I'm also not really a fan of the "can't fall in love with my best friend's sibling" plotline as well as the "I must not give into my lust for you for your own good" plotline. Sadly this is a DNF for me.
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You can find all my thoughts about this book on my blog here is the link!  https://jheartlovesbook.wordpress.com/2020/08/12/secret-crush-seduction-spoiler-free-review/
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I'm still not over this cover, tbh; the gorgeous models, the pose, the look at the camera, the colours, everything about this cover is perfect in every way.

I love how well Adelaide and Michael work together in their professional lives, and how hot they are together outside of work.

The only reason why this did not get a full 5 stars is because I felt like the story would be better had it been longer? Just two, three chapters longer, that's all, just so that the wrap up doesn't feel so rushed.

Now I don't know if this imprint has like a word limit, because this happened a couple of times to me with other books in this imprint as well?? The ending came out of nowhere when I felt like the story had so much more to expand, the emotions needed a few more chapters to linger to make a full impact.

But otherwise, an entertaining story. Can't wait for Colin's book!
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Secret Crush Seduction is the second installment in the Hansol Heirs series. I was very impressed with the first book and I couldn’t wait to read the next one. This story follows Garret’s younger sister Adelaide who is a hard working career woman at the Hansol Corporation. She is determined to shed the image of her party girl image so that she can move up in her family’s company. To do so she enlists the help of Michael, Garrett’s best friend and PR expert to help her with a large charity event. But working with Michael proves to be difficult due to her long term feelings she’s always had for him. And when they start to work together sparks fly!

Adelaide and Michael try hard to fight their attraction to each other, but its hard to deny. They have a deep bond from growing up together but they feel as if (personally) they aren’t good for each other. Michael doesn’t want to ruin is friendship with Garrett and Adelaide doesn’t want to lose him if things don’t work out.

This was a fast-paced story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love the character interactions and getting to meet more if the family members in thus installment. The romance was good balance of sweet and steamy scenes and I liked how it developed over the course of the story.
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I have recently read the first book in this series and absolutely loved it.  I couldn’t wait to find more books by this author and add them to my ever-growing collection of books.  So when I got an email from Harlequin saying since I read and enjoyed the first one would I like to read the second book in the series.  I was so excited, I promptly responded yes and waited for my ebook to arrive.  

Adelaide Song wants to prove to her Grandmother that she is no longer the party girl that messes up.  She hatches a plan to create a charity event and without telling her long time love of her life Micheal, she tells her Grandmother that he is on board to help her publicize it.  The more they start to work together the more sparks fly.  Can they both get over their individual issues and find love with each other?  This book was soooo good.  I read it in two nights.  Staying up way past when I should just so I could read more of it.  I loved all of the characters.  I loved Adelaide the most out of all of the characters.  Being an heiress to a vast fortune and company but she was super insecure with how people viewed her.  She wanted to be accepted for her work ethic and how well she could do things.

The romance that the two main characters kept me going the whole book.  It was hot and steamy.  A constant will they won’t they in my mind.  I was so happy when they finally aired all of their issues out with each other and it was happily ever after.  The author made their relationship and all of their own personal issues something that an actual person could relate to.  Nothing this time was relatable to me but the way she wrote them I felt like someone could.  She made the characters personable.  I will certainly be reading more by Jayci.  Her next book in this series comes out in December and hopefully, I get an email asking me to read it!
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Secret Crush Seduction is the second book in the Heirs of Hansol  series.  This one is Michael and Adelaide's story.   I have to say, Jayci Lee is definitely a great slow burn romance writer. Like the first book, this is a really slow burn.  The chemistry between the couple is off the charts.  What made it even better was that they had grown up together and had a deep friendship first. 

I loved the side story about Adelaide's charity show.  Her autism awareness fundraiser was such a great idea. A fashion show with sensory friendly clothing for those on the spectrum that can be worn to the fanciest of galas and business attire that isn't fancy black sweatpants.  It makes me wonder if something like that exists in the real world.  If it doesn't then someone should get right on that.  I highly recommend this one.  I think it's my favorite out of the first two books.  I hope Colin's story is next.
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“Let me set some ground rules for this relationship. I get to have you whenever I want, wherever I want, and I want to have you right here tonight. Got it?”

I think this quote really captures what I liked best about Secret Crush Seduction. Amidst hackneyed clichés and an unmemorable storyline, there were flashes of this firecracker of a woman. (Another thing I enjoyed was the rep—Adelaide is Korean American, and there are also Latinx side characters, one of whom has autism.)

Secret Crush Seduction was a quick read and featured some tropes I adore (big bro's best friend + 8-year age gap)—buuuut I still had some issues.

First: apart from a few sex scenes that tickled my fancy, I didn't find Adelaide and Michael's romance that compelling. I'm not really one for low-stakes HEAs and mutual pining, both of which this book contains. Like, I get that each character's insecurities were holding them back—but one honest conversation would've solved SO MUCH. I am a BIG proponent of talking and honesty, so the "I'm going to stay away and pine from afar bc I'm protecting you" didn't do anything for me.

Next: the main non-romantic plot ALSO felt lacklustre to me. The premise follows Adelaide as she struggles to prove to her grandmother that she's responsible and smart, and can hold her own in a major leadership role at the family's multi-million-dollar company. Adelaide proposes organizing a charity fashion show to raise autism awareness by designing sensory friendly clothing. But I only got superficial details about the fashion designs!

Finally: I didn't feel totally comfortable with the book's treatment of autism awareness? I kind of got patronizingly benevolent vibes (what with Adelaide taking the lead on designing sensory friendly clothing without much if any input from autistic folks)—BUT my opinions are ultimately those of a neurotypical person, and I think it’s really important to amplify the thoughts of own-voices reviewers from the ASD community. If I can find any, I will be linking own-voices reviews in my Goodreads review!
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Aspiring fashion designer Adelaide Song wants to prove she’s more than just a pampered heiress. All she needs is a little courage—and the help of deliciously sexy Michael Reynolds, her childhood crush and her brother’s best friend.

But when her secret crush turns into an illicit liaison, Adelaide realizes mixing business with pleasure spells trouble for all her plans…- Goodreads

This is my first book by Jayci Lee and it will not be the last. What I love about this book is how straight forward the romance is. Even when "the drama" comes into the story the romance between childhood friends is true and consistent. It takes bit but both of them know what they want. The problem is should they and it isn't because of the brother's best friend aspect; it is way much more than that.

Beyond the fact that the romance was straight forward, what I liked about this book was Adelaide and Michael actually working. Although Adelaide did act like a child at times, she knew her stuff and made sure she showed out. I loved the fact that both of them made sure their job would get done before they did their good. Don't get me wrong they may have tried some stuff while on the clock but they kept it professional when it was down to it.  I liked seeing them work.

The pace of the novel wasn't bad. It was a semi slow build up. When things began to heat up, the pace of the novel didn't change and the tone remained the same. That sense of urgency and tension was fading about half way through the novel. 

I would have liked to see more of a relationship with her Grandmother or at least more of a background of it. This could have been in the first book but as this book focused on Adelaide, I would have liked to see them more together as opposed to it popping up when the author needed a distraction. 

Overall, this was a nice read and some steamy scenes. 

3 Pickles
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*3.5 Stars!*

Whoever is designing the covers for the Harlequin Desire series needs a raise because they are absolutely killing it with these covers and the covers for The Heirs of Hansol series are by far my favorite so far.

Anywho, let's get on with this review. Secret Crush Seduction is the second installment in The Heirs of Hansol series and follows the youngest Song sibling, Adelaide. Adelaide Song has always felt like she's had to prove herself to her family, especially her grandmother, in order to be taken seriously. Now with dreams of becoming more involved in the family company, Adelaide decides to show that she is capable to taking on a leading role in the company by throwing a fashion event and she knows the perfect person to help her get show on the road—Michael Reynolds. Adelaide has had a crush on Michael for as long as she could remember, but the feelings were never mutual—or so she thinks and Adelaide will soon find herself not only fighting for a place in the company, but also a place in Michael's heart.

Adelaide is definitely my favorite character in this series. I love her drive, her creative mind and her sassiness. As much as she was fighting to prove herself to her family, I think Adelaide had what it took all along to be the boss lady she was aspiring to be, she just needed a nudge in the right direction. It did take a bit longer for me to warm up to Michael. I felt like he was so cold in the beginning and while I understand why he was being so guarded, I still wish he would've been just a bit warmer to Adelaide. When he finally did allow himself to open up and let her in, you see that he does care for her and is willing to risk anything for her. These two make a great couple because Michael grounds Adelaide and he's super supportive of her dreams while Adelaide shows Michael what unconditional love truly looks like.

I found that I had the same issue with this book as I did with the previous installment. YO GIRL WANTS AN EPILOGUE! I was so sad that this story ended right when Adelaide and Michael resolved their issue because it left wanting more.

I'm still excited to read the next book in this series. Maybe we'll even get to catch up with Adelaide and Michael and see what those two love birds are up to (I hope).
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Another day, another novel by Jayci Lee in the Heirs of Hansol series (or rather a night of twisting and turning in my bed as the skies turned light outside and by the time I was done reading it was literally 5.30 am outside!) and I could eat my heart out.
I read the first book in the series TEMPORARY WIFE TEMPTATION (read it if you haven't already!) and I loved it. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to read the sequel. Also, Lee says she has finished writing the third book as well, in the Acknowledgements, and I CANNOT KEEP CALM!

Dare I say how much I loved ADELAIDE?! She is this fiery spirit and I loved her independence, her work ethic, and her will and determination to turn her life around. Also, I found this relationship VERY VERY mature. Of course there are miscommunications but they are not for the silly reasons that are used as tropes in various romance novels and you as a reader are left scream at the characters to JUST TALK IT OUT!!! In this book, they do talk it out and I just honestly think it is very very mature and realistic compared to most books in this miscommunication or lack of communication trope.

Also, the friends with benefits trope is one that is very much common but Lee's way of twisting her story into a perfect conglomeration (I use big words now after reading about this heroine who has an MBA) of romance, friendship and the huge WORK PROJECT at the core was fantastic. Dare I say that it was also a bit of an office romance?

Whatever I am trying to convey with these seemingly calm (I hope) and logical paragraphs is that I love Jayci Lee's writing and ahh!! I am so eager to read Colin's story!! But I dread the end of this series too!

Anyway, READ THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVEN'T (in case I haven't made that clear so far, which I sincerely hope I have) and then ALSO READ TEMPORARY WIFE TEMPTATION!
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THIS!!! Really scratches the itch when you’re looking for a good old friends to lovers romance! There are just enough swoon-worthy moments and sheet twisting scenes to keep you hooked!
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I was a fan of Lee's first book in the Hansol series, but this second offering in the series had a lot of promise that it ended up squandering. Secret Crush Seduction is more showcasing just how much the love interest, Michael, can condescend to and infantilize a most promising character in Adelaide Song. The love interest rarely ever treats her like an actual adult, but more as a method of self-flagellating for his own "manly" instincts. What really soured this romance for me was the fact that after a sexual encounter, Michael has sex with Adelaide despite her vocally saying she doesn't wish to have sex; the narrative makes it seem like she gives up and has sex with him in order to satisfy him, especially after she was physically assaulted and stalked in a nightclub by a stranger. I was incredibly let down by this storyline. Not to mention, I was incredibly uncomfortable by the way the autism spectrum is talked about in this book, as Adelaide being an outsider looking in and her seemingly capitalizing off of people in the autism spectrum for her own ends and without taking as much input from this particular community. I cannot recommend this book.
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Enjoyable romance that features heiress and aspiring fashion designer Adelaide Song, who wants more responsibility in the family business and who Kong’s for her brother’s best friend. I liked the tension between Adelaide and Michael and the the confidence that builds in Adelaide to succeed in business and love.
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