Cover Image: Secret Enemy

Secret Enemy

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Another great Red Stone Security read! Lyosha really likes and cares about Mila, a woman he has safely friend-zoned for the last six months. Lyosha is now on the good side of the law and works as a security expert, however, he decides to act on his feelings once he realizes that the past he was protecting Mila from, can no longer be hidden or contained. Feelings come to light and truths revealed, as well as past characters make for a great read. Once again, Ms. Reus does not disappoint. I loved it!!! 4 stars

****I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book provided by NetGalley****
Was this review helpful?
Secret Enemy by Katie Reus
Red Stone Security series, book 16. Romantic suspense. Can be read as a stand-alone.

Lyosha has played “friend” to Mila for the last six months. He definitely wants more, but feels she can do better than him. He’s a former bad guy turned good, or rather, now on the right side of the law. He knows he will have to eventually walk away so it’s for the best if they are just friends.
All Mila knows is that she’d like it to go beyond friendship but she won’t push. Until she goes on a date with someone else, then all bets are off.

I was frustrated when the Lyosha and Mila wouldn’t talk to each other. So I was glad when the “shakeup” occurred. You have to speak up to get what you want from life and I cheered when Mila finally does. They still had a lot to work through, including someone stalking Mila, so don’t think that’s a spoiler.
Loved her family! Close knit and so invested in each other’s happiness. Quirkiness and love.
Was this review helpful?
Paula Hockenberry's reviewAug 16, 2021  ·  edit
it was amazing

A Spectacular Suspense Romance .
I volunteered to read and review an advanced readers copy through NetGalley of Secret Enemy . This is book sixteen in The Red Stone Security Series . Lyosha and Mila met when he came to the animal shelter where she volunteers when not working at Red Stone Security . Lyosha and Mila spend alot of time together but just as friends . Their are both afraid to take their relationship further . Lyosha thinks with his past he doesn't deserve Mila . When Mila is threatened by Lyosha's past
He sweeps in to protect her and stop the threat . Lyosha may lose Mila if he doesn't step out of his comfort zone . As the danger increases . Lyosha must do whatever it takes to keepher safe . This story is full of suspense and intrigue. So intense . I absolutely love this story . I highly recommend taking the time to read .
Was this review helpful?
I am a  big fan of Romance books and I found this one to be a very enjoyable read.  I will be looking for more books from this author.
Was this review helpful?
When Lyosha Vasiliev brings a stray kitten to the local animal shelter, he meets Mila Nowak. Mila is attracted to him, but is positive that he is way out of her league. Lyosha, an accomplished hacker and head of security for Viktor Ivanov, is captivated by the shy Mila. Believing that he is not good enough for her, he offers her friendship when he wants so much more, as does she. He tries to stay away from her even as their attraction flares out of control. When he believes that his past has put her life in danger, he must protect her and her family. Having her in his home makes him yearn for a time that they could be together, but will she be alarmed by what he has done to survive? A strong and loving alpha man and a woman who will fight for his love. I also enjoyed the “visit” with “family members” from previous Red Stone novels. Ms. Reus brings to life the love and affection shared by Mila, her mother and her sisters as they welcome Lyosha into their world. I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)
Was this review helpful?
Its been a while since we were with the Red Stone crew. So long, I had forgotten alot of the players and their significance. Also, I'm not sure we should still be calling this Red Stone when there is only tiny threads of connections. We've moved off the the mafia players now.

I liked the dynamic of the mafia leaders. I liked the heroine's family. Typical bonehead hero that gets it together for his woman.
Was this review helpful?
Oh boy!!! Secret Enemy is my new favorite story by Katie Reus. Lyosha is the perfect book boyfriend. I loved how he put himself in the friend zone and then grappled with how he felt for Mila. I was practically biting my nails waiting for these two to finally get together. Of course, there are bad guys, a few intense scenes, and some personal baggage to get past to have a happy ending, but it's so so worth it. I can't wait for the next book.
Was this review helpful?
I have to admit Katie Reus has a formula when it comes to writing her Red Stone Security and some times can feel like you are reading the same story just with a few different changes to the characters. 
I found myself pulled into this story knowing how it would end and yet couldn't put the book down.  The author created two characters that both had insecurities that readers can relate to  when it comes to dating and friendships. 
The story still has the normal no we can't have sex than girl or boy moves into the homes of the other to be protected and they have sex and every. Boy or girl hurts the other feelings and they run away needing space.  Than bad things happen. Things are good and then a twist happens than giving the characters their HEA.
Yet even knowing that I can't help but read this book and blush at the sweet moments and skip the sexy stuff because after a while a readers just wants to get back to the bad guys.

Thank you to Netgalley adn the publisher for a copy of Katie Reus Secrets Enemy.
Was this review helpful?
SECRET ENEMY is a fast-paced, hold-your-breath, here-it-comes book! Author Katie Reus does bad boys doing good as few other authors can. 

Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko for Fresh Fiction

Complete review:
Was this review helpful?
Let me clue you in on a personal secret, folks. I normally love this author's writing. She never fails to give me an alpha good guy hero (even if he has a questionable past or occupation) and a sassy heroine he ultimately has to fight for love to get to keep her. Smexy steam is inevitably thrown in, too. An evil villain causing murder and mayhem seem par for the course, as well as a posse of friends, family, and co-workers who always have their back and help save the day. Staying celibate during spats and separations are greatly appreciated and a common trait of this author's romantic tales, too.

Sound good? Well, it pains me to confess this go around things simply felt out of balance. Too much time was initially spent on Lyosha's constant back and forth mental handwringing and weak excuses to himself and anyone else who would listen why he couldn't and shouldn't make Mila his lady love. This coincided with too much time on Mila's hands with her whining to herself and the world, "Why doesn't he want me like I want him?". Seriously, that bit got old and seemed to go on forever.

The evil villain would often appear out of the blue with a speaking role or action in such a confusing manner I often had to reread to try and figure out what just happened. I found his unsavory actions, behavior, and character in general too over done, btw. Sorry but I did not want up close and personal smex scenes with him in any form.

By 50%, I realized I was just plain bored to boot. Sure, I read on for awhile longer but the smex scenes started to take over too often, and I didn't feel they were scripted well. I can't shake the feeling maybe even this author may be getting a tad tired of writing books for this series.

Here's to hoping others enjoyed it more. It had a great premise, but I don't think the writing delivered the quality of romance I usually experience from this author. 

Title: Secret Enemy, Series: Red Stone Security (Book #16), Author: Katie Reus, Pages: 185, stand-alone but part of a series, struggled to keep reading.

(I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not rewarded or compensated for this review. There is no relationship or affiliation between this reviewer and the author, publisher, NetGalley, or any PR firm.)
Was this review helpful?
So glad that Red Stone is back! Katie Reus is truly one of my favorite authors and there has not be a single story she has written I didn’t love (except sometimes I want them to be longer), but my favorite by far of the contemporary series is Red Stone and I am so thrilled she has restarted the series.  The series picks up with this newest Red Stone employee suddenly finding herself in a bit of danger she never expected and in the arms of the sexy man she met months earlier at the animal shelter she volunteers at.  Lyosha knows he should never had insinuated himself into the life of the sweet and innocent Mila, but when he saw her that very first time, there was no going back for him.  Their friendship is all he is determined to allow himself, though it is an exercise in torture to be in her presence and not make her his, Mila is just too perfect to leave behind.  Mila has been slightly obsessed with Lyosha from the first look, but their friendship means so much more to her than him and she knows she has no chance with the gorgeous man that haunts her fantasies.  When she finds her life in danger, Lyosha is the only man she can trust to protect her, but being in his presence all day every day is going to kill her resolve to move on from her desire for him—especially now that he is implying there might be something more between them.  Love between them seems truly unlikely, but their draw together is as irresistible as gravity and sooner or later the collision will be explosive, assuming they can stay alive long enough to enjoy it. Lyosha was an intriguing character, one that we met previously, but didn’t realize might get his own story, and that has resisted love for far too long out of fear.  He is an engaging, thoughtful man but at the same time can be a serious bad ass when he is protecting those he considers to be his responsibility.  I loved seeing the calm and sweet moments he shared with Mila, but the heated battles and passion between them made their relationship just that much spicier.  When he finally accepted that there was no way he could let her go or leave her as just a friend, the love between them exploded into something so deep so quickly that it’s obvious it was building a long time despite them both fighting it.  Mila was the perfect innocent best friend character, but she was so much more than that too; True, she volunteered at an animal shelter, cared for those around her, and loved her best friend from afar instead of fighting for what she wanted initially, but when push came to shove she stood up for herself and fought for the love she wanted and proved that surface impressions can hide something much deeper if one is just willing to look.  I loved seeing her going toe to toe with Lyosha and finding her footing in his wealthy and dangerous world, while maintaining her integrity and sweetness.  Fire raged between these two from the very beginning, even if they both banked those fires for months, and when they finally dropped their guards it was a wildfire.  I am dying to see what comes next in this series and seeing where Reus takes the lovers.  Another masterpiece for Katie!
Was this review helpful?
This is the first I've read from Katie Reus's Red Stone Security series and I will definitely be reading more from this series!    Loved Lyosha and Mila together - the story is angsty, steamy, action-packed and suspenseful.  I enjoyed the rest of the characters, especially Mila's family.  Looking forward to reading more in this series!
Was this review helpful?
This was a very enjoyable and fun trip back into the world of Red Stone Security. I love this series so much. Nice romantic suspense component as always, which Katie Reus seems to be able to give us no matter how long the story is. Great characters and story line as always made this one pack the punch of a full novel.
Was this review helpful?
Secret Enemy checked every single box for me, it has a compelling story, main characters that have sizzling chemistry and awesome secondary characters. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. Katie Reus is one talented writer and her books never failed me
Was this review helpful?
This is a voluntary review of an advanced copy.

Wow, how much sizzle between Lyosha and Mila and they are just keeping in the friend zone!

Lots of action and drama in this romance as there are multiple attempts at their lives and you never know who is behind the attacks.

You can't help but feel for Mila when Lyosha kisses her then runs away and ghosts her for almost a week.  He just can't admit that they could be good together and you just want to smack him in the head and wake him up!

It could not put the book down as I just had to figure out who was behind the plot and how they could resolve their issues and get their HEA!  

It was fun to read about the previous couple at Red Stone security when they make their appearances and what a great family that Mila has!  Loved the book and as always, can't wait for the next one in the series.  I may have to reread Viktor and Dominique's story in the meantime!
Was this review helpful?
What can I say about Secret Enemy by Katie Reus other than I loved it. Great characters and a solid romantic suspense plot.
Was this review helpful?
Katie Reus returns with "Secret Enemy", book 16 in Red Stone Security series. Lyosha is a member of the Red Stone Security, but has not always been on the right side of the law and feels unworthy when he falls in love with with his friend Mila. If you are looking for suspense and romance with lots of drama and fast paced action, Lyosha and Mila's story is just what you are looking for. And who doesn't love a dog and a kitten as part of their story? As with all the books in the series, it is a standalone read that always leaves readers waiting on pins and needles for the next one. **I was gifted "Secret Enemy" via NetGalley, leaving my review based on my reading. 5 Stars!
Was this review helpful?
This was another fantastic romantic suspense read from Katie Reus following a friends to lovers theme.  After a less than stellar childhood Lyosha doesn’t feel he’s good enough for Mila and he’s happy to settle for being friends with her.  I think he’s also afraid of losing her family who have welcomed him as one of their own if a relationship between them didn’t work.  Mila meanwhile, unaware of his history is left thinking the exact same thing – honestly this will leave you wanting to bang their heads together….. or maybe lock them in a room!   It’s only when a ghost from Lyosha’s past rears his ugly head & threatens Mila’s safety that he comes to his senses & ‘mans’ up.
The best thing about Katie Reus writing is that it is so easy to read.  Although the books are reasonably short, nothing about the plot feels rushed The characters are all well rounded, the heroes are all alpha men but with soft centres who will do anything to protect the ones they love and the heroines are all feisty and don’t make things easy for their men.  Even the secondary characters leave you hoping that they will receive their own ‘happily ever afters’ in future books .  All in all, this book was a  great way to while away a couple of hours.
Was this review helpful?
Mila and Lyosha meet when Lyosha brings a cat into the shelter she volunteers at, and they begin a friendship. Both are very attracted to the other, but deny their feelings for different reasons. Mila because she assumes Lyosha doesn't return the feelings/attraction and Lyosha because he has insecurities around having attachments in his life. At the same time that their attraction escalates, enemies from Lyosha past resurface to target them both and force them to spend even more time together.

Despite this being book 16 in the series, this is the first book I've read by Katie Reus. I very much enjoyed it and am so happy to have found an author with an extensive backlist to read from. I very much enjoyed the mystery and suspense in this slow burn love story and despite it being part of an extensive series, it's definitely a standalone. Highly recommend this if you are a fan of slow burns or romantic suspense!

Thank you to NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy. I've voluntarily left an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Dear Katie Reus,

I’ve read most of your Red Stone Security series and enjoyed them so I was happy to have the chance to read the latest installment. The books are generally about category length and can be read fairly quickly and have a good balance between the romance and the suspense aspects of the story.

The link to Red Stone Security in Secret Enemy is indirect; Mila has just started working there and Lyosha’s boss’s wife also works there but the firm has very little to do with the actual plot.

Lyosha met Mila at an animal shelter where she volunteers, having adopted a rescue kitten he’d found. He was immediately drawn to Mila and they became firm friends. Mila always wanted more but Lyosha has her squarely friend-zoned. Because readers have the benefit of Lyosha’s POV as well as Mila’s we know that Lyosha thinks he’s not good enough for Mila and that’s why he hasn’t made a move. Still, he can’t bring himself to stay away and as a result they’ve been in a weird holding pattern. In reality they behave a lot like romantic partners with each other, except without anything physical between them. He’s even met her entire family. It’s clear to anyone with eyes that they’re more than friends. It’s notable that neither of them are looking elsewhere for a romantic partner.

Lyosha was previously involved in some kind of  criminal enterprise (Russian mafia style maybe? It wasn’t specified in this book), but then his boss and friend Viktor was able to take over from Viktor’s father and transform the organisation so that it is now legitimate. Lyosha is in charge of Viktor’s security but he also seems to be independently wealthy. I guess his previous activities generated a lot of income? Lyosha is now mostly lawful but when necessary and to protect those he loves, he’s willing to skirt the rules.

Mila is working for Red Stone Security in their marketing area so she has no involvement in security work.

One night after a not-date, they kiss and Mila thinks “finally!” but then Lyosha bolts and ghosts her for a week because he can’t deal with his conflicting emotions. To her credit, Mila, though hurt, doesn’t pine for him. She decides that she’s going to live her life and get on with things. If Lyosha doesn’t want her she won’t beg and she won’t waste away. She’s sad but determined to move on. Go Mila.

But then an old foe of Lyosha’s threatens Mila, and he goes into ultra-protector mode and moves her into his home so he can keep her safe. Again to her credit, Mila does not do anything stupid like refuse his help. She’s a practical woman. There was more than one occasion when she made very smart decisions which many a romantic suspense heroine could learn from in fact.

At Lyosha’s place, he finally gives into his feelings. He just can’t, in the words of REO Speedwagon, fight this feeling anymore.

To find their HEA, Lyosha has to neutralise the threat against both he and Mila and accept that he is worthy of the love of his found family, including Mila.

The suspense plot is fairly OTT and things move quickly. I had the sense that the suspense was more a vehicle for the romance than a story in itself and, as much as I like the high romance quotient in your romance, this time the other part of the novel didn’t hold together as well. The romance itself moved very quickly – there really was very little keeping them apart right from the beginning but Lyosha’s turnaround from rejecting a relationship to being all in was a little too quick and underdeveloped.

While Secret Enemy wasn’t my favourite of the series, there were things to like, including a tough guy hero who loves to cook and who’s head over heels for his lady and pretty squishy about his little cat, Nala. And Mila made good choices all the way through the book for extra bonus points.

Grade: C

Was this review helpful?