REVIEW: SARINA BOWEN & ELLE KENNEDY – TOP SECRETTop Secret by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Also by this author: Brooklynaire, The Understatement of the Year, The Score, The Chase
on May 7th 2019
Genres: New Adult, MM Romance
Tropes: Enemies to lovers
Format: eARC
Source: Nina Bocci
Buy on Amazon

LobsterShorts, 21
Jock. Secretly a science geek. Hot AF.

LobsterShorts: So. Here goes. For her birthday, my girlfriend wants…a threesome.

SinnerThree: Then you’ve come to the right hookup app.

LobsterShorts: Have you done this sort of thing before? With another guy?

SinnerThree: All the time. I'm an equal opportunity player. You?

LobsterShorts: [crickets!]

SinnerThree, 21
Finance major. Secretly a male dancer. Hot AF.

SinnerThree: Well, I’m down if you are. My life is kind of a mess right now. School, work, family stress. Oh, and I live next door to the most annoying dude in the world. I need the distraction. Are you sure you want this?

LobsterShorts: I might want it a little more than I’m willing to admit.

SinnerThree: Hey, nothing wrong with pushing your boundaries...

LobsterShorts: Tell that to my control-freak father. Anyway. What if this threesome is awkward?

SinnerThree: Then it’s awkward. It’s not like we’ll ever have to see each other again. Right? Just promise you won’t fall in love with me.

LobsterShorts: Now wouldn’t that be life-changing...



A story by either Sarina Bowen or Elle Kennedy is a guaranteed win. Together they are on fire. In TOP SECRET they show us yet again how harmoniously and with ease their writing styles mesh together. So my excitement went through the roof when I learned about this book. But since it was, indeed, top secret, we weren’t allowed to talk about it. Keeping a secret has rarely been so hard.

Now on to my thoughts about this story.

I have so much love for Luke and Keaton, our two main protagonists. Luke is the silent brooder, not giving away much about himself to pretty much everyone. Nobody knows about the unhealthy relationship with his family, or that he works his butt off just to survive day by day. As soon as someone tries to pry information out of him he clams up. On the other hand he has zero hangups or insecurities about his sexuality, is ambitious and determined to leave his poor upbringing behind. My heart ached a little for him, because it was so hard to shed his distrust of pretty much everyone.

He said I was stingy with love, and he was right. I am really not sure that will ever change. But if there’s anyone in the world I could change for, it’s certainly him.

Keaton is the outgoing, popular guy, the jock with the beautiful girlfriend, the money and the suitable friends. His dad is the meddling kind, one who expects his son to follow in his footsteps which Keaton has no intention to do. He’s a biology buff and didn’t that make my little scientist heart sing? All those references about the mating behavior of different species were hilarious (and true).

Keaton’s sexual progression felt natural to me – he struggles with it at first but, being the open-minded guy he is, he accepts it and moves on. I loved how loyal and sweet, patient and understanding he was with Luke.

I’m just a guy, standing on a beach in nothing but his favorite pair of lobster shorts, waiting for the right man to love me.

In TOP SECRET Keaton goes on a research expedition in Chile that has the goal to find an unidentified ecotype of orcas. That’s actually a fact and happened in March 2019. A friend of mine is one of the scientists who were on the research vessel and took many pics which were published in National Geographic. I thought this was such a cool coincidence I had to mention it.

M/M romance is one of my favorite genres. I love the dynamic between men and the imagery that comes with it. I loved Luke and Keaton together. They couldn’t be more different but because of that they filled needs in one another no other person could have. Their evolution from competitors to friends and lovers was beautiful to watch.

Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen joining forces again is a dream come true. With TOP SECRET they give us a stinkin’ cute, light-hearted, humorous, flirty enemy-to-lovers story that made my heart pitter-patter. Can we have more of this? PLEEAAASE? I can’t wait to listen to the audiobook of this one!

LobsterShorts: I’m fresh out of lobster sex facts atm. BUT…lemme tell you about sea slugs.
SinnerThree: Omg yes. I can’t wait for this. Hold on. Let me undo my pants.
This time I snort out loud. I know he’s kidding, and I play along. Actually, I’ll do that, too. Having both our dicks out for this fun fact is so fitting.
SinnerThree: Dick’s out. All right. Slug sex. Now, baby.
LobsterShorts: OK—you ready for this?
SinnerThree: Hit me. Blow my mind.
LobsterShorts: Sea slugs have penis fights.
Dead air follows my revelation. I see the three dots appear to indicate he’s typing. Then they disappear. Reappear. Disappear. Finally, a message pops up.
SinnerThree: I don’t even know what to say to that. I guess… Why?? How?? Why???

About Elle Kennedy

A New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

You can follow Elle online on:

Facebook Group

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over two dozen contemporary and LGTB romance novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller's list in February, with Brooklynaire. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.


Facebook Group




You may also like

1 Comment

Talk to me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: