Secret Past by Eileen Troemel


 A nice butt and a gun – the first two things Dee Jones noticed about the tall sexy man in front of her – Nick Carson, ex-Navy Seal turned private detective. Their pleasant encounter is interrupted by a bank robbery. After the robbery, Nick invites Dee to lunch and they enjoy a first date of target shooting and passion. He can’t resister her puzzling
combination of hurt child and strong, sexy, independent woman. He is convinced patience and his skills as a private detective will gain him access to her heart and her secrets. Dee struggles with Nick’s large and often interfering family who are steeped in law enforcement. With her checkered past, Dee vehemently distrusts cops. For Dee, family is just
another stone to weigh her down but Nick believes his family only makes him stronger. Could he be right? Nick draws her into the security of his loving family, showing her how positive family can be but still Dee hesitates even as she becomes attached to his family. Experience has taught her to keep her distance and not become entangled. Secrets must be kept or pain will result – both physical and emotional. Dee’s stubborn insistence that Nick doesn’t need to know what’s in her past drives a wall between them. Nick is drawn to her vulnerability but can’t get past her refusal to share her past. In frustration, Nick investigates the woman he is quickly falling for. As the bank robbers
are caught, Dee realizes she can’t testify because just saying her name is a lie. Dee is forced to choose between running away and facing her past. Following her instincts, she opts to run but before she does she wants one last night with Nick. Anxiously awaiting his return from a business trip, Dee opens her door to her violent past. Dee is certain she must escape before more damage is done than a few bruises and a broken arm. She wants to find a way to be with Nick and for them to face her Secret Past.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21996950-secret-past?ac=1
Warning: This book contains depictions of extreme physical abuse and domestic violence to one of the main characters.
Ms. Troemel really sent me on an emotional roller coaster ride with this book.  I was so emotionally invested in Dee that I reacted to her plight as if she was a family member.  Some of the character’s in this book really invoked my ire and just highlighted the truly sick and twisted members of our society.
This book snagged me from the first chapter and kept me until the end.  Even after I had finished the book I wanted more. Dee and Nick’s journey to reach their HEA was so heart-wrenching that I wanted to revel in their happiness for a while.  The ending was wonderful and I loved the epilogue I was just sad to see their story at an end.  Hopefully these characters will invade the author and make her give us another book with them so we can see more of their lives.