She turned him down. 

Five years ago, Philadelphia attorney Daniel Cross was stuck in an elevator with Samantha Parker and fell in love. Five days after their rescue, Daniel asked Sam to marry him. 

Sometimes a girl has to choose. And sometimes she can’t choose love. 

Five years ago, reporter Samantha Parker was taking on the burden of caring for her sister, who’d been in a horrific car accident. She needed to move to New York to care for her and was in desperate need of a once-in-a-lifetime scoop to land a job once she arrived. She didn’t plan on asking Daniel’s wealthy, reclusive client Harlan Monroe for an interview. She didn’t plan on falling for Daniel either. 

Can they learn to love again? 

Now Harlan Monroe is dying and his lawyers are wrapping up all his loose ends. Sam’s editor smells a story. But in order to chase that lead down, Sam will need to rely on the initial secret to her success – Daniel.

Titles in The Mountain Monroes series include — The Secrets to My Success (prequel) Kissed By The Country Doc – Snowed In With The Single Dad –

Title:  The Secrets to My Success
Series:  #0.5 The Mountain Monroes prequel
Author:  Melinda Curtis
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  January 30, 2019
Publisher:  Harlequin
My Rating:  4.5 stars

I was all set to dive into the new series by Melinda Curtis, The Mountain Monroes when my eye caught sight of something on Amazon (my secret browsing location for books) – a prequel.  Now anyone who follows my reviews knows that I’m addicted to complete series from start to finish… so, yeah, the prequel had to be read first, it’s just a rule.  *grin*

THE SECRETS OF MY SUCCESS is a short and sweet (in Romance style) story of parted lovers.  It’s sad, poignant and so believable because sometimes we have to make choices that involve the heart but not always romantic choices.  Sometimes love wins but it’s not the win that brings joy, it’s the kind that faces reality and moves forward with a heavy heart knowing the right choice was made, but it hurts so much to live with that decision.

Daniel and Samantha met, in all places, a stalled elevator where they spent about five hours calming each other… and falling in love.  Yes, sometimes love happens quickly but it’s still the right choice.  They took that wonderful emotion and ran with it for five amazing days until reality crashed in and a choice had to be made  When Daniel spontaneously asked Sam to marry him she had to say no.  There were reasons, real, life-changing reasons but Daniel didn’t listen to them all he heard was his heart breaking into small pieces.

That was five years ago, today Daniel and Samantha are about to meet once again.  Perhaps they can make a second chance – but they have to really listen to each other, to honestly hear what their reality is or they stand no chance at all.

THE SECRETS TO MY SUCCESS is such an emotional story, one that will break your heart and heal it back up again.  It’s a real look at how life happens because it’s not always the happy ever after for reasons beyond two people not loving each other, sometimes love isn’t enough for the choices we face.  Sam was facing such a choice and Daniel didn’t let her explain why her answer wasn’t what he wanted to hear.

We get a glimpse of the unique small town, Second Chance, Idaho in this prequel — and it certainly is enough of a peek to grab my curiosity for even more.

I was captured by the idea of the series and by the story in THE SECRETS TO MY SUCCESS that I’m committing myself to the entire twelve-story long (over a few years) series that will follow.  It’s emotional, realistic, and brutally honest in how life happens and we either hold on and do what’s necessary or we flounder… it’s just that simple and complex at the same time.

If you love a story that touches your heart, engages your curiosity for more and love watching two people who belong together finding their way back to each other… then you’re going to love THE SECRETS TO MY SUCCESS and be looking for more.

I own a Kindle edition of this story.

Available in paperback and for the Kindle