I just recently read a romance novel, and the hero had secrets and the heroine had secrets and they would have moments where they were going to tell each other, but someone would arrive, or they would say something stupid to each other like ‘the past is the past’ and stop the other person from telling the secret. The secret, of course, being a major game changer in the novel.
Let me just say, I hate secrets in books.
They are such cop-outs. They drag a story along that doesn’t usually have a strong plot and then the other person finds out. And then there’s anger. And then the couple breaks up. And then the couple gets together again. It’s so formulaic and it’s almost patronizing. The only time they work, is if when the other person figures out the secret, they do not freak out, but instead trusts the other person. So, yeah, this rarely happens. If it did, it would mean that mature characters had been created who give each other the benefit of the doubt, and there would be an actual plot.
I have stopped reading certain authors because they use this formula over and over. I can think of only one author that I can completely count on to avoid deception and secrets: Roseanna M. White (not that every author relies on secrets, I just know when she has them, she doesn’t use them as a clutch).
How do you feel about secrets?