Book Reviews

Review: Story of a Secret Heart by Cassi Ellen


I was kindly sent a free digital copy of this book by the author Cassi Ellen for a review.  It’s an interesting story based on the author’s own experiences, here is my review:

Cassi is a young English woman living and working in Australia. One day her life is shattered when the man she loves breaks her heart. But in trying to rebuild her life and mend her broken heart, she enters a very different world with very different people…

‘Story of a Secret Heart’ is an interesting read but it’s a book I believe is marketed wrong. Though this is suggested to be a piece of fiction based on the author’s real life, and looks like a typical chick lit novel from the cover, it reads exactly like an autobiography or memoir and I think should be sold as one.

As I said the story is told in a memoir style. After having her heart broken, and we do find out how this happened, the story moves on to the new people Cassi meets and a strange world that she becomes a part of. I don’t know how much of this is true and if anything was embellished but this really feels like a memoir due to the dark nature of some events that happen. While Cassi is a fun loving girl with a great ability to laugh off tense situations, she’s also perhaps slightly naive, at least at first when entering this new and dark world.

The book does deal with the world of drugs (dealing and using), prostitution is mentioned as well as gambling too. There is a lot of sex in the book. Most of it isn’t described in any detail, more about knowing people had sex but there are a few moments where some of it is more graphically described and which might shock some in the same way it shocked the author. There is violence described in the book too.

While this is all a world away from the chick lit genre this does make for an interesting memoir. Despite Cassi’s slightly naive attitude to things, I was, in a way, fascinated by the world she had entered. It’s not a world I’ve ever been or would like to be a part of (drug dealing, violence, prostitutes, etc) but it’s interesting none the less. Throughout the story the author is very honest about how she saw things and even though some may perceive her to be naive and I personally don’t relate to getting overly drunk and blanking out, she still comes across as a genuine and nice person who has learned a lot through her various experiences.

The story isn’t an easy read and the ending has a bit of an annoying cliff hanger, but I did feel a need to keep reading on. I wanted to see what would happen next, would she leave this life or get deeper into it? It was oddly compelling to read and truly interesting.

The book has very few uses of the S swear words with the milder B used too. There is use of the F word but it is starred as is one use of the C word. There are inspiring quotes at the end of each chapter. These are both inspiring personally but also show the author’s clearly learning from her ‘bad’ experiences. There were a few typo issues but this could be due to the fact I was given a different format by the author and may not appear in the final version of the book.

The end of the story leaves a cliff hanger and there’s promise of a future book. I’m not a particular fan of this ending but I am curious to read more and see what happens next. Overall an interesting but tough read. I would class this as a memoir, though her attitude to life may be lighthearted, the subject matter is not.

Rating: 4/5

Review published on Goodreads, click here

Author’s website:

Book Blurb:

A broken heart hurts, but it can also be fun……
Be warned, this story is not for everyone! It is a very personal, real life story, about love, life and laughter, told from the heart. Be prepared for a rollercoaster ride as you live Cassi’s crazy life alongside her!

As Cassi, a 30-year old single woman, leaves a long-term, unhappy relationship, she struggles with the pain and anguish of a broken heart. When, by chance, she meets a handsome stranger, he introduces her to a world that she didn’t even know existed. A very dark and dangerous world! As she begins to slowly forget all about her broken heart she learns to have fun again. It is then that her life starts to spiral out of control and all she can do is laugh and hang on tight. Through her trials and tribulations, Cassi has to find her inner strength and keep a smile on her face even in front of adversity.

Story of a Secret Heart calls on the author’s own experiences to weave together a hilarious and thought-provoking dark romantic comedy.

A troubling and uplifting story that will touch the heart of readers.

A true story


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