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My Secret to Tell
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My Secret to Tell
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"As addictive as it is unpredictable."—Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling author of The Twin and The CellarFrom Natalie D. Richards, the New York Times bestselling author of YA psychological...
"As addictive as it is unpredictable."—Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling author of The Twin and The CellarFrom Natalie D. Richards, the New York Times bestselling author of YA psychological...
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  • "As addictive as it is unpredictable."—Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling author of The Twin and The Cellar

    From Natalie D. Richards, the New York Times bestselling author of YA psychological thriller books, comes a romance suspense story about a girl who helps the boy next door—but he might be dangerous, perfect for fans of Megan Miranda and Karen McManus.

    Emerson May is "the good girl." She's the perfect daughter, the caring friend, the animal shelter volunteer. But when her best friend's brother breaks into her room, his hands covered in blood, she doesn't scream or call the cops. Because when Deacon smiles at her, Emmie doesn't want to be good...

    The whole town believes notorious troublemaker Deacon is guilty of assaulting his father. Only Emmie knows a secret that could set him free. But if she follows her heart, she could be trusting a killer...

    You can't always trust the boy next door.

    Perfect for readers who want:
  • Teenage mystery books
  • Page-turning romance
  • Edge-of-your-seat twists
  • Also by Natalie D. Richards:
    Five Total Strangers
    Six Months Later
    Gone Too Far
    One Was Lost
    We All Fall Down
    What You Hide

    Praise for My Secret to Tell:
    "Brimming with suspense and intrigue."—Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls
    "[R]eaders who enjoy heavy doses of psychological and romantic tension will not be disappointed."—VOYA
    "Plenty of fun and plenty to relate to in this coming-of-age romance with an adrenaline rush."—Kirkus Reviews


  • From the book



    My name lands somewhere between a hiccup and a sob, and my feet stall out on the sidewalk in front of my house. I adjust my grip on the phone, hoping I misheard her tone. This doesn't sound like Chelsea. This voice is breathless. Frightened.

    "I'm here," I say. "What's up? You don't sound right."

    "I'm not." She takes a shuddery breath.

    My shirt's sticking to my back and cicadas are click-buzzing the end of another blistering day, but I go cold. Something's wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    "It's my dad, Emmie," she says. I can tell she's crying.

    I grab my chest. It's too tight. Burning. "What happened?"

    Her words all tumble out on top of one another, interrupted by shaky breaths. I try to pick out pieces that make sense. "He's hurt-bleeding-we're behind the ambulance and I can't-he's not-someone attacked him."

    I start climbing the porch steps, because she'll need me. I'm her best friend, so I should be there. I need to change clothes and go. "You're on the way to the hospital, right? They'll help him there."

    Another sharp breath. "I don't know if they can. He's so bad. So bad."

    My heart clenches. "Where are you?"

    "We're almost there. Joel's with me."

    "Okay, good. I'm coming," I say, crossing my porch and hauling my front door open. "Let me just call Mom. I'll borrow the car."

    Chelsea's still crying when I storm down the hallway toward my bedroom. "Emmie, I can't find Deacon..."

    "Your brother never answers his phone," I say, pushing open my door. "I'll run by the docks first and-"

    "No. No, he was there. He was at the house."

    Chelsea makes a strangled sound, and I notice the liquid-thick heat in my bedroom. The kind of heat that tells me the air conditioner is broken. Or my window is open.

    My gaze drags to my fluttering white curtains, to the dark smudge on the windowsill.

    Chelsea's voice goes low and raspy. "He ran, Emmie. God, he was there with Dad. He was in the house, but he ran."

    I swivel with an invisible fist lodged in my throat. My bathroom door is open, a red-black smudge beneath the knob.

    My mouth goes dry, my pulse thumping slower than it should. Then I see the blood on the floor by my sink, and my heart tumbles end over end.

    "We're here. I'll call soon," Chelsea says and hangs up.

    I see him, his back to my tub and his dark head bowed on one bent knee. Oh God.

    He's covered in blood. It's on his legs, his hands. Dripping onto my white tile floor. He looks up, and my heart goes strangely steady.

    I take a breath that tastes like purpose.


About the Author-

  • After years as a professional paper-pusher, NATALIE D. RICHARDS decided to trade in reality for a life writing YA fiction. She lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously furry dog named Yeti. This is her second novel. Visit her on Twitter @natdrichards or at nataliedrichards.com.


  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 17, 2015
    Emmie has been in love with her friend Chelsea’s gorgeous brother, Deacon, for years. Deacon has problems, however, including a paralyzing fear of blood. When Deacon’s father turns up nearly dead, Emmie finds Deacon covered in his blood. She wants to help Deacon, but nearly everyone in town thinks he is responsible for sending his father to the hospital. Secrets abound: Emmie is covering for Deacon, Chelsea is behaving strangely, and Deacon is definitely holding back the whole story, even from Emmie, his biggest ally. In an effort to create suspense, Richards (Gone Too Far) packs her novel full of red herrings (including the local thugs Emmie has scary run-ins with) to sometimes confusing effect. With so many characters acting suspiciously and dialogue that conceals more than it reveals, readers may end up feeling frustrated and lost. As a character, Deacon remains largely ephemeral, and Emmie’s frequent reminders that she has loved him for ages aren’t quite enough to help make sense of why she defends him so staunchly. Ages 14–up. Agent: Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2015
    Seventeen-year-old Emmie likes to take care of things, and she's good at it, but when her best friend's father is brutally beaten, and Deacon, Chelsea's brother and Emmie's secret crush, shows up at her window that night covered in blood, she faces her greatest challenge yet. The pressure Emmie feels to make things right has escalated since her older brother dropped out of college, shattering her mother's dreams. Taking the side of an apparent criminal threatens everything. Set on the shores of Beaufort, South Carolina, the fast-paced narrative is tailored to readers looking for quick, escapist entertainment. Despite careful setup, the real nuggets of the whodunit plotline suffer from a slow reveal, and Emmie's relationships, especially her friendship with Chelsea, are underdeveloped. Still, the main event, Emmie and Deacon's smoldering, good girl-bad boy chemistry, is so hot readers are likely to be forgiving. The novel is at its best when these two are on the run, not only because of the high-stakes action, but also because it forces Emmie to overcome her borderline-compulsive need for order and to throw caution to the wind. Readers will cheer as her passion outweighs her need to maintain the stifling good-girl front she's kept up for too long. Teen readers will find plenty of fun and plenty to relate to in this coming-of-age romance with an adrenaline rush. (Thriller. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2015

    Gr 7 Up-Set during a lurid South Carolina summer, this mystery opens as picture-perfect Emmie receives a frantic call from her best friend, Chelsea. Chel's father has been brutally assaulted in their home, and it appears that her brother, along with resident bad boy Deacon, is the culprit. While everyone in town is busy pointing fingers at Deacon, Emmie must decide for herself whether she should trust and defend the boy she's loved from afar or if she should do what everyone expects of a good girl and give him up to the authorities. This romantic whodunit might be best for early teen and reluctant readers with its swift pace, accessible plotlines, and somewhat predictable twists. In addition, reluctant readers will enjoy piecing the clues together to solve the mystery. For the sensitive reader, it is worth mentioning that there are references to death and drug addiction throughout. Richards does a beautiful job painting scenes of Southern life in a boating town and incorporating some diverse characters. However, she also makes some confusing leaps in the plot, leaving out critical details. For instance, in the first part of the novel, there is no mention of any character asking the beaten man to identify his assailant; rather, the townsfolk make their own assumptions and go on a witch hunt from there. The result is that the premise feels a bit flimsy and the characters' decisions are overly dramatic and premature. VERDICT Despite some flaws, this is a good choice for younger teens who want a bit of PG romance and a modern Nancy Drew-esque mystery.-Leighanne Law, Scriber Lake High School, WA

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Natasha Preston "My Secret to Tell is as addictive as it is unpredictable. Natalie will keep you second guessing until the nail-biting end."
  • The Book Nut "If you like a good suspenseful story with great characters and a dash of darkness, you'll really enjoy this new book. I'm so glad I waited to read it."
  • Book Reviews and More by Kathy "My Secret to Tell is a clever whodunit with a fabulous cast of characters and an alluring romance that will appeal to teens. The mystery element is interesting and full of unexpected twists and turns. The motive for the crime remains elusive and Natalie B. Richards skillfully utilizes numerous red herrings to keep readers guessing the perpetrator's identity right up until the novel's rather dramatic and pulse pounding conclusion."

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