The Secret She Kept by Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Tia Jiles clocked the most billable hours at her law firm as a respected, high-powered attorney. She also volunteered for her charitable organization, Pay It Forward, as well as performed pro bono work in her spare time. In short, she was a workaholic, so she didn’t have time to pursue a relationship. This is the story she told in order to hold onto The Secret She Kept.


Lance Kingston couldn’t believe that such a beautiful woman was still on the market. Being a successful businessman himself, and the CEO of Epiphany magazine, he respected Tia’s work ethic and wanted nothing more than to make her his wife. Especially because she seemed to possess all the qualities his ex-girlfriend, Crystal, lacked—the most important being faithfulness.


Tia was reluctant to fall in love with Lance, as all of her other relationships ended in heartbreak. But there was something about him that made her throw precaution to the wind and they began a whirlwind love affair. Within six months, to his family’s chagrin and Tia’s mother’s relief, they were engaged and married.


After the nuptials, their “happily ever after” soon faded as Tia’s façade began to crumble and The Secret She Kept came to light. Lance couldn’t understand what was wrong with his new wife, but after seeing his mother abandoned by his own father, he vowed to stay by her side no matter what. But when Tia finally confesses that she is mentally ill and the strange behavior and mood swings escalate, and both his freedom and future are threatened, Lance must make a hard decision.


The Secret She Kept is a heartfelt and realistic look at the damaging effects of mental illness on those who suffer from it and the ones who bear the burden along with them. From the secrecy of having it, to the denial of dealing with it and ultimately the point of no return when you have to decide if you are going to be a person living with mental illness, or a person that is simply mentally ill.


The Secret She Kept is an entertaining and riveting story that is also very educational. From Tia’s eccentric mental episodes to Lance’s reactions and retaliations, I couldn’t put the book down. The characters were so real and their beliefs and convictions were so genuine, I felt like I was a part of the family, rooting for Tia to get better and the couple to finally have a happily ever after, after all. It’s definitely a must-read and one to add to the shelf of those who love a drama-filled story full of suspense and jaw-dropping occurrences.

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