This is my first M/M book and I wasn't sure what to expect. So, I decided to read it with the same expectations for any romance book I read. Will I care about the characters? Is the conflict believable? Will I get my HEA? Those are some of the basic bones of romance I look for and G.A. Hauser delivered every single one.
I cared about David's happiness. His ex-wife is the stuff of nightmares and I kept gritting my teeth every time she had a scene because she MADE a scene. What a horrible personality! The fact that she seemed more than willing to use their children as chess pieces just burned me. I really don't like it when parents do that. Even worse is when they get away with it. I was gratified to see the author handle that serpent with dignity. She gave David a heck of a lot more patience in dealing with her than I would have done. After a few episodes of venom, I was really ready for David to have his HEA. He more than earned it.
Lyle...now Lyle was not only adorable but he was cautious, sweet, courageous and all man. He had a few issues to deal with as well, but none of his personal making. That was a bit scary and not only made for a great conflict - his relationship with his room mate ... well, non-relationship, really - was quite effective in moving the story along.
The love scenes were, in a word, hot. At one point I sort of had the feeling that it was rushed a bit to get to the "I love you" part, but that's the only blip on an otherwise satisfying romance. I enjoyed the tenderness they displayed and never did I feel a scene was gratuitous. Sure, they enjoyed each other, but the story and character development was not jeopardized in any way.
All in all, from a strictly mainstream romance reader's point of view, Secrets and Misdemeanors hit all the high notes of a beautiful romance in a wonderful story about memorable characters.