Home > The Secret (Winslow Brothers #3)

The Secret (Winslow Brothers #3)
Author: Max Monroe

 

 

The Secret is a full-length romantic comedy stand-alone novel in the Winslow Brothers Collection. This book is full of fun-loving laughs, but it’s also got a steam factor level of 5000—or whatever number you consider smokin’ hot, need-to-fan-yourself high on your scale.

We’re talking loads of spice.

Now that you know, don’t contact the authorities on us because The Secret starts a small fire at your place of residence. Anyway, we’re pretty sure you can’t report a case of arson in your pants.

Also, due to the hilarious and addictive nature of this book’s content, the following things are not recommended: reading in public places, reading in bed next to a light-sleeping spouse and/or pet and/or child, reading on a date, reading on your wedding day, reading during the birth of your child, reading while eating and/or drinking, reading at work, reading this book to your boss, and/or reading while operating heavy machinery. Also, if suffering from bladder incontinence due to age/pregnancy/childbirth/etc., we recommend wearing sanitary products and/or reading while sitting directly on a toilet. It might seem like a long list of places not to read, but we assure you, if you do it in the right setting, it’ll be worth it.

Happy Reading!

All our love,

Max & Monroe

 

 

For the people who played capture the flag as a kid—thanks for inspiring the idea for the very adult version of that game in this book.

To the makers of chocolate-covered donuts—thank you for sustaining us.

To desks—thanks for maintaining the weight of our absolutely messy chaos until we finished this book. We promise we’ll clean you now.

 

 

Monday, April 22nd

Ty

I can’t believe I’m in Staten Island to seek out a fortune-teller.

Who would have thought that the land of the former world’s biggest dump is also the home to long-sought-after answers?

Gravel crunches beneath the tires of my Range Rover, and I pull to a stop in front of an old, worn-out brick building.

I’ve officially left my normal haven of skyscrapers and busy sidewalks and entered the place that birthed famous mobsters and Angelina from Jersey Shore.

Personally, I have no doubts the charlatan I’m here to find fits right in.

The early afternoon sun pushes through my windshield, and I have to squint as I cut the engine and look up at the shabby pile of bricks that took me nearly three months to find.

Two familiar words glow in red above the front door—Fortune Teller.

I’ve seen this sign before. About fourteen years ago, to be exact. Even with so much time passed, the feeling in my gut is eerily similar. Although, its location was far more convenient back then—smack-dab in the center of New York City and on the same street as the strip club where we took my eldest brother Remy to celebrate his upcoming—and ill-fated—nuptials.

“This is fucking nuts,” I mutter to myself one last time as I hop out of the driver’s side door. I shut it behind me and beep the locks, my boots crunching audibly in the rough parking lot, but before I can head toward the entrance, my phone vibrates with an incoming text message. It only takes a quick glance to see it’s in a group chat with my siblings.

Winnie: Dinner is at 7:30 p.m. You all better not be late tonight, or I’ll start donating my time to cooking for a family who deserves it.

Winnie is the baby of our Winslow crew. Though, she’s not exactly a baby anymore. She’s married, a successful physician for the famous professional football team the New York Mavericks, and the mother to my one and only niece, Lexi.

Win isn’t the type to take any bullshit, and that probably comes from years of dealing with four rowdy older brothers and working in an environment with men who are all twice her size.

Flynn: Got it.

Remy: I’ll be there.

Another text populates on the screen, and I’m not surprised by the sender or the response.

Jude: Tonight? What’s tonight?

Jude is the youngest out of Remy, Flynn, and me. Between the two of us, we have the laid-back, jokester role covered. Flynn is much more serious and straight to the point. And Remy is a healthy mix of everyone, along with the kind of dramatic past they write books about.

Winnie: JUDE.

Jude: Relax, Win. Sophie and I will be there.

As you can see, Jude is no longer a single bachelor like the rest of us Winslow men. He’s an “us.” And it’s fucking weird. Trust me, if you knew Jude before Sophie, the radical change would make your head explode too.

About a year ago, my soon-to-be sister-in-law Sophie ensnared him in her web, and the bastard has been a goner ever since. My baby brother went from the world’s biggest player to committed fiancé in the span of a year. Not to mention, in less than six weeks, he’ll officially be a husband. And that, right there, is a big part of the reason why I’ve spent the last several months tracking down a fortune-teller by the name of Cleo.

Sounds crazy, I know, but trust me, I haven’t even scratched the surface of it yet.

Nearly a decade and a half ago, when we were just twentysomething assholes looking for a good time, this woman predicted our fortunes on the night of Remy’s bachelor party. It was all supposed to be a joke. Just something ridiculous to do to make Rem’s big night memorable.

But now, it’s starting to feel as if the joke was on you.

A week after we let some stranger predict our futures? The first of Cleo’s prophecies rang true. Rem was left at the altar with nothing but a canceled wedding and his heart ripped out of his chest.

Thirteen years after that? Jude went from being a frequent diner at the all-you-can-eat pussy buffet to a fucking monk who wants to commit himself to one woman for the rest of his life.

I didn’t realize the magnitude of that until a few weeks ago, when we were in Vegas for Jude’s bachelor party, and he drunkenly revealed to me just how right Miss Cleo was—she’d predicted a bet would change his life, and that’s exactly how he met Sophie.

Needless to say, my head’s been upside down and tucked inside my ass ever since.

And now, you feel like the only way to un-fuck your head is to go straight to the source…

I inhale a deep breath, shove my phone into my back pocket, and close the distance between me and the tattered building. The instant I step over the threshold, a large bell rings above the door, and I’m hit with the smell of dust and candles and incense. The same dark burgundy curtains adorned with gold ropes from almost a decade and a half ago highlight the room, and clichéd knickknacks I saw only once before through bachelor-party-buzzed eyes fill my vision.

It’s as if I’ve been teleported back in time.

What the fuck am I doing? I shouldn’t have come here.

I start to turn back for the door, hell-bent on scrubbing Staten Island from my memory entirely, but four words stop me in my tracks.

“I’ve been expecting you.”

That voice. Holy shit, I remember that voice.

I look around the room with wide eyes that would rival Bugs Bunny when he spots Wile E. Coyote, looking for Cleo and her frighteningly green gaze, but she’s nowhere in sight.

“Take a seat, Ty.” The raspy female voice fills my ears again, and this time, I can pinpoint its location. Behind a set of velvet curtains that lead toward a mysterious back room, the woman I’m looking for taunts my stomach into tying itself in a few more knots.

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