Where Secrets Lie, #1 in The Where Secrets Lie Series, by Ebony Kent

19292862[1]Promising Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Debut

Where Secrets Lie  is the debut novel of author Ebony Kent. I found it an appealing, fast paced read, containing an intriguing take on the vampire myth.

Kara, a police detective, takes a break from her job to ensure the safety of her sister Alyssa, after she discovers that she has become the servant of a vampire Logan – Kara has become aware of the existence of vampires, which most humans are unaware of, due to her work for the police. Kara not only fears for Alyssa’s life but is also afraid that she may be persuaded to want to become one of them, a creature which Kara considers a monster.

To protect Alyssa, Kara infiltrates the vampire clan  led by the brooding and enigmatic Michael. Michael only allows her entry to his mansion once she agrees to be his own personal servant, willing to do anything and everything her asks of her…. Michael is intrigued by Kara as she is a strong and independent woman and she is also immune to vampire enthrallment. At first he is determined to break her and make her beg him to kill her before he is done with her. Michael has two other personal servants, Amy and Kate, the latter who is eager to please him on all levels, especially in the bedroom!

Whilst in the mansion, Kara fights a losing battle to protect Alyssa from falling in love with the suave and attractive Logan. She also seeks to protect her own sanity and fight a growing attraction to Michael, who demands that she spends more and more time in his company, whilst jealous rivals for Michael’s attention seek her destruction. The plot thickens when another clan of vampires, headed by Michael’s uncle Elijah, seeks a formal merger with Michael’s clan. This represents a further threat to Kara and her sister. Will Kara and Alyssa escape unhurt from the vampire word that they have become so immersed in? And what of Michael’s plans for Kara and her own feelings for him?

Overall I enjoyed the characters and the story. I liked the immediate chemistry and sardonic humour  between Michael and Kara and welcomed their growing relationship. Michael has a bad boy reputation but the more I found out about him the more I became attracted to him as did Kara. I also liked Logan, who is a sympathetic character, who appears to have Michael’s, Kara’s, and Alyssa’s best interests at heart. Some of the other vampires, who view humans as little more than servants and pets to meet their needs and provide blood, are suitably evil. The sex scenes were not explicit and were generally sweet between the hero and heroine. There is some violence in the novel.

I found that the novel had an intriguing plot and set of characters. It was very fast paced and there was always something happening to Kara or one of the other main characters. I did however feel that it could have benefited from some contrast in pace here and there and perhaps fewer new characters introduced near the end, which I found a little confusing. However, I do appreciate that the novel is the first in a series and as such the plot and the characters are designed to set the scene for future instalments. The ending of the novel set up the next book, Where Secrets Lie: The Return, very nicely. I would be interested in reading future novels.

I recommend it to readers who enjoy urban fantasy or paranormal romance containing vampires and other supernatural creatures.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received this book for free from Story Cartel in exchange for my unbiased review.


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Tsunami Blue (The Tsunami Blue Series) by Gayle Ann Williams

 Tsunami Blue

An Original Vision of the Future

Tsunami Blue, a post apocalyptic paranormal romance, is set in the year 2023, when most of the Earth, following a series of cataclysmic tsunamis, becomes covered by water with small isolated island communities. Modern technology and conveniences have all but disappeared under the waves, which continue to plague the world.

We meet Blue, the 24 year old heroine, who has lived alone on an island with her dog since her uncle was murdered by Runners, violent pirates who rule the waves. Blue is special – she ‘listens’ to the sea and can predict where and when the next big waves will hit. She transmits this information over the radio. Blue chooses to remain alone due to this ability, knowing how valuable she would be to the Runners if they captured her and her gift used by them to extort valuable goods and punish and terrorise communities.

Blue’s peaceful existence is shattered one day when a man washes up on the beach, half dead. Blue rescues him and saves his life, learning that his name is Gabriel Black. She is kidnapped by him the next day and forced to flee her island and her home, as it is overrun with Runners looking for her and trying to take her away from Gabriel. She is left wondering what Gabriel wants with her and what her fate will be. Suspicious that he too is a Runner, she tries to prevent the growth of their mutual attraction and resolves to escape him.

The story is narrated in the first person. This is effective in that whilst we are privy to Blue’s personal feelings and motivations we too are uncertain of Gabriel’s true intent and this both heightens and prolongs the suspense, which added to my enjoyment of the novel. In fact I could not put it down until I had finished it! I liked the author’s writing style, which was sharp and descriptive enough to paint a vivid picture of the post –apocalyptic world, without getting bogged down in detail. I imagined the world to have elements of ‘Mad Max’, ‘Waterworld’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ The dialogue between all of the characters was witty and entertaining, particularly the repartee between Blue and Gabriel.

Blue is a strong heroine with an interesting past. She prefers her life of solitude as it gives her the freedom to broadcast what she knows about the next big wave in the hope of saving others. Life has taught her valuable survival and combat skills and she has plenty of chances to put these to use in the book – she does not just use her knives to filet fish! She is devoted to her dog Max and is loyal not only to Gabriel, even when she is suspicious of him, but can also be relied on by other characters, who the author introduces us to. She despises Runners and suspects that Gabriel, the man she is overwhelmingly attracted to, is one, thus creating a great deal of tension, not least sexual, throughout the book.

Gabriel, is all male and Blue is instantly attracted to him. I wondered what he wanted from Blue and whether he could be trusted not to hand her over to one of the groups of Runners who were pursuing her, particularly as he appears to be a Runner himself. He is clearly attracted to Blue and has a compassionate side, which he exhibits from the start, not just in relation to how he treats Blue, but others. He also has a wicked sense of humour and is a skilled fighter.

The other main characters include Trace and Indigo, the leaders of the two opposing factions of Runners who are eager to capture Blue and use her for their own nefarious ends. Both characters were twisted and evil and there are descriptions of many violent scenes within the book, in a society where only the strong survive and it does not pay to exhibit a weakness. The violence highlights how social order has collapsed since the apocalypse. The author did well to also imbue the sea with feelings, to the extent that it becomes a character in its own right, its actions adding to the twists and turns in the plot.

The romance between Blue and Gabriel was both sweet and hot, but not graphic and it provided an excellent counterpoint to the violence going on around them and the fear of where and when the next big wave would come. The paranormal elements of Blue’s communication with the sea were well done and there is a nice twist at the end, which I did not see coming.

I would recommend this book to lovers of post apocalyptic tales, particularly those who enjoy romance with the story. I believe that the style of the book and the witty dialogue, along with violence and ‘kick ass’ hero and heroine, would also appeal to lovers of urban fantasy. I was totally absorbed in the book and will be reading the next in the series.

Reviewed by Tina Williams