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Secrets In The Shadows Cover Picture

Secrets In The Shadows

Jenna Black

Published 2007              293 pages

Summary (from the book jacket)

They hunt in every major city, hidden by the crowds, shielded by disbelief. They are Killers, and their prey is human.

Not all vampires are Killers. The Guardians of the Night sacrifice the superior physical and psychic strength that comes with feeding on humans to protect them.  But the Guardians walk a thin line, for even a single kill could leave them helplessly addicted to murder.

Jules Gerard has vowed that he will never become a Killer.  But when he discovers that the man who turned him into a vampire is dead and kicking in Baltimore, the allure of extra power is tempting.

Standing in his way is a human, spitfire Hannah Moore, who has followed him to Baltimore to help him confront his past. Hannah doesn't seem to realize how dangerous vampires can be--and despite his façade of disdain, Jules has a real soft spot for the petite P.I.

Jules is going to have to choose: vengeance or love? Damnation or redemption?

The Review

Secrets In The Shadows is the second book in Jenna Black’s Guardians of the Night paranormal romance series.  While it has the same background as Watchers In The Night (the first book of the series) and features some of the same characters it is a stand alone story and you don’t need to read the first book to understand this one.

Secrets In The Shadows follows the romance between Jules, a sharp dressed quick-tempered Quebecois vampire and Hannah a tough human PI who tries to help Jules in his quest to put his past (and his maker) to rest.  Flung together in Baltimore, their close proximity soon leads to romance.  The romance is written well enough but some how there is a chemistry lacking between these two characters.  Their attraction for each other seems to be driven by the fact that they are stuck in close quarters to each other and both of them have been celibate for a while rather than an overwhelming need for each other or a great meeting of the minds.

Also, while Jules himself is a fairly alpha male hero he is unfortunately out-gunned (or out-vamped) by every other male character in the book making him seem less than alpha, which may present problems for some romance readers who like their heroes to always be top dog.

You are probably getting the impression that I didn’t like this book but actually you couldn’t be more wrong.  I thought this book was great!  The background and setting (an uprising of the Baltimore fledglings and a battle for leadership of the city’s vampires) is fantastic.  The Baltimore vampires are both powerful and evil with a disdain for human life that makes them exciting opponents for Jules and Hannah. 

The vampire characters in Secrets In The Shadows are written in a way that makes them realistically ambiguous.  Good vampires can do bad things and still be essentially good while bad vampires can do bad things but maybe they are not evil.  It is this moral ambiguity that makes Secrets In The Shadows a more complex and original story than your average paranormal romance.  The Baltimore vampires do dark and disturbing things to both their human prey and each other.  Some of these things are gory and uncomfortable but the author has written the scenes in such a way that the reader is not present at the time that the worse violence takes place - which should protect the delicate sensibilities of the more squeamish reader.

The Guardians of the Night series is not your standard vampire romance fare.  There are many ideas here that are perhaps more suited to urban fantasy than romance but whatever way you look at it, this is an intriguing series and it will be interesting to see where the author takes it in the next novel, Shadows On The Soul.

I would highly recommend Secrets In The Shadows for urban fantasy fans who like a strong romantic element coupled with a dark, exciting vampire background in their books.  Fast-paced and thrilling, Secrets In The Shadows shouldn’t fail to entertain. 

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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