Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Secrets and Lies by Christine Amsden

Title: Secrets and Lies
Author: Christine Amsden
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Series: Cassie Scot #2

Trade Paperback, 260 pages
Publication: November 15, 2013 by Twilight Times Book

Source: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for a honest review.

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Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents' betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn't letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness. Book 2 in the Cassie Scot Mystery series.

Secret and Lies is the second book in Amsden’s spellbinding Cassie Scot series. Secrets and Lies take place exactly where the first book left off, with no amount of time passing. Cassie comes from one of Eagle Rock most powerful and prominent family of sorcerers, but is the only one in a family of seven kids without magic. In the last book, Cassie was disowned by her family and was left to fend for herself without her family’s protection in a town full of magical beings; who all want Cassie for their own nefarious reasons. Cassie has estranged herself from her family since they disowned her, living off her friend’s couch and catching a waitressing gig at a diner in town. However, waitressing turns out to be a bust when Victor Blackwood and her father get her fired on her first day. To make some sort of money, Cassie reluctantly accepts a PI job involving both her family and the Blackwood’s missing cousins.  No matter how much Cassie tries to ignore her family and distance herself from anything paranormal…Cassie still finds herself smack dab in the middle of all the chaos.  

Similar to the first book, this book has a main mystery that Cassie has to solve which involves two powerful families’ children. Since Cassie isn’t around her family much, readers don’t get much page times with Cassie’s eccentric siblings/family except her brother Nicolas and occasionally her father. While that was somewhat disappointing, we did get to see more of Evan and Cassie’s relationship as they try to figure out what is real and not real with Cassie’s debut to Evan hangs over their head (she owes him for saving her life). Cassie and Evan are like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, with families that despises one another. I love the little flashback scene of when Cassie and Evan first met in grade school…they had each other’s back from the start even when their family discouraged them from befriending one another. I really think Evan and Cassie are made for each other, and their chemistry in Secrets and Lies definitely shows it. Although, there were some annoying moments with Cassie where she was sure she was in love with Evan one second, and in the next moment she pushes him away.  I did not like it when Cassie flip-flopped back and forth with her feelings. In the end she did make up her mind and realized what she really wanted but it was a little too late. 

What I enjoy most about this series so far is the perfect balance of magic in a yet realistic contemporary setting and the characters.  All the characters that populate Cassie’s world (including Cassie) are mostly magical; whether they’re a sorcerer, witch, vampire, werewolf, or fey they’re all realistic and very relatable. They go through the same thing any normal person would go through and have the same aspiration as the next person. Take our main heroine Cassie for example, she’s in her early 20’s and is trying to figure out her place in the world. She has family problems, man problems, job problems, and financial problems…which are in my opinion relatable to anyone of any age. Not only is Cassie relatable but she is also very strong and independent. Cassie may be lacking in the magical department but she makes it up in brains and determination. She never once felt sorry for herself or made any excuses for not having magic, she does everything to the best of her abilities and is a fighter till the end.

Bottom line, Secrets and Lies was an excellent sequel that is even better than the first book in my opinion. No sophomore slump here people. Amsden is a very talent writer that knows how to captivate readers from the first page and keeps them sticking around with realistic and relatable characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. I can’t wait to see where Amsden takes this series, especially with the shocking ending that will surely be a big game changer in the third book, Mind Games.  This is a fantastic series that everyone needs to read! I am not kidding, if you haven’t read this series you’re really missing out. The Cassie Scot series has unquestionably solidified itself among my favorites. If you’re a fan of the Kate Daniel series by Ilona Andrews, October Daye series by Seanan Mcguire, or Arcadia Bell series by Jenn Bennett…to name a few…then look no further for your next favorite series here! 

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