Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Secrets and Lies by Christine Amsden: Spotlight, Excerpt and Review


Fantasy/Paranormal/New Adult Romance
Date Published: 11/15/2013

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.

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 “I smell trouble.“
Evan Blackwood had been staring blankly at a news report about a hunt for a man who had robbed a local bank earlier in the week. Now, he stared blankly at his best friend and cousin, Scott Lee. Evan had hoped Scott would help take his mind off the woman he loved – the woman who had flatly rejected him. Instead, Scott was making things worse with dire predictions… predictions Evan had no choice but to take seriously. Scott was, after all, a powerful intuitive, whose gift had only seemed to improve after his unfortunate run-in with a werewolf ten years earlier.
“What do you expect me to do?“ Evan asked. “Hit her over the head with a club and drag her by the hair back to my cave?“
Scott snorted. “You never had to do any of that. You had her right here, in your cave, and you let her walk out. You could order her back, but you won’t.“
Evan didn’t dignify the comment with a response. Scott’s instincts had always served him better when it came to physical threats rather than emotional ones, and Scott didn’t want to hear that Cassie would hate Evan for forcing her to stay with him. In Scott’s world, after she was safe, gratitude would soften her heart. Or if not that, then at least time. If Evan had ever thought anything of the sort, her reaction to his saving her life, and the life debt she now owed him, set him straight.
He had to admit, his initial marriage proposal hadn’t been at all well done. Nerves he barely acknowledged had fumbled the question into a near-command, Marry me, and she had freaked out. Still, he had hoped she would want to marry him. Now, he wasn’t even sure how he could try to convince her without inadvertently coercing her. The life debt made it difficult for her to refuse anything she knew he wanted, and impossible for her to refuse anything he directly commanded.
Scott wasn’t the first one to suggest he just claim her, either. Evan’s father, Victor Blackwood, had said much the same thing, adding: I want to see you steal that girl right out from under her father’s nose. At least Scott’s motives were better.
“I spotted one of the Travises in town today,“ Scott said.
Evan nearly growled. “One of these days, we really need to run that family out of town.“
“Hey, you know I’d help you with that if it came to it, but it isn’t going to happen anytime soon.“
“They wouldn’t go after Cassie.“
“I wouldn’t put anything past them.“
He had a point, Evan grudgingly admitted. The Travises had always lived just outside of civilized behavior, and they seemed to make their own rules.
“And I told you about the Blairs asking questions,“ Scott added.
“You also said they were probably just trying to stir up trouble.“ The Blairs were mind mages, adept at manipulating people’s behaviors with a few well-chosen, well-timed words.
“They may be succeeding.“
“Or they may be hoping to goad me into acting too soon, pushing her away.“
Scott didn’t have an answer to that. Perhaps it was just as well that he didn’t understand matters of the heart, since he was too dangerous by half, the beast within him prone to violence. Scott was, perhaps, the only man in town Evan didn’t know if he could beat in a fight. He only hoped he never had to find out for sure.
“Come on.“ Evan shut off the TV with a flicker of will, not even bothering with the remote, resting within easy arm’s reach on the end table next to him. “I can’t stay here anymore tonight. We’ll find her, make sure she’s safe, and if not, send a message to anyone stupid enough to try anything.“

* * *



Like the title suggests, this book abounds with secrets and everybody seems to have good reasons to lie and perpetuate the cover-ups and bad blood.  Set in a small town located on a powerful fey node, this town bursts with paranormal activity.  Cassie Scot is having a difficult time making ends meet since her parents disowned her. She is morose also because of the life debt she owes Evan, a powerful sorcerer.  For Cassie, though, all her problems must be set aside when two young girls disappear from summer camp.
Magic and mischief take place in this second installment of the Cassie Scott series.  I enjoyed the action and the mystery.  I got a little frustrated with the “hot and cold” romance between Evan and Cassie but with their powerful family disconnects who really can blame them.  Evan and Cassie have chemistry and the sparks really fly between them, but mostly I love them because they do their best to protect each other even when the odds are against them. 
I am looking forward to the next book in this series to hopefully get a few more answers as to why there is such bad-blood in the small town.
This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J

November 18 - January 18

Christine Amsden
Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.


1 comment:

Christine Amsden said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful review!

Fair warning: There are FOUR books in the series, so you have two more books to wait for final answers. But they are coming, I promise! (Both the books and the answers -- the books have all been written and are just going through the editorial process.)