Jeff Erno's Reviews > Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies by Amanda Young
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's review
Jul 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: gay-paranormal
Read from July 17 to 20, 2010

Teague Johnson is not your average vampire. He and his brother Cadge are the last of a dying breed called Daywalkers. Exposure to sunlight is unpleasant to them, though not fatal. They are not compelled by bloodlust, but must merely supplement their diet with nutrient-rich human blood which they purchase in plastic bags and store in their refrigerator.

Teague is a loner who consciously avoids long-term, intimate relationships. He owns and manages a sex club where he satiates his carnal desires with meaningless one-night stands. When he meets Kyle, things begin to change for Teague. He begins to obsess over the attractive young human, and what began as a casual encounter soon becomes a series of passionate rendezvous. When Teague and Kyle finally kiss, Teague realizes he has crossed a line—one he’d sworn never to broach. He very well may be falling in love, and there is little he can do to stop it.

Secrets and Lies is the first of Amanda Young’s novels that I have read, and I must admit that I was amazed by her talent as a writer. Most impressive is her ability to use verbs creatively, and she also peppers her descriptions with vivid, colorful adjectives. She is a master of dialogue, skillfully weaving conversation within an action-packed plot in an altogether seamless manner. Clearly the book was well-edited, allowing the reader to focus upon the story and the beauty of the writing without the distraction of careless typographical errors.

The plot was very tight, containing virtually no backstory. If there were any criticism I could offer, it would be that this lack of history was initially a bit confusing to me. I thought that perhaps the book was a sequel, for it seemed the author wrote with the assumption that the reader understood details of the setting and of the protagonists’ backgrounds. I had difficulty sorting out the variations of species presented in the story—Nightfeeders, Daywalkers, Gorgonopsian Shifters, etc. I wished that the author had begun the story with a chapter or two of history leading up to the action.

The romantic scenes within the story were utterly breathtaking. The chemistry between the central characters was perfect, and the pairing of the confident, dominant Teague with the vulnerable, sensitive Kyle was not only very hot but also quite touching.

I really couldn’t force myself to like Teague’s best friend Red, who was introduced early in the story and remained until the end. I found him to be annoying, egocentric, and unreasonable. I’m not sure if this was the impression I was supposed to have of him, though. If he is not revealed as a villainous traitor at some point within this series, I will be genuinely surprised. Teague’s brother Cadge was also a bit of a jerk, and the relationship that the two siblings shared was frustrating to me. I started to feel a little bit more optimistic about Cadge toward the end of the story, but that’s not saying much.

I absolutely adored Kyle. I understood why he was so attracted to Teague, and my favorite scene was when Teague picked the lock of Kyle’s apartment in the middle of the night in order to gain entry. The two made passionate love, and Teague kissed Kyle for the first time. There is a blossoming sub within Kyle, and he simply needs to listen to his heart and allow Teague to guide him. I cannot wait to see how it plays out in book two.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I’m committed to reading the entire series. Secrets and Lies is book one. Although this was my first taste of Amanda Young’s writing, I’m certain it will not be the last. This action-packed, vampire love story contains all the elements necessary to qualify it as a recommended read– interesting characters, a captivating plot, and absolutely beautiful writing.

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