Hello Gemmies! I have an entertaining new spoiler free book review to share with you today. Please note: I received a digital ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and fair review.
Everybody, get ready for your next compulsory bingeable read! Secrets & Truths by Whitney Hill is the first book in the Otherside Heat Series. This is a spin off of the wildly popular Shadows of Otherside series. Secrets & Truths can be read as a stand alone but you'll appreciate the cameos and political drama more if you read the Shadows of Otherside series first. Whitney Hill has quickly become one of my favorite paranormal romance/urban fantasy authors. She gives me all of the romance, suspense, danger, pulse pounding excitement, and hot characters that I need!
Secrets & Truths takes place about four years before the events in Elemental. It is full of angst, political intrigue, action, and spicy goodness. Secrets & Truths is also an excellent character driven story. It was really nice meeting new characters set in the Urban Fantasy world that I already love. Cade is a pure sexy alpha male vagabond vampire with a cinnamon role heart. Lya is a strong sexy alpha female half fae bounty hunter who isn't afraid to go for what she wants. Both of these characters are running from thier past, and even though a relationship between the two is forbidden, the chemistry between them is off the charts.
The instant attraction between Cade and Lya is palpable and believable. This is a romance so an HEA is guaranteed, but, in true Whitney Hill fashion, you will sweat and have heart palpitations getting there. As a reminder this is an adult paranormal romance so there are tastefully executed graphic sex scenes. Secrets & Truths has so much heart and soul, you will find yourself rooting for Cade and Lya every step of the way. The other thing I love about Whitney Hill's writing is her inclusion of diverse characters, and her ability to tackle tough topics like racism, sexism, equality, and current events in an attainable and entertaining way. It's easy to imagine myself as one of these characters and that's not something readily found or well done, in the paranormal romance genre, so I really appreciate it.
There were quite a few cameos from characters from the Shadows of Otherside Series. And it was nice to spend time with old friends (and enemies) again. Like the previous stories in the original series, Secrets & Truths takes place in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. This is near and dear to my heart as I live here. You don't have to live in North Carolina to appreciate this world and find your self fully immersed in it. It's contemporary, fresh, and familiar. If you love paranaormal creatures especially fae and vampires, Secrets & Truths has you covered! Trigger warnings for consensual on-page sex, physical violence, on-page death, blood drinking, swearing, slurs not toward any real racial or ethnic group/identity), alcohol use, threat of sexual violence, implied past sexual violence, and remembrance of past abusive relationship.
If you are a fan of forbidden love, retribution, angst, action, paranormal hierarchical politics, enemies to lovers, steamy situations, and kick ass heroines then read this book! Published by Benu Media, Secrets & Truths releases on February 24, 2021, and is available for pre-order from all major booksellers. I give Secrets & Truths 5 out of 5 gems. I'm looking forward to reading more adventures set in this universe. Happy Reading!