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Secrets in the Shadows by Jenna Black
Review by Carolyn Frank
Tor Mass Market  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765357168
Date: 01 May 2007 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Newly-made vampires fear the daylight, for it can kill them. But even old vampires still seek the shadows, as their history both as mortal and as vampire, may shed more light on topics they'd prefer everyone not to know. In Secrets in the Shadows, Jules Gerard has spend the past 80-plus years as vampire, but still can barely contain the rage he feels about the man who turned him into one. When Jules learns that this vampire now lives in Baltimore, he first attempts to persuade his fellow Philadelphia vampires to go after him.

However, the Master of Philadelphia, Eli, has turned the city's vampires into a society of lamb's blood drinking Guardians, who do not kill humans. And Eli has some sort of arrangement with the Master of Baltimore, whereupon each group stays off the group's turf. So Jules heads off, he thinks alone, on his quest. But others think this is a bad idea and Hannah Moore, human private investigator, is sent after to hopefully provoke him into some rational thought and otherwise to protect him.

Jules is gentleman snob and Hannah is a tomboy at heart, and so the two do not get off to a great start. But forces greater than themselves force them into a great deal more togetherness than either wanted to start with, and after spending far too much time stumbling about wintry, wet Baltimore at night, they do begin to understand a lot more about each other, and even, themselves.

Like the author's previous paranormal romance, Watchers in the Night , this tale takes place in the world of today, albeit, with vampires. This time it is placed in Baltimore, another old (by American standards) city, with its distinct neighborhoods and sense of history. As the characters mostly stay away from the better known tourist havens, and most action takes place after dark, very little that is specifically recognizable Baltimore is described. What is described in detail is the miserable wet sleety winter weather, which provides a visceral counterpoint to the heating up passions of the lovers.

One thing that vampires always are is sexy, and these vampires fit right into that mold. And the fangs don't always come into play, although as the primary identifying characteristic of a vampire, they are always described. But their lovemaking is ardent, their passions are overtly sensual, and their actions in bed erotic – and these are only the male vampires. As this is a romance novel intended for an adult female audience, these male vampires form a perfect dream lovers – and what a sexy romantic dream at that!

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