I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
***This review contains spoilers from Book One. So if you haven't read it yet, click on the link to my review HERE and hold off on reading this review***
Secrets and Lies is the second book in the Cassie Scot series. It's not a standalone novel, so be sure to read Cassie Scot ParaNormal Detective first. I enjoyed this novel as much as the first, though I think this one was a tad darker, with quite a bit more angst. The angst was flying at Cassie from all directions this time; I'm somewhat surprised she was still sane by the end. I found it almost impossible to put it down once I started reading.
Cassie is still struggling as a non-mage from a magical family and still reeling from being disowned by her parents. Once the news spreads through Eagle Rock, it becomes common knowledge that she's no longer under her parents' protection. Unwilling to accept anything from her parents, she needs a job but has trouble finding anyone willing to employ her. I felt so sorry for Cassie. She's practically turned into a sideshow in the town as everyone whispers about her life. If her family problems weren't enough, she's wrestling with her life debt to Evan and her feelings for him. She has no idea whether her feelings are genuine or if they're influenced by the life debt.
Cassie is just beginning to learn how much her parents kept from her regarding the magic society. Perhaps they felt they were protecting her, but I have a feeling keeping secrets was more at issue. The interactions she has with her family are heartbreaking; it's almost as though her siblings blame her for her absence.
Cassie becomes embroiled in another mystery and is on the case with Evan. He's not hiding his intention to be with her, making her very uncomfortable. Poor Cassie spends so much time fighting within her own head, it must be exhausting. Evan is as evasive as ever. He's pulling that alpha male - I'll keep secrets to protect her - when things would go so much smoother if he shared. Many secrets are revealed about Cassie's family, while one big bomb is dropped right at the end. This novel did not suffer from middle book syndrome at all. It was every bit as engaging as the first, even though the plot was darker. While reading, I kept thinking that it's like The Empire Strikes Back of the Cassie Scot series.
I highly recommend Secrets and Lies to everyone 17+. It's the perfect combination of entertaining characters and intriguing plot. There's just something about Cassie and Evan that pull me into their story. If you've read Cassie Scot ParaNormal Detective, I bet you've been waiting for this one. I'm looking forward to Mind Games due out next year. I can't wait to see what's in store for Cassie and Evan.