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Secrets in the Shadows    by Jenna Black order for
Secrets in the Shadows
by Jenna Black
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

The Guardians of the Night are vampires sworn to protect humans from their Killer brethren. Organized by an ancient and very powerful vampire known only as Eli, the Guardians are based in Philadelphia and adhere to strict protocols that include drinking only diluted animal blood. To ignore these guidelines even once means instant death. The only drawback of being a Guardian is that the physical and psychic strength that comes from feeding on humans is lost, thus making Guardians susceptible to the temptation of falling back to their old Killer ways.

Guardian Jules Gerard was turned into a vampire against his will and harbors a festering hatred for his creator. Jules vows that should he ever cross paths with Ian Squires, he will show him no mercy. However, when revenge presents itself, Eli forbids Jules to travel to Baltimore to confront Ian, certain that Jules is being lured into a trap. Jules defies Eli's edict, knowing that the moment he turns his back on the Guardians, his life will very likely be forfeit. Jules' quest becomes even more difficult once he discovers that human PI, Hannah Moore, has been dispatched to keep an eye on him. And while Hannah doesn't care much for the Guardians and vampires in general, she's developed an annoying soft spot for the troubled and temperamental vampire, and proves early on that her stubborn streak runs even deeper than Jules's.

Jenna Black treats readers to book two in her very readable Guardians series - she's latched onto all the staples that fans of paranormal romance enjoy: sexy and dangerous vampires, their feisty human love interests, and plenty of mystery, action and character motivation to keep this series fresh and entertaining. Black nimbly juggles several sub-plots involving plot or character threads introduced in last year's Watchers in the Night - and offers a surprising new development as well. None of this detracts from Jules' and Hannah's interactions and their entertaining and often combative love story. Black's vampire society is also well thought out and her creativity bodes well for further entertaining spin-offs.

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