Note:  This is a review from Lynn Reynolds @ http://www.avidreadershaven.com/

Review of Secrets & Lies ~ by Tracy James Jones

Publisher ~ Tracy James Jones (ebook)/Createspace (paperback)

Publish ~ 4 August 2011 (ebook)/ 11 November 2011 (paperback)

My Rating ~ 3 ½ out of 5 stars

      Kennedy Jordan has a secret past that seems to be holding him back.  Can he be happy by keeping that past a secret?  Camilla Vargas is a young lady with big dreams and will use any means possible to make them come true.  Will her actions hurt others around her?  Ulanda Jefferson is a young woman with attitude.  She also seems to be what connects all the four characters together.  Bren Searcy is a transgender who only wants to find happiness.  Is that such a hard thing to accept?

This story starts in a place called Waxahachie Texas.  Camilla is a 25 year old Latina that had a miscarriage early in life and has hopefully learned from her mistakes.  Kennedy Jordan is a 28 year old who was an all-American in high school and had a drinking problem early on. Cami and Kenny seem to be friends with benefits.  But they have a conversation that seems to be very serious and makes me doubt that this being a long term affair.

Cami lets us in on how they met and how they get to be where they are.  This is one thing that I like about Tracy’s writing style.  She lets us get an intimate look at the lives of four people that are all somehow interconnected.  Ulanda seems to be the piece of the puzzle that intersects the lives of the other three characters.

Ulanda is definitely a character with attitude.  She won’t take anything from anyone but when the tables are reversed, she has boundaries that no one can cross.  This is what makes her character stick out for me.  As you read, you will also find out what her connection is to Bren.

Just before Kenny decides to move out of town, that’s when we finally meet Bren.  Tracy gives us a little glimpse into their life together.  She also shows us a little about when they first met.  You have to cheer them on and hope that they can weather the bad times so that they can stay together.  They’ve had years together to work through those things that have tried to keep them apart in the past.  But their past is also what makes them strong.

This may be different from most of the romance novels you are used to reading.  You won’t find a lot of “hearts and flowers” written in this story.  It’s not about the sex either.  This story reads more like real life.  There are life lessons to be learned in these pages.  Hopefully it will also teach you tolerance.  These characters also show you what happens when you live a life that is full of secrets and lies.

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