Review: The Secrets Amongst the Cypress by Sarah M. Cradit


☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

Dive into the secret, ancient, powerful world of two New Orleans families, the Deschanels and the Sullivans…

From USA Today bestselling paranormal author Sarah M. Cradit comes The Secrets Amongst the Cypress, Volume 8 in the bestselling witches family saga, The House of Crimson & Clover. Not a standalone story, Secret’s plot makes the most sense only after having the prior volumes.

Amelia and Jacob have landed in a very familiar where. The when is a whole other matter. 

Jacob’s first experience time traveling leaves him and Amelia stranded in 1861 Louisiana on the cusp of the Civil War. With no luggage and no invitation, they find themselves at the mercy of Charles and Brigitte Deschanel, who, for now, believe they are cousins visiting from abroad.

The tragic circumstances which led them to flee the present now leave them both struggling to make sense of their own individual grief. Amelia’s sorrow drives her further from Jacob, and into the strange world of an eccentric man, Victor, who knows all too much about her. Jacob’s heartache leaves him cynical and weary, losing sight of who he is and was destined to become.

As the strange and terrible dynamics of the nineteenth century Deschanel family come to light, Amelia and Jacob are each drawn into the family’s complex web in myriad ways, challenging everything they held to be true. These revelations drive a deeper wedge between the couple, placing them in grave danger, from those around them… but also from themselves.

The hands of time have taken hold, and the clock is ticking. The longer they stay, the greater the risk of losing everything.

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The Secrets Amongst the Cypress (SAtC) is Sarah Cradit’s eighth installment in her House of Crimson and Clover series. There are approximately nine tangential short stories that explore various characters and their relationships. As with the rest of the books in this series, SAtC cannot be read as a standalone. The arc of the story line is complex, and the breadth of the characters, time lines and parallel plots becomes more involved with each new installment.

SAtC is primarily a story about Amelia and Jacob. Previously I would have said that Ana and Finn were my favorite characters in this series, however, SAtC has changed my mind! I loved the rich development of Amelia and Jacob both as individuals and as a couple. Without giving too much away, in a prior book, it was revealed that that the two are Cerridewen and Cianan, who are destined to rebirth and rediscovery on their path to be the ultimate hero and heroine of the story. Their trials and tribulations are difficult, but they grow as individuals and a couple as they fight the good fight.

Time travel is effectively used to convey how Amelia & Jacob fit into the legacy as well as to provide the history behind the story. Ms. Cradit’s extensive research on the time period and geographic area is obvious. How Amelia and Jacob attempt to unobtrusively fit into 1861 is sometimes humorous. The rich details, character development, and story background make this fast-paced story highly entertaining. SAtC didn’t advance the plot as much as I expected, but it provided great set up for the next installment.

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