Credit: Courtesy

In this romance-meets-thriller, Selena Montgomery — pen name for Georgia politician and voting-rights activist Stacey Abrams — tells an action-packed African-American love story set in South America. When professional thief Sebastian Caine breaks into Felix Estrada’s home to steal a mysterious and ancient relic for a client, he finds the security system breached and Felix Estrada dying on the floor at the hands of another. Sebastian Caine hates murder. He tracks who he thinks is the killer into the wilderness, but finds himself face to face with the clever and beautiful botanist Dr. Katelyn Lyda. The two develop an unexpected, sometimes wavering partnership in order to find the enigmatic ancient relic, but they stumble upon true love along the way — all while fighting some bad guys. 

At the Indy Book Club, we are closing out 2021 with this title to celebrate romance novels, a genre that is historically “for women” and which enjoys some of the highest sales in the publishing industry. Join us for a joyful discussion of Secrets and Lies at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 22, on the patio at Municipal Winemakers (22 Anacapa St.).

A note for those who don’t usually read romance: Just give it a try! I suggest leaving your literary expectations at the door and just enjoying the story. Romance novels are supposed to be cheesy, sexy, and tied up with a nice happy ending — Secrets and Lies checks all those boxes!

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