I’m honestly not sure where to start with this book, or how it made me feel. This is the first story I have ever read from this author, which makes my feelings for it that much more complex. On one hand, I have been dying to read one of her stories for so very long, and I am aware that they are loved by many. I know that she could be considered the Queen of Paranormal Romance as well, and has been hailed as such before. So, naturally, I wanted to love this book so hard, but unfortunately, I didn’t.
There were certain aspects of the book that I enjoyed though. I pushed through the story to finish it and I’m glad for that. I loved the concept behind the Shadow Riders. The ability is fresh, new, and unique as is their cause. The thought that certain individuals have the capability to attach their shadows to other shadows and disappear into them, able to ride them to another destination is pretty rad. Add in the ability to hide within the depths of a shadow, psychic abilities, and exceptional fighting skills? Yes please.
I loved the Ferraro family, and honestly, I probably would read the next in the series just to see what happens to the next member of said family. I would also be curious to see if the storylines themselves get better. However, I wasn’t too fond of the heroine, Francesca. In some ways, I liked her. I liked her ability to empathize with others and that she had pride in her work. With that said, she was a very wishy-washy character who one minute would be hell-bent on reveling in her independence and suddenly be the ultimate submissive. While I have thoroughly enjoyed other characters and books that explore those sexual preferences, there wasn’t consistency between the hero and heroine of the story. There appeared to be boundaries that simply disappeared with no effort or a way to understand why.
Stefano was the typical Alpha male hero, and usually I like that, but the writing swept away the majority of the substance needed for a story. While I loved the backgrounds of the characters, and how they came to be Shadow Riders, as well as how they were vigilantes in the war against hardcore criminals in a flawed system of justice, I couldn’t get past other aspects of the book. I think that the idea behind the story, and the storyline revolving around Francesca and Barry Anthon (the bad guy) was good. I also loved the ending. I loved the conclusion. Despite that, the book itself fell flat, and it took me weeks to get through.
I know that I am mostly rating the book based on the story, but I cannot deny the issues I had with the writing itself. The redundancy and constant use of certain words relating to thoughts and actions between Francesca and Stefano made it nearly impossible to turn the page. I had a difficult time wanting to wait for the next interesting part because the sexual scenes were anything but hot because of the misguided use of certain words and descriptions.
Honestly, if I’m reading a romance, I want to feel it to the depths of my soul. I want to feel so turned on that if my guy is next to me, he can feel the heat. This book didn’t transport me into an experience of love and want and need that I crave when I read a romance. It didn’t give me the feeling of happiness I like to find when the couple overcomes their obstacles and gets their happily-ever-after. So, unfortunately, this book just wasn’t the one for me. Regardless, I will most likely read the next one, hoping that it will be not only better, but also that the next couple does give me that feeling of a lifted heart.
**ARC provided by Publisher**