The number-one New York Times best-selling "queen of paranormal romance" is back with a sexy new series starring a Chicago crime family that hides a dark, mystical secret....
Whether it's fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he's not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses - both legitimate and illegitimate.
While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone - until now.
With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn't expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her....
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Don't Believe the negative reviews
- V from Kansas
Jim Frangione's is spot-on!
Christine Feehan was one of the first romance authors that I followed faithfully. I, like many of her fans, loved her Carpathian series. I have been reading her for now over 10 years. It hasn't always been a love relationship. There for awhile, I stopped buying her books. I hated the pages and pages of Carpathian text, which I felt was filler for weaker plots.
I know I am starting a review in a negative light, but, other fans of her series have voiced and written of the same. We know what this author is capable of, and we know when books are churned out too fast and undeveloped. We look at a new series with trepidation, wondering if we are getting more of the same. I can say that this really is a breath of fresh air for her fans, however, I have a "but" to put in there.
I purchased this book on audio. I am so very happy that the publisher decided to go with Jim Frangione. Anyone who listens to J.R. Ward's BDB series knows what a great performer Jim can be. His level of sensitivity, his pace, and his damned sexy voice makes any story come alive. With a name like Frangione, you know those Italian accents are going to be spot on. (and, his Boston accents aren't bad either!)
In Shadow Rider, I guess I didn't know what to expect. With Christine Feehan, I thought of immortal biker's. I was wrong. These men and woman of capable of becoming shadows themselves and traveling wherever the shadows are. That little trick comes in handy when you are an assassin for the good. A Rider is mortal, aging just as other humans. You cannot be converted, you must be born of that bloodline. While the whole family is born with the ability to hear truth or lies (human lie detector), not all can ride the shadows. Men and women can only produce offspring with these capabilities with other Shadow Riders. They know their mate when their shadow reaches out to touch that of another's.
The members of the family who cannot travel the shadows (or are too old to) are called Greeters. If you have a Big & Bad that needs to die, you seek an audience with a Greeter. They offer no promises, but will listen to your tell of woe. If they hear truth, others will investigate your claims. If the Greeter detect lies or know you are a cop, they will simply sympathize with your outrage and encourage you to talk with the police to find your justice.
If your claims are valid, such as pedophile who rapes and murders children, and no other recourse is available, such as no physical evidence to hold up in court, A Shadow Rider will find you where you live, snap you neck while uttering "Justice is served". Meanwhile, the paparazzi is validating the Rider's alibi elsewhere.
GREAT PLOT! My hat is off to Feehan for cooking this one up!
The Ferraro family is but one cell in the Chicago area. (Feehan has said there are multiple cells- meaning: multiple books coming.) Stefano is the first in her family to find his mate; Francesca. Francesca is on the run, settling in Chicago with no money, no job, and limited friends. She was not raised as a Rider, but she does have the blood. Stefano knows her instinctively as his mate when his shadow reaches for hers.
In true Feehan fashion, Stefano bullies his way in to Francesca's life, THEN, tries to romance her and win her over. Feehan has rarely deviated from this alpha male stereotype. And in turn, Francesca is like many of her other heroines, afraid and timid, but miraculously find her voice and backbone through her overbearing man. If you have read her body of work, none of this is new. As a woman, I like to think that all women are strong, but, that is not the reality. And truth be told, sometimes I like a story about men like Stefano, or Gregori (Carpathian), or Wyatt (Ghostwalker). If you are looking for strong women, you are better off finding them through J.R. Ward, Sherrilynn Kenyon, or Kresley Cole.
Now for The But..... My love for Feehan has always been clouded with what I like to call "the dog with a bone" phenomenon. Sometimes she just focuses on one item or situation and doesn't let go, no matter what. And in this book, it was that damned coat of Stefano's. It took too much of the story line in the beginning, painting Stefano in such a condescending, arrogant light. To have woman sleeping on a pallet of rags, shivering no less, while that coat hangs above her makeshift bed in all it's pristine glory is beyond me. What does that say about him, or her? I was halfway through the audio-book before that coat was safely back in Stefano's closet.
In the end, did it stop me from enjoying the book? ((sighs)) "No". The book has a strong plot. I enjoyed the supporting characters as much as I enjoyed Stefano and Francesca. I enjoyed the fight scenes as much as the steamy scenes. (OMG, some of those were really hot!) This book is a reminder of why I love Feehan and look forward to the next one regardless of any hang-ups that I might have, especially if Jim Frangione is reading it to me.
Jim is my favorite of narrators.... I have been listening since J. R. Ward's Dark Lover. The emotion he gives will make you laugh and cry!
- Rosemary Pennington "Rosemary"