Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow #1
on June 28, 2016
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The #1 New York Times bestselling “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...
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I’ve been on a paranormal kick lately so a new series about people able to ride shadows drew me like a moth to a flame. I liked a lot of things about Shadow Rider. The writing was engaging and the characters were well fleshed out, however, it did suffer a bit from first-in-series-itis.
Stefano Ferraro is the head of the Chicago branch of a jet-setting family of paparazzi loving playboys and beautiful women. They’ve carved out a territory in the city that they rule but also protect. Feared, but respected and even loved like royalty, they are known to be ruthless to anyone seeking to bring harm to anyone who they consider theirs. No one knows how they vanquish their enemies, but the results speak for themselves. Unbeknownst to the residents of their territory, they have the ability to ride the shadows, appearing out of nowhere to be judge, jury, and executioner to anyone they deem guilty. It’s a huge burden to take on judging those that the justice system can’t seem to catch but Stefano and his family are up to the task.
Francesca Capello is on the run from the man who killed her sister and then destroyed her life. Rich and connected he is untouchable. A friend from school helps her get to Chicago. When Stefano sees her the first time, she is penniless, practically homeless, and starving. Her friend Joanna is helping her to get a job in her Uncle’s deli, which happens to be in Stefano’s territory. She has no idea she is a rare female shadow rider and meant to be Stefano’s.
Stefano was one hell of an alpha male and made no bones about it. He swooped in and literally took over Francesca’s life. He had the alpha-hole act down to an art form and sometimes it was extremely off-putting. Of course, once we got to know Francesca, I forgave him for his heavy-handed ways. That girl had a serious case of TSTL-itis and Stefano constantly had to keep her from getting herself in trouble. She was a runner who constantly doubted not only herself but Stefano too. Because of this, I had a hard time feeling like the connection between her and Stefano was real. The good news is the steam was real, with lots of chemistry to heat things up.
I fell in love with the people of Stefano’s neighborhood. It’s a place rich in characters whose closeness is apparent. It made me want to find a neighborhood like it and move right in, grab a sandwich at the deli, do some shopping at the boutique and check out the best pizzeria in the city for dinner.
Stefano’s family was huge. There were so many siblings and extended family making appearances, I felt like I needed a chart to consult. Of course, all of them were beautiful and we know this because it was told to us over and over again. I did like them and found myself wanting to know more about them. They were loyal to a fault, loving to each other, and fought like cats and dogs but in a way that made you smile.
One place it fell short was the world building. I wanted to know more about Shadow Riding, and those specifics just weren’t given. What was it like in those shadows? It sounded dangerous and kind of painful but again, the descriptions were vague.
Overall it wasn’t a bad start to a new paranormal series. I do want to read the other siblings stories. I’m just hoping that as the series progresses, the concept of shadow riding is fleshed out more.
What I Struggled With:
- The Mother’s transformation at the end. It just wasn’t believable.
- The mechanics of riding the shadows.
- Francesca’s constantly doubting everything
- If female riders were so rare, where did they find the ones for those dreaded arranged marriages if a rider didn’t find his mate?
What I Loved:
- The concept of the series. A worldwide family delivering justice for those who the system let down.
- I adored Emmanuelle. Strong, capable, willing to let her brothers do what they needed to do to protect her but who held her own with them and everyone else.
- The family. So strong and loyal, no matter their issues.
- The neighborhood. I want to live there.
Spice’s Rating: 3.5 Off To A Decent Start Stars
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