Shaman by Lauren Gilley
Also in this series: Fearless, Price of Angels, The Skeleton King
on December 5, 2017
Genres: Biker / MC
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The criminal underworld knows him as Shaman. Ian Byron has spent the past few years amassing a fortune, becoming the premiere supplier of all the vices anyone could want. He controls a sizable chunk of the drug trade in North America – including the product moved by the Lean Dogs MC. Cool, and cruel, the untouchable Mr. Shaman doesn’t have a weakness.
Except for the man who started as a distraction, and who’s become the love of his life.
It’s Christmas in Knoxville, and old demons have come to call on Ian. The more he tries to push Alec away for his own safety, the more tightly he clings to their dissolving relationship. Ian’s about to learn that his boyfriend is just as stubborn as he is, and that he can always count on the Lean Dogs.
An all new, 27,000 word Christmas-themed novella for Dartmoor Series fans.
I haven’t come across a holiday read that really excited me this year until I saw that Lauren Gilley had published a Dartmoor one. Even though it was $2.99 for an 88-page book, I one-clicked it as fast as I could. I’m kind of tight-fisted with my book money, so I rarely (if ever) have paid that much for a novella, but for me at least, it was money well spent.It’s based around Shaman, who’s been kind of a villain at times, but whose story breaks my heart. This is a series that needs to be started from the beginning so I wouldn’t suggest diving in if you haven’t read the rest of the series. You’ll be glad you did as LG’s writing is a treat with its rich storytelling, loads of action and grit, plus the well-crafted characters who have deep flaws but who give you lots of reasons to love them.
The Dartmoor series isn’t one for the faint of heart as several of the stories are hard to take, involving heart-breaking situations, some of which are violent. Ms. Gilley always gives us bits of light amongst the darkness through the sometimes humorous interactions of the bikers and sweet scenes between the couples and their families. This being a Christmas story of sorts, I found myself chuckling even as a murder, albeit well-deserved, was being plotted.
See, Shaman’s past has come back to haunt him. Already full of guilt over what happened to Alec in the last book, having him threatened again has sent the usually outwardly unflappable Ian into full blown panic.
Ian had to wade through some tough times in this book, and he needed to come to terms with his past before he could work on his future with Alec. Forgiveness of oneself was a huge theme in this book, and a subject the Lean Dogs were well versed in.
I haven’t always liked Ghost, but have come to terms with some of the decisions he’s made over the series. Here his true spirit shone through, reminding us of the good he’s done with the wayward souls he’s collected and helped over the years. Considering not only their history but also his sexual preferences, Ian is a somewhat surprising addition to this collection and Ghost’s willingness to hold out a hand to him cemented my decision to forgive him his past transgressions.
It’s hard to call a book sweet when its main character has to work through such a dark past, but this one definitely fits the bill. Shaman was a quick, dark but sweet read that reminds us what the holidays are all about: family in whatever form it comes.
Rating: 5 “Let’s go deck the halls, shall we” Stars
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