Shadow Rider (Shadow #1) by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Series #1
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley/NAL, Jove
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
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 read this book for book club and it was recommended to me by one of my book besties so I went with it. I haven’t read very many Christine Feehan books, only one comes to mind and I can’t even remember the title of that book.
There was a lot of promise with this book. I thought the idea behind this mafia type family that rode shadows to right wrongs and protect the weak was great but when I finished the book, I was still confused about all things Shadow Rider. I get what their purpose was but how did Shadow Riders come about? Why were they necessary? Where did their magic or whatever it is you call shadow riding come about? How exactly are they traveling through these shadows and what are these tunnels that they talk about but never really explain? I closed the book, feeling the way that Stefano’s Mom wanted Francesca to feel when she was berating Stefano for sharing family secrets with someone outside of the family.
My frustrations with the book didn’t end there either. I could not get on board the Stefano train. His extreme controlling nature was a complete turnoff for me. I get that he wanted to protect Francesca from the villain of the book, I even get that he wanted to protect her because she was his future wife that would bear his children and nurture them but holy cow, he dictated what she wore, where she would live and work and he even dictated when she could climax during their lovemaking. Give me a freaking break! There’s alpha man and then alpha dickhead and Stefano veered into the alpha dickhead camp far too often for my likes.
Francesca was not a very memorable heroine for me. She was fine but not someone that I’m going to remember a few months from now. My gripes with her were how submissive she was to Stefano right from the jump. She didn’t know this guy but within the span of a week, she’s moved in with him, got engaged to him, thought he worked for organized crime and then felt bad that she asked if he was in organized crime (I totally didn’t get this. She asked him a question based on his behavior and treatment of her since they met, why the hell was she feeling bad about that?). I wanted her to be stronger than how I portrayed her to be from reading the book and I wanted her to stand up for herself more, put her foot down and have some kind of say in her life but nope. That wasn’t to be.
The romance felt like it happened at warped speed for me but that didn’t bother me as much as everything else that frustrated me. I enjoyed the dynamic between the Ferraro siblings and I’m curious about where the rest of the series goes but all of that didn’t really save the story for me. On the upside, it was a hit for most of the members of my book club. I was the lone member who was left unimpressed. *shrugs* Oh well.
2.5 out of 5
Undecided by Julianna Keyes
Series: Burnham College #1
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Nora Kincaid has one goal for her second year of college: be invisible. Last year’s all-party-no-study strategy resulted in three failed classes and two criminal charges, and if she messes up again she’ll lose her scholarship. But there’s one problem with her plan for invisibility, and his name is Crosbie Lucas: infamous party king, general hellraiser…and her new roommate’s best friend.
Crosbie’s reckless reputation and well-known sexcapades aren’t part of Nora’s studious new strategy, but as she’s quickly learning, her new plan is also really boring. When Crosbie’s unexpected gestures of friendship pull her head out of her books long enough to see past his cocky veneer, she’s surprised to find a flawed and funny guy beneath it all. The muscles don’t hurt, either.
But as Nora starts to fall for Crosbie, the weight of one of last year’s bad decisions grows even heavier. Because three failing grades and two misdemeanors are nothing compared to the one big secret she’s hiding…
I re-read this book while I was working on my Eye Candy Friday post for Crosbie, the hero in this book and I was reminded how great this book is.
Nora spent her freshman year in college, partying too hard and going buck wild so when she almost gets expelled for her party girl shenanigans, she swore that her sophomore year was going to be different. She was going to cut ties with her party girl image and friends and she was going to buckle down and get to work. She was going to get good grades, she was going to work hard and she was going to keep her head down. When she moves in with the gorgeous and big man on campus, Kellan, she thought things would be okay because he was looking for a roommate who wasn’t about partying and drama. He wanted a low-key roommate that could help keep him focused on his studies as well so really, they were the perfect solution to each other’s roommate problem.
Nora is serious about no distractions and no temptations so when Kellan’s best friend Crosbie Lucas starts coming around a lot with his distracting presence and his tempting bodies, Nora knows that she’s in trouble. She’s in trouble because Crosbie is a part of the scene that she’s trying to stay away from. He represents everything that went wrong with her freshman year but with each passing day, she sees different parts to his personality and she can’t help but fall a bit for him.
Crosbie loves the college life. He’s got a great best friend and he doesn’t have any trouble getting ladies even with being in the shadow of his campus celebrity best friend. He’s never been jealous of the spotlight that Kellan inhabits until he meets Nora. Nora is Kellan’s new roommate and for the first ever, Crosbie wants the girl. He wants a girl that he thinks is interested in Kellan and being around Nora is torture for him because he can’t help but think MINE every time he’s around her and the insecurities that pop up wherever she is, is new to him.
I loved watching these two circle each other. Their every interaction was filled with so much goodness that I grinned and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Even after reading it a second time, it was like reading it for the first. The romance between Crosbie and Nora was front and center and I adored it to pieces. I loved seeing them come into their own and then grow in their love for each other. There’s an incident involving Nora and Kellan that I thought was just flat out dumb but I chalked it up to them being in college and young enough to get away with dumb stuff.
Overall, this book was fun and the romance was sweet and I really enjoyed it. You should read it so you can enjoy it too. 🙂
4.5 out of 5