Book Review: Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan

Posted February 5, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Book Review: Shadowdance by Kristen CallihanShadowdance by Kristen Callihan
Genres: History, Paranormal, Romance
on December 17, 2013
Pages: 427
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

Once a heart is lost in shadow...

Life has been anything but kind to Mary Chase. But the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals has given her purpose. Now she's been tasked with catching a vicious murderer dubbed the Bishop of Charing Cross. But someone is already on the case—and the last thing he relishes is a partner.

Only someone who lives in darkness can find it.

Jack Talent has been alone with his demons for many years. He never expected to have the willful Mary Chase assist him on the Bishop case. Their age-old rivalry reaches new heights—even as their desire for one another reaches a fever pitch. Though he aches to bring her close, Jack's dark secrets are a chasm between them. With dangerous enemies closing in, Jack must find the strength to face the past...or risk losing Mary forever.

Fourth in the Darkest London historical paranormal romance series and revolving around three sisters and their friends. The couple focus is on Jack Talent and Mary Chase.

You have to at least have read Winterblaze, 3, and it wouldn’t hurt to have read Moonglow, 2, as it’s the first book in which Jack and Mary make their appearances.

My Take
This is the sweetest love story, and mostly due to all the twists and turns and misperceptions and trials and tribulations. Hey, it’s deserving of all these nouns! There’s lots of action, and it’s also confusing. There are so many double dealing characters and those who were impersonating someone else that it was hard to keep straight who was doing what and to whom. Mostly I simply ignored trying to figure it out, even as I grew frustrated with the bewildering changes.

It is worth reading. Jack and Mary’s love story is heartbreaking, and there are some humdingers revealed in here about their pasts. Actually, when I think about it, the entire story is really about Jack’s past and his need for revenge. Mary’s story is simply the icing on Jack’s cake.

The scene with the kiss: it’s an introduction, the pleased to meet you, and the I want you was glorious! But then the truth comes out, well, a partial truth. And, oh boy, what a twist on the usual confession of wrongdoing.

A very careful bit of double dealing on a variety of levels.

The Story
It’s a business meeting where Jack Talent encounters the scent that will haunt his life. But it’s events at the end of Winterblaze, 3, that will destroy it, and Jack intends to track down every one of the demons who participated in his torture. No matter the cost.

A cost the Bishop of Charing Cross doesn’t mind paying, but forces Jack to partner up with Mary Chase to find the serial killer.

The Characters
SOS Regulator Mary Chase was lucky when she encountered Adam and lucky when Lucien released her from her GIM obligations. All of them. The naughty Lucien Stone, a GIM and a ruthless killer who hides it behind an effeminate façade, runs the GIM network; Adam is the primus who creates the GIM.

Jack Talent is a shifter with more secrets in his 26-year-old life than most people have in their entire lives. After the torture in Winterblaze, 3, Jack withdrew, and it’s hurting Ian, Daisy, Poppy, and the rest. Formerly Ian Ranulf’s valet, he’s now independently wealthy. Angela Talent was his mother. Will Thorne is a Western sanguis demon, an agent of Nex, and one of Jack’s childhood friends, although it’s been 15 years since they last spoke. The third of their trio was Nicky, their leader. The Archbishop of Canterbury is Jack’s uncle, Anthony Goring. The one who tortured Jack for years.

Poppy Lane, a.k.a., Mother and leader of the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals (SOS), is also Inspector Winston Lane‘s wife (Winterblaze). They have a son, Ellis. Tottie O’Brien is Mother’s newest assistant with an exceptional memory. Daisy Ranulf, Poppy’s sister and a GIM, is married to Ian Ranulf, the lycan king (Moonglow).

Director Wilde appears to handle day-to-day operations for SOS. Poole is the SOS surgeon, a.k.a., Poole the Ghoul. Holly Evernight is part of the Evernight family of inventors and tinkerers employed by SOS. Augustus Maximus is an angel and Father to Poppy’s Mother. His true name is Ramiel, and he is a Watcher, one of the so-called fallen.

Mercer Dawn is a demon and one of them. Amaros is a rotting fallen angel. Ada Moore is a Nex agent, and another one of them.

Pierce was a clockmaker and a shifter. Mr. Rush is an old friend of Pierce’s. Mrs. White is Pierce’s housekeeper, and an independent GIM. The Earl of Darby is a shifter. Eliza May lost her life and gained a clockwork heart, earning Daisy and Mary a boon from Adam.

GIM, a.k.a., Ghosts in the Machine, are people brought back from the dead by Adam, and they make excellent spies. The SOS is a super-secret organization whose mission is to prevent the world from learning about supernaturals. The Nex is a resistance group of supernaturals who DO want the world to know.

There are different types of demons: primus are the first demons created, raptors, sanguis (I think these are what we’d call vampires), and onus (and shifters) are the offspring of primus and humans.

Fallen are angels who chose to live with men and were cast out of heaven.

Shadow crawlers are mechanical men who live in the shadows, draw power from them. A nightmare version of GIM.

The Cover
The cover finds an almost-shirtless Jack back-to-back with Mary Chase in her satin Victorian garb, holding a long and pointy knife. They’re standing in front of a clockface, itself glowing from the sunset over the London cityscape behind them.

The title is their battle, their Shadowdance, with the enemy.

Reviewed by Kathy Davie, who is fast gaining followers in Goodreads and Amazon for her honest book reviews. Passionate about reading, writing, and editing, she searches the Internet for tips, tricks, and warnings with a keen interest in ideas that will foster reading in children as well as adults while aiding writers in their craft. Kathy blogs daily at KD Did It Takes on Books.

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