Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood - but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own...
Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her - a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She's someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco's embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them...
What I liked: I fell in love with the first book in the Shadow series, Shadow Rider, which gave us Stefano and Francesca’s story but also introduced us to the Ferraro family and it’s a huge family especially counting cousins. Ms Feehan has hooked me on a series with a first book before and then I slowly began wondering what type of book I would get. I love her imagination but am not a huge fan of sex scene after sex scene. Her last 3 books have impressed me all over again. I know she wasn’t listening to me but suddenly I found more substance to her characters and stories. Thank goodness.
Shadow Reaper is Ricco’s story and boy it’s a good one. We know from Shadow Rider that something changed Ricco when he was sent to Japan to train as a “shadow rider”. He came back completely changed and up until now neither we as the reader, nor his family knew why. Ms Feehan provides the complete story and interweaves it with the heroine’s story. It’s fascinating to me and caught and held my attention. I’m not going into the complete storyline because you should enjoy it firsthand.
There’s a plot to wipe out the Ferraro family and they, their cousins, their community are all in the line of fire. When Ricco finally comes clean, the family pulls together to find the culprits. Sounds pretty straight, forward doesn’t it? It’s not. There is so much action I felt like I was watching a movie. Shadow Reaper is not a quick read. You must pay attention and watch the characters and more importantly the interactions between the characters. Yes, this is Ricco and Mariko’s story but in the background, you can see how Ms Feehan is laying the foundation for future stories and boy, I can’t wait.
Yes, there is some spice but it’s not overdone as some of her books I’ve read. I could also tell she did a lot of research for the Japanese art of roping tying a person, Shibari. I don’t know that I could stand it but I think I would like to actually see a rigger due his art. It’s not portrayed as BDSM but more of an erotic art form. They did get turned on but it didn’t take away from what Ricco was feeling and needing.
I loved the heroine, Mariko. She could have been so damaged by her past but she’s too smart in some ways to be fooled, especially as it pertains to her being a shadow rider. She has a code and she will live or die by it. On the other hand, as a woman, she is very insecure. That’s where her relationship with Ricco shines. She’s not a doormat to him either. He’s very dominant but caring of her and she is not a submissive in any way. She’s smart, tough, an excellent fighter and shadow rider but has a care for those around her.
What I didn’t like: I thought at first the repetition of Ricco’s back story was not necessary but quickly changed my mind. It was from two different viewpoints and needed to be told that way. I did get a bit tired of reading about “her sex clinched” but it didn’t distract me enough to become irritated. I mean in a book with sex scenes, there are only so many ways to describe them.
I'm actually very surprised at the e-book price of $7.99 as Shadow Reaper is listed as being released in large print hardcover on Amazon (not Barnes & Noble) so I'm not sure what's up with that. Anyway, in my opinion, this is one time I agree with the pricing EXCEPT the mass market paperback on Amazon is selling cheaper at $6.79.
I was provided an ARC to fairly review by NetGalley.
Overall, I was enthralled with this addition to the Shadow series and can’t wait for the next. I hope the quality, research, and characters remain in line with the first two books!