From page 1, Kristen Callihan had me. She weaved a tale so powerful, so compelling, that I had no choice but to follow it through to the end. Through pain and suffering, through mystery and death, through love and wit, and finally, scorching passion, I flipped the pages, eager to devour Shadowdance whole. It's a rare talent, being able to do that, but Callihan has it.
The story itself was wonderful; very unique, like nothing I've read before. For that alone, I fell in love with this book. The world building was perfect; it felt real, and I was easily able to see everything I was reading. Callihan's voice is also perfection; I can't imagine anyone else attempting to tell this story, let alone pulling it off so well. But it was the many twists in the story that left me in awe. I never knew what would happen next, and towards the last few chapters I was worried, gripping the book as panic filled me; would everything turn out okay? Would Mary and Jack be together? As cliché as it sounds, I was on the edge of my seat, while my heart was in my throat.
It's not just the fresh story that made me fall for Shadowdance. It was also the passion. Callihan is able to work pure magic with her characters, drawing the sexual tension out to the last delicious moment, before finally giving us a sex scene with so much emotion and heat that I had to reread it twice, savoring it the second time around. And I'd happily reread those scenes again, and again. Their first kiss was beyond words. To finally see their chemistry set ablaze, and the way that Jack handled her first kiss, telling her that kissing is like a conversation . . . I was deliriously happy, and if it wasn't for the fact that this scene goes on for a few pages, I'd share the passage with the world, proof of Callihan's talent. Instead, you will simply have to trust me and pick up Shadowdance yourself. You'll known when you hit the right scene; do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to savor it, mark it for future rereading, and then start from the beginning all over again. I know I will be doing exactly that for years to come!
The only complaint I have isn't even a real complaint. I felt like I was missing out on things during part of the book, but it was entirely my fault, as I had not read books 2 and 3 (though I read book 1 when it debuted, and thoroughly loved it as well). I should have known better than to jump into the midst of the series, but I was so excited at the thought of getting my hands on this ARC that all reason left me. I regret it, sure. However, even without having read the previous books, I wasn't lost. It didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. That being said, I would suggest to other readers that you pick up this series in order, to properly understand this world and the various characters in it. It wouldn't be a hard thing to do, as I am confident that each book Callihan writes will be amazing. I've yet to be disappointed, and as I finish up this review, I'm already clicking on the rest of her books, adding them to my cart and awaiting their arrival.
A perfect blend of paranormal and historical, with a fresh story and a compelling voice, Shadowdance is one of the best romances I have read, easily in the top 5 for this year. Callihan creates such interesting, tortured, and strong characters that you can't help but fall for them, care for them even. And she also knows how to make the pages sizzle—sexy! And let's not forget the wit and banter . . . You won't want to miss this book—or series—I guarantee!
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.