Thursday, 30 June 2016

Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan

Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan

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Stefano Ferraro is the head of Italian family run mega business, from hotels to racing cars, the Ferraro’s seem to have their fingers in many pies, and not all of them are legal. Splashed across the gossip columns of every newspaper and magazine in America the 4 brothers and their sister are a group of gorgeous beings not to be reckoned with. The family have a secret though; they are Shadow Riders. They have supernatural powers which allow them to travel, unseen, through the shadows; a power which they use to serve justice when the legal system fails, allowing them to protect their neighbourhood from the criminal underworld.

The shadow riders are a new breed of supernatural power, nothing like I have seen before (I even googled to make sure!) so I must start this review by praising the author for such a unique and daring book. I was however disappointed that we don’t get enough of a background or description on the shadow riders. It wasn’t until the end of the book that I started to actually understand what they actually do.

We meet Stefano who is the ultimate alpha-male, strong, brooding, chauvinistic and utterly fearsome. Francesca Copella is a very typical heroine, weak and afraid of her past, she is on the run from her own dark secrets. When their paths accidentally cross, Stefano is shocked to see that their shadows connect and discovers that Francesca is a rider too, although she has no idea. From this moment on, Stefano decides that she is now his, he claims her as his own and she is now seen as a form of royalty within his family and their neighbourhood.

The story continues with the struggle Francesca has in entering this world of money, status and power and most of all, the possessive manner in which Stefano tries to seduce her. At times I found it rather uncomfortable that she was so indecisive with her feelings, one minute she acts like she wants to rebel against Stefano and his all controlling nature but the next she is practically throwing herself at him.

It’s at this point that the story takes on a very Fifty Shades feel with ample amounts of gratuitous sex that just doesn’t seem have a place in the story, of course there is a passionate intensity around Stefano and Francesca however, I felt that it went slightly overboard and found myself skipping through these pages. I also found that the repetitive nature of the descriptive dialogue was rather tedious, we are told the same things about the same characters over and over again which was particularly distracting during the conversations between characters. I would much rather fewer pages and less repetition than having to skip over things we already know.

That being said, I found that I really, really enjoyed this book. My experience of paranormal romance is limited to The Vampire Diaries, Twilight and the various vampire/werewolf movies from mainstream entertainment, so the Shadow Rider is a breath of fresh air and I must again give praise to the author for a fantastic new breed of superhumans and a new slant on the paranormal. There is so much scope for these well written characters to grow and develop into a fearsome family of vigilantes and I am genuinely looking forward to seeing where the author takes them on their next journey. With less repetitive narrative and more action, I am certain that the Shadow Riders will become a firm favourite within the paranormal romance genre.

I would like to thank The Bookbag for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott

Black Dot Publishing Ltd
17 February 2016

The Blurb . . .

When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well although her husband, Duncan, doesn't appear to be so convinced.

But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone, or why. And then she discovers she's not the only one looking for him.

When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan's past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from?

She doesn't have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie - another woman will die soon, and it might be her.

Gripping from the beginning, this is an absolute edge of your seat, unputdownable thriller which will leave you desperate for more. Do not start reading unless you have the stamina to do it in one go! 

My Review . . .

DCI Tom Douglas is fast becoming my favourite police officer, and that is really saying something considering the competition provided by Peter James' Roy Grace, Ian Rankin's Rebus, Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks and my absolute favourite, Val McDermid’s DCI Carol Jordan.

Kill Me Again is the fifth instalment of the DCI Tom Douglas series and what an instalment it is! We meet Maggie Taylor, who has recently uprooted her family from Suffolk to Manchester following a job offer as a criminal lawyer. Her husband, Duncan, stay at home dad to their 2 young children and part time plumber, suddenly disappears without a trace, leaving the children home alone, his mobile phone off and absolutely no clue as to his whereabouts. As Maggie starts to dig about, something becomes very clear, Duncan is absolutely not the man she thought he was.

The story flashbacks to 12 years ago when the then DI Tom Douglas is working on a murder case, fast forward to the present and it appears that he is working on an identical case, leading him (and the reader) to wonder if he got the right man the first time round! Without delivering any spoilers, this is a fast paced and enthralling story, weaving you deeper into the man Douglas was when he was first starting out in Major Crime, which in turn allows you to really feel for him as the man he is in the present. Supported by his second in command, DI Becky Robinson, Douglas must race against the clock to discover the truth about what really happened all those years ago, and what impact that case has on the goings on in the present.

It is so utterly clear that the author was in the Police Force, the attention to true detail in the policies and procedures is brilliant, there are no unrealistic sudden clues that miraculously help to solve the crime at the last possible minute, everything about this story is totally and utterly compelling and realistic. The descriptive narrative is also wonderful, drawing you completely in to the worlds of Maggie and Tom, giving just the right amount of detail to feel that you could be stood right next to them, without completely boring your socks off!

I thought I had it all figured out by about chapter 20 – boy was I wrong!!! A real edge of your seat, plot twisting and spine chilling thriller which I suggest you go and buy immediately!

About the author . . .

Rachel Abbott's debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight and Stranger Child. Nowhere Child - a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child - was Rachel's fifth book. In February 2016 she released her sixth novel, Kill Me Again.

In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed fourteenth in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.

Rachel now lives in Alderney - a beautiful island off the coast of France, and is now able to devote time to her other love - writing fiction. For more information, see Rachel's website, or follow her on Twitter.

Rachel's website can be found at

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