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Review: Shadow Rising by Kendra Leigh Castle

27 Jul

Shadow Rising by Kendra Leigh Castle
Grand Central Publishing (July 31, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9781455511648

Favorite Lines: “Sometimes. But you’re also warm, and funny, and sweet. You’re honorable in your own twisted way. And even when you’re awful, you’re interesting about it.” Her voice gentled. “I know you want me here, safe and tucked away and completely separate from the parts of your life you don’t want me to see. But I’m  not one of your prizes, tucked into that apartment you never visit. I can’t be happy that way. I want to see things. I want to live. I’m not interested in being left behind anymore.” (p. 200-201, egalley)

Ancient Secrets, Dark Passions . . .

As one of the Grigori, a noble vampire dynasty shrouded in mystery, Ariane has spent her life hidden away in the desert. Like all of her kind, she is a watcher, fated to observe, forbidden to act. Yet when her best friend Sammael vanishes, she defies all rules and flees her safe haven to bring him home.

A shape-shifting assassin for the House of Shadows, Damien Tremaine is hired to locate Sammael. His hunt for the wayward Grigori leads him to Ariane, the rogue vamp who stands between him and his bounty. Damien never lets emotion interfere with his work, but a single touch from the sexy, beguiling vampire shatters his self-control. Drawn together by their common goal, they begin an alliance of necessity that soon becomes one of desire. But when the secret at the dark heart of the Grigori comes to light, Damien and Ariane must make a choice that could bind them eternally . . . or tear them-and everything they care about-apart.

I like the violent, vampire-filled world of Kendra Leigh Castle’s Dark Dynasties series. I’m especially glad that each book can be read as a stand alone even though they are part of a series. However, I recommend you read Dark Awakening and Midnight Reckoning so you have a grasp of vampire politics and understand the rocky nature of the paranormal creatures in the Dark Dynasties series. Expect to meet the heroes and heroines of the first two books when you read Shadow Rising.

Characters: For once I’ve nothing negative to say about the hero or heroine. I enjoyed them both. Why? It’s really nice to see a heroine who accepts her hero and doesn’t try to change him. Often in romance we meet women who love their mate, but want him to do things differently. She might throw a fit at his reaction or try to get him to stop taking risks. That doesn’t happen in Shadow Rising . We are introduced to a woman who can pretty much save herself (most of the time) and who grows to love a flawed man while expecting only one thing of him. Ariane wants Damien to love her the way she loves him. He, on the other hand, doesn’t know how to let anyone love him which makes their relationship all the more satisfying when he does open his heart to her.

One of the things I like about the Dark Dynasties series is that the reader learns about the different bloodlines (aka vampire lines) of the U.S. We met the Ptolemy (slave owners and extreme bad vamps), the Cait-Sith (cat shifting vamps considered scum of the vamps), and the Lilim (new vamp bloodline which combines demon and Cait-Sith) in books one and two. The Ptolemy showed itself to be a violent, conquer the world mindset bloodline. It is powerful and devious in its attempts to maintain and gain power. Surprisingly–considering its roles in the previous books–the Ptolemy only make a small appearance in Shadow Rising. Each book showcases something a little different while mixing it with something known to us. For example, in book two we learned about werewolves and a Cait-Sith. Book three teaches us about the Grigori and mixes it with the know Cait-Sith.

We’ve met and learned about Vlad Dracul the leader of the Drcul bloodline in the first two books. But it wasn’t until I spent time with him in book three that I began to long for his story. I need him to be happy. There is so much to him that I’ll be pissed if he doesn’t get his own book.

A new evil is on the prowl and boy are all the creatures in the Dark Dynasties in danger. If you read Dark Awakening the secrets revealed in Shadow Rising about the Grigori bloodline make perfect sense.

I’m hoping we’ll continue to meet new people, kill some people we know and create happy ever afters. This series just gets better and better. I can’t wait to get my hands on books four, Immortal Craving. It’s heroine is Lily’s best friend, a human named Bailey “Bay” Harper and a mysterious vampire named Tasmin.