The Shadow Rider series is one of Christine Feehan’s newer series, and I think it’s underrated. I love the concept of a mob-like family in Chicago who ride shadows and kill people (what does that say about me?) not your typical romance series setting for sure! Each book is wholly unique to any of her other series and lets Ms. Feehan play a little bit.
Vittorio is an excellent example of a dominant Feehan hero who wasn’t a complete jerk-face. He’s very self-aware about how difficult and dominant he is. In fact, he is more nervous for Grace in the relationship than he is for himself. He loves and respects Grace so much and doesn’t want to smother her with his personality. Will everyone appreciate the dynamic between Grace and Vittorio? Probably not. But I loved it. I never felt that Grace was a doormat for going along with what Vittorio wanted.
CF made Vittorio and Grace’s relationship acceptable because it was all consensual. I love that V didn’t try to dominate Grace’s life before he laid out all the facts for her. If she had really not wanted the lifestyle he was into, he would have let her find someone who worked better for her, even if it hurt him. That action alone puts him towards the top of my Feehan heroes. I will say this book wasn’t nearly as kinky as I was expecting, but I think the steam level and the number of love scenes was perfect for the story, and I don’t always say that about Feehan novels.
If you don’t like insta-love goodness, this story isn’t for you. If you’re ready for intense family drama, smoking hot love scenes, and one of the evilest villains Feehan has ever written, this book is for you.
The only thing that knocked this down a half star was the anti-climactic end to the main suspense plot. I expected a little bit more. Plus I think Emme is going to end up with Val and I really hope not, because I hate him, she deserves better.
Overall, this is going towards the top of the 70+ Feehan novels I’ve read. I loved it. I have been a loyal Feehan fan for years, and with every new book, she rewards that faith with a fantastic read. I can’t wait to find out which Ferraro family member will get a book next!
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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Exclusive Excerpt (From Chapter 3)
Vittorio’s long fingers settled gently on her chin, turning her face so her gaze jumped back to his.
“You’re safe with me. There are bodyguards at the door and they’re very experienced.”
He was so incredibly beautiful. Everything about him. His face was sculpted perfectly, every angle
and plane. His eyes were gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Blue. But far more than blue—indigo was the
color that came to mind. With his black lashes framing that blue, he took her breath away. She didn’t want
him to die and Haydon would be fixated on him now.
“We’ll find him. The cops are looking. My people are looking. He doesn’t have money and very few
friends. Haydon will be found.”
Grace shook her head. She had to tell him things she’d never told anyone if she wanted him to stay
alive. They stared at each other for a long time.
His thumb swept across her chin. “I know this is difficult for you, Grace. You have to trust someone.
You need to talk to me about this man. You’re visibly trembling. You look frightened and I don’t want
you to be.”
“I don’t know you,” she protested, but she knew she was stalling for time, trying to figure out a way
to keep him safe without revealing the things she knew about Haydon Phillips.
“You know me,” he countered.
A faint smile touched his mouth, and her heart reacted with a curious flutter.
“After all, I am your fiancé.”
“Why does everyone think that?” She pounced on that.
“I told you in the parking lot when you were shot, but you probably don’t remember. In order to
make certain the doctors would talk to me, I had to be your fiancé. Our top orthopedic surgeon removed
the fragments of bone and repaired the damage, but you have a long road ahead of you. They’re giving
you antibiotics to prevent any infection and you’ll have to be here a couple of weeks. You were in and out
for a few days so we’re counting down past that first week.”
“Every time I wake up you’re here.” Grace had gotten used to seeing him there, a fixture in her
room, even when the pain medication kept her sleepy. She looked for him first thing now, that quick
sweep of the room while she held her breath. Then she saw him and the terror in her calmed.
“I don’t want to be anywhere else. When you leave, you’re going to need care. I’ve got your room
ready for you and set up for physical therapy so when the doctor gives you the okay, we’ll have that in
“Room ready for me?” she echoed faintly.
He nodded, his eyes holding hers. “With me. At my house. My sister, Emmanuelle, and my sister-in-
law Mariko can go to your apartment and get whatever things you want. You can make a list.”
She shook her head. “No. Absolutely not.”
He got that look she detested. Disappointment. As if she had somehow hurt him just by saying no to
him. She had to clarify. “You don’t understand. No one can go to my apartment. It isn’t safe, least of all
for anyone you love or care about. They’re going to be in danger as well.”
He stared down at her for what seemed an eternity, then he shifted her casually. Easily. He simply
slid his arms under her body, lifted and moved her to the side of the bed so he could sit on it fully. His arm
slid around her hips. She was half sitting, and there was a thin sheet and blanket over her, but the heat of
him nearly scorched her.