Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Shadow Rider

Shadow Rider- Christine Feehan
Berkley Publishing Group
Release Date: June 28, 2016

Rating (out of 5):

Synopsis: Whether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.
While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now… With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her...

Warning: Potential Spoilers!

Shadow Rider begins a new series by Christine Feehan focused on the Ferraro family- a mega rich family  whose hidden work includes traveling through shadows to invisibly serve justice to those who, for whatever reason, have made themselves untouchable by the justice system.  It's a close-knit, very Italian family, full of alpha males and enough cousins to keep the series going for at least as long as Feehan's Carpathian series.

Stefano Ferraro is as alpha as they come, the head of his family and an experienced shadow rider.  He takes care of his family, his neighborhood, and his clients without letting any of them get too close.  Then he sees Francesca Cappello and finds someone he not only wants to protect, but allow closer than anyone ever has before. Stefano is the kind of male perhaps best enjoyed from afar: gorgeous, rich, extremely intense, possessive, dominating, and stubborn. It would take a very special woman to handle him in a relationship.

 Unknown to her, Francesca has the ability to be a shadow rider, which draws Stefano to her.  She's just trying to get on her feet, get a job that pays enough for a meal and a warm coat, and evade the very rich and powerful psychopath who murdered her sister is intent on destroying her life.  She doesn't see herself as strong or brave, but almost from the beginning she tries to stand up to Stefano when he pushes her.  Instant lust for a gorgeous man turns to deeper feelings as she learns more about him.  She wants to protect him from the killer coming after her, and he and his family are determined to protect her.  

Shadow Rider was a good book, the story and characters drew me in from page one and kept me needing to know what would happen next.  I especially liked Francesca and admired her determination to keep fighting back against overwhelming odds, and try to do what she thought was best for the people around her.  A naturally caring person, she puts everyone above herself and I liked how she soon saw into Stefano and tried to help him, even before she knew all the details.   Stefano was a mix of appealing and obnoxious (typical, I think, of uber alpha males no matter the genre), never apologizing for who he was and what he did while at least acknowledging that he would be a hard man to live with. He was hard to like for most of the book, but also hard not to like.  I was annoyed at how every time Francesca tried to argue with him about something she would end up thinking about how hot he was and, well, Stefano had it easy winning arguments and then not coming back to the idea that maybe there was stuff they should actually talk about to improve their relationship.  Especially in the beginning when he's trying to "go slowly" and let her adjust to things. Off the charts chemistry only gets a relationship so far.

 Shadow Rider is full of chemistry between Francesca and Stefano, the closeness of the Ferraro family, and as I went along I found myself fully accepting the gray world of morals the Ferraros live in. As with all of Feehan's books, there was enough repetition to make me wish the editor had worked a little more, but it wasn't as prevalent as in some of her other books.   

An excellent introduction for new readers to Christine Feehan's books, and a wonderful new series for dedicated fans.  Shadow Rider is an intense thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end. Can't wait for more in this series! 

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

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