Review: Shadowdance

shadowdanceReviewed by Jen

The second half of this book rocked my world.  It was filled with angsty goodness, tortured hero mana of the gods, sexual tension, tremendous payoff, and a great set-up for the next book.  It was everything I hoped Jack’s story would be.  The first half? you ask.  Well, let’s just say there was a lot of waiting.  Waiting for some sign between the hero and heroine that their attraction was returned.  Waiting for some hint on the murder mystery. Waiting for the other shoe to drop on Jack’s big secret.  All the while, using all of my (meager) self restraint to keep from jumping ahead to get to parts I was dying to read.

As the story begins, it’s been two years since the events of Winterblaze.  Mary Chase is working for Poppy’s SOS organization and she is finally getting her first assignment in the field: to uncover the identity of a killer targeting supernaturals.  Jack Talent is working the same case, but getting no results. That’s probably because he is one doing the killing.  All the “victims” were among the demons who tortured him in the last book, and he is on a mission to wipe them off the face of the earth. He’s making pretty good work of it, until he encounters two problems.  The first is the addition of Mary as a partner. The second is a copycat killer that takes up his mantle, killing random shifters for apparently no reason.

Mary is on to Jack at first, but once the copycat killings start, she starts to second guess herself. It doesn’t help that their ability to tolerate one another is hanging by a slender thread.  Of course, that disdain only hides an abiding attraction.  It just takes a really, really… really long time for that to take shape.

Jack is super-tortured by the ways he was violated by the demons.  And over the course of the story, we learn more about his sad history.  The poor guy has lived a terrible life, and he had had to quash his feelings for Mary for more reasons than we know.  I love Jack, but I will admit being a little disappointed by his deceptions. His choice to hide an important truth from Mary created the fissure between them all this time.  It could have been very different.  But putting that aside, he hit all of my tortured hero buttons, especially in the parts about his youth.  It made his eventual love and acceptance from Mary all the more gratifying.

As for Mary, I liked her well enough.  She has endured her own trauma and I admired her determination to persevere.  But in all honesty, this was Jack’s book for me.  And mostly what I wanted from her was to find a way to make the poor man feel worth something.  The fact that these two both have a history of being violated was an issue with physical intimacy.  But I thought it was handled well and there was one scene at the wash-basin that was… well, I’ll let you enjoy that for yourself.

Despite my impatience with the first half, I did enjoy the book.  And I am already looking forward to Thorne and Holly’s story.  Callihan always does such a great job in the set-ups for her next story!

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Forever

Click to purchase: Amazon

Shadowdance
by Kristen Callihan
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Forever

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