Genre: paranormal romance
At one with the darkness, the mysterious Shadowdwellers must live as far from light-loving humans as possible in order to survive. Yet one damaged human woman will tempt the man behind the Shadowdweller throne into a dangerous desire...
Worlds Couldn't Keep Them Apart
Among the Shadowdwellers, Trace holds power that some are willing to kill for. Without a stranger's aid, one rival would surely have succeeded, but Trace's brush with death is less surprising to him than his reaction to the beautiful, fragile human who heals him. By rights, Trace should hardly even register Ashla's existence within the realm of Shadowscape, but instead he is drawn to everything about her--her innocence, her courage, and her lush, sensual heat...
After a terrifying car crash, Ashla Townsend wakes up to find that the bustling New York she knew is now eerie and desolate. Just when she's convinced she's alone, Ashla is confronted by a dark warrior who draws her deeper into a world she never knew existed. The bond between Ashla and Trace is a mystery to both, but searching for answers will mean confronting long-hidden secrets, and uncovering a threat that could destroy everything Trace holds precious...
Ashla and her sister and friends have been to a New Year’s party, and she is the designated driver, driving them all home. She wished they would have not gone at all, or stayed at a hotel in town. So many drunk drivers on the road on this night! They tell her not to fret, but the next moment, a huge truck barrels down on them. Ashla wakes up alone in a dark and deserted New York city. Everything she knows is still there, but no one or nothing is alive. The subway, cars and machinery are all still working, but without drivers, the shops keep filling up with new produce and products, and she can take what she wants. Ashla is lonely, and afraid, and most of all, she misses light. The sun never shines, nor does the moon or the stars, or any electrical lights. Slowly her eyes get used to the lack of light, but it is still eery. She has been all over the city, every place she has ever been, but never finding any one alive. Has the apocalypse come?
Then one day, while trying on a new dress in her favourite vintage shop, two big men come barrelling into the store, fighting each other with swords! She is not really afraid, but kind of happy not to be alone anymore. One of the men accuses the other one of treason, and against the odds, manages to kill him. But he himself is deadly wounded, and Trace knows he won’t survive this fight. But how is it possible that this Lost human, this shade, can see him? She sounds and feels totally real. But Shadowscape is a different plane from Realscape, and only those who are in a coma dwell here, without ever seeing someone else. To his surprise, she tries to heal him, and then he runs her off with his rudeness. But thanks to this girl, Ashla, he can go back home and warn his Chancellor’s of the plots against them. His people have just come from a long time of war amongst them selves, and were finally united under 1 couple of rulers – brother and sister. They were read for some peace, and now there are plans to overthrown them. He won’t have it, he has worked so hard for so many years to make this happen, he will keep them safe.
Still, Trace can’t keep his mind of the girl that saved his life, he feels bad for scaring her off. And when he is fully healed, he returns to Shadowscape. As a Shadowdweller, he lives in the dark. Exposure to even the smallest amount of light will burn him, and eventually kill him. Lucky for Trace, Ashla has gone back to the shop, hoping to still find him there. Time runs different in Shadowscape, which she doesn’t know anything about. She has no idea how long she has been there, or why, or how.
Trace is glad to find Ashla again, but when he notices she is now suffering from the wounds she took from him, somehow, he is determined to nurse her back to health. She is staying in one of the best hotels in town, and he goes with her to take care of her.
Trace loves it in Shadowscape, but he can’t stay more than two days, before he will succumb to Euphoria. When that happens, he will grow increasingly selfish, a sex addict without any regard for his partner.
He feels he has to leave, but when Ashla kisses him, he goes over the edge, and is no longer capable of leaving her. She is a virgin, he needs to go gentle with her, he can’t just stay for a quicky, even though he knows he is in danger if he stays too long.
When his Chancellor’s and his foster father Magnus, who is the Religious leader of their people, miss him, they set out to find him, and bring him back home. It will take many days before he is healed enough to function again. But Magnus is curious about this strange Lost woman, who should not be so real at all, and he sets out to find her human body. She has to be in a coma somewhere in New York. When he finds Ashla, and runs into her mother, the secret is revealed. And Ashla’s horrible past as well. With a mother blaming her for her own fault’s, torturing her and punishing her, putting her siblings up against her as well, that was truly awful. And no wonder Ashla is so shy and scared all the time, although she does have a hidden backbone …
I really like Jacquelyn Frank’s Nightwalker series, so when I found out that the Shadowdwellers series is linked to the Nightwalkers, I bought them all. And I have to say, I am very glad to have the rest of the series available, as I very much enjoyed this story.
I don’t want to spoil anything from the story for you, I liked the discoveries, though I have to admit, they were pretty predictable. Still, the world is fresh and original, and I like that a lot. With so many paranormal series out there, it is hard to think of something different.
I liked Ashla, she is not really a pushover, in the end she chooses what she will or will not do, and I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series.
Trace is a very honourable man, who is used to looking after others, instead of his own interests, and even though Ashla should be out of limits to him, because of what she is, he doesn’t want to let her go.
I do like the worldbuilding a lot, and the many characters. We meet Gideon again, which is fun, especially when he drops a kind of bomb on them both. There are a lot of love scenes, but also action, and time to get to know each other. Ashla has a whole world to discover she knew nothing about. She handles it really well, I do admire her.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian