Shadow Rising by Kendra Leigh Castle reviewed by Autumn

Shadow Rising by Kendra Leigh CastleTitle: Shadow Rising
Author: Kendra Leigh Castle
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 368
Published: July 31, 2012
Source: ARC, via author

Who doesn’t love a bad boy? I bet there’s not many of you. Come on, raise your hands. I want to count ‘em! I had been waiting impatiently for Shadow Rising, checking NetGalley constantly for a copy. When I had mentioned in a post that it still wasn’t available Kendra contacted me and offered to send me a copy. Seems like there had been a glitch at NetGalley and it should have been up. I had been walking through the parking lot at work that morning and was lucky that I didn’t run into a bus in my overly excited state.

Damien Tremaine, a Cait Sith who works for the House of Shadows, doesn’t need anyone. Ever since he was turned, he’s been on his own. And he’s happy that way. Or so he thinks, until he meets Ariane.

Ariane is a Grigori, a dynasty shrouded in mystery. They watch. They do not act. The Grigori territory is out in the deserts of the western United States. Their power has always been speculated about because of their mark, but never proven.

Ariane goes against the orders of Sariel, the leader of the Grigori’s, when she spreads her wings and leaves the Grigori compound in the desert. Her friend, Sammael, has gone missing. She wants to go out and find him, but someone else was elected for the job. In fact, it was a Grigori named Oren, who quite detests Ariane. She knows that if she is ever to return that it will be either to die or to be a prisoner. Ariane heads to North Carolina, the last place where Sam was known to be. Damien walks into the jazz club that Ariane is at and each of them know what they are. There’s an instant attraction between Damien and Ariane, but neither acts on it. Damien is a love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of guy and Ariane has been sheltered her entire vampire life.

Reluctantly, Damien agrees to work with Ariane to find Sam. What they uncover along the way ends up being much bigger than either of them ever imagined.

I really enjoyed the previous entries of Dark Awakening and Midnight Reckoning. I was anxiously awaiting Shadow Rising ever since Castle confirmed that the next installment would be about Damien. Ecstatic could describe how I felt when Castle offered to send me a copy. You know, it’s the little things in life with me.

Although both Damien and Ariane could have labels slapped on them, their characters aren’t pigeonholed. Their growth is both reasonable and believable. Damien can be typecast as a bad boy, but we know from previous dealings with him that he can be good – even if his arm needs a little twist…and a few threats. Ariane is innocent in a lot of matters, but she’s brave and capable. Castle knows how to write a strong female lead without making her bitchy.

Castle’s Dark Dynasties series continues to intrigue me. Not only was I happy with the ending, but I was left with many questions and wanting to know more. The world she has created is so complex and imaginative.

At first I thought the romance was a little slow, but after mulling those thoughts over, I changed my mind (damn it, I’m a woman, I’m allowed to change my mind!). If the romance had developed sooner, then I would have been complaining that it was unbelievable in the middle of everything else. Castle balances a storyline so that you’re kept interested – whether you’re in the middle of the mystery and intrigue or the romance.

Shadow Rising is a great addition to this series and is a definite must read if you’ve checked out the rest of the Dark Dynasties. And If you haven’t, well, what the hell are you waiting for?

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