Shadow RiderTitle:  Shadow Rider
Series:  Shadow #1
Author:  Christine Feehan
Genre:  Paranormal Romance-Suspense
Published:  June 28, 2016
Publisher:  Jove
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  Purchased Kindle Edition
Cover Description:

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.

Read on for my thoughts on Shadow Rider.

The first story in anew series is always the defining factor as to if I’ll continue it.  Doesn’t matter if the series is by a favorite author or a brand new to me one – if I cannot connect in some way to the story then I’m a one and done reader.  Shadow Rider happens to be written by one of my go to, favorite authors  And I got that same back of the neck tingle that I got when I first read Dark Prince, the beginning of the Dark Carpathians series.  I was captured and now consider myself devoted to yet another series.  (you may not “get” that neck tingle at a story that grabs your attention, but I do and I’ve learned to listen to it.)

Stefano Ferraro hesitated, he was supposed to be heading to the airport for a job but some instinct held him here, on the street.  He heard her voice first and it shivered along his nerve endings, then he saw the petite beauty for the first time and watched as their shadows reached out to each other and touched.  At that moment he knew she was his.  Another shadow rider, untrained, but still… from that moment on she was his.

Francesca has lost absolutely everything that matters to the actions of an insane, arrogant, wealthy man who is powerful enough to either buy, bully or bury his actions and never face justice.  Her beloved older sister, her home, her friends, her job, her reputation – all gone because of one man.  She’s run to Chicago and her friend in the hopes of hiding here and maybe building a new life.  She keeps her head down, wants as little attention paid to her as possible and she trusts no one.  So why has this handsome, room silencing stranger taken her aside to give her his coat, money and a strong declaration to wait for him.  And why was she compelled to listen to his arrogance laced with seduction.  He openly claimed her, and went about his business.

Shadow Rider takes us into a compelling new world where the shadows are alive and justice is served – when it cannot be found among the normal avenues of the law.  the Ferraro family, brothers, sister, cousins and more are all part of a unique family of justice seeking vigilantes with the power to ride the shadows like a freeway or subway to their destinations without human eye ever seeing their passing.  They are not white knights, more gray knights (and that is a play on clothing that you’ll get when you read the book) – they can and will kill, but only after going through a precise, detailed investigation of a situation by unique family members  If justice is called for, it will be served.

Francesca is caught up in the Ferraro family through Stefano.  A shadow rider must marry another shadow rider in order to produce the next generation.  There is no doubt, or exception made to this.  But finding that mate, that other person who completes them on a loving, personal level is unusual as most end up with arranged loveless marriages.  Stefano has found his love, his shadow rider.  And it has been said as part of lore that when the first one arrives, others will follow.  He strongly takes that as to show that there is hope for love and a satisfying life outside of the business they all tend to for his brothers, sister and cousins.

Watching Francesca fall under Stefano’s loving spell is priceless.  She’s so afraid, so tired of what life has handed her – but she is also afraid to believe in this man who is so certain of their future.  Slowly she opens up to the man who loves her, giving him not only her trust and affection but the devotion to him that he craves.  Of course her past will find her, but this is a completely different situation.  Now she has a family surrounding her, protecting her and finally getting justice for her sister and herself.

Shadow Rider does have the feel of a very dangerous mafia family – but this is no crime family, at least not in the traditional sense.  Powerful, yes, respected, definitely.  I would recommend this story to any Romantic Suspense reader, Paranormal Romance reader, yes, even Shifter romance because there is that becoming something else for a time.  If you love Paranormal Romance, then you’ve already opened up your mind, your imagination to other possibilities – do that again with Shadow Rider and I think you’ll find another series to follow.

Available in hard cover, paperback and for the Kindle