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I Belong

Review: Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Binding the ShadowsTitle: Binding the Shadows

Author: Jenn Bennett

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Arcadia Bell ( Book 3)

Publication Date: May 28, 2013

Format: Paperback, 366 Pages

ISBN-10: 145169508X (Pocket After Dark)

ISBN-13: 978-1451695083 (Pocket After Dark)

Reviewed by: Steph


Renegade mage and bartender Arcadia Bell has had a rough year, but now the door to her already unstable world is unhinging. When a citywide crime wave erupts, Cady’s demon-friendly tiki bar is robbed by Earthbounds wielding surreal demonic abilities that just flat-out shouldn’t exist. With the help of her devilishly delicious boyfriend, Lon Butler, Cady sets out to find the people who wronged her—but her targets aren’t the only ones experiencing unnatural metamorphoses. Can Cady track down the monsters responsible before the monster inside her destroys everything—and everyone—she loves? If she survives this adventure, one thing is certain: it’s last call for life as she knows it.

Quick & Dirty: Fans of the Arcadia Bell series are in for a treat. This book is engaging from start to finish. I didn’t want to put it down and immediately wanted to start the next book when I finished.

Opening Sentence: I scrambled through the second-story window and balanced on a square section of slanted roofing above a portico on the first floor.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting that ending! I’d heard there was a cliffhanger at the end of this one, so I found myself trying to figure out what it would be as I read the book. Theory after theory crossed my mind, but I didn’t even come close to what actually happened (which is good because despite my guessing, I would have been disappointed if I’d been able to figure it out). My first thought after finishing this book was “I need to read the next one immediately,” which was then followed by, “What do you mean it’s not coming out for another month?!” Obviously, this book inspired a very large reaction from me, and that’s great.

Cady’s life is never simple. Christmas is a stressful enough time, but on top of that, Lon’s former mother and sister-in-law are going to be in town. On top of that, Dare continues to hold his knowledge of Cady’s real identity over her head so that she’ll continue to do work for him. On top of that, there seems to be a rash of Earthbounds with more powerful than usual knacks running around causing mischief. On top of that, Cady’s powers seem to be increasing rapidly, with scary results. And on top of that, she’s beginning to see visions of her mother, a woman who shouldn’t be on this plane, let alone alive. Christmas might be a little stressful this year…

I have loved Cady since book 1, and that fact certainly hasn’t changed. I’m continuing to love watching her open herself up to other people after a lifetime of trying to hide from people so they don’t discover her identity. It makes my heart ache (in a good way) to watch her interact with Jupe, to see her start to form a family of her own. Long continues to be a wonderful hero. He might not talk much about his emotions, but he makes it clear how he feels about Cady with his actions. I also love how they don’t let drama sideline their relationship. If there’s a problem, they talk about it; they don’t make assumptions. It’s a very mature relationship, and you don’t always get that in paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

Something else that makes this series unique is Jupe. You don’t often find a hero who’s a single father, and Jenn Bennett makes the most of it. Jupe has been one of my favorite characters ever since book 1. He’s so full of energy and dynamic, his personality practically leaps off the page. He lights up every scene he’s in. It also doesn’t hurt that he loves horror movies, just like me, so that just makes me love him more.

This book was non-stop action from start to finish. There were moments my heart was pounding from suspense, then times I was laughing at Jupe’s antics, and still other times when I had tears in my eyes. So many emotions! Fans of this series are in for a treat. Just be prepared to be anxious for the next installment!

Notable Scene:

“Forget it. I’m done.”

“Fine,” Dare said. “I don’t give a damn if you come to the funeral or not.”

“I’m not talking about the funeral.” I strode to meet him, everything suddenly clear to me. There were a lot of things I couldn’t control, but this was one I could. “I’m done being your slave.”

“Slaves don’t get paid.”

“I never asked for the job. You bullied me–no, you blackmailed me into working for you.”

“It’s not my fault you’re living a lie.”

“No, but you’re a dick for taking advantage of it. And I’m done with you. Don’t wire me any more money, don’t ask me to do anything else for you.” Surging anger heated my chest and loosened my tongue. “If it weren’t for me, seven of your club’s children would be dead by now and Central California would be overrun with AEthyric demons.” I stuck a finger in his chest. “You should be kissing my feet. You have no idea what I could do to you, demon. No fucking idea. If you did, you’d be sending me roses everyday, begging for my forgiveness.”

He didn’t look like he was about to fall on his knees and ask for said forgiveness any time soon. But he did look surprised. Probably because no one ever stood up to him.


“What? What are you going to do? Have your lackeys shove a gun in my face and force me on another job? Go on, I dare you.”

Now he was angry, too. “If you want to negotiate more agreeable terms, I’m open to that. But you seem to be forgetting that I could bring down your matchstick framework of an existence with a couple of phone calls.”

I stepped closer. Close enough to smell the expensive aftershave clinging to his leathery skin. Close enough to see a muscle jump in his jaw. “Go right ahead,” I goaded. “Tell the whole world. I’m not going to pay my parents’ crimes for the rest of my life. If I end up in jail for living under a stolen identity or aiding and abetting my parents’ disappearance, then you’re just going to have to bail me right back out, because I can’t charge your damned Hellfire summoning circles from prison. And if you even think about using Lon to get to me, or threatening anyone I care about, you and I will be enemies. And you’d do well to remember all my enemies are dead.”

Arcadia Bell Series:

1. Summoning the Night

2. Kindling the Moon

2.5 Leashing the Tempest

3. Binding the Shadows

4. Banishing the Dark (May 27, 2014)


FTC Advisory: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Binding the Shadows. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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