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I Belong

Review: Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan


Author: Kristen Callihan

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Historical

Series: Darkest London (Book 4)

Publication Date: December 17, 2013

Format: Paperback, 427 Pages

ISBN-10: 1455520810 (Forever/Hachette)

ISBN-13: 978-1455520817 (Forever/Hachette)

Reviewed by: Kristie


Once a heart is lost in shadow…

Life has been anything but kind to Mary Chase. But the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals has given her purpose. Now she’s been tasked with catching a vicious murderer dubbed the Bishop of Charing Cross. But someone is already on the case—and the last thing he relishes is a partner.

Only someone who lives in darkness can find it.

Jack Talent has been alone with his demons for many years. He never expected to have the willful Mary Chase assist him on the Bishop case. Their age-old rivalry reaches new heights—even as their desire for one another reaches a fever pitch. Though he aches to bring her close, Jack’s dark secrets are a chasm between them. With dangerous enemies closing in, Jack must find the strength to face the past…or risk losing Mary forever.

Quick & Dirty: A fantastical world with dark and terrible secrets and a dose of pent-up sexual tension that kept me hooked to learn all the mysteries of these complex characters.

Opening Sentence: Life was not a long, straight road, but a series of turns.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

I may be a little biased with this review because it is no secret that I absolutely love this series. I have been intrigued with the relationship between Jack Talent and Mary Chase ever since their first tension filled scene. I was ecstatic to finally learn their history and what exactly caused them to appear to hate each other so much. Jack would visibly seethe whenever he was near Mary and I really wanted to know why.

Some time has passed since the terrible events of Winterblaze when Jack was taken prisoner by demons and he hasn’t been the same since then. Jack who was once clean-shaven and kept a tidy appearance now has let his hair just be an uneven shorn mess although his suits aren’t quite as bad. Jack has been on the case of the Bishop of Charing Cross, a serial killer who has only been targeting demons, and he hasn’t had much luck catching the killer. But perhaps there is a reason Jack is letting the killer stay on the loose…

Mary Chase has worked for the SOS, the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals, for a while now but she really hasn’t been on a case. Mary gets an incredible lead as to who the Bishop of Charing Cross is and she can’t believe it. In an even more unexpected move, Mary gets her first real case and it just so happens that she has to work with Jack and solve the Bishop of Charing Cross case. Mary is able to actually keep an eye on Jack now to see if the rumors are true.

Shadowdance is set in this incredible underground world of London. It has paranormal with a mix of Victorian steampunk. The paranormal isn’t always what you think, Mary is a GIM (a ghost in the machine) and Jack is a shapeshifter or is he? I love the twists that Kristen Callihan puts on these marvelous characters. To find out more about a GIM, please read these novels! The other things that I really love about this series are how each character has a dark and terrible secret that is teased at many times before finally being revealed and how each relationship has this incredible pent-up sexual tension. I get really sucked in to how all these elements combine and how the characters play off of all this emotion.

Mary is hard as stone tough but she does have a huge vulnerability and I really liked that about her. She really wants to do more with investigations but she also really wants to do something else with her life but in Victorian England she kind of has to deal with just being a woman in that society. She can’t show off her powers. She keeps to herself and doesn’t really confide in others. When she finally decides what she wants, she is the one to take it upon herself to do something about it. She doesn’t wait.

Poor Jack Talent has had a terrible life. I don’t think anything has ever gone right for this guy except for stumbling into Ian Ranulf’s life where he worked for a few good years before turning to the SOS. Jack has many terrible secrets and to put them on paper, he may come off as quite the bad guy, except for the fact that he really isn’t. Life just hasn’t given this guy many opportunities and he channels this into the anger and aggression that he shows towards Mary since he isn’t allowed to show her his true feelings.

I did have a couple hang-ups about this novel and it was only after the novel was over did I realize them. The ending left me wanting more but it also wrapped up way to quick. There were a few elements that were left undone/unsaid that I really want to know the fallout about. Because of this I’m having to take a star off my perfect read (*tears of sadness*) but if you would like to discuss this with me, leave me a comment or email me. I don’t know if the ending was just to give them their moment of happiness before the fallout of everything or what…

Overall, I would wholeheartedly read this novel again. (Along with the whole series.) I loved the characters. I love this world. Shadowdance (with a wee bit of help from Entwined) neatly set up the next book in the series, Evernight, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out when it comes out in August.

Notable Scene:

Then she saw what he’d only given her a glimpse of before. Need. So stark and pure that the hard marble beneath her seemed to dip and sway. A surge of something fierce went through her body. The strong column of his throat worked on a swallow, and his words came out raw. “I didn’t want to feel this.”

That she knew precisely what “this” was made her want to cry and to laugh at the same moment. “Neither did I.”

He’d laid himself bare. She kept that knowledge close to her heart, and when she touched him, she did so gently, her fingertips skimming along his strong jaw. He held himself tight as new bed ropes, but his breath left in a small exhalation as her fingers slid into his soft hair to cradle his skull.

The wool of his coat whispered as he moved. His big hands cupped her cheeks as if she were blown sugar. Inches away, he stared at her, his gaze a living thing that thickened the air and sent heat and trepidation skittering along her needy flesh. His gaze lowered to her mouth. Such power in a look, the way it made her lips feel fuller, softer. And he responded, making a small sound as he came closer, his breath light and quick, his lids at half-mast. “Do you know what it’s like to have what you want most in the world constantly in front of you,” he whispered, “and never dare take it?”

Oh, yes, she knew. How well she knew that sweet ache. And she’d been a fool to ignore it. “If you never dare,” she said, “how will you know you are truly alive?”

Darkest London:

0.5 Ember

1. Firelight

2. Moonglow

3. Winterblaze

3.5 Entwined

4. Shadowdance

5. Evernight (August 26, 2014)


FTC Advisory: Forever/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Shadowdance. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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