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July 6, 2014

Steampunk Sundays: Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan

Series: Darkest London 4
Format: eGalley
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Forever
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Steampunk | Paranormal Romance
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.


If you love historical romance and haven't tried Steampunk, I suggest you let Kristen Callihan haze you to the genre. Her Darkest London series has all the yummy bits that historical romance offers: feisty females, rakish gentlemen, yards and yards of petticoats, and incredible sexual tension mixed with the exciting world of paranormal and fantasy: otherworldly creatures, gadgets galore and nail biting action and suspense. 

Though the first three Darkest London novels are the perfect para-histo romance amalgam, SHADOWDANCE is leaning more towards the suspense action side of the coin. Don't get me wrong, Mary Chase and Jack Talent lent a great story doing the love-hate dance beautifully but as both are paranormal agents, it's expected that their romance will play out in the field while in the midst of an investigation. I love how the adrenalin from the chase heightened their desire for each other and Mary certainly lived up to her name and gave Jack (a werewolf shifter) a great chase (pun intended!). She met Jack toe to toe and can definitely hold her own whether it's in a verbal spar, parrying the enemy, or playing the seductress in the bedroom.  I love the sexual tension between them and the romantic conflict was well played out. It's not some lover's spat FYI but has something to do with both their pasts that broke my heart and infuriated me at the same time.  

Appearances can be deceiving. There is nothing lovely about Miss Chase. She's just as soon guy you as look at you, mate."

The para aspect of this novel is great too. Mary is a GIM (Ghosts In Machine) some sort of an organic android, she has mechanical parts but has a heart, a soul, and can feel and bleed like any human. She's immortal but not invincible as she can be killed. Jack is a shifter but his abilities goes deeper than howling at the full moon and growing a fantastic beard that the Robertsons of Lousiana will envy. Not to give out too much details but Jack is a special kind of were and his blood is sought after in more ways than one. I love the complexities KCallihan added to her otherworldly creatures, they follow a mold but aren't the archetype if that makes sense.

The conflict regarding the Bishop of Charing Cross is a complicated web, suffice to say that the root of it all lies in Jack and by extension, Mary. Their pasts are intertwined and one can definitely say that they are fated and destined to be together in more ways than one. 

We're in each other's pocket now, Chase. Most hours, you're all I smell."

KCallihan wrote another winning novel in SHADOWDANCE, the epilogue is hinting at another awesome installment and it looks like Evernight will be an angsty one. There's nothing more messy than a dispute stemming from wrong assumptions. I can't wait to get my hands on that one. In the meantime, SHADOWDANCE is on sale for only $1.99 for a limited time so do yourself a favor and grab a copy. The best part is, you can get away reading it as stand-alone as Jack and Mary's story isn't connected to the Ellis sisters arc. 




43 comments:

  1. Historical and steampunk in one neat series, that sounds perfect, Braine! I just added this whole series to my TBR :)
    Happy reading.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I hope you love it as much as I do :)

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  2. Oh yes I had a great time with this one as well, her series is always really fun and I'm curious to read the next novel.

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    1. Yeah, that one sounds explosive too. Will Thorne is pretty pissed off in the epilogue

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  3. I used to love Steampunk HF, but I haven't read one in a long time. Everyone seems to love Callihan's works so I'll keep it in mind when I get the notion.
    Great review!

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  4. I loved Firelight but for some reason forgot about this series. Looks like I need to pick it back up. Great review!

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    1. It's getting better and better! Daisy's the hottest

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  5. I don't know that I'll actually ever get to read one of the steampunk ones but gah I want to BUY THEM ALL> They have the best covers. Glad you enjoyed it Braine!

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    1. You gotta dive in at least one, Anna

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  6. Omg I need to try this series :D

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  7. You just reminded me that I have fallen behind in this series, I really enjoyed the first 2 books and I totally agree with your wonderful review of the series overall. I have to get Winterblaze ASAP so I get to this one. :) I'm glad the series keeps going strong.

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    1. Oh gosh, Poppy's is soooo sweet! Gah! You must read Winterblaze at least!

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  8. I love this series and was happy to see that it wasn't going to die out when all the sisters got their books. Jack and Mary were great and I totally look forward to Holly Evernight's story.

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    1. Me too! That girl's up for a great adventure!

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  9. aaaand I have Firelight. Do I sound like a broken record. I honestly have book one of so many series I need to put their titles in a jar and randomly pick one to read for the next 180 months.

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    1. Hey that's a good idea for a challenge!

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  10. Now this is a steampunk series I always wanted to try. I won the first book but never got to it.

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    1. I know you haven't read Steampunk and Firelight is a good read. It's my first Steampunk (I think) novel I've read too

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  11. I don't think I've seen Paranormal and Steampunk in a book before O.O Okay, there were books like Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices which were like that, probably? (not sure since I've never bothered to read it). The consensus seems to be positive feedback so how could I NOT try to read it? Sold!!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Yes! ID is Steampunk and it's so so so good!

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  12. I have read this one before and loved it. This series is so good. I'm glad to see that you liked this one as well. I'm hoping that Evernight will be just as good.

    Grace
    Books of Love

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    1. That's my motivation in reading this, I saw it in NG and I'm like "Wha? I have to read Shadowdance ASAP!"

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  13. I love this series and this book was one of my favorites in the series.
    Great review.

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  14. I just snagged this one a couple of days ago myself. Which is somewhat ridiculous b/c it's book 5, and I haven't even started this series yet, but I'm (clearly) fairly confident that I'll like it . . . *crosses fingers* Well, you did anyway, so that's encouraging ;)

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    1. You can read it as stand-alone! I'm so excited!!

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  15. Great to hear that there will probably be more in this series, it sounds like its a good one.

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    1. Yup, I love this series, the sexual tension is thru the roof!

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  16. A new steampunk author to try, yay! I love LOVE-HATE relationships, it's my favorite romance trope for some reason. I think it's because it eliminates any sort of insta-love in the story. Will def check the first book in the series! Great review Braine, thanks for sharing your steampunk finds :)

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    1. Hey I need to get you on board with one of my faves, we need to make it even after LBD!

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  17. I have the first two books and don't know why I havent' read them. I have heard such great things about this series. Thanks for the reminder, time to dig them out!

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    1. Yes please do, they're great! The first one is like Beauty and the Beast inspired and the second one is brimming with tension.

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  18. Eek I need to read this series!!!

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  19. *snort* I enjoy a good pun. This does sound good, but I need to seriously push myself to read books in this genre. I usually end up loving them though.

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    1. This will be a good first read coz its heavy on romance so the transition is almost painless.

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  20. Read the first two in the series and loved them to bits!! Can't wait to read the #3 and #4 too, especially after reading your review :D

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  21. I really like this series AND it's one of the few I'm not behind on. Glad to hear it's still going strong.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  22. It's been awhile since I have read a really good steam punk! Def adding this one.

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  23. I've had her other series on my WL for ages! I really need to get them and give them a try!

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  24. I've been meaning to try this series for a while now, and I love the humor in your review! "... a fantastic beard that the Robertsons of Louisiana will envy." *giggle-snort*

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