Release Date: December 17, 2013
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.