ARC Review: Shadow Rising by Kendra Leigh Castle

Posted July 26, 2012 by Carmel in / 2 Comments

Shadow Rising by Kendra Leigh Castle

Title: Shadow Rising
Series: Dark Dynasties #3
Author: Kendra Leigh Castle
Publisher: Forever
Format: eBook, 368 pages
Published: July 31, 2012
ISBN #: 9781455511648 / 1455511641
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Copy: Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating
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Ancient Secrets, Dark Passions…

As one of the Grigori, a noble vampire dynasty shrouded in mystery, Ariane has spent her life hidden away in the desert. Like all of her kind, she is a watcher, fated to observe, forbidden to act. Yet when her best friend Sammael vanishes, she defies all rules and flees her safe haven to bring him home.

A shape-shifting assassin for the House of Shadows, Damien Tremaine is hired to locate Sammael. His hunt for the wayward Grigori leads him to Ariane, the rogue vamp who stands between him and his bounty. Damien never lets emotion interfere with his work, but a single touch from the sexy, beguiling vampire shatters his self-control.

Drawn together by their common goal, they begin an alliance of necessity that soon becomes one of desire. But when the secret at the dark heart of the Grigori comes to light, Damien and Ariane must make a choice that could bind them eternally . . . or tear them-and everything they care about-apart.

At first glance, this series looks like every other vamp Paranormal Romance out there. Admittedly, it does follow the standard format of boy meets girl, falls in love and changes his evil ways. However, Kendra Leigh Castle’s inclusion of vampire dynasties makes all the difference and helps these books to stand out from the crowd. Most angel stories rub me the wrong way, they’re either too preachy or the lore is just so muddled that I have trouble digesting it. In these novels the author keeps things simple, packs in plenty of action and tells a satisfying love story. Each installment in this series keeps getting better and better, and Shadow Rising is the best so far.

Kendra’s vamps are divided up by dynasties and each have their own unique histories and abilities. Every book revolves around a specific clan of undead and in this case it’s the Grigori. I was a little hesitant at first; I mean who wouldn’t be with angel vamps and all? Considering they are the epitome of evil in a celestial packaging. Ok, my curiosity was peeked; then Castle proceeded to work her writing magic and I was hooked. Not only did I love her winged vampires but we also learn more about Cait Sith’s and House of Shadow. The Dark Dynasties universe is vast, engrossing and original; one of the best in this genre.

I genuinely enjoyed both of the main characters in Shadow Rising but for different reasons. Ariane has led a very sheltered life and has been kept in the dark about pretty much everything, including her own kind. I marveled at the courage it took for her to not only abandon everything that she’s ever known for her only friend but to do it while knowing that she would probably pay for it with either her life or banishment. She’s no weakling mind you and has several memorable and entertaining moments. I particularly enjoyed when she wields her humongous sword for the first time. Jaws drop. Damien on the other hand is the complete opposite. He doesn’t care about anything or anyone and is an all around sketchy person with questionable morals. Despite being a shade he’s also a Cait Sith with some interesting cat-like traits. Namely, he purrs during sex! Yes, you read that correctly. Ariane is the definition of goodness while as Damien is the personification of wicked. Sparks fly when these two clash, that is until they sleep together… then it’s a whole different ball game! Funny how fantastic sex changes everything.

Everything about this book flowed perfectly; the pacing is dead-on, the dialogue is giggle worthy and the plot is exciting. There’s not a single thing that I didn’t like about this story. The only reason why I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 is because, well, it’s hard for a Paranormal Romance to really wow me. There’s just so many of them out there. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of my favourite genres but it’s rare for one to leave me in awe.

Shadow Rising is one of the better Paranormal Romance books out there. Kendra Leigh Castle’s writing is exquisite and her vamps are beyond memorable. Each Dark Dynasties novel is able to stand on its own but with this caliber of story telling why wouldn’t you want to read them all?

Books in this series:
Dark Awakening

Midnight Reckoning
My Review
Shadow Rising

Recommendation: This book is la crème de la crème of Paranormal Romance. Perfect for anyone who enjoys a vampire love story.
Like this, like that: The Immortal Guardians series by Dianne Duvall, the Warriors of the Rift series by Cynthia Garner and the Sweetblood series by Laurie London.

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About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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