Narrator: Jim Frangione
Length: 13 hours 39 mins
Series: Shadow #2
Published by Jove, Penguin on May 30, 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan continues her sexy new series, as the Ferraros—a Chicago crime family—use their power as shadow riders to protect their empire and the ones they love…
Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood - but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own...
Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her - a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She's someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco's embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them...
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Shadow Reaper is the second book in The Shadow Riders series. This is Ricco’s story. He’s been hiding a secret for many years about his time in Japan. Each Rider, at some point during their young life, is sent somewhere to train for a few years while living with a host family. Ricco spent some years from about the age of twelve, training in Japan. The incoming Riders and female Riders were not treated well by the instructors or other children. Then there comes a night where Ricco’s life comes crashing down around him. The incident caused the instructors and their families to threaten Ricco with the death of his family if he ever reveals the truth of what happened that night. So Ricco went home after his time was up, and did everything he could to not only keep the secret, but to keep his family members from being attacked. During his time in Japan, he was taught the skill of Shibari, or rope tying. He finds it helps relax him. After a crazy accident with his car, Ricco decides he is going to hire a rope model and really get into his hobby. Maybe even produce a book of his art. What he really wants is to meet someone he can be with. He wants what Stefano and Francesca have.
Mariko needs this job as a rope model. She has arrived in Chicago with a mission and this job will give her the access she needs. Mariko is honorable and will do her own investigation before actually performing the task given her. It leaves her with a very hard choice between her morals and her family. Her choice gets made pretty early on and her true reason for applying for the job of rope model gets revealed to Ricco and the family.
However, Mariko is not the only person that has been sent to destroy the Ferraro family. They are attacked, each family member at the same time. The main members of the Chicago Ferraro family are descended upon and not all survive.
I fell in love with Ricco. He is so patient and protective. He carried around so much guilt for something he just couldn’t have prevented. It maddened me that it took awhile for it to sink into him that although he didn’t do things that night in the past, he was still a hero for what he accomplished. I love that even though Ricco and Mariko feel a strong connection when their shadows meet, they didn’t just fall into bed. Ricco was so aware of what Mariko was thinking and feeling that he didn’t push. He took things slow, trying out the Shibari slowly with her.
Mariko had such a low self-esteem and Ricco had to really work on that. It drove him crazy. But Mariko, being the strong, determined Rider she is, really stepped up and put a boatload of trust into Ricco. Being a rope model puts her in a pretty vulnerable position, but Mariko really starts to flourish.
Sometimes I felt like the Shibari scenes were kind of slow reading for me. They almost felt like too much information, but I think that was meant so we could understand the art. The action scenes were fast paced as the family gets attacked and I sped through trying to make sure everyone was alright. That trailer showing a Ferraro tombstone had me scared to death so I was just waiting for the awful deed to find out who it was. I love how kick-ass Mariko is and how she helps out Ricco during the attack on him.
I’m still curious about Nicola and how they are going to train her. I hope we get to see her heal more and become more trusting of the Ferraros. She is still being hunted, so I’m hoping the family gets her into some kind of training, even if she can’t use the shadows she should have been trained to use since she was a toddler.
I really enjoyed Shadow Reaper and can’t wait for more. The build up of the romance, despite how frustrating Mariko was about it sometimes, was nice and the action was fast paced and breath stealing. Shadow Riders are a different kind of supernatural and the skills they have are truly unique. Shadow Reaper is a great read and if you haven’t given this series a try yet, I strongly urge you to.
From the back, a woman hurried into the room. She was dressed in the same pin-striped suit her brothers were wearing, and there was no mistaking she was Emmanuelle Ferraro. She was absolutely gorgeous with her blue eyes and her thick dark hair. “Ricco!” She rushed right up to him and flung her arms around him, practically dragging him out of the chair. There were genuine tears in her eyes.
“I’m all right, Emmanuelle. A little truck can’t hurt me,” he assured
“No, but the fall on top of your car going into a wall might,” she objected. She hugged him again.
Mariko wanted to tell her that just touching him had to hurt him, but she kept silent, wondering when the last time she hugged her brother had been. Had she ever showed him the love she felt? Told him? She’d let Osamu Saito stamp out every joy in her, every bit of personality. As she’d grown, she moved through life in silence, hoping not to be noticed, afraid of drawing attention to herself.
She was big. Clumsy. Ugly. She’d brought shame on her family with her American looks and her undisciplined passion that clearly meant she followed in the footsteps of her whore of a mother.
She was surrounded by Ferraros. They were shadow riders. Americans. Their reputation was impeccable. They weren’t considered undisciplined; they were almost revered. They freely showed affection to one another, and concern. It was clear they loved one another. She couldn’t imagine that they would go very long without expressing that love. She loved her brother—loved him with everything in her—yet she couldn’t remember telling him, not since they were very little and she’d whisper it to him, afraid of being overheard.
Suddenly she could barely breathe. She was always calm, yet now, in the face of the knowledge that she might never find her brother, never be able to tell him that she cared, she couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t find a way to catch her breath. She wasn’t being fair to Ricco, contemplating killing him when she knew she never would. He was too good of a man. But she’d come with the vague idea that she might and now she was using him to hide while she figured out her next move. That wasn’t fair, either.
She’d tried to live a life of honor, but practically overnight she’d become the very person Osamu Saito had pounded into her night and day—that person she’d always told herself she wasn’t and could never be. Her throat closed and it seemed impossible to draw in air. Around her, the talk continued, the brothers reassuring themselves that Ricco, Lucia and Nicoletta were all right. They thanked Emilio and Enzo as well as her.
She felt a fraud. A terrible fraud. If they all knew that she had come to kill Ricco Ferraro, that she was willing to harm a fellow shadow rider, none of them would want to sit in the same room with her. She had to go. Right then. She knew the police were coming to question everyone, she heard the lawyer assuring them that the cameras in the street would have picked up the action. Still, she couldn’t stay. She had to leave.
She made one small move, a simple shifting of her feet. Ricco leaned back in his chair and wrapped his arm around her, drawing her close to him. At the same time, his head turned until his mouth was close to her ear.
“Stay with me, Mariko. I want you to stay.”
Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Christine Feehan, 2017.
The Shadow Riders series
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