Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TBR Challenge Review: Shadowlight

Lynn Viehl

Paranormal Romance

Kyndred/Book 1

Onyx/October 2009

From the back cover ~

With just one touch, Jessa Bellamy can see anyone's darkest secrets, thanks to whoever tampered with her genes. What she doesn't know is that a biotech company called GenHance has discovered her talent and intends to kill her and harvest her priceless DNA.Gaven Matthias is forced to abduct Jessa himself so he can protect her, but Jessa has a hard time believing the one man whose secrets she can-t read. As a monstrous assassin closes in and forces them to run, Jessa will have to find another way to discover if Matthias is her greatest ally-or her deadliest enemy.

This month I picked a book that I bought when it first came out last fall. It hasn't been on the pile for that long but it's one that I wanted to get to soon since the second book just came out. I enjoyed Viehl's Darkyn vampire series so I was intrigued by her spin-off series about human's with special powers. This month's suggested challenge theme was "unusual professions or not your usual setting". I think this could fit that. The hero's profession is not something he could put on a resumé - I'd say it falls in the unusual category. :)

The story has a few flashbacks, which I'm not a fan of, but they do add to the plot and explain character motivation. I didn't find it too distracting, so I was okay with them. Little bits and pieces are unveiled to the reader as the story progresses. Sometimes this worked but sometimes it left me wishing I had some confirmation on what I thought was going on.

Jessa Bellamy runs a company specializing in background checks. She has a unique ability she utilizes in her work. It's that ability that GenHance wants and will do anything to get. Jessa finds herself running from an enemy, saved by a man who wants her to trust him. She only knows what he tells her but her instincts are telling her to trust him. Jessa is smart and a survivor. I liked how she didn't hide in the corner but used her brain, trying to outwit Matthias. She's thrown into stressful situations, her life in danger but she didn't completely panic, although she had her moments but she's allowed. She didn't resort to tears but used logic and reason when dealing with Matthias.

Gaven Matthias is hard man to describe. He's not a typical 21st century alpha hero. He doesn't play games but is very serious. Sometimes I wasn't sure if he knew how to be playful. English is not his native language so it was fun to see him try to understand the some of the slang that came his way. He's a very focused man - focused on his mission even when Jessa proves to be a distraction. He wasn't an easy man to know. He doesn't open to Jessa easily, telling her very little about himself.

The romance between Jessa and Matthias was just okay. I never felt I completely connected with either one of them. I liked certain things about each of them but it was from a distance for the most part. I do wish their backgrounds had been revealed sooner and that Jessa and Matthias could have moved on from there. I found I liked the internal dialogue of the villain and the action scenes more than the romance.

An added bonus is the appearance of my favorite couple from Viehl's Darkyn series - Lucan and Samantha. They show up to extradite a convict and start investigation the horrible murders because of the brutality and the possibility that the murderer might be Darkyn.

So, while I wasn't blown away, Shadowlight proved to be a decent start to the series. The second book, Dreamveil, is about the secondary character Rowan. She's intriguing - I'm not sure what to make of her so I'll be reading her book to find out more. Curious to see her story unfold.

Rating: B

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