Several years ago I said I was done with Christine Feehan. I meant it. I really did. Her books had gotten too ridiculous and too fantastically outrageous for me. Then this new series came out. In a moment of weakness, I went looking for a book with a super alpha male and I saw this one sitting on my kindle. We won’t talk about how it got there (I might have bought it out of habit) but there it was, calling my name. I tried to resist opening it up- I really did- but I kept coming back to it and alas, I finally gave in.
Shadow Rider opens up in a very similar fashion to most Carpathian books. Our hero, Stefano Ferraro, is captured in a moment, unable to get into his car and drive to the airport where he will board a plan to take care of some business. He really needs to go but something is telling him he needs to stay more than he needs to go. And then it happens.
Around the corner comes Francesca Cappello, a female shadow rider, and his match. Not necessarily mate like Carpathian style, think more human, but still he true match. He recognizes her for what she is immediately and sets off to make her his.
Francesca is on the run and takes up her best friend’s offer of help. She is hiding from the man who murdered her sister and then moved on to terrorizing her. She only wants to be safe and hide. Her friend has offered her a potential job and she has gratefully accepted. She didn’t count on Stefano though. He is instantly in her face, making his claim known.
His family is very powerful in this area and everyone and everything is under his protection. She is baffled by his sudden interest in her but he makes her feel safe so she goes with it. Then she starts to learn more about the family and more about Stefano’s manwhore ways. Apparently, he needs sex. A lot. And he hasn’t been ashamed of putting his dick in anything female that walks. This is ok because that was before Francesca. Now it will be after Francesca and she is the only woman for him. (insert eye roll) He’s a charming guy.
“It was sex, Francesca. I fucked them because I needed release and I like to fuck.” He ignored her wince and continued. “I didn’t bring them home. They weren’t ever going to live with me. Or know me. Or know anything about me. I didn’t claim them in front of my entire family or my neighborhood. None of those women belonged to me. I didn’t want them for more than a few hours. We used each other – that was it.”
The Ferraro family members are shadow riders, an interesting new concept. Basically, they ride “tubes” of shadows to locations so they can really be anywhere at any time. The use these tubes and a family system to deliver justice to people who need it. Each member of the family has a purpose, some are lie detectors and determine if the person asking for justice is worthy. Some members, like Stefano, are the ones acting out the punishment. Francesca represents salvation for the family because she is the first match for one of the brothers. Supposedly that means all the other matches will quickly follow.
The family is large so this promises to be a long series. I am not sure if I will follow the whole thing but there is an interesting set up already going on. There are not a lot of female births in the family but there is one Ferraro sister, Emmanuelle, and her story was started in this book. I think I will have to pick her book up. Hopefully, it is next.
Overall, this is a Christine Feehan book. Most people have read her and know what you are getting. Shadow Rider felt like one of her earlier Carpathian books which was good because the newer ones all made me want to burn my kindle. Alpha male- check. Big, nosy, over-involved family- check. Mostly doormat heroine- check. An overabundance of hot sex- check. I got what I was looking for and I have to say I enjoyed the couple hours of mindless reading.
Ferraro men, when they found the right woman, loved her with everything in them and they did it only once. Francesca was his once.