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“a good series. didn't dissapoint”4liverpool wrote this review Sunday, November 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I loved this book. It was straight up romantic urban fantasy. The chemistry between the two main characters was off the charts hot. Damien was one of those jerks with a hard exterior that was really a soft kitten inside (pun intended). I loved watching them fight their attraction for each other. I couldn't help thinking when I was reading the book that this is what Daemon from the Luxe books could grow in to. Granted, I've only read Obsidian but I always wanted to know more about Daemon and felt like he could have been revealed a little better to the reader. Castle does that. She shows us the gruff and jerky side of Damien but lets us also see that he's vulnerable. Another Damien/Daemon comparison: Damien calls Ariane "kitten."
So, I had no idea when I got this book that it was the third book in a series. But, I had no problem understanding the story, what had happened before didn't really matter (although I am highly curious to see how much of a factor Damien was in the prior stories). I will most definitely be looking for the other books in the series. This was a great urban fantasy and I can't wait to read more of Castle's books.”
“Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Shadow Rising from NetGalley and settled in with my Cait Sith tanktop ready for Damien's book. I absolutely love Damien, and was a little worried that I had put too high of expectations on the release. I shouldn't have worried, because immediately upon finishing it, my exact words were: "Quite possibly the best book I've read all year & I've read some good ones! Simply amazing!!" :)
Ariane is a Grigori. A headstrong female among a clan of male dominant, secretive vampires known for watching and not interfering. She's not your average Grigori though. She's something of an outcast among her clan due to the nature of her turning (which she can't even remember) and the level of humanity she retained after she became a vampire. When her best (and possibly only) friend disappears from their desert home, she goes against orders of her clan Ancients and sets out to find him on her own.
Damien is a Cait Sith, one of the cat shifting clan of vampires, and also a Shadow - an assasin. He's hired by a Grigori to locate their missing Ancient and sets out as usual in his cool an detached way. When his search causes him to run into a woman with eyes like violets and hair like spun platinum, his world gets absolutely rocked. Where he had never let emotion interfere with a job in the many, MANY years he'd been around, all it takes is one glance from this Grigori to mess with his head.
Finding that they simply can't avoid eachother, and that things might go smoother if they just pooled their resources and worked together, they embark on their journey to find the missing Sammael, along with the help of the heads of the other dynasties who realized that "the enemy of my enemy could possibly be my friend"...
Side notes: Damien is the ULTIMATE alpha hero. He's snarky, sarcastic, stubborn, and sexy as sin - the quintessetial bad boy - and he sooo made me purr. LOL. I had been waiting for his book, but this exceeded even my expectations.
We get some great appearances from some of our other favorite vamps as well in this installment, and Vlad in this book just made me want his book even more!!
What more can I say... the book was an action-packed, thrilling, suspenseful, surprising journey in the beautifully complex world of the Dark Dynasties and I was completely enthralled. I cannot wait for the next book!
LITERAL ADDICTION gives Shadow Rising an easily earned 5 Skulls and would recommend it to EVERYONE! While it's not necessary to read the preceding books to enjoy this installment, I will warn you that the minute you finish Shadow Rising you'll want to read the others, so you might as well start with book #1 and just enjoy the ride. :)
“Reviewed by Angela & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
I fell in love with Ms. Castle and her Dark Dynasties from the very beginning. I gave 5 Stars to Dark Awakening (book 1) and 5 STARS for Midnight Reckoning (book 2) and now another 5 Stars for Shadow Rising. Ms. Castle has been consistent with giving the right amount of romance, hot scenes, action and a very elaborate plot.
Damien Tremaine also stayed true to his character from book one, two and up to his very own story. This cat-shifter remains one of the best Shade for the House of Shadows, still very dangerous, mysterious, and definitely sexy. I love a hero with a grief-stricken past that made him a cold-hearted man. And finally to see him up close and personal is just a treat.
Her name is “Ariane not kitten” though being a Grigori Vampire, she IS as innocent as a kitten. But Ariane is a straight shooter, she does not mess around and she knows exactly what she wants. As innocent as she is, I love her, she stands up to what she believes in and can hold her own fairly well. She had her mind set on finding her mentor Sam and that is exactly what she is going to do. If it means to join forces with a shade so be it.
Opposites attract is the cliché but damn, isn’t that just the truth? The balance between Damien and Ariane was amazing; the cold hearted shade and the innocent vamp. It was fun to see them banter and Damien said the funniest things to annoy Ariane. And her rebuttal was just as hilarious. They complimented each other and it was amazing to see them finally find someone after all the years of solitude. Their relationship is a perfect match.
To those who already follow the series, a few things to keep in mind; the battle between the Dynasties continues but at a quiet state. Don’t be fooled as plans are brewing right under our noses. The seat for the Empusae is threatened and a few of the dynasties are still on building and rebuilding. The Shadow has Risen and is here to stay. Several things were unfolded in this book and I’m curious to see what Ms. Castle has in store for us as far as where the dynasties stand.
Also, I am most curious about Vlad dracul of the Dracul Dynasty, he has totally captured my heart. I would love to know more of him. From what I see he is a good ally to most of the dynasties but I’m sure you don’t want to be on his bad side. And I bet he would me a great hero to swoon over.
***Mark my words, if and when Ms. Castle decides to write about him, IT WILL BE EPIC***
*ARC provided by publisher
“Oh, how I love this book!! It reminds me a little of the Night Huntress series!! So incredibly good!!
Shadow Rising is my first book from Kendra Leigh Castle and it has made me a HUGE fan of hers.
I was immediately drawn into this story. Even though I started with Shadow Rising, the third book in the series, I never felt lost or unable to follow along but I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.
I love love love Damien and Ariane. He is so funny, sarcastic, cocky, broken, sexy, caring and sweet (the last two mostly just to Ariane). She is so sweet, caring, loving, a bit kick-ass and also a little vulnerable.
Loved them together and wanted a HEA for them so much. Shadow Rising had laughter, excitement, romance, great characters and Hot sex--what more could you ask for?? I loved the scene in the cemetery!!! ;) Just a great read that is definitely going into my keeper pile and will definitely be a reread for me. Actually I want to reread now!! LOL 5 out of 5 rating.
***ARC provided by NetGalley”
“~* 4.5 Stars *~
He's a thief. He's an assassin. He's a dissolute rogue. As a Cait Sith and Shade of the House of Shadows, Damien Tremaine is all those things. Mostly though, he's really bloody bored with his long, long life.
The contract to find a missing member of the House of the mysterious - and freaky - Grigori at least provides a bit of a challenge. And if he's lucky, an opportunity to poke someone with something sharp. That's always fun.
Sure, he'd been informed of a rogue female Grigori roaming around, but if he's not getting paid for it, he has no interest in a female who probably resembles her obscenely large and ridiculously manly brethren. Then he actually meets the woman, and even as she's endeavoring to separate his head from his shoulders, Damien is struck dumb by her ethereal beauty and fierce determination. Suddenly boredom is a thing of the past and he can't stop purring long enough to convince her to stop trying to kill him.
All Ariane wants to do is find the only friend she's had in her centuries-long existence. She's fled her desert home and broken most of the Grigori's stringent rules, all in the hopes of locating Sammael. She's certainly not going to let some gorgeous but lowborn, cat-shifting vampire impede her on her quest. Even if she has no leads, no contacts, and no way of knowing where to find either.
He could use her knowledge of her people to aid him in his search. She could use his connections and his experience with a world from which she's been completely sheltered. And when a dark, insidious secret of the Grigori comes to light, a secret they've hidden from the world at large until it's poised to rise up and destroy them all, they will need each other more than either one of them could have ever dreamed...just to survive.
Only three books in and this series is already one of my favorites in paranormal romance, and this book is my favorite of the three. I am a total sucker for antiheroes, and Damien is just my kind of bad, bad boy. Snarky, irreverent, cynical, shallow with the capacity for casual cruelty, he's also loyal and honorable in his own way, and he's his own harshest critic.
And when he meets Ariane and turns into a big purring mess, I was totally sunk. I adored him.
Ariane was great, too, though she's not quite my preferred type in the genre. Her naivety, innocence, and lack of experience didn't thrill me. Combined, they made her character strike a little too close to the virginal heroines most often found in historical romance, but Castle balanced her with the kick-ass fighting skills of a warrior and gave her a pair of killer wings (I love wings). And her easy acceptance (once she stopped trying to skewer him, anyway) of the flawed, complicated Damien endeared me to her quite a lot.
The chemistry between them was instant and hot, and I loved how their relationship evolves as the plot progresses. Though the heat between them was fast, there was quite a lot of natural contention in their relationship at first, and as the story progressed, their partnership grew into a strong romance in a nicely organic fashion.
One of the greatest things about this series in general and this book in particular is the robust the world building, layered plot, and fantastic ancillary elements. The poor, maligned Cait Sith make wonderfully original protagonists. They are all so flawed and damaged, rife with internal conflicts that add delicious layers to their individual characters and subsequent romance arcs. Damien was a perfect addition to their ranks.
I loved finding out more about the Grigori, too. They've been mentioned before in the series but not much was known about them. The revelations were quick, rich, and fabulously intriguing once Ariane was introduced, and the mythos surrounding them built throughout the narrative, creating the foundation for the external conflict and cascading into a shocking climax.
The ending did feel a little abrupt to me, and even after rereading the denouement, I'm not entirely sure what happened, or how things ended up the way they did. There was a big climactic scene, then it was over and the dust settled, but the fallout was noted, not explained. I found it odd that no one questioned it, and I'm still not clear on how the good guys came out on top or what made the bad guys' ending so...simultaneous and inclusive. Perhaps that will be revisited in a later book, but it left me with several questions in this one.
That was the only issue I had with the story, however, and frankly, it didn't really dim the glow all that much. I just love this series and the characters in it who I've come to know and appreciate. One of my favorite secondary characters, Vlad, is in quite a lot of this book, too, so I was all kinds of happy while I was reading. In fact, with two excellent main characters, a fantastic romance, great surrounding story with an entire stable of memorable secondary characters, and just enough plot threads left untied to guarantee more fun reading in future books, what's not to love?
He was charming, damn it! She was supposed to notice!
"Unless I'm missing something important, yes, the man is dead," Damien finally replied. "I think his head is over there behind the desk, if you need further proof. Are you finished being overly dramatic yet?"
"His head?" The vampire gave a pitiful moan, his eyes rolling.
"Ah, apparently not. Lovely."
Ariane reached behind her and drew her blade.
And not just any blade. It was the sort of sword no vampire had any business carrying. The sort of sword that said, "I am ancient and terrible and I don't have time to let those who annoy me live."
"So this is how it ends for me. Afflicted with a plague of Grigori. If anyone else around here grows wings, I'm going to stab them in the head and light them on fire. I've had it."
Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by Forever publisher Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group via NetGalley. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
“A fantastic book! This is my first Kendra Leigh castle book and the third book in the dark dynasties series. Before I had even gotten through the first few chapters I had bought the rest of the books in the series.
The characters are brilliant. Ariane is a grigori and she is very lonely and naive when she sets out into the world to look for her missing friend. Damien is a shade and works for the House of Shadows, a organization that gets the messier jobs done for a price. The sparks fly when they are together and the adventure is great to read.
I can't wait to read the rest of this series!