What the book is about:
The Shadow is a Christian suspense romance (suspense is primary, the romance line is secondary, which is a nice turn, I think) about Meagan Winston, owner of a shop in Gainesville, Georgia named Rahab’s Rope. The store sells jewelry made by freed victims of sex trafficking in India. Meagan has just arrived back home from a trip to India to restock the store and things start getting weird right away.
First, Meagan is followed to her store by two different men, one of whom claims to be working with the FBI and tries to take her into custody. Without proper identification, she refuses to go with him.
Cole Fleming is a former Marine roped into helping his Marine buddy Steve, now an FBI agent, bring a woman into custody who Steve believes is part of an international drug ring. After he tries to bring her in and she refuses to go into custody with him, things spiral out of control.
Eventually, Steve and Cole manage to get Meagan into the local FBI office, where after viewing video evidence of her being the only connection between all six flights where drugs have come back from India, Meagan is charged with drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, Lucias Maddox Moore is trying to find the perfect time to confess his love to Meagan, and finds his efforts continually frustrated by the FBI’s involvement in Meagan’s life.
The plot twists and turns with each character receiving their share of roadblocks and breakthroughs, culminating in a thrilling kidnap in the Atlanta airport.
What I liked:
- Pacing – As soon as I stepped into the book, it felt like the gas was pushed to the floor and never let up until the last page.
- Characters – The characters are mostly well-developed and are diverse, each with their good points and flaws.
- Twists – As soon as I felt like I knew what was coming, something was thrown into the plot that made me second-guess my original thought.
- Short chapters – I’ve never had much of an opinion on chapter lengths, but I really liked the short chapters in this book. It made the plot feel like it was really moving forward even as the novel only took place over a few days. The short chapters and clipping pace made it feel like more time should have passed.
- POV – serial third-person limited – It was nice bouncing from head to head, getting to understand each character a little better. It made the storyline richer and gave numerous subplots.
What I didn’t like:
- This is probably trivial, but the spelling of Meagan’s name drove me crazy the entire book.
- Characters (I know! This is one thing I liked, too!) – While each character felt mostly developed, they didn’t always feel all the way developed and maybe even felt a tiny bit cliche. Meagan, the beautiful, smart, woman who doesn’t really need a man except she does and Cole, the conflicted, charming man with a haunted past, and Steve, the nonChristian. In places, the characters felt a tiny bit trope-ish.
- The romance storyline is a bit unbelievable. The story takes place over a number of days and at the beginning, they’ve never met and 14 days later, they’re ready to spend their lives together? I just don’t buy it (and I went from meeting to married in 9 months) and that’s what I don’t like about romance. The timeline feels so rushed compared to reality. They still completely don’t know each other and EVERYONE agrees they’re “just perfect!” and all that. (Just personal opinion/preference, but it irritated me a bit)
Overall thoughts and opinions:
I read this book in one sitting. I stayed up until 1:30 am reading when I was just going to “read a couple chapters before bed.” So, take that for what it’s worth.
I’m not much of a romance reader, in fact, I usually avoid romance because it tends to be fairly unbelievable and this book is no exception. The main characters go from meeting to nearly ready to be married in 14 days and it doesn’t feel real to me. Granted, they went through a lot together and I know (from personal experience) how going through a traumatic event alongside someone can make you feel much closer than you are, it’s not a completely accurate perception. I was slightly bothered by how quickly Pops was ready to hand off his beloved granddaughter to a nearly complete (but handsome, nice, and somewhat tortured) stranger.
The suspense part of this book was intense. Bouncing from character to character left me hanging at nearly every chapter, but the extra information given from each character to fill them out a bit made the jumping okay and eased the suspense tension. As the book progressed further and further, I found myself reading faster and faster. I was probably reading at max speed by halfway.
Even though I was digging a bit at the romance line above, I seriously enjoyed this book, given that I read it in one unintended sitting. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading in general. The romance line is subdued enough that it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book and the suspense wasn’t too much, either. I don’t often read suspense, so I can’t compare it to other suspenses for suspensefulness, but I enjoyed it.
The quality of the plot line and the various subplots kept my interest high throughout and I felt mostly satisfied with the ending. Given all of these points, I give this book 5 stars.
I have ONE autographed copy of The Shadow to give away. But how do you enter??
Having learned from my last flopped giveaway, this time I’m going to do the giveaway entirely through my author facebook page. In order to enter the giveaway you can:
- share this post on facebook
- like my Cari Jehlik, Author page
- comment on this review FACEBOOK post with your favorite elements of fiction (comments on the blog unfortunately don’t count as an entry, but I’d still love to hear your thoughts!)
Winners will be drawn via facebook live on Saturday, October 28th probably sometime during the afternoon.
I received this book from Blog About Blogger Network in exchange for an honest review.