The Shadow, by Sylvain Reynard – A Review

The Shadow (The Florentine, #2)The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Florentine Series, #2

Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense

 

I finished reading The Shadow, in one sitting, for the second time yesterday. It was even better the second time – and that’s saying something, since I thought it was perfect a month ago. Seeing the tears glistening in my eyes, my soulmate asked me how I felt. This is how the conversation went:

“Oh, my God, this book is so, so good.”
“What made it so good?”
“Everything.”
“Could you be a bit more specific?”
“I’m not sure. Nothing I could say would do it justice.”
“Why are you crying?”
“It’s what readers do when a story is so perfect it’s etched in your heart forever.”

So here I sit a day later, trying to write a decent review for my very favorite author. I’m not sure I’m worthy of paying adequate tribute to his work, except to say that when I read anything he writes, I am filled with a sense of being truly alive. Every sense is sharpened. I live and breathe the lives of his characters; absorb the mystery of their world; appreciate art I’ve never seen; hear music as if it were my first time. I fill my lungs with the air of the Italian countryside, hear the hushed conversations in the Uffizi Gallery, and feel the heat of every moment he so lyrically describes.

The Shadow, #2 in the amazing Florentine Series, has the remarkable characteristics of every great love story – be it Dante and Beatrice or Romeo and Juliet, the skillfully crafted tale of Raven and William, the Prince of Florence, has everything you could possibly want in a dark romance. Passion. Complexity. Engaging and powerful sub-plots. Treachery. Betrayal. Secrets. Mystery. Moments of perfect joy, when the shadows are at bay and the two lovers experience the intensity of overwhelming desire, the joy of sexual union, and the vulnerability of intimacy. An undercurrent of suspense is palpable, beating in the background, building steadily; intensifying their deep personal conflicts; highlighting the fragility of the lovers’ forbidden relationship; portending a sense doom, of ultimate sacrifice and agonizing grief. But there is so much more…in the midst of what may seem to be an inevitable tragedy, Sylvain manages to instill an abiding sense of hope. Hope that the forces converging to separate the two lovers and take William’s throne – his soulmate – and his life – will miraculously be defeated. That the lost soul – the dark, avenging angel – will be redeemed. That the heroine’s light will overcome his darkness and they will ultimately experience the happy ever after they deserve.

It is simply a perfect read. I could not have hoped for more from this author or this series. And as always, having read it, I feel fulfilled, if not satisfied — there is so much more to come to conclude this amazing story.

And for those who, like me, may never get enough of Gabriel and Julia Emerson, they appear again — in a scene that will shake you to your core. And, finally, Sylvain teases us with outtakes – otherworldly ‘what-ifs’ – flights of creative fantasy to make you crave the next story…and the next…and the next.

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A photo and quote depicting a scene from The Shadow, by Sylvain Reynard

Photo of David Gandy, with a quote from The Shadow, by Sylvain Reynard

Cover Reveal! The Shadow, by Sylvain Reynard

Photo of the cover of The Shadow, the next release in the Florentine Series by Sylvain Reynard

 

New York Times bestselling author Sylvain Reynard presents the hotly anticipated, intoxicating follow-up to The Raven

Coming to passionate readers in February, 2016 — but follow the links below and order your copy TODAY!

Available as an eBook or Paperback…

Synopsis

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her.

In the wake of their reunion, Raven is facedwith a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand.

But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery.

And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

Pre-Order Links

 The Shadow (Florentine series)  on amazon.com 

add The Shadow to Goodreads

Order from Barnes & Noble

Order from IndieBound

Order from the Book Depository

Follow Sylvain Reynard – Visit his Website!

The Raven, by Sylvain Reynard – A Review

A composite photo representing the lead character in The Raven, a paranormal romance novel by Sylvain Reynard

Synopsis:

Photo of the cover of The Raven, a paranormal romance novel by Sylvain ReynardRaven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi gallery restoring Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semiconscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attackers’ screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her . . .

Cassita vulneratus.

When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. Upon returning to the Uffizi, no one recognizes her. More disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of her disappearance, Raven learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history–the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the police identify her as their prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and most elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets . . .

Review ~ 5 brilliant stars

There are very few authors whose books I would be willing to buy without the benefit of a cover or a synopsis, because I know, without a doubt, that their stories will inspire, excite, make me think, dream and hunger for every word. Sylvain Reynard is one of those authors. Sylvain doesn’t take words and make images; he takes words and creates masterpieces that blend art and history with lyrical prose and powerful characters that stay with you forever. It was true in the best-selling Gabriel trilogy, and it is equally true in book one of the Florentine Series, The Raven.

I am amazed at the way the author seamlessly continues the storyline from the Gabriel Series, establishing the foundation for the story by bringing beloved characters Gabriel and Julia Emerson into the subplot; then creating a breath-takingly suspenseful main plot centered around someone they met at the Uffizi – the dark, dangerous and enigmatic “William York,” aka The Prince of Florence.  With the transition to the new storyline, Mr. Reynard also takes the story from the contemporary romance genre to the the paranormal, as William is the powerful ruler of the Florentine underworld, a civilization of vampyres who have co-existed, in the shadows, with its human inhabitants for thousands of years.

It isn’t easy to love The Prince at first; he is ruthless, embittered and angry. But when he rescues Raven Wood – whose nature is the polar opposite – the layers begin to peel away, revealing a tortured soul who lives in constant danger of exposure to vengeful human hunters; of assassination by members of his own council, or by power-hungry vampyres from outside his principality. He cannot afford to be vulnerable, and his feelings for Raven make him exactly that.  As much as he tries to distance himself by driving her away, his compelling instinct to protect her will not allow him to leave her alone.

Raven is one of the most relatable feminine heroines in contemporary fiction. She isn’t slender and beautiful, confident and sexy; she is a shy, ordinary woman in every way, a woman with a painful history who lives with physical reminders of a childhood trauma every day. She’s reclusive, preferring the company of the ancient paintings she restores to peers who make her feel ‘different’ in all the wrong ways. She doesn’t understand William’s attraction to her, and therefore she doesn’t trust it; but even after she knows who he is and what he does to survive, her natural compassion makes it impossible to judge him. Together they are more powerful than either is alone, because they need each other, not only to deal with the authorities looking into the theft from the Uffizi, the feral creatures roaming the streets, the assassins and the human hunters; but because each needs spiritual healing that only the other can provide.

To say that The Raven is spellbinding is woefully inadequate. It is brilliant, intriguing, compelling and addictive. I could not put it down, despite the fact that I wanted to savor it. I fell in love with the principal characters, the art, the history, the setting, the poetry woven seamlessly into a masterpiece of fiction. Every line was, in itself, a work of literary art. The moment I finished the story I wanted to start it again. I cannot wait for the sequel.

Buying Links


 Amazon UK    Amazon Ca