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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review, Shadow Cursed - Naomi Clark

Title: Shadow Curssed
Author: Naomi Clark
Published: 2012 Evernight Publishing
Format: ebook provided by author for review

Released from Ottevar Asylum after eight hard years, Lady Emmeline returns to Nachtholm Manor to reclaim her birthright. But she has a battle on her hands—Rainart Eckhard refuses to give up his position as lord of manor, and whilst his cold attitude enrages Emmeline, his smouldering kisses leave her weak at the knees.

Who is this dangerous, enticing stranger, and what secrets does he hide? Caught in a web of desire, curses, and self-doubt, Emmeline is not only fighting Rainart for Nachtholm Manor, but for her own heart as well.

Lady Emmeline of Nachtholm left home as a young girl - certainly not of her own volition.  Her parents put her in Ottevar Asylum so they could “cure” her of what they viewed as an affliction.  The story begins with her on her way home after her parents’ death after 8 years being away.   When she returns home she finds a man, Rainart Eckhard, who claims he has been running the manor in the interim.  However he is quite adamant that he is not leaving, and that he is the lord of the manor, and she is not. 

Emmeline has an instant heated attraction to Rainart, though she tries to deny it.  He also does, but this story is completely from Emmeline’s point of view.  There’s some stolen kisses that leave them both wanting more.   But this is as much a  story about Emmeline realizing her true inner strength and sense of self as anything else.  

                “She’d never been so close to a man before and she’d never even seen a man like Rainart, a man brimming with a power and authority that made her want to fall to her knees again.”

Emmeline becomes obsessed with Rainart, and I can see why.   The man is a mystery.  Sure, he’s handsome as can be and the attraction is undeniable, but where in the heck did he come from?  She seeks out answers from the local gypsies, thinking maybe they know.   Then she finds a book in the manor’s library that gives her a clue about previous owners, and perhaps Rainart’s lineage….but it couldn’t be.  Could it?  The final answer to his arrival is quite intriguing!

All in all, I really enjoyed the mystery of this story.   There was a touch of paranormal, although it was something of the past.  Rainart is a character shrouded in mystery.   You just want to know more and more about him.  Emmeline is quite young and na├»ve, although she claims to be anything but that.  I think that in her future she is going to be quite the force to be reckoned with.  She does have that inner strength that I do enjoy seeing in female characters.  And her time in the asylum is certainly something I would like to see more of.  Being quite familiar with Naomi Clark’s writing, I think this is definitely a storyline she should explore more!  I’m betting she can flesh that story out and make it something horrifyingly creepy and wonderful! 

As for the romance and erotic parts of this story… they were good.  I love the instant connection part to these two characters.  This author really has a talent for creating that troubled attraction, the one you shouldn’t have but do anyway because the heart wants what it wants, regardless of what the brain says.  The erotic portions weren’t quite as heated as I normally see, but I think there is definite future potential.  In any effect, the moment that Rainart and Emmeline put their battle of wills aside to see how much they want each other is fantastic.  If you are looking for high heat, I don’t think this is the story for you.  But if you are looking for a terrific mystery with a touch of paranormal, and hey there’s some romance too, then I think you will love this story.  As usual, I am a huge fan of Naomi Clark’s, and this story is just another hit to add to the arsenal.

BONUS!  If you like this story and want to read more, there is a free short story set in the same world, available from Evernight Publishing - 

Find Naomi Online!

Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once. 

Previous Posts:
Review - The Necromancer's Apprentice
Review - Demonized
Review - Ungrateful Dead
Review - Afterlife