Review: Shadow Storm by Christine Feehan
Emme's book is finally here. The much hinted star-crossed lovers theme between Emme and Val in the past few books in this series breaks my heart. Emme is the only daughter and the youngest in the Chicago Ferraro family. She knows she needs to stay away from the Saldi family which has a brutal and terrible history with the Ferraro family. It does help that Val broke her heart two years ago which prompts her to excised him out of her life. When Val's trusted second, Dario, sends a 911 text to Emme, she cannot help but rush to the side of her forbidden lover she's ignored for a couple of years.
As plot devices go - why Emme left Val, it's pretty standard and much used. I am a little surprised that Emme fell for it because her special abilities should have let her see the "truth". Ms. Feehan does a credible job to show why and how Emme could become so cruelly convinced to leave Val's side. This is where the angst comes in. Throughout this series, the Emme's mother has been a sadistic uncaring parent with glimpses into her burdensome life. Emme's mother, in the last book it went a direction that made her more relatable and I pity her. She did the best she could as a parent and a shadow rider. It wasn't enough and she never let her children in. Some of the reasons why are understandable but it seems as if Emme's mother was destined for a life of disappointment, isolation, jealousy and bitterness. I find that sad when she is so rich and blessed in the treasures of her children. Emme is a specific thorn for her mother and the reveals throughout the book only makes me sadder. The end result for Emme's relationship with her mother took a turn I did not expect and is shocking especially based on the last book's direction.
Emme's relationship with Val is rocky throughout this story. Some of it is because she is a strong shadow rider and assassin. This is in direct conflict with Val's expectations of a lover and wife. Whilst he admires her abilities, he still wants to keep her in a cocoon. Val's past and a lore through his family line may explain the onset of why the Saldi and the Ferraros have feuded for generations. This missing piece to the Saldi men suddenly makes so much sense as to why they want the Ferraros so badly. It also makes me wonder if perhaps this is a start to a new book arc with the Saldi family secrets. I kind of hope so, because it is an open ended thread left hanging.
I really enjoyed this book because I loved the characters. For some reason, Emme's character touched me. Her hopes, dreams and always trying to be the best to make her mother happy yet never getting the affirmation just devastates me. Val is a character I can admire and pity. His situation is not easy and what he has to do to stay alive is soul killing. As with several of Ms. Feehan's books of late, the setting is especially somber and the themes are dark. There are elements of violence and torture which are fade to black in most scenes. The fighting is elegant, efficient and rapid fire that I'm impressed.
This book is a page turner for me and I devoured it in one sitting. Who needs to be fully awake for a day job? I recommend this book to paranormal romance readers who enjoy angsty second chance themes between star-crossed lovers.