I started Shadow Riders tentatively. While I enjoy some of Ms Feehan’s work, I don’t like all of it. Shadow Riders fits in the middle. I didn’t fan girl crazy love it, but I definitely enjoyed the story and finished the book quickly.
What I loved was the new world. One of the things I find Ms Feehan is amazing at is building a new world, a new mythology. This one is no different. The world is small but rich, with many interesting characters and bit players who you can see will have their own books soon enough. Just as all the other Feehan books.
The romance between Stefano and Francesca was standard, love at first sight, no will they-wont they moments. Fans of Ms Feehan’s know in advance that the focal couple are fated to be together and their is never any doubt about that fact from the perspective of the characters. Stefano was the typical hyperalpha male, with Francesca being the submissive female, again relatively standard fare for Ms Feehan’s work.
What I didn’t love was the reliance on F words to make the Stefano character seem dangerous and tough. I also didn’t really enjoy the sex scenes because of the crudity of the language. While Stefano admits to all and sundry, he loves Francesca, the descriptions aren’t of love as far as I’m concerned. Soft core porn with an attempt at the 50 shades market, not the work I’m wanting to see from her.
To me, the dynamics of the Ferraro family was much more interesting than the dynamics between the two central characters. Watching how this family splinters and comes back together again over the rest of the series will pull me back, rather than watching how the main characters come together in the next books. The family connectedness of the main family is very reminiscent of all the other Feehan books.
All in all, a solid work by a prolific writer. A predictable but enjoyable read but one I’m glad I got from the library, not one I would purchase for myself.