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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Ecstasy (The Shadowdwellers, Book 1) by Jacquelyn Frank
Paranormal Romance published by Zebra 1 Jan 09

Well, I figured since I haven’t yet read Ms. Frank’s Nightwalkers series that’s sitting on the TBR shelf, I’d better start this new series right now because I have a copy of Ecstasy in hand. Now I’m sorry I haven’t read the first series.  I am awed by authors who have such imaginations to give us books like this. Ms. Frank is up there with Nalini Singh, C.L. Wilson, Karen Marie Moning – just to name a few – for me.

I’m still not sure if I understood everything in this book, it’s so complex. But it’s a powerful book, no matter what. I’m wondering if I had read the Nightwalker books first that might have helped my understanding here some. In this new series we meet the Shadowdwellers, a people who are able to live in two different realities, realscape, their everyday reality, and shadowscape, an alternate reality with no people and no light. They are able to remain in shadowscape for a limited time due to the euphoric state they reach if that time is surpassed.

Trace is a powerful political figure and advisor in his world. He is on the tail of one who wishes to see the destruction of their twin leaders. As Trace fights against that traitor in shadowscape, he is able to see one of the “lost,” humans in a comatose state, and she is able to see and interact with him, something that is not supposed to happen. When he suffers a mortal wound at traitorous hands, it is the lost who heals him by taking on the injuries he sustained.

Having been on her own in a completely dark New York for months now, Ashla is at first stunned at the two men fighting to the death in this strange world she’s in and then elated at having found another person to interact with. Refusing to let a man suffer and die, she uses her gift to save him, even with her mother’s satanic slurs echoing in her mind. What she never expects is the connection she feels to Trace, one he reciprocates, a connection so deep they spend the next few days together in total bliss.

After being hauled back to his own reality to recover from his euphoric madness, Trace thinks to never see Ashla again, but this is when the book really begins to take off, twists and turns are thrown at the reader when least expected, betrayal and mystery are around every corner, and the sensual freedom Ashla finds with Trace is oh-so-passionate.  The relationships throughout the book are intense and very well done, especially that between Trace and his adoptive father.

This is just one of those books that when you turn that last page, all you can say is, “Wow.” Now more than ever I want to start the Nightwalker series. I just know there are great things in store for me there.

SandyMGrade: A+

Read reviews of, and information on, the related series, The Nightwalkers, by following its tag.

At one with the darkness, the mysterious Shadowdwellers must live as far from light-loving humans as possible in order to survive. Yet one damaged human woman will tempt the man behind the Shadowdweller throne into a dangerous desire…
Among the Shadowdwellers, Trace holds power that some are willing to kill for. Without a stranger’s aid, one rival would surely have succeeded, but Trace’s brush with death is less surprising to him than his reaction to the beautiful, fragile human who heals him. By rights, Trace should hardly even register Ashla’s existence within the realm of Shadowscape, but instead he is drawn to everything about her—her innocence, her courage, and her lush, sensual heat…
After a terrifying car crash, Ashla Townsend wakes up to find that the bustling New York she knew is now eerie and desolate. Just when she’s convinced she’s alone, Ashla is confronted by a dark warrior who draws her deeper into a world she never knew existed. The bond between Ashla and Trace is a mystery to both, but searching for answers will mean confronting long-hidden secrets, and uncovering a threat that could destroy everything Trace holds precious …
Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

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