Book Critique - Shadow Keeper (The Shadow Series #3)

For review of all books in The Shadow Series: Go here

Stars: 3.5 / 5

Recommendation: You believe in super powers, abilities and the good that one can do with it, then this is the series you should read. Of course it comes with mix of eroticism too. ;)

Shadow Keeper is the third book in The Shadow Series by Christine Feehan published in May of 2018. The plot is again set in Chicago where the Ferraros have marked their territory. This time the story is of the third sibling and brother - Giovanni Ferraro - and the waitress who works at one their clubs - Sasha Provis.

The Shadow Series is about the powerful Ferraro family who are revered with both admiration and fear. For they are famed to have powers and abilities that not a normal human can have and perhaps for the rumor that they are tied to mob; neither of which ever could be proved. But the neighborhood that the Ferraro family had hold on - Little Italy - has been crime-free, secure as well as a happy place for any of them to live. People are taken care of as their own until the line crosses where the punishment is severe and sometimes unforgivable. Everyone in the Ferraro family - Five bothers and one sister with Stefano Ferraro as the head along with their parents - and the extended families are very successful, powerful, handsome / beautiful and with a hoard of abilities in them. Yet, they are not complete until they find their mate, the one that can match them in power, character and needs - for the Ferraros have high sexual appetite especially after they have used their abilities - to manipulate light and shadow to their advantage.

After being of a playboy duty for a year due to his leg injury, on a bored evening Giovanni Ferraro comes up with a game with his New York cousins and the remaining two unmarried brothers; a game that would involve in physical activity with women at the club who crave to dance with the Ferraros and a point system that would earn the participants money; loads of money.

However, when Sasha Provis - a waitress in his club - overhears this conversations and looks at him with contempt, something clicks inside Giovanni. Now all he wants to do was he could take back that game, and get in the good books of Sasha, not just books, but her heart, mind, soul, bed, and in her life completely. But with someone who has grown up at a Wyoming ranch and with a strong code of morale, Giovanni has all kinds of hurdles in his path to win her. And the biggest one is yet to come. Will he win Sasha? Will she willingly commit to Giovanni? How will Giovanni and Sasha together ferret out the hidden enemies and hurdles, and make a life for their own is the rest of the plot.

This is Christine Feehan's 76th novel. I am waiting for the paperback of her 75th book, Covert Game, to be released so I can add it to my library. Covert Game was released as a hard cover on March 20th of 2018. In the meanwhile I couldn’t resist reading her 76th novel. :)

Christine portrays Sasha as a very strong-willed, hard-working and down to earth person with a penchant to speak truth. Someone that Giovanni rarely encounters in his life. And Giovanni is magnificent with his charms, skills, power and money; and he doesn’t hesitate to use any or all of it to tie Sasha to him.

I also liked the fact that Sasha simply doesn’t fall in line with him; she in fact has a strong back and an intelligent brain that she uses effectively to ensure that their relationship is truly formed of love; although she foolishly puts everyone in danger with her willfulness.

Christine expands the characters of the remaining Ferraro siblings in this plot and as always leaves enough meat for the readers to chew on. I also love the entire family dinner or lunches the Ferraro siblings have at Stefano and Francesca's house. The scenes portrayed by Christine are so real, as if playing right in front of your very eyes.

The erotic scenes between Giovanni and Sasha are much similar to Christine's previous two books. However she has Giovanni use clamps in one of the scene; and has literally flip Sasha so the clamps dig into her skin. I don’t know how healthy is this kind of bondage. But besides the pain that in moderation could be pleasure, this also could cause serious damage to internal nerves and blood vessels. I hope Christine considers that aspect of it while writing these erotic scenes, cause if those clamps and toys cause ruptures internally they could lead to life-threatening diseases to humans.

The series is about riding shadows, but the protagonist of this book, Giovanni, doesn’t ride at all. Albeit he was injured heavily during an attack on the Ferraro family in the previous book, Shadow Reaper, and recuperating by playing his part as the play boy. However, Christine makes him just not about being a rider but much more who has integrity, love, strength and courage. I still would like to see Giovanni ride in the future books. 

Christine couldn’t find a better person in Sasha Provis for Giovanni Ferraro - poles apart but with twice the attraction between them. Her strength, character and integrity along with core family values matches with Giovanni perfectly even though on surface both seem so far apart. Connecting them and getting them closer was charming to read.

I would want to say something about the ending though. It was way simple than what I had imagined for a Ferraro finish. I was hoping a little more action, but again Christine was focusing her plot primarily on family values, courage and strength in this book rather than action. Perhaps Vittorio's story (hoping it would be next book, since he is the next brother in-line), will have more action.

As always her characters are strong as always. Be it male or female, she portrays them with full strength and character that is a notch higher, even though they have their little flaws. She also brings in strong family ties and support system into the mix. And as always leaves the readers with bits of information for possible future plots - some we could guess and some perhaps would surprise when those plots come to light.

Another book that one can enjoy reading it for any time of the day or season.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Sasha Provis and her older brother, Sandlin Provis, are Shadow Riders too. Although they had not been raised thus. Their parents were both descendants of strong Shadow Rider families from Sicily and Russia. Their grandparents on their father's side changed from Spataro to Petrov to Provis over the years. And so did her maternal grandparents (although Christine doesn’t give those names).

b. Although Sandlin is suffering a traumatic brain injury due to an accident that claimed the lives of their parents, and is supposed to have only three more years to live, I would be interested to see if Christine finds a miraculous cure for him and writes a story about him.

c. Francesca is pregnant in this book, at least shows signs of the beginnings of a pregnancy.

d. Dario, Valentino Saldi's bodyguard looks very briefly at Nicoletta in a scene, so brief that one would miss seeing it if blink an eye. However, Giovanni doesn’t miss it. Is this another one of those inconsequential details that Christine adds to the plot for to be important in future books?

2. Sub-Plots:

a. Philip Ferraro, father to the Ferraro Siblings, is killed in the second book Shadow Repear.

b. It is very clear that Valentio Saldi (of the notorious mob family, the Saldis) is Emmanuelle "Emme" Ferraro's other half. I am now more than interested to read Emme's story and want to see how Christine will enfold the centuries old war the two families were at and how she will overcome their hurdles so they can be together and their families can survive. Curious also to see if Saldis also have a hidden agenda to do the greater good just like the Ferraros. I have a feeling her story would be the strongest of all, just like Elle Drake's in The Drake Sisters Series or Blythe Daniels in the Sisters of the Heart Series.

c. Nicoletta Gomez an 18-year old abused teenager was rescued by Stefano (when she was 17) and placed under the care of Lucia and Amo Fausti as their long lost niece in the first book Shadow Rider. She is also a shadow rider although she doesn’t know it yet. As my gut said, we see that she is a mate to Taviano Ferraro. But Nicoletta doesn’t want to have anything to do with the Ferraros even though she is appreciative of their help. I am curious to see their story too.

d. We got introduced to a French counsellor - Oceane Brisbois - in the second book Shadow Reaper. I am curious to see whose mate she will become. Although mentioned briefly her role sounded important for a future plot; just like all those inconsequential details that Christine throws at the readers.

3. The Ferraros and their extended families and other rival families:

a. Ferraro Brothers, their partners, Sister and Parents - Stefano Ferraro and Francesca Cappello (Their story can be read in the first book Shadow Rider); Ricco Ferraro and Mariko "Majo" Tanaka (Their story can be read in the second book Shadow Reaper), Giovanni Ferraro, Vittorio Ferraro, Taviano Ferraro, Emmanuelle Ferraro, Eloisa Ferraro (Mother) and Philip Ferraro (Father).

b. New York Cousins: Salvatore Ferraro, Geno Ferraro, Lucca Ferraro.

c. Other Cousins: Emilio, Enzo and Enrica Gallo; Tomas, Casimo and Raimando Abatangelo; Renato and Romano Greco; Drago and Demetrio; Franco Mancini; Rigina and Rosina; Leone (a second cousin)

d. Extended Ferraros: Alferi Ferraro (International Council Member), Damian Ferraro (Famous jeweler for the riders), Vinci (Ferraro's lawyer)

e. In the second book Shadow Reaper, the Ferraro family faces several other Shadow Rider families; some who turn out to be allies and some foes - Isamu Yamamoto, Dai Saito and his wife Osamu Saito, Mikito Ito, Akiko Tanaka, Nao Yamamoto, Master Kin Akahoshi (Ricco's jojutsu instructor) and Archambault family of riders (the one that mete justice to any riders and their families who include Marcellus Archambault, Maxcence Archambault, Sacha Archambault).

f. Saldis - Valentino "Val" Saldi is the Prince of the family; Dario (Val's bodyguard)

g. Vittorio Ferraro is very good at disrupting energy and cause power surges.

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