Release Day Review: The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard
Series: The Florentine #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel trilogy comes the hotly anticipated follow-up to The Raven, a sensual novel set in Florence featuring the dangerously intoxicating coupling of Raven and William…

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

I highly enjoyed the first book in The Florentine series, so I couldn’t wait to jump into my early copy of the sequel. The Shadow picks up right where The Raven left off, continuing with Raven and William’s passionate love story and the dark underworld they live in. Sylvain Reynard’s writing is as lyrical and lush as ever, and though I didn’t love this book as much as I loved The Raven, it’s still a great installment to the series.

“You’re a dream.” She sighed. “A dream of love I never thought I’d have.”

William has now accepted that his heart belongs to Raven, and he’ll do anything and everything to protect her. There are dark forces that threaten his reign over Florence, and the best way to hurt him is to hurt Raven. The Shadow focuses a lot more on William and Raven’s beautiful romance, which is certainly the highlight of the book. We also get to know William so much better and he’s no longer such a mystery. Their relationship has now developed into something deeper, more intense and passionate. The depth of love these two have for one another is above and beyond, and I really loved seeing how they interact together.

He touched her cheek. “You are the light that shines in my darkness.”

I really liked this book. That being said, the first half of the book felt too slow and there wasn’t much going on besides Raven and William reaffirming their love. However, once the plot involving the underworld developed more, the suspense and action went up a notch. This is when I became fully immersed in the story and couldn’t stop flipping the pages. The action and intensity near the end of the book reminded me of why I fell so in love with the paranormal romance genre years ago, and continue to love it to this day.

The Shadow is a must-read for fans of the series. The romance is captivating and sexy, the writing is detailed and sensual – everything about this book is so very SR, even though it’s PNR and not contemporary. I’m already eager to get my hands on the next book in the series – I can’t wait to see what SR has in store for William and Raven, because I really need them to get their HEA!

3.5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: The Florentine series

The Prince by Sylvain Reynard The Raven by Sylvain Reynard The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

#0.5 ~ The Prince: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ The Raven: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Shadow: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads


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Excerpt Reveal: The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

The Shadow excerpt banner

Sylvain Reynard fans!! I’m incredibly excited to share an excerpt from the much anticipated The Shadow, out Feb. 2, 2016!

The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard
Series: The Florentine #2 (full reading order below)
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
Add to Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel trilogy comes the hotly anticipated follow-up to The Raven, a sensual novel set in Florence featuring the dangerously intoxicating coupling of Raven and William…

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon PaperbackBarnes & Noble • iTunes

Now here’s an excerpt from The Shadow! ❤

excerpt button

Raven watched as William efficiently disrobed, neatly folding every article of black clothing (with the exception of underwear, which he never wore), and placing it on the vanity.

She brushed imaginary lint from her dress as he stood in front of her, naked.

He was under six feet in height, his body lean and strong. Raven took a moment to appreciate the definition of his muscled chest and abdomen, and the strong cast to his thighs.  Not even a statue carved by the most talented sculptor could create a being with so much perfection.

His face put her in mind of an angel with intense, gray eyes that now looked at her expectantly.

She hid her face.  “You said you loved me.”

“I did. What’s more, I meant it.”

“Love is a peculiar thing. I’ve seen it. I’ve even cheered for it. But I never believed it was for me.”

“Why shouldn’t a beautiful, fierce young woman hope for love?”

“Because, as you put it, human beings are shallow.”

“Love is deep.” His rich voice echoed in the bathroom.

“Love is having the power to destroy another person.”

William stepped closer.  “Are you afraid of being destroyed?”

“Destroyed, consumed, betrayed.” She fidgeted with the neckline of her gown.

William placed his hand over hers, stilling it.  “Love creates; it doesn’t destroy.”

His lips found the place where her neck met her shoulder. He kissed her leisurely, tracing the path of her bared collarbone with his mouth.

His fingers brushed her zipper.  “Let me.”

He undid her dress, dropping it to the marble tiles.

Her bra followed.  She was as naked as he.

His eyes roved her body appraisingly.  His pale fingers caressed her cheek, her mouth, and her neck. His strong hands cupped her breasts, her abdomen, and her hips.

His gray eyes met hers.

“The power you describe is the power you have here.” He touched her forehead before moving his hand to cover her heart.  “And here.  It’s the power you have over me. Power I haven’t yielded to another since I was human.”

He brought his lips to her ear. “Your fears are shared.”

With a slow kiss on her neck, he led her into the shower, standing behind her underneath a tropical rainfall showerhead.

Raven closed her eyes and lifted her face, like a flower following the sun.  The warm water soaked her hair and streamed down the generous curves of her body.

“I’ve never showered with another person.  What happens next?” William rested his hands on her shoulders.

She wiped the water from her face.

“Whatever you want. Just don’t let me fall.”

William’s gaze dropped to her right leg, which she was favoring.

“Is the pain terrible?”

“It’s worse after I’ve been lying down.  Sometimes I topple over.”

William spread his arm around her waist, drawing her back to his chest.  “Then I must be sure to catch you.”

She kissed him, reaching up to run her fingers through his wet hair as the water poured down their shoulders.

Her motions were fraught with an eagerness born of love and affection and the relief of remembering she hadn’t lost him.

He was hers.

Even now, naked, with a myriad of flaws few men overlooked, he embraced her. He embraced her imperfections.

He loved her.

His cool hands scorched her skin, splaying fingers wide over her abdomen and bringing her backside into contact with what rose between his hips.

She gave him her weight and he held firm, nipping and licking at her lips before enticing her to enter his mouth.

He entertained the intrusion for a moment or two then, with a growl, he spun her around, pressing their chests together.

Raven looked up into blazing gray eyes.

“Are you certain?”

She nodded.

“I need the words, Raven. I need to know you want this.”

“I want you.”

He took her mouth, his tongue alternately penetrating and retreating in a sensual rhythm.

She tilted her head, welcoming him, as the water continued to rain down.

Hands roamed over slick skin as their lower bodies came into alignment.  She touched his neck, his shoulders, his biceps, holding them tightly in an effort to remain upright.

William was not a tame lover.

In his arms, she sensed his control, his desire, and the war that waged between the two. But he’d never harmed her and had always focused his attention on giving pleasure before taking it. Usually more than once.

“You’re a dream,” she sighed.  “A dream of love I never thought I’d have.”

His eyes burned into hers.

Without warning, he lifted her, tugging her thighs around his hips.

He lowered his mouth to her breasts, tasting and teasing before sucking droplets of water from her eager flesh.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, feeling him eager between her legs.

He lifted her higher, hands beneath her backside, making sure he was correctly aligned.

“Breathe,” he commanded, his eyes boring in to hers.

Here was the vampyre, proud and powerful, teetering on the edge of control. He bared his teeth as if on instinct and his chest rumbled.

“Just don’t break me,” she whispered, pushing a lock of blond hair from his forehead.

William’s expression grew even more fierce.

“I won’t break you.  Whatever harm I bring to you I vow to heal.”

He swallowed her reply with his kiss.  Then with a single thrust, he entered her.

His kisses were as fierce as his movements as he pushed inside and withdrew, over and over.  His grip on her backside tightened as he lifted and moved her in concert with his own motion.

Raven clung to him, her hand trailing to his lower back so she could urge him deeper.

Not that he needed the encouragement.

Her breasts brushed against his chest, the friction teasing and arousing.

She ignored the warm spray of the water, the scent of soap and William, and the nagging discomfort in her leg and ankle.  Her focus was on feeling as he brought her swiftly to the brink of orgasm.

Before she could signal how close she was, she climaxed, her hand clutching his neck as she threw her head back.

William continued his pace until she’d finished, his mouth dropping to her breasts, drawing one of them into his mouth.

When she opened her eyes, she found him staring at her hungrily.

“I have only begun,” he rasped.  “Breathe.”

Reading Order: The Florentine series

The Prince by Sylvain Reynard The Raven by Sylvain Reynard The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

#0.5 ~ The Prince: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ The Raven: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Shadow: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Feb. 2, 2016)

about the author button

I’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Twitter account.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads


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Cover Reveal: The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

Sylvain Reynard fans!!

Check out the cover of the next book in The Florentine series, The Shadow, out Feb. 2, 2016!

The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard
Series: The Florentine #2 (full reading order below)
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
Add to Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel trilogy comes the hotly anticipated follow-up to The Raven, a sensual novel set in Florence featuring the dangerously intoxicating coupling of Raven and William…

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon PaperbackB&N • IndieBoundThe Book Depository

Reading Order: The Florentine series

The Prince by Sylvain Reynard The Raven by Sylvain Reynard The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

#0.5 ~ The Prince: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ The Raven: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Shadow: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

about the author button

I’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Twitter account.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

Release Day Review: The Raven by Sylvain Reynard

The Raven by Sylvain Reynard

The Raven by Sylvain Reynard
Series: The Florentine #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 3rd 2015
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery . . .

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi gallery restoring Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semiconscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attackers’ screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her . . .

Cassita vulneratus.

When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. Upon returning to the Uffizi, no one recognizes her. More disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of her disappearance, Raven learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history–the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the police identify her as their prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and most elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets . . .

“I am the darkness made visible.”

The Raven is the first full-length novel in Sylvain Reynard’s The Florence series, and it’s a book full of mystery and intrigue. I was a fan of SR’s Gabriel series and was highly anticipating this paranormal spinoff series. Although I didn’t connect with the main characters as much as I wanted, the writing had me hooked and the supernatural aspect of the story had me fully intrigued. Fans of the Gabriel series should definitely give The Florence series a try – SR gives a unique take on vampires that was highly enjoyable!

The Raven takes place two years after The Prince (which I highly recommend reading before going into The Raven). The Prince of Florence, who also goes by the name William York, has taken back his stolen art from the Uffizi, though he’s still planning on killing the Emersons. But one night, he encounters a woman on the brink of death, and instead of ignoring her, which would be the norm for him, he saves her life.

Raven Wood wakes up with no recollection of the past week, and when she returns to work at the Uffizi, she finds out that artwork has been stolen during the week she blacked out and she’s a prime suspect. While trying to clear her name, she comes across the name William York, but when she tries to find out who he is, Raven unknowingly puts herself deeper into the underworld of Florence and into danger.

William can’t get the woman he saved out of his mind, and even though he tries to stay away, he can’t. He continues to be Raven’s protector but keeps to the shadows until Raven falls into too much trouble and William has to come forward and save her life once again. As they spend more time together, Raven and William can’t help but feel drawn to one another.

I really enjoyed Raven’s character, even though I didn’t connect with her much. She’s the type of woman who doesn’t fit in with society’s views of beauty and she is typically ignored by men. Even though this could have made her a bitter woman, she’s strong and compassionate with a heart of gold. She’s unknowingly thrust into the supernatural world, but she faces it head on. William, on the other hand, took me a while to warm up to. He’s one of the most powerful vampires and he’s lived for a long time, so he’s done and seen things that have made him jaded. But bit by bit, as he grows to care for Raven, we uncover a passionate man who has more than a little humanity left in him. I was a much bigger fan of William towards the end of the novel.

I highly enjoyed the romance in The Raven. It was a slow burn kind of romance with tensions running high between William and Raven. And I loved that by being with each other, they open their eyes to the person they are underneath – William discovers that maybe he’s not the monster he makes himself out to be, and Raven realizes that beauty is so much more than just the surface of a person.

“You are the only ray of hope I’ve seen since 1274. You’re the only one who has caused my heart to beat again.”

SR flawlessly entwines Raven and William’s sensual but sweet romance with the gorgeous setting of Florence and the fascinating supernatural underworld. The Raven was an entirely satisfying read even though I wasn’t too keen on the characters, and that was mainly due to the writing. I found myself drawn into the dark underworld of Florence and couldn’t stop reading this book! If you’re a fan of SR’s writing, then I highly recommend reading this fascinating, romantic new series.

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: The Florentine series

The Prince by Sylvain Reynard The Raven by Sylvain Reynard The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

#0.5 ~ The Prince: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ The Raven: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Shadow: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads


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Release Day Review: The Prince by Sylvain Reynard

The Prince by Sylvain Reynard

The Prince by Sylvain Reynard
Series: The Florentine #0.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 20th 2015
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The unveiling of a set of priceless illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence exposes Professor Gabriel Emerson and his beloved wife, Julianne, to a mysterious enemy.

Gabriel may have acquired the illustrations only a few years ago, but unbeknownst to him, they were stolen a century earlier from the ruler of Florence’s underworld.

Now one of the most dangerous beings in the city is determined to reclaim his prize and exact his revenge on the Emersons–but not before he uncovers something disturbing about Julianne…

I adored Sylvain Reynard’s Gabriel series, so when I heard we would be getting more Gabriel and Julia, I was ecstatic!! SR’s new Florentine series is a paranormal spinoff of the Gabriel series, and Gabriel and Julia are featured heavily in its prequel. Filled with intrigue and mystery, The Prince is a prequel novella that seamlessly bridges the Gabriel series and Florentine series together.

There is a lot of story-building in The Prince. We’re shown this new, dark, underground world of the Florentine series that the narrator, the Prince, is in charge of. It’s a dangerous world filled with creatures that are very much not human. SR is a wonderful storyteller, and his descriptions of the setting are thorough and well-written.

All the while, the Emersons are living obliviously of this underground world. They are showcasing artwork that apparently was stolen from the Prince, and he wants what once belonged to him back. We follow the narration of the Prince, and we get to see the Emersons through his eyes. Gabriel and Julia are thoroughly in love, which disgusts the Prince, but he can’t help but feel a little jealous of their love. I loved seeing Gabriel and Julia again and I can’t wait to see more of them throughout the series.

I didn’t enjoy The Prince as much as the Gabriel series, but it is only a novella, and it holds a lot of potential. I have no doubts that SR will blow me away with The Raven and the rest of the Florentine series. I definitely recommend reading The Prince for fans of the Gabriel series!

3.5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: The Florentine series

The Prince by Sylvain Reynard The Raven by Sylvain Reynard The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

#0.5 ~ The Prince: EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ The Raven: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Shadow: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTERGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

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