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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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


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