Shadow's Edge by J.T. Geissinger
Night Prowler #1
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: Won from Braine @TalkSupe
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Leander McLoughlin is leader of the Ikati, an ancient tribe of beautiful, savage shape-shifters who live hidden in the forests of England. Their survival is rooted in secrecy, a secrecy threatened by the very existence of one raised outside the tribe. Charged with capturing her before she can expose their secret, Leander tracks the unsuspecting outsider to Southern California. The great warrior is prepared for a fight - but not for the effect the courageous young beauty has on his heart.
Jenna Moore spent her childhood in hiding, on the run from an unseen enemy. Now her mother is dead and her father has vanished without a trace, leaving Jenna alone to contend with sudden strange, superhuman abilities. When handsome, enigmatic Leander McLoughlin appears, promising answers to all of her questions, she knows she shouldn't trust him. But their connection is as undeniable as the dangerous destiny drawing her home...
This is a book I was so curious about - I won it and the next two in the series from Braine - and I was excited to read them. Why then, did I wait so long to read it? That is a mystery I can't answer. ;) But I'm thrilled I finally did read it and I won't be waiting so long to continue with the series.
Shadow's Edge puts a spin on cat mythology and secret societies and twists it together into something along the lines of The Unexpected One - ancient enemies created out of misunderstanding.
Jenna has always known she was different from other kids her age, and not only because she was faster and stronger than any of them. She lived life on the run - her family constantly moving from one location to another. Her father disappeared from her life when she was 10 and from that point forward, she watched her mom slowly die while teaching her, "if they find you, run." With her 25th birthday looming, 'they' find her. But she doesn't run.
Leander was raised knowing his place - his duty to his people, the Ikati. He was trained to follow in his father's footsteps. He had to fill the role much sooner than he'd have liked but he takes his position very seriously. He's been watching Jenna for years and comes to find her when her birthday is approaching. Their meeting sets into motion things neither could have ever predicted. And the repercussions for the Ikati will be far reaching.
The lore Geissinger built around the Ikati was fascinating. This group of powerful shifters living in hiding to protect themselves did essentially mandate they remain in the dark ages where women were concerned. That Jenna would chafe under that yoke of confinement after living free her entire life seemed natural. Leander's desire to fulfill all Jenna's wishes really demonstrated his bond with her seeing as how he was steeped in those traditions. That Jenna and Leander had a bond they could sense also added to the story as it was unusual to have a true mate. The side characters introduced, especially Morgan and Christian, were compelling. Morgan, a female Ikati living in a gilded cage, is very interesting. And Christian, the spare dealing with the feelings of being the younger brother of the Alpha would experience is also someone I want to see more of. The prejudice and animosity between the Expurgari (the enemy) and Ikati is engrossing. I like how Geissinger introduced the struggle between the two, how it is woven into the overall plot arch, and how it parallels real life. Jenna's struggle against the restraint of a patriarchy similarly mirror female struggles in real life.
Shadow's Edge was a rich, complex, and captivating introduction to this series. I was flying through the pages despite my lack of sleep. And I'm eager to continue this series.