Type: Paranormal Romance
My Copy: NetGalley
Whether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.
While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now…
With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her…
Stefano Ferraro. Even his name is SO freaking hot. I read the first chapter of this book as a preview at the back of another book and I COULD.NOT.WAIT. for this book to come out. Shadow Rider did not disappoint. Christine Feehan is the queen of paranormal romance for good reason. She gives readers what they want while using her incredible imagination to throw in more curves than you would expect.
The concept behind the shadow riders is an interesting one. Dating back over a hundred years, the Ferraro family has bred shadow riders – people who can blend into, manipulate, and travel through the shadows anywhere. Ruthlessly trained from age two, the riders learn how to use the shadows, how to fight, how to defend, how to kill. Years and years of training allow the Ferraro riders to use their unique talents to bring justice to those above the law.
Stefano Ferraro is the head of the family. His brothers, his sister, his cousins, various successful family businesses… they are all under his command. An international banking empire, hotels, casinos – all owned by the Ferraro family, bring in legitimate income and allow the family to filter the money through that the shadow riders’ jobs bring in. For Stefano, control is everything. He is a man who nobody fucks with. What he wants, he gets. What he works for, he attains. Anyone who harms someone under the protection of the Ferraro family is dealt with swiftly and justly. He is alpha to the core, a dominant, bossy, control freak to whom family is everything. Everything, that is, until Francesca Cappello walks into his neighborhood.
To the Ferraro family, Francesca opens up a whole new world. A shadow rider outside of the family is something they could have only hoped existed. The second Stefano’s shadow reaches out to hers, he realizes that she is the one woman created for him. He doesn’t care where she came from or where she’s going – immediately he knows she is a vital part of his life. To him, and his family, she represents hope. Hope that happiness and love are possible for them. Hope that the long line of shadow riders will be carried on for another generation. Stefano doesn’t care what he has to do or who gets in his way – he vows to make Francesca his.
Francesca Cappello has run out of options. After suffering the loss of her sister – her only remaining family – having lost her home, her friends and her job, she has nowhere to go. In a desperate move, she reaches out to her college friend Joanna, who sends her money and an invitation to stay with her in Chicago until she gets back on her feet. It is on her way to a job interview at Joanna’s uncle’s deli where Francesca meets Stefano. She knows nothing of the Ferraro family other than the bits and pieces she’s seen in the tabloids – photos of stunningly beautiful, wealthy playboys who are notorious for their partying as well as the hint of danger that seems to surround them. She knows nothing about the shadow riders, and she has no idea that she herself is one.
Francesca is on the run from a dangerous man, a man who runs in the same circles as the Ferraro family. She has no money, no belongings and no hope except for the job Joanna promised her. The last thing she expects is to catch the eye of a man like Stefano Ferraro. He is easily the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen, and the most intimidating. The more she is pursued by him, the more scared she becomes. Distrusting a powerful, obscenely wealthy man is second nature to her, and she’s half convinced that the Ferraro family is involved in organized crime. None of that holds a candle to the sizzling attraction she feels for Stefano. He scares the crap out of her, but his attention is impossible to ignore.
I could go on and on about this book, but nothing I could write would even come close to touching on how… larger than life Stefano and Francesca were. They started out with a kind of cat and mouse flirtation, which turned into a sexy seduction, and resulted in Stefano binding her to him so tightly she couldn’t leave if she wanted to. This book was the epitome of the damsel in distress being rescued by the white knight, or in this case the rich, powerful shadow rider who has money and power at his disposal. It was a slow journey for Francesca to find her way to trusting Stefano, but in the end they formed such an incredible partnership that he even learned to lean on her. I can’t wait for more books in this series!
I give Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan 5 stars!