By J.L. Weaver
Genre: Historical romance, mystery, paranormal
“Never fight a demon with dessert.”
Monster hunting isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life. Freddie Westman, a reporter for a paranormal magazine, is one of the best in the business, but now it’s personal. His good friend, Jim Penderry, has disappeared, and the signs point to sinister forces from beyond the grave.
Sophie Penderry is more at home with her nose in a book, but insists on helping Westman find her missing brother. Even a loner like Westman needs an ally to watch his back. After all, these demons are not just the stuff of folklore and children’s nightmares. These dark monsters lurk in plain sight…
Victorian fun, filled with mystery, monsters and romance.
Winner of the Wattys 2014 HQ Love Award
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London Shadows was a fun, quick read that explored the supernatural goings on in the regency era. I love paranormal and regency romances, and this book encompassed both of those parameters so I knew it was something I wanted to take a chance on. I’m quite happy that I did.
The beginning starts out with a gripping fight scene between Freddie and a demon summoned by a mysterious wielder of black magic. A book is always engaging when it starts out with an obstacle for our MC to overcome. So by the time the fighting ended I was fully invested in the book, emotionally attached to the MC, and determined to solve the mystery of the missing young girls alongside Freddie and whoever else happened to be along for the ride.
That someone else came in the form of Sophie. I had a few reservations considering her character. She seemed a bit too dainty to take on demon hunting, but her proper and delicate sensibilities soon gave way to her true spirited nature, and I found that I loved her just as much as I loved Freddie. She wasn’t quite the obvious heroine that I’m used to, but was more independently strong and resilient in an understated sort of way.
It took some time for me to sense any chemistry developing between Freddie and Sophie. Certain things she said or did received no reaction from Freddie and vice versa. The romance moves very slowly, which is fine in any novel, but I felt that there were some crucial moments of bonding that just weren’t explored with much depth. The book certainly could have been longer with these types of scenes added in, and I wouldn’t have complained about it one bit, but I think the author was going for more of a fun, lighthearted adventure without allowing too much of the romantic elements to overshadow the thrill of the mystery. My personal preference, however, is for authors to imbue their story lines with a bit more dialogue and interaction that illuminates that growing romantic connection between the main characters. For me, it simply makes the suspense of the paranormal story line that much more compelling because the characters have more to lose if their emotions are completely invested in one another.
The plot was great fun, and certainly cleverly delivered. There was one plot twist I expected, but wasn’t entirely certain until the very end and then a few other plot twists were able to catch me by surprise. I loved it so very much.
There were a few questions left unanswered. We really didn’t get much history on the group called the London Shadows or the players involved. I would have liked to have learned more about them as it seemed that this aspect of the plot was briefly touched on and then glossed over. I also wanted to know what was going to happen between Jim and the young lady he had been engaged to. She seemed much more upset about the ending of their engagement. Then for him to say, “Oh well, I am over it,” seemed a bit strange. I didn’t buy it at all. I’m kind of hoping the author will add a follow up novel to this book and write Jim and his ex-fiance’s story with another paranormal adventure thrown in there. She certainly left room for more to follow.
I would like to add that there are a few illustrations in the ebook provided by the author that are just gorgeous. This author is super talented.
I enjoyed London Shadows. It was a lighthearted, clean romance with plenty of humor, wit and paranormal adventure thrown into the mix. You really can’t go wrong with a fun combination like that when an author like J.L. Weaver takes hold of the reigns. Glad to have her in the driver’s seat.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
J.L Weaver lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband, three children, and three cats. She’s a self-confessed history geek and a fan of all things spooky with a hint of romance. When she isn’t buried under coffee cups, notebooks, and pet fur, she likes to be out in the woods with her kids, building hide-outs from sticks, and looking for bugs. She never really grew up. Her new series of paranormal mysteries, set in Victorian England, aim to charm readers young and old. With a promise of excitement, danger, and laughter – and plenty of tea and cake – J.L. Weaver hopes to release the sequel to London Shadows, titled Moonlight Secrets in Dec 2015.
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