Title: Shadowed (Treasured #2)
Author: Cari Z.
Cover Artist: Winterheart Design
Publisher: Pink Petal Books
Buy Link: Buy Link Shadowed
Genre: M/M paranormal romance
Length: 21,000 words
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Jenre
This sequel to the hugely enjoyable Treasured, gives the reader further insight into Rhys and Daniel’s relationship whilst giving us a interesting suspense plot.
After a rocky start to their relationship, Daniel Hart and Rhys Daveth are looking forward to putting the past behind them and spending a private, romantic Christmas holiday together in Venice. Trouble follows their trail, however, and after only a few days together Rhys is drugged and kidnapped by agents of an espionage program that he fled from years ago. Daniel barely escapes being taken as well, and afterwards is found by another party interested in Rhys: his friends and coworkers, fellow thieves who tracked him down once they realized he was being hunted.
Time is flying and the thieves are having no success finding Rhys, despite their magical and technological expertise. In order to save his lover’s life, Daniel will have to trust a new magic that exists between him and Rhys, a connection he doesn’t understand and has never mentioned to anyone else. Daniel doesn’t know what he’s dealing with or what the consequences might be, but if he doesn’t use his strange new ability to find Rhys, the man he loves may be lost forever.
I really enjoyed the previous book in this series, Treasured (reviewed here), which told of Daniel, a man with minor magical ability, who gets seduced by a doppelgänger, Rhys, as a means to robbing the museum where Daniel works. In the process the men form a connection and the book leaves us with a glimpse into a possible HFN for these guys. This book picks up almost straight after the end of the last book. Rhys has arranged to take Daniel to Venice over the Christmas holiday period. Daniel is happy just to spend time with Rhys and hopes to find out more about him. Things don’t quite work out for the pair when it turns out that Rhys is being hunted by the government.
One of my favourite things about this series so far has been the character of Daniel. He’s completely overwhelmed by Rhys’ attention to him, and as such is happy to go wherever Rhys wants without asking too many questions. That was also a little bit of a frustration because Rhys isn’t too forthcoming about his past or his own feelings for Daniel and I worried that Daniel was setting himself up for heartache. When they are together Daniel rides an emotional high which is completely endearing, especially when he gladly gleans what he can of Rhys’ feelings. Most of these insights happen during the sex scenes where Rhys lets go some of the control he has. I also liked how Daniel is slowly gaining more self-confidence. He’s still quite down on himself most of the time, feeling bewildered over what Rhys sees in him and taking on a very passive role in the relationship. As the story progresses, Daniel’s actions and abilities means he gets to save the day, giving him a boost, whilst still holding true to his essentially meek nature.
Another thing that appealed to me in the story was the Venetian setting which is vividly described. I liked how the paranormal world-building is included alongside the real life setting of Venice and how the city becomes both a help and a hindrance to Daniel in the story. We also find out more about the gang of thieves who work with Rhys, and I liked the mix of personalities found amongst them.
Finally we get some much needed answers to some of the questions surrounding Rhys. I was a little disappointed that these answers came from outside sources but was pleased to know more of Rhys’ past. I also thought that Daniel’s worries about falling in love with a crook were dealt with mainly well. It’s typical of Daniel that instead of facing up to the problem he chooses to shove it under the carpet, but I hope that at some point he has to make some sort of a stand one way or the other. Hopefully, this will happen in another book as there’s certainly scope for another story since, once again, this book ends on a tentative HFN.
Those readers who liked Treasured are going to like this book too. It gives us an opportunity to delve deeper into the relationship with Daniel and Rhys as well as seeing some of Rhys’ background. There’s a good mix of emotion and action in the story coupled with some interesting paranormal ideas. Overall, I would recommend Shadowed and I’m really looking forward to more from these great characters.