Monday, May 27, 2013

ARC BOOK REVIEW...Seductive Shadows by Marni Mann

Charlie is a passionate, sensually inspired art student, desperately seeking an escape from an abusive past that haunts her and a tragic accident that emptied her heart. Scarred and unable to love, her yearning for physical pleasure and contact leads her into a tantalizing, dangerous world of power and seduction. The anonymity of the deal offers security, the money provides financial freedom, and the madam’s authority is the mother figure she longs for.

But the thrill of the mansion and its arousing dominance quickly fades when she meets the renowned yet mysterious Cameron Hardy, whose intense, baby blue eyes send a nervous flutter through her core. He’s sexy, and not in a subtle way. Cameron stimulates her art, intellect and desires. Just as he begins to break through her emotional boundaries, Charlie discovers a devastating connection between her past and her scandalous work at the mansion, shattering everything she thought to be true.

Provocative, intoxicating and erotic, Seductive Shadows is the unforgettable tale of a young woman’s discovery as she learns to forgive, to love and be loved, and to find redemption amidst a memorable journey that will captivate your mind and stimulate your soul.

This book is for mature audiences. It contains explicit language and sexual content.
Expected publication: July 17th 2013 by Booktrope

"It's Always Darkest Before Dawn."

Charlie Williams is a talented art student with a troubled past and home life.  Five years ago, a tragic accident claimed the life of her best friend and the love of her surrogate "family" [her bestie's family].

With a nonexistent father and a neglectful and negligent mother who is at present dying from cancer, Charlie is now in extreme debt and uses sex as a general coping device to her demons at bay.

"Sex held me at night, stopped my mind from dwelling, remembering, regretting. It was the only time I didn't feel alone."

Charlie is later recruited by "The Mansion" where she can reenact her sexual fantasies and seek financial and emotional release.

"While they pumped, thrust after aching thrust, I conspired my new direction. I reveled in the growing financial freedom, feeling a slight release after each credit card payment I made. The sex was my release as well a release from being stuck in my past."

Along the way, Charlie's artwork begins to gain public recognition and she meets mysterious art student Cameron.  Sparks fly between the two and Charlie ends up learning that Cameron too, shares a gritty past like her.  As they grow closer, Charlie begins to realize that for once in her life, she may actually want a real relationship a guy and not just a sexual one. 

But how can she begin a relationship when he does not know about her secret life at The Mansion? Will he accept it and her?

"But I wanted something more with Cameron. He made me better. He made me want better. He made me want…only him. We had only kissed, but I knew he could give me enough where I wouldn’t crave something from another man. And I knew this because it wasn’t just his body that I desired. I wanted his words, his thoughts, and his tears. I hungered for his imagination. I wanted him to nuzzle my cheek the way he rubbed the paintbrush against his. I wanted his darkness and the scars that covered him. I wanted his secrets, even the ones that were too painful to share. After all, I didn’t believe any of his secrets could ever touch the ones I feared to divulge."

And what will happen when life at the mansion, her art career taking off, and new love all start to collide?  Especially when dark secrets surrounding the mansion and Charlie's birth arise with deadly consequences that now threaten her life?  Come find out July 17th!

My thoughts:
First and foremost, I would like to extend a big thank you to the publisher of "Seductive Shadows" for extending to me an invitation to review their title.  It was greatly appreciated.

"Seductive Shadows" was a much darker tale than I had anticipated.  The first part of the story I kept thinking to myself, "Is this story going to pick up?" or "what is the deal with Charlie?" since the pacing in the beginning was a little slow and for a while I kept trying to figure out Charlie.  She's pretty emotionally closed off due to her upbringing and the trauma she's faced so for a while I kept wanting to know things like what made her tic and what not.  She was pretty composed that's why majority of the time.

I also at one point questioned her sexual orientation at one point! lol.

Plot wise, the story of Charlie was a little cliche as I've read many tales where the main character is involved in a life altering accident that affects her to the core and her everyday life from there on after.  What sets this novel apart from others was the approach from which the character takes which is immersing herself in her passion for art and an escape in sex.  It's the first for me.

As for the characters, I also really liked the characterization of Charlie.  It was very consistent and her feelings and actions made sense to me.  I loved her artwork and how it signified cataclysmic events of her life.  Very nice.

Cameron was also a total plus as well.  I kept finding myself always intrigued with him wanting him to make more appearances in the book!  I guess you could say that I had a semi secret crush on him! lol  ;)

And "The Doctor," well he just totally threw me through a loop.  I wasn't expecting him to lay those bombshells on Charlie about who he truly was as well as the truth behind the Mansion's operations.  That was totally unexpected.

I'm hoping that their will be a second installment in the series.  The ending of "Seductive Shadows" the future of Charlie very questionable since it relatively is an open ending.  There's still a lot to be wondered and a lot on the line to still be worked out.

My one tic if anything regarding the story was the minor involvement of a psychic.  I didn't like that and found it unnecessary.  

Other than that, PLEASE INSTALL A SEQUEL!! I'm curious to see how everything pans out now that "The Mansion" is on the hunt for Charlie!

My Rating:

-Overall : 8.5
-Plot : 8.5
-Writing : 8.5
-Characters : 8
-Cover : 9 (very sexy)

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