Title: Bound by Shadow
Author: Anna Windsor
Series: Dark Crescent Sisterhood (book #1)
Next in series: Bound by Flame
My rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis: As a fully trained Sybil, Riana Dumain is a warrior priestess in the battle of good versus evil. When she becomes involved in a case involving the occult murder of a child, Riana suspects that NYPD detective Creed Lowell may possibly be a foot soldier for the evil Legion cult, using his badge and drop-dead looks to consolidate demonic power. Why then does she find herself so attracted to him?
Review: An intense and sexy romance with an excellent mythology centering on demons and the powers inherent to the four elements. The elemental magic and symbolism are unique (at least to me) and I found them particularly appealing.
The plot is action packed and absorbing but there are moments when it drags possibly due to the need to explain the complex mythology and consolidate the world building. The story is, however, well worth the effort of slogging through these areas.
Creed and Riana are an engaging couple and the development of their relationship is one of the book’s strong points. Creed is an interesting character because he is at odds with himself and must come to terms with his true nature before he can commit to someone else.
Riana originally comes across as physically and mentally strong but her insecurities are soon revealed and accentuate her conflicting emotions regarding Creed. Her inability to completely trust Creed despite everything he does for her is annoying but consistent with her characterization.
The secondary characters are also well developed. The other Sybils have distinct personalities and backgrounds, and it is great that they stand up for their principles. Some readers may find them obnoxious but I, for one, enjoy reading about strong willed, intelligent and powerful female characters. The villains are a little clichéd and it is not difficult to guess who they are, but the final showdown with them is exciting.
The book is well written and the next two installments are set up nicely within the storyline. I look forward to reading them.