Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Shadow Lover by Anne Stuart


Victim. Lover. Both? His dark game is seducing her-- just as it was when they were young.

How can he still have that power over her? Eighteen years ago, she saw him die.

Wealthy, selfish, and greedy, the McDowell family raised Carolyn McDowell--a foster child--like a modern Cinderella. Neglected and ignored, good-hearted Carolyn adored scion Alexander despite it all, though even he tormented her.

When Alex ran away one night, Carolyn followed and witnessed his murder, though she never told anyone. Her beloved Alex died when he was seventeen. There was no doubt.

Eighteen years later, Carolyn returns to the decadent milieu of the McDowell clan to care for her dying foster mother, Sally. As greedy relatives gather to claim their inheritances, a stunning stranger arrives, claiming to be Alexander. To Carolyn's utter shock, Sally greets her "son" without question, and no one but Carolyn believes he's a fraud.

As she delves into the mysteries of both the past and present, Carolyn quickly realizes that the resurrected Alex is a dangerous combination of seduction and power. Is this stranger after the McDowell fortune, or is he really, somehow, the Alex of old, come back to claim her? How can he be an imposter and yet know family secrets only the real Alex would remember? Was someone helping him?

What would you do if the boy you loved returned almost twenty years later, and you fell in love with him all over again--even if you were sure it couldn't be him?

Publication Date: December 31, 2013 (Original 1999)

This is the first book I read by Anne Stuart and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Alex was dark and brooding which lead to great chemistry between him and straight-laced Carolyn. I read the book quickly, intrigued over the mysteries surrounding the McDowell family.

Carolyn’s character was very guarded and seemed to suffer from a martyr complex. Although her selflessness was grating at times, she was still relatable. I was able to understand her trust issues because of how poorly the McDowells had treated her. Alex returns and one of his goals while he’s at his mother’s estate is to shake up Carolyn’s world.

Alex is far from a hero and part of the novel involves trying to figure out if he’s really Alex or not. The author has an obvious talent for creating imperfect males that the reader can still root for. Alex is selfish, wild and incredibly sexy. I liked that Carolyn didn’t fully submit to him at first and he had to work to get into her good graces. When a romance did start, the sex between the two was crazy intense and hot.

The murder mystery part was just okay for me. I would’ve liked to see more twists and turns and more suspense. The climax felt rushed and the action started very late in the novel. The writing was also repetitive at times (I think Carolyn thought of Alex as having Cossack eyes close to a dozen times).

Shadow Lover was still well worth a read. I liked the romance more than the rest of the plot, but for me sometimes a good romance can make up for other areas that are lacking in a novel. Fans of romantic suspense will want to put this on their to-be-read lists.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!


  1. Who could pass up a book where the main characters have such good chemistry? Not me. I also like the idea of the mystery surrounding Alex. I am a little sad that the murder mystery part was just okay though. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention!

  2. Hmmmmmm sounds a little like he might just be an usurper who knows a lot. :) Wonderful review, Heather! Thank you SOSO much for sharing. I'm intrigued :P WRITE ON!