Review: Seduced by Shadows by Jessa Slade ★★★★

Seduced by Shadows by Jessa Slade
Genre: Paranormal Romance (Demons, fated mates, warriors, good vs evil, several sex scenes)
Series: Book one in the Marked Souls series
Original Language: English
Publisher: Signet
Country: United States
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
ISBN : 978-0451228284
Page Count: 400
My Rating: ★★★★

Summary

When Sera Littlejohn meets a violet-eyed stranger, he reveals a supernatural battle veiled in the shadows, and Sera is tempted to the edge of madness by a dangerous desire. Ferris Archer takes Sera under his wing, now that she is a talyan—possessed by a repentant demon with hellish powers. Archer’s league of warriors have never fought beside a female before, and never in all his centuries has Archer found a woman who captivates him like Sera. With the balance shifting between good and evil, passion and possession, Sera and Archer must defy the darkness and dare to embrace a love that will mark them forever.

REVIEW

This is the first book in the Marked Souls series and a début by author Jessa Slade. It follows a similar pattern to that of many other Paranormal Romance series: A group of immortal men, one of whom is featured in each book, and meets his destined female and they all live happily ever after. For readers of this genre, this set-up will feel nice and familiar, and that's not a criticism. Obviously we like the formula or else why are we here again starting yet another new series? I know I already have about twelve similar series on the go, but do you think that stops me from hunting out new ones all the time? Not on your nelly.

This time we have demon ridden, or possessed, humans as the immortal warriors. Demon hosting gives them immortality, heightened senses, strength and healing. What I really liked about this one is that each demon host has such a great back story because demons can only possess humans who already have an emptiness inside them to begin with. Some terrible, tragic event that has left them wide open and seeking...something. So when the demon comes along to tempt them with what they are missing, they let them in with open arms.

For our lead female that was having been the victim of a terrible car accident that left her scarred and barely mobile without the use of a cane. This, for a woman who was previously full of life and a very vivacious character, is a devastating blow. And that's not the only thing she's had to cope with either, as you'll discover as you get to know her more.

Ferris Archer is the demon-ridden, or Talyan as they are called, that is sent to guide Sera through her demon's ascension. He, too, has his own sad tale to tell, eventually, reluctantly. Theirs is a relationship that builds quite slowly, which is a good thing I think. But to be honest, the romance side never really set my world on fire as it has with other series. This could be down to the amount of world-building required for a first in series book.

One thing that I thought I was going to really enjoy, but that ended up fizzling out, was that Sera is the first female Talyan in living memory (which is saying something for a bunch of immortals). All the others are male and they are also somewhat short staffed in their battle against the "bad" demons, the Djinn. So I was really hoping this would mean they would use Sera in the fight. Instead of her just being the token female, a breed mate, a bungalow bunny, I thought she would get to kick butt with them, shoulder to shoulder. And Slade sort made an attempt at that but not to the extent I would have liked. Hopefully in future books she will explore this possibility more, because it would really make a nice change.

Another aspect that could have been fleshed out a little more was the Big Bad. We got little snippets from his point of view throughout, and for a long time we didn't know who he was- he was just "he", which was slightly irritating. If we could have figured out his identity a little sooner we could have built up a bit more fear towards him. As it was, he was just your stereotypical wants-to-end-the-world bad guy.

Overall, a promising start despite these niggles. I will continue with the series (eventually) along with all the others!

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