03 Jul '11

Beyond the Shadows – Cassidy Hunter

Posted in review / 2 Comments

Beyond the Shadows by Cassidy Hunter
on 07-06-2011
Genres: Sci-Fi
Pages: 156
Format: eBook
Goodreads
five-stars
Amazon USAmazon UK
Sarah will do whatever it takes to get her brother out of Kai Trinder’s prison -- even petitioning the commander to take her into his household along with the other women he protects.

Once he accepts her petition and she belongs to him, he can do whatever he wants with her. And to her. He teaches her to enjoy her body and what he can do to it, and slowly, she begins to fall for him. But she can’t allow her heart to rule her. She must betray him to save her brother.

But in the muscled arms of her lover, Sarah discovers true love. Now she must make a decision that will shatter her heart, no matter what she decides to do...

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: anal play, bondage, exhibitionism.

Kai is the most sought out protector in the land. In his settlement, people aren’t mistreated, everyone has a job and the women are never brutalised. When people petition for protection, it is the norm that they never just petition one settlement to maximise the chance of safety. He never expects the dark haired beauty sat in his waiting room to have exclusively asked him.

Sarah has no desire for protection from Kai. After just escaping the settlement of one particularly brutal ruler, she has ulterior motives for petitioning for safety from him; he has her brother in his jail. She knows that the only way that she will ever get Con free from captivity is to earn Kai’s trust, and the only way to do that is to get into his bed and his heart. After being repeatedly raped in her previous camp, using sex to get what she wants means nothing to Sarah, and when he comes to her room, it is obvious that he is attracted to her in a way he neither expects nor wants. What she doesn’t expect is for him to affect her in the same way. She has no choice but to betray him, but can she do it and leave with her heart intact?

When Cassidy contacted me to review this book, I was delighted to accept. After reading Sanctuary, I knew I liked her style of writing and had already added this book to my wish list. This book, however, is nothing like Sanctuary. This book is a gorgeous romance filled with angst, intrigue and heat. I was hooked from the first mention of this feudal world and I read it in one sitting. At 154 pages, it is more of a novella, but the world building and character development doesn’t suffer one iota for the reduced length.

The world Ms Hunter creates seems to be a harsh one, as the people in it need “protection” from other powerful men or woman. When protection is given, this equates to slavery, with the petitioner belonging to the petitioned. The women expected to pay for this with sex, and I respected Kai for the fact that he didn’t force himself on his charges.  When Sarah starts to threaten his reputed control, he hates himself for his actions with her.  I loved that he didn’t automatically blame her, even if he did refer to her as a “Witch” that had cast a spell over him. Yes, in case you haven’t noticed, I have found another book boyfriend 😀

Sarah was a fabulous heroine. From the second I met her, I respected her decisions. She enticed Kai, got him into bed with her, and then started to fall in love with him. I didn’t blame her, the man was alpha possessive to the core and, having been screwed royally since she was little, and needed someone to feel safe with.  When Con (her brother) recounted her history to Kai, I honestly felt a little teary; the woman had been treated terribly. She tried so hard to think of Kai as the enemy, tried to hate him, but in the end, her heart had the final say. However, she knew that she would always pick her brother over Kai. She knew she had to ignore her own feelings and try any tactic possible to rescue Con. I loved her determination, grit and selflessness.

Kai was just…*sigh* 😀 He is famed for his self-control, but from the second that Sarah show’s up, his self-restraint is pushed to the limit. When he finally stops fighting his heart and turn’s up in her room, I melted. Seriously, the man is dreamy, taking what he wanted whilst making sure she was completely satisfied. He hate’s himself for looking as an object of desire, and not as someone he needs to protect,  but he cannot resist taking her. Still, he doesn’t completely trust her, having been betrayed previously by someone he let close, and pays close attention to her actions and questions some of her more dubious excuses for her movements. He isn’t a man that loses his edge with love, he treats it himself as a man and a ruler separately, and the love for her belongs to the man, so the ruler still has to protect his settlement from her.

The sex scenes between the two characters are spectacular. There is only M/F sex featured, but it does border mildly on the kinky with a mild bit of anal play and some control/Domination. With every sex scene, you can see Kai and Sarah falling for each other a little more. The author does a fabulous job of creating scenes that suck you in emotionally, and it just makes them more erotic.  In a way it was heart-breaking, as at no point did I believe that Sarah wouldn’t chose Con over Kai therefore, each time they had sex, it took them one step closer to complete heart-break.

As this is a novella, and not a short story, there are additional characters and, as per usual, I would like to see them all with stories (pretty please with a cherry on top :D) I can’t go into the details without dropping massive spoilers, but I will challenge you not to want the same. Kai and Sarah are the only fully fleshed out characters, but the others are well written enough I cared enough to want to read more. Look out for Jimbo the prisoner and Amelia the Sheriff…these are two that hooked me most!

A fabulous sci-fi/fantasy romance with engaging, tortured characters that I willed to find happiness, even if I couldn’t figure out exactly how that could happen! The story wasn’t predictable, the sex was incredibly erotic and the plot was fast paced and interesting…It’s one I’ll keep and read over and over again! This story had everything I could have asked for and more and I’ll go out of my way to buy anymore books that the author wants to write in this interesting world.

five-stars

Nix

2 Responses to “Beyond the Shadows – Cassidy Hunter”

  1. Wow! I'm pretty sure this is my most favorite review EVER. 🙂 Your reviews are always so in-depth and amazing. You've made my day with this one. Thanks so much! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it 🙂

    As for Jimbo and Amelia, I've already started thinking about their stories. 🙂

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