In the Shadow of Darkness – Nicole Stiling

4.5*

In 1926, Angeline Vallencourt was turned without her consent by Kathryn, a much too nonchalant vampire in search of a friend to roam the world with. Now herself a reluctant vampire, she tried to resist her new nature, to no avail. In today’s world, Angeline works at the Fog Hollow Animal Hospital and leads a quiet and discreet life, until she saves Megan Denham from a gunshot wound. She feeds her too much of her own blood and ends up bonded to her, albeit temporarily. When the police investigation into the violent death of the armed robber who shot her comes too close, Megan finds herself protecting her mysterious saviour.

I enjoyed reading this book a whole lot. It’s fun and clever, and well-written. When I reviewed Nicole Stiling’s debut novel last year, I wrote that I was looking forward to her next book, and I’m happy to say she didn’t disappoint. I tend to forget stories and only remember impressions and feelings and what I remember from Secrets in a Small Town is the atmosphere Stiling created. In this new book, she again sets an interesting atmosphere, but there’s a lot more too. There’s wit and humour, and just enough tragedy to take this novel to the next level. The relationship between Angeline and Megan is unusual and the complete opposite of her relationship with Kathryn, which borders on abusive. It’s a testament to Stiling’s talent that I never questioned the reality of either the chemistry between Angeline and Megan or their feelings, much less the existence of vampires.

The book I read before this one felt like a complete waste of my time, but In the Shadow of Darkness saved my day. Yet another reason to recommend it to anyone looking for a not-too-heavy not-too-fluffy romance.

5-stars

In the Shadow of Darkness @ Bold Strokes Books

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