Rayvin Woods, photographer and natural witch. She just wanted to start her life over again after a series of misadventures. She didn't count on rekindling a lost love when she came home to Talbot...or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life.Grant Michaels, police officer. He thought Rayvin was a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger...but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it's too late?Malcolm de Sade, cunning vampire, imprisoned underground for a year by Charlotte Fanning and Pike Mahonen ("Mist and Midnight", Midnight Thirsts). His accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambition on a small, sleepy town…***Facing the past can be a nightmare. It's worse when a vampire is stalking you.
I received a copy of this story for an honest review for Amber's Reading Room.
When natural witch Rayvin Woods hiked her way out of Talbot a decade ago with nothing but the belongings crammed in her backpack, she never envisioned returning to the town with her tail between her legs. Bad luck has followed Rayvin her whole life and the town that was all too happy to see her go may be her only chance at starting over.
“She wanted to share her life with someone, but she was beginning to realize more and more that she’d have to face the rest of her life as she already lived most of it. Alone.”
Like the majority of Talbot’s residents, law enforcement officer Grant Michaels blames Rayvin for a mysterious accident their senior year of high school that left his best friend Jason paraplegic. When Grant pulls the fiery red-head over for a traffic stop on her way into town, he vows to do whatever it takes to get Rayvin to hightail it out of Talbot permanently.
“Whatever damage she had done in the past, whatever she was running from now, she would not do more on his watch.”
Vampire Malcolm de Sade was thwarted in his quest to make beautiful witch Charlotte Fanning his bride. Now that he’s been freed from the underground cage that Charlotte and her man Pike Mahonen placed him in, Malcolm is out for revenge. He crafts a plan that hinges on the acquisition of a powerful witch. If de Sade can’t have Charlotte, he’ll settle for the next best thing – Rayvin.
“It is really astounding that it hasn’t been tried in the past – for one of the undead to mate with a natural witch. But there is a time for every great idea.”
The distrust and dislike simmering between Grant and Rayvin quickly morphs into unexpected heat as the two are forced to work together to stop de Sade and save Talbot. Can the two come together long enough to stop de Sade or is tragedy unavoidable?
Paranormal romance is a weakness of mine so I went into Wind and Shadow wanting to love it. There was just something about the story that kept me from fully embracing it. Ridgewood originally introduced the town of Talbot and its world of witchcraft and vampires in a prequel novella Mist and Midnight (part of the Midnight Thirst anthology). I did not read the novella before hoping into this series and I think that may have impacted the overall story for me. There were several scenes and character interactions that I felt lacked depth and I’m not sure if the novella would have provided the background I felt was missing. Every time the story jumped from focusing on Rayvin and Grant to small interactions between Charlotte and Pike, I became distracted. I have no history with Charlotte and Pike (the couple focused on in the novella) and it was hard for me to tie their brief scenes into the main plot. I assume both characters will be making a stronger appearance in the second book of this trilogy.
I also had issue with the overall timetable of Wind and Shadow. Rayvin returns to Talbot on October 28th. In a span of three to four days, two people who loathe each other become willing to die for each other, a logical man quickly embraces that the paranormal exits, there’s an epic battle, and a potential pregnancy. That is A LOT of story crammed into a teeny tiny timeframe. Wind and Shadow ends with a cliff-hanger, leaving more than a few questions unanswered.
For paranormal romance fans I would say give Wind and Shadow a try but read the prequel novella Mist and Midnight first. I will make sure that I read it before jumping into Blood and Fire: Book Two of The Talbot Trilogy.