At least in my opinion ;)
I'm going to paste bits of it here, but please go to Scorching Book Reviews and read the entire five star review and visit her wonderfully interesting blog.
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 :D
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.
She has written much more about Beyond the Shadows, so click here to be taken to the full review.
Thank you, Nix!