Reviewed by: Margaret
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Sophie Ross is on leave from her job as a magical consultant for the LAPD while she recovers from a shooting. So when she’s offered a chance to spend three months at an estate in the English countryside, she jumps at the chance. But as soon as she arrives in the U.K. she’s drawn into a centuries old fight between the Light and Dark Courts of the Sidhe.
Sophie’s also drawn to Nikolas, commander of a group of Dark Court knights who have been cut off from their homeland. Nikolas is everything Sophie tells herself she shouldn’t be attracted to (and she literally has these conversations with herself). He’s bossy, over-protective, and emotionally unavailable, at least at first, which is apparently her catnip. I wouldn’t exactly call Moonshadow an enemies-to-lovers story, though I’m a big fan of that trope, but Nikolas and Sophie are one of those couples for whom fighting is foreplay and they’re so much fun to watch.
But what I really loved about Sophie is that she’s not trying to find out who she is or how to use her powers, like a lot of other paranormal romance heroines. She’s already travelled the U.S., studied different magics, and discovered what kind of supe she is. When she meets the much older Nikolas, she actually teaches him a few tricks. She also constantly calls him on his alpha male possessive behavior. Though maybe she takes it a little too far at times, I really wish more heroines would stand up to the alphaholes.
I also liked the fact that the magical world is known to the public, as well as the way Thea Harrison twists familiar mythologies. Iconic Fae characters like Oberon, Morgan leFay, and the Puck are there in the background but the story focuses on the Dark Court knights. I thought the fact that the knights were brought together because of their mixed ancestry (For example, Nikolas is part Wyr and his friend Gawain is part gargoyle) was an interesting way to introduce many of the Elder Races at once. Even their fighting style is a blend of many different things, magic, guns and swordplay, which made for exciting action scenes. I did feel like the ending dragged a bit after the final battle though.
I haven’t read Harrison’s Elder Races series, of which Moonshadow is a spinoff, but I didn’t have any trouble understanding the world. I probably would have known more about Nikolas’s Wyr heritage had I read the earlier books, but I don’t think that lessened my enjoyment of this one. The Moonshadow series is planned as a trilogy, so I’m excited to see more of the knights in future books. And I’m probably going to pick up Dragon Bound (Elder Races #1) to see how it all started.
Sexual content: graphic sex