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Shadow Storm (A Shadow Riders Novel Book 6) Kindle Edition
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Petrov's Pizzeria was owned and operated by Benito Petrov, a great bear of a man, and his son, Tito. Those who frequented the pizzeria and stood in line, sometimes for an hour just to get in, considered it the best pizza in Chicago-and that was saying a lot. It didn't seem to matter what night of the week it was, getting a table was always difficult, and on weekends, it was nearly impossible. Takeout was a brisk business, and that was always a wait as well.
The pizzeria was right in the heart of Ferraro territory, a large section of businesses and homes that were owned, rented, or leased and protected by the Ferraro family. There were whispers and rumors about the family and had been for years. It was said one could go to them with a problem and that problem would mysteriously go away.
Stefano Ferraro was head of the family, and he ruled with an iron fist. They owned banks and hotels, race cars and nightclubs, and they ran all sorts of other businesses, but they could be counted on to take care of the small problems in their territory. They knew the business owners by name and often were seen patronizing the local deli or pizzeria.
Benito kept a booth just for their family and a smaller table set aside for their bodyguards. It was always empty for them, even at his busiest times. They'd never asked him to do so, but then they'd helped him out of more than one problem, and he liked their business. They always insisted on paying, and they tipped his waitresses and waiters more than fairly. It was a win-win situation.
Tonight, only the youngest Ferraro had slipped into the pizzeria through the side door, her bodyguards and Elie Archambault with her. Everyone hoped there would be an announcement very soon of an engagement between Emmanuelle and Elie. Emme was a favorite of everyone in the Ferraro territory and she'd seemed far too sad lately. Elie seemed to make her laugh, and they wanted Emme happy.
Emmanuelle Ferraro laughed as she dipped a salty breadstick into oil and took a bite. The booth in the shadows managed to hide her from most of the other patrons in the restaurant, which was why this particular table was always held in reserve for the Ferraro family. She was extremely grateful they had a place to go just to be ÒnormalÓ when she never felt as if she could truly relax anywhere else. Eating pizza at PetrovÕs with Elie Archambault was the most relaxed she could ever get, and she was extremely happy that she could have this little time to pretend her life was ordinary.
"I can't believe the first thing you put on the plus side of this list was having babies." Elie glared at her.
Her laughter spilled out again at the feigned horror on his face. He was handsome. Shockingly so. All masculine and hard edges. That black hair that spilled across his forehead and made women want to tame it.
"I am not just a sperm donor," he stated with great dignity.
She waved the breadstick at him. "Don't be such a baby. This is very serious stuff. My mother expects little Archambaults running around. Tons of them. Like maybe a dozen. Think about that, Elie. We would make beautiful babies. And since my mother and the devil have some sort of pact between them, and she loves you and the thought of your babies, that tops the list for pros. I hope you're really good with kids and like the idea of staying home with them. I'm sure she'll be around a lot because she's not allowed in any of my brothers' homes. She's been banned from every single one of their houses."
Elie groaned. "That goes on the con list. The staying home with the kids and your mother."
"You already wrote my mother. She's at the very top of the con list." Emme pointed with her breadstick. "Number one."
"Your mother warrants putting down there twice. Add staying home with a dozen children to that con list. I'm a shadow rider. I don't stay home with children. That would be your job."
Emmanuelle made a face at him. "Why? Because I'm a woman?"
"No, because you're the one with the mother insisting on twelve children. Move on or we're never getting through the list," Elie commanded, helping himself to salami and olives. He glanced down at the list and sighed. "Your second pro is that I like the same pizza you do? Emme. Couldn't it be that I'm really damn good-looking?"
"No, because you already know you're good-looking and that makes you arrogant." She gestured toward the "con" list. "I think that's number like six or seven. Arrogance. I had a difficult time deciding whether or not to put it up at the top of the list. I think I should have."
He stared at her with his dark, gorgeous eyes. They looked almost velvet in the dim lighting. "Really? You put arrogance on the 'con' list?"
"You put 'moody.'"
"You are moody," he pointed out matter-of-factly and took the rest of the salami and olives without a qualm.
She made a face at him. "I suppose that could be true. But I have reason to be. See your number one reason on the con list, Elie. My mother."
"I have reason to be arrogant. My hot good looks that you left off the pro list. That's an asset to you at any event we attend together. Think of all the women you can make jealous."
Emme rolled her eyes. "You just ate the last of the olives. That makes me jealous. You know I love olives. I've told you a million times to stop hogging all the olives." She wadded up a napkin and threw it at him.
He caught it one-handed without even looking up. "You shouldn't talk so much," Elie said, glancing down at the pro side of the list. "You're right, we do like all the same things. That's a big plus. And I can dance. That's a plus on my list, too. I like that you can."
"Pie's up, you two." Tito Petrov placed a large pizza on the tabletop. "Need a refill on your wine?"
"Olives," they both said simultaneously and then burst out laughing.
"The double order of olives on your pie isn't enough?" Tito asked, one eyebrow raised. When they shook their heads, he sighed. "There's something seriously wrong with the two of you-you know that, right?"
Elie waited until Tito walked away and then he nudged Emme with his knee. "He's right. We're sitting in here like two idiots going over a list of pros and cons to decide whether or not we should get married. Bottom line, we can't have sex with each other. Where does that leave us? I can't cheat on you, because I love and respect you too much to do that to you, and I'm not going the rest of my life without sex."
Emme sighed heavily. "I know. I feel the same. What's wrong with us, Elie? You are gorgeous. Totally attractive. Hot as hell. Why do I have to think of you as a sibling? It's just not fair."
"I guess we're going to have to marry strangers. That just sucks." Elie picked up a piece of very hot pizza and regarded her with his expressive dark eyes.
"And then what? We cheat on some poor innocent partner because we don't love them? How fair is that to them?" Emme asked. She broke off a piece of the pizza as well, picked up several loose pieces of olive and added them to the slice.
"When I go with an arranged marriage, I'm not cheating," Elie said.
Emmanuelle noticed he was already acting as if he'd made up his mind. Really, what was there left to them? She tried to make a joke out of it. Keep the night fun. "So, have you considered bringing in partners to live with us? It would be horrifying to my mother."
She danced her eyebrows up and down, a wide smile on her face at that mere thought. "As well as scandalous to the rider community. Can you imagine? It would solve all our problems. They could stay home and take care of the dozens of little shadow rider babies my mother will insist we have. And, we won't be the good couple. All my brothers have managed to be so deliciously bad that my mother wouldn't dare go unannounced to their homes. If we don't do something equally as bad, she would be turning up uninvited at all hours of the day or night. Bringing in lovers for us would be so perfect."
Elie threw his head back and laughed. "Emmanuelle Ferraro, you are a handful."
She took a bite of the pizza and nodded her head, feeling very pleased with herself. "I am. I had to be, growing up with all those brothers. Stefano especially. No one crosses Stefano, not even my mother. Not even when he was a kid. Now, of course, she doesn't dare 'drop in.' She's been banned for being so mean to Francesca, but even if she hadn't been, she wouldn't have dared just showed up. When Stefano wants sex, it doesn't matter where he is, what room he's in, he's all over that and he's very inventive and unapologetic. He's a crazy man, so Eloisa would never drop in on him."
Elie laughed again. "I have to admire your oldest brother. It feels like he's always been in charge of the Ferraro riders. Everyone defers to him."
Shadow riders meted out justice to criminals who fell through the cracks-those with too much money or power or who were just too dangerous to be convicted. Safeguards were in place to ensure no mistakes, and those they assassinated had committed horrendous crimes-at the end of the day, they were trained killers. They had begun their training as toddlers.
There were portals in the shadows. A very few people were born with the ability to be drawn into those portals and move from place to place. It wasn't a pleasant sensation; in fact it felt as if one's entire body was being pulled apart, skin, bones, every cell, as one was taken at high speed from one area to another. Those riders had to be trained physically from an early age and have a tremendous amount of stamina to be able to withstand the pressure of the shadow tubes.
"Stefano's been in charge of our family and our riders since I was born. He was the one taking care of me, not my parents," Emme said. "My mother wasn't in the least bit maternal. Stefano got up with me in the middle of the night. He was the one who set all the rules. Once, I remember, when I was about four, she was really angry with me and slapped me. He came roaring out of nowhere, and she backed right out of the room when he scooped me up. She actually left the house, he was so angry. I realized then the balance of power had shifted from her to him."
"How interesting. Stefano had to have been so young when he started taking care of all of you."
Emme inclined her head. She'd often wondered if her oldest sibling had ever had a childhood at all. Sometimes it made her sad to think of all the responsibilities Stefano had taken on at such a young age. Still, he had met Francesca, the love of his life and the heart of the Ferraro family. All of them loved her. Who could not? Well, maybe not Eloisa, Emmanuelle's mother. But then, Emmanuelle wasn't certain if Eloisa was capable of loving anyone. Now Stefano had Francesca, who doted on him, adored him and had provided him with Crispino, a beautiful son.
"What about Ricco?" Elie asked. "How does he keep your mother from showing up without an invitation? I can't imagine Eloisa not respecting Mariko. She's a shadow rider and a darn good one. I've seen your mother with her. She's curt, but at least respectful."
Emme had a mouthful of pizza, so she nodded while she chewed to indicate Elie was on the right track. Ricco was her second-to-the-oldest sibling, and he was a powerful, fast shadow rider married to a very respected rider who looked like a delicate, beautiful woman when in fact she was a warrior who could cut out the heart of a monster. When Emme managed to swallow the pizza, she flashed Elie a wide smile.
"Shibari. My brother practices the art of Shibari and loves to tie his beautiful wife up without a stitch on. It's a very erotic practice when they do it together, and apparently after warning Eloisa several times to stop dropping in on them, he didn't put any of the safety precautions in the shadows to stop her and she walked in on them. As you can imagine, it was embarrassing for her. Ricco was in the zone and acted as if he didn't even notice her there. She was livid and left, but she never went back." She took another bite of pizza and watched his face as she chewed.
"Sex seems to be a recurring theme here."
"You have no idea. Stop putting all the extra olives on your slice. I'm watching you."
"There are plenty of olives. Giovanni and Sasha? She's a sweet little country girl."
Emmanuelle nearly dropped her wineglass. "Really, Elie? You've been around our family for how long now? There is no way one of my brothers is going to be madly in love with a woman who doesn't have the kind of wicked sex drive he does. And if she doesn't start out that way, he's going to teach her."
Elie's expression shifted. It was subtle, but Emmanuelle had been trained from the time she was a child to notice every detail of anyone around her, and she had come to love Elie Archambault almost as much as she loved her brothers. She hurt for him because, like her, she knew he was heartbroken and he believed whatever had happened couldn't be fixed. Elie had aligned himself with her almost from the time he had come to Chicago seeking to be trained by her cousin Enzo as a bodyguard. Why one of the best shadow riders in the world would want to be a bodyguard instead of a rider was a mystery, but eventually, when Stefano realized who he was, being Stefano, he had managed to get Elie to take rotations as a rider, pulling him back into their world.
Emmanuelle was grateful Stefano had done so. Elie had improved their speed and technique. He was amazing to train with, but more importantly, Stefano had brought him into the family. He'd needed them as much as she had needed Elie. Shadow riders had to provide children. It was as simple as that. There weren't enough of them left, and Emmanuelle was getting too close to the age where she would have to accept an arranged marriage.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B08FZL8Q9D
- Publisher : Berkley (May 25, 2021)
- Publication date : May 25, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 2025 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 428 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0349428409
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #19,332 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Paragraphs that just seem like a collection of disjointed sentences. The endless repetition. The whining. Oh, the whining.
She did a bit of set up for other stories, sad to say that was more interesting than the book itself.
In this series, the main characters ( the Ferraro family) are able to disappear and move in the shadows. They can travel long distances just sliding from one shadow to another. They utilize this ability to protect others and administer “justice” (assassinate) major criminals.
The other main characters are the Saldi family. They are an Italian mob crime family in Chicago, that has roots leading back to Sicily. Over a hundred years ago the Saldi family ancestors tried to kill everyone in the Ferraro family.
So what happens when the daughter of the Ferraro family falls in love with the heir of the Saldi family?
This should have been amazing book. It wasn’t.
This book starts out with Dario, Valentino Saldi’s bodyguard calling Emmanuela Ferraro for help because Val has been shot. Val’s uncle is attempting to kill him and his father, so he can take over the family business. She calls her family for help and rushes to his aid. Val had protected her and her family at times of danger in a previous book. She and The Ferraro family help save his life and protect him from his enemies. Two days later he is up, wearing a suit and ready to confront the criminal traitors who tried to kill him. Really??? He is also able to seduce Emme and bind her shadow to his??? If she tries to leave, his shadow will attack and trap her shadow??? If she tries to harm him, his shadow will protect him and trap her shadow. His shadow can also attack anyone who tries to separate them??? This just went to far! And Christine Feehan writes this as a love story? That’s not love, that’s evil.
The first five “Shadow books” make a huge distinction between killing to protect others, and unnecessary violence or killing for personal gain. They talk about researching every request for help and trying to resolve problems before making the decision to assassinate an evil person. Although they are assassins, they only administer “justice” when absolutely no other option is available. To balance it out, they protect family and their neighbors completely. If someone needs help, a job, medical treatment,… etc, the family handles whatever is needed. They don’t engage in any other criminal activity!
This book throws all of that out the window to say that the two families are just about the same. Since Valentino Saldi is trying to stop a human trafficking ring that his uncle is a part of, he must be a good guy. Let’s ignore the fact that part of his business is in drugs, illegal guns, extortion and businesses being forced to pay protection money. Oh, and strip clubs, too. But his strip clubs don’t cross any lines into illegal activities. Really?! And since Emmanuela is in love with (or trapped by) Valentino, the two families are suddenly going to support each other.
Another theme in the Shadow series is about protecting the Shadow abilities and lineage. There is supposedly a ruling council that protects and oversees the Shadow Riders. If a shadow rider breaks his honor code, there are severe consequences. In this book we are going to merge the shadow ability with a creeper shadow that can entrap someone. You would think the council as well as the Ferraro family would be concerned about that. Nope! No mention of anyone other than Emmanuela’s mother. She tries to kill her daughter and is dealt with.
Throughout the story Emmanuela doubts herself and blames herself repeatedly for not trusting Valentino. Even though her entire family tries to protect her and keep her away from Valentino and his criminal activities. Valentino is portrayed as being understanding and supportive. Sure it is easy to be gracious, after you have trapped your prey and taken away all other opportunities. Think Stockholm syndrome.
I don’t usually write reviews, but I wish I didn’t buythis book . Actually I wish it had never been written. It has ruined the entire series for me.
It's been two years since Emmanuelle Ferraro has had any physical contact with the man she loves, Valentino Saldi. An attempt on Val's life has left him badly wounded, and Dario, Val's bodyguard contacts Emmanuelle for help. She arrives and finds out this is an attempted takeover by Miceli Saldi. Emmanuelle calls in Stefano, and her brothers for assistance to save Valentino, and Guiseppi Saldi, the head of the Chicago mob family. Miceli wants them dead, so he can run his sex trafficking ring freely. The Ferraro family along with those loyal to Valentino won't allow this to happen. We get to see the Shadow Riders in action as they assist Valentino in taking down several of Miceli's strip clubs, dungeons, and rescue the women, and children being held captive.
While fighting for their lives, Valentino reveals to Emmanuelle, why the Saldis want Ferraro women, and to protect her family, She tells Stefano. The Saldi shadow works differently than the Ferraro shadow, and could prove dangerous to women found to have shadow rider abilities, as well as future generation, because some Saldis can see the shadow ribbons.
I loved the support Emmanuelle, and Valentino received from her brothers, and sisters-in-law, while they navigated their complicated romance. I enjoyed seeing the real Valentino step forward. He reminds me so much of Stefano. Strong, quiet, but deadly when it comes to protecting those he loves. Needless to say Eloisa attitude and verbal aggression toward Emmanuelle continues, but she doesn't take it anymore, and stands up for herself. Eloisa's shocked, and is against Emmanuelle and Valentino's relationship. There's a sad, and surprised twist at the end, that some fans will appreciate as "Justice Is Served".
Top reviews from other countries
Why this rating: I gave three stars because of those unexpected things in the book like for example: I thought Val would have left that life for Emmanuel
Also I understand how here family accepted Val because he was Emmanuel choose,I thought there would have been more of a push back, but when I think about it Emmanuel family are giving her the same respect and help she gave each and every single brothers, so I guess it was there time to reciprocate.
Likes: I like how all the wives supported Emmanuel and showed up when she was going to marry Val.
I like that Val and Dario is accepted into the family just like all there wives and Elle
I like Dario , and hope to read his book one day
I like most of all Emmanuel is happy.
I'm sad for some reason how Eloise ended, again unexpected I thought this character even though she was so difficult,I thought they something good is going to come out of her for this book, disappointed.
To find out the saldi's have shadows too a few of them ,I didn't like that, but I'm waiting to she as we go how that but of information unfolds.
I would recommend this book it part of the series not because it's not my favorite didn't mean other's won't love it.
I think In shock maybe after a couple of day I'll give it four stars but not today I'm still thinking on the story and I'm still in shock so it stays at three stars for now.
On another note I like that New story murder on sunset lake I'm going to give that book ago sounds very interesting.
Looking forward to the next book in the shadow rider series.
I really wanted to like this, and I did, just not as much as I wanted to. I like Christine Feehan, and the Shadow series is one of my favourites. For me, this book had a few issues that stopped it from being as good as I'd hoped.
There is far too much explaining going on at times. I understand giving the reader a reminder about things, but these should be brief. This book was full of "info dumps" that lasted for several (long) paragraphs, particularly near the beginning, where it explained (in far too much detail) how things worked in this series and things that happened in previous books. Sometimes, the same information was dumped on us more than once. I found this annoying as I just wanted to get to the story.
Also, there was a bit too much repetition. The same things kept coming up over and over, both in dialogue and out of it. At the same time, we seemed to skip over things that would have been more interesting to read about. At times, I kept flicking back to see if I'd missed something! I didn't feel like we really gave Emme and Val's relationship a lot of attention at times. I would have loved to see them interact more and to see them becoming closer and learning to live with each other.
The ending (which I can't get into without spoilers) was actually a little confusing. It was set up for something to happen... and then apparently something else might have happened, but it was never really made clear what the truth was.
What I also found odd was that I was 30% through the book, before I read anything from Val's viewpoint. There were a few points where we accidentally head-hopped into the wrong viewpoint just for a line or two.
Overall, I did like the book and enjoyed seeing Elie and the Ferraro cousins. I'm assuming they will all get their own books at some point. I am looking forward to future books, and I still have my fingers crossed for Emilio and Enzo books. even though they aren't shadow riders.