Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Series: Shadow Riders #5
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper, Shadow Keeper, Shadow Warrior, Shadow Flight
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Add It: Goodreads
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Chicago’s Ferraro crime family will do anything to protect one of their own in this thrilling entry in the Shadow Riders series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
Nicoletta Gomez was a terrified teenager when Taviano Ferraro and his brother saved her life. Ever since, she’s been trying to rise above what was done to her, molding herself into a survivor under the protective eyes of the Ferraro family. All the while, she’s been falling hopelessly in love with the man who knows her darkest secrets.…
With one look, Taviano knew that Nicoletta was his, just as he felt their shadows connect. But no matter how much he wanted to claim her, he knew she needed time to become her own woman. When Nicoletta once again finds herself in the sights of dangerous men, a split-second decision has Taviano breaking all of the Ferraro family’s rules to keep her safe. And as far as he’s concerned, the reward is more than worth the risk.
Nicoletta had never liked the feeling of being in the shadows and yet she’d always been drawn to them. They’d always made her feel as if her body was being torn apart, but she knew she could hide in them, she’d done so on several occasions, just not always successfully. “You’ve been shot, Taviano. You need help. We have to get you to one of the medical facilities.”
“We’ll get there. I want you to do exactly what I say.”
He turned to face her. When he did, she could see the blood splashed on his jacket. He wore that same immaculate, classy, very expensive charcoal pin-striped suit that his entire family wore. The tie was a darker charcoal and the shirt was lighter charcoal. The men and even Emmanuelle always looked so distinctive, but she had to admit, when they got close to the shadows, they seem to fade into them.
He cupped her chin with his palm. “You have to trust me like you’ve never trusted me before. I’m going to ask you to do things that are going to frighten you and you’re going to have to do them without question. Can you do that for me? We don’t have time for anything else.” He was whispering, his voice incredibly low, but she heard every word.
She didn’t hesitate. All she did was look at the blood on his jacket and into his eyes. The music had faded. Everything around her faded but Taviano and the blood.
“Take off everything you’re wearing. Everything including your underwear, Nicoletta. Your earrings are fine. Lucia gave them to you. I had them made for you and asked her to give them to you. My cousin made them. You’ll wear my shirt.” He was stripping off his jacket and, one-handed, removing his shirt as he spoke. He was fast, too.
She didn’t look at him and she knew he didn’t look away. It was her boots that gave her the most trouble, but she got them off and the shirt on in record time. She knew about hiding in the shadows naked. She’d done so. With her clothing on, she’d been found every single time.
“When we go farther into the shadows, you don’t let go of me, you understand? No matter how it feels, no matter what, you don’t let go. Keep your eyes closed tight. You’re going to feel sick and disoriented.”
She was already feeling sick and disoriented. Her body felt like it was in pieces as if, when she’d removed her clothes, the material had been the only thing holding her together. Now, with just his shirt, nothing would hold her skin on and she was being pulled apart piece by piece. The feeling sickened her. It helped when she closed her eyes, but she was terrified she was going to vomit all over Taviano.
“I’ve got you, tesoro,” he whispered.
His mouth moved so close to her ear, she felt his lips brush her earlobe. He wrapped his arm around her and locked her to his side. She immediately put both of her arms around his waist as far as she could and held on as tightly as she could, pressing her head into his side. She had no idea what they were going to do, but somewhere in her mind, there was a vague recollection of being in a similar situation and feeling this exact sensation.
Then she was moving so fast it felt like she was on a speedway, the fastest bullet train, or park ride. Faster even than that. Her stomach dropped and rolled and somehow was left behind or she would have spilled the contents down his rib cage. She knew her arms were around his waist, but her flesh was literally peeling off the bone in tiny pieces and flying away. She couldn’t look because she knew she would see only a skeleton holding on to Taviano.
She wanted to scream, or at least call his name, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t make a sound. Not even open her mouth. She refused to open her eyes and he’d said not to. If she did, she feared her eyes would be sucked out of her face just like her flesh had been torn off. If she lived through this, if she was intact when he stopped, she was never, never doing this again.
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