‘Shadows and Ice’ by Gena Showalter


The times she’d on the streets, she’d yearned for a protector. Someone who couldn’t be intimidated or scared away. As a teenager, she’d chosen the bad boys, the ones she couldn’t scare away. Knox was something else entirely.

Only a crazy person would be tempted by his sinister hotness, right? Or maybe just anyone with a pulse. Those eyes. So blue, so deep. Those lashes. So long, the colour of a raven’s wings. That jaw. So strong and chiseled. That body. So ripped with muscles, yet also sleek and as lethal as a panther.

Who am I? Vale never waxed poetic about anything. 


I could have given you an extract from the opening, but I really liked this description and description is something that Showalter does well.

Me and Showalter have a history, as a lover of paranormal romance I have tried to read her books many times, yet failed. J.R Ward and Kresley Cole, my two favourite paranormal romance authors, praise and celebrate her, but still something has not connected with me. But when I saw this new series and read what Cole and Ward said, I knew I had to give her writing another go.

This novel follows the All War – in this case, a war to win Earth. Representatives from different realms are sent to wage war, whoever wins gains Earth for their realm. Think Hunger Games, with lots of sex and violence. I liked the premise and Showalter was able to create a world that I was interested in. However, a few things didn’t resonate.

The heroine, Vale, was strong, smart and street wise, meaning I should love her. Yet, she became annoying at times. I wanted her to kick ass but sometimes she was a little blah. I adore a strong heroine and this is what I love about Kresley Cole’s paranormal romance series, Immortals after Dark, the heroines take no prisoners. Yes, they have a softer side, a vulnerability, but they also fight. At times when her strength and smarts started to come through, I was rooting for her to kill and save herself. I enjoyed her humour and her vulnerability, yet questions were left unanswered about her past and I felt that she never truly came into her own. Everything about Vale ticked my boxes but I still couldn’t really connect to her.

Then there was Knox, sexy, violent Knox. He was the typical alpha male, strong, aggressive and a killing machine. The man who controlled shadows and had stunning blue eyes. He was a cold killer and pure sex appeal. I really liked him, he was the typical paranormal romance anti-hero who softens for the woman he loves. Yet, his change at times felt forced. I loved how he cared for Vale, how he helped and supported her, protected her but again something wasn’t quite connecting.

One funny, little thing, she has a character called Knox and one called Shiloh, all I could think was Brangelina!

If you have read a lot of paranormal romance, it can become quite formulaic. At times, Shadow and Ice was a little predictable and there were a lot of characters to keep track of. On my Kobo the list of combatants came at the end, it would have been useful at the start. However, I did enjoy this novel. The sex scenes were spicy, the characters were sassy, funny and likable. I ultimately wanted them to be together. One thing I will say is that Showalter ended it with a lot of questions still unanswered. Usually, from a series the main hero and heroine’s love story is wrapped up nicely and the second book deals with the next couple. Showalter has not done this, she has broken convention and it is slightly frustrating, but it will make me read the next installment.

I actually enjoyed the violence and bloodshed, wanting at times to get back to it, so that I can see Vale finally kick some butt. Yes, it was gory but it fight well with the plot and was necessary to move the story line forward. If Showalter had shied away from violence, gory and body parts then the novel would have fallen down immediately. The sex was raw, passionate and followed the usual paranormal romance rules, meaning it was sexy but without being to explicit and therefore moving into the erotica genre.

Ultimately, as a start to a new series, it wasn’t the strongest but I would read Book 2. Unfortunately, rather than giving the excerpt to the second installment, the novel ended with an extract from a YA book, not quite the genre I was going for.

To find out more about Gena Showalter:

Follow her on Twitter, her website, Goodreads or buy on in the usual formats, including Amazon.


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