Vale just ascended to the throne as the King of the Shadow Shifters. Jessa is the senior healer to their race. The court forbids their union, and Vale is torn between his duty to his people, and the need to have Jessa as his own.

Vale and Jessa’s relationship is a constant struggle built on misconceptions. I enjoyed the characters and their growing relationship. The constant upheaval that comes between these two keeps the story exciting. The passion between them will keep any romance fan happy. I am also drawn to the character of Caleb. He is a warrior of the Varner people, after being attacked in their own realm they have taken shelter in the shadow realm. It is apparent their people have been through hardships, but they remain honorable. I really want to see what the future brings for Caleb and his army.

Baker has created a tale that captures you from the start. I found the storyline fascinating, and I kept reading, eager to learn more about these characters and their way of life. This book has everything a reader could ask for, from the blossoming romance between Vale and Jessa to the drama that involves this new king and his enemies. This is the first book of the series, so I know all of my questions won’t be answered. However, I would have liked if the author gave a little more background on the races involved in the story; especially where the Gaspar are concerned. With that being said, I thought this was a good start to the series, and I am looking forward to the continuing story.

 

From Amazon.com:

Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court’s Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient’s.
Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he’s given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family’s hold on the land–and his deceiving advisors aren’t afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.
But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.
Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.

 

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Denied is a Shadowed Love Novel.  Caleb is now the leader of the Varner people.  He is seeking to become part of the Shadow Shifter society to save his race.  He sees Tabitha, a Shadow Shifter with a warrior spirit.  He knows right away she is the one for him.

I really liked the story between Caleb and Tabitha.  He is dealing with the loss of his society’s women and children, and trying to find a way to help his people thrive.  Tabitha dreams of being in the royal guard, and she is fighting to do something the women of her society are forbidden to do.  I love the interaction between these two.  They are developing a relationship while learning about each other’s cultures.  This lends to a lot of conflict, but all the sweeter when they find their way to each other.

 

The first book in this series grabbed me, but this one was so much better.  The cover was the first thing that caught my attention with its strong and mysterious warrior gracing the foreground.  Caleb’s story was heartbreaking and exciting all at the same time, and Baker did so well conveying the character’s emotions.  As with the last book, I found the setting to be fascinating and magical. I do recommend reading Ruined first, if not you will probably get confused.  Although there are no big cliffhanger endings I wouldn’t exactly call them stand alone. I hope these books continue on because Baker is a great storyteller, and I look forward to her future works.

 

From Amazon.com

When invaders brutally massacred the women and children of the Varner, Caleb witnessed loss and destruction on a scale few can comprehend. As the leader of a race on the brink of extinction, his only hope for survival is gaining acceptance into the Shadow Shifter Kingdom. Struggling with new customs, he meets Tabitha, a woman who challenges his limits.
Refused the right to join the king’s guard because of her gender, Tabitha must be stronger than the men to prove she deserves to be the first accepted female Warrior in the kingdom. She believes Caleb will help improve her abilities, until she learns her goals conflict with the foundation of his culture.
When the realm is attacked, Tabitha and Caleb must come together not only to fight, but to find the strength to win against an evil with the potential to destroy everything they revere most–including each other.

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