Dr. Melanie Lipton is no stranger to the supernatural. She knows immortals better than they know themselves, right down to their stubborn little genes. So although a handsome rogue immortal seems suspicious to her colleagues, Sebastien Newcombe intrigues Melanie. His history is checkered, his scars are impressive, and his ideas are daring. But it’s not his ideas that have Melanie fighting off surges of desire. . .
Bastien is used to being the bad guy. In fact, he can’t remember the last time he had an ally he could trust. But Melanie is different and under her calm, professional exterior he senses a passion beyond anything in his centuries of experience. Giving in to temptation is out of the question – he can’t put her in danger. But she isn’t asking him. . .
The thing I love about favourite series is that starting the next book is akin to coming home or catching up with old friends. When these feelings are being evoked by book three, I know that I’m reading a good series.
Phantom Shadows is the third book in Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Guardians series. One of my favourite things about this series is that while it’s labelled as paranormal romance, it’s not just romance. I find a lot of paranormal romance authors sacrifice world-building and plot for gratuitous sex scenes, but this isn’t the case with Dianne Duvall. Sure, there are steamy scenes aplenty to be found in Phantom Shadows, but there’s also a ton of action and a whole load of development in regards to the overarching storyline. Dianne’s characters are three dimensional, each possessing quirks and mannerisms that make them feel like real people, and the world that she’s created is written in an evocative manner that brings its sights and sounds to life. Combined, these two elements make for a series that readers can find themselves completely and utterly immersed in.
As with the previous two books in the series, Darkness Dawns and Night Reigns, Phantom Shadows‘ protagonist is an absolute badass. Melanie isn’t one to just sit back and let Bastien protect her. She doesn’t simply serve as his love interest. Not only is she a well-respected doctor and researcher, she’s also more than capable of standing her ground when faced with hungry vampires. In short, she’s a strong, independent character, something which is often lacking in this genre.
As for Bastien, he might not own a cat – which is apparently all I look for in a man – like Roland and Marcus from the previous two books do, but he’s still an absolute sweetheart. Melanie and Ami aside, no one seems to truly like him and he doesn’t always help himself, going out of his way to deliberately antagonise his fellow Guardians. We find out a lot more about his past and the reasoning behind this behaviour, though. He wasn’t my favourite character in the first two books, but learning more about him in Phantom Shadows upped his likeability exponentially for me.
If you’re a paranormal romance fan and you’ve yet to embark upon the Immortal Guardians series, I really can’t recommend it enough. It’s got romance, action and humour, and it’s a series that will have you hooked from the very first page.
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