Shadow Kissed by Sarah Piper (#1 The Witch’s Rebels)

Shadow kissed


Shadow Kissed
by Sarah Piper

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/Reverse Harem

398 Pages

#1 in The Witch’s Rebels Series

Published by Two Gnomes Media (5th April 2018)

Purchase from | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Booktopia*  | Bookshop.org |

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My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Gray Desario is a witch, but you’d never know it. She turned up on the shores of Blackmoon bay, City of Monsters, outrunning the things that tried to kill her. Leaving her past behind was the only way to survive and move on, so when three witches end up dead, Gray can’t help but be extremely worried. Somehow, the hunters seem to have caught up to her, but is it really her they’re after? An unlikely group of men, sworn to protect Gray, though she can’t really remember having known three of them, will have Gray questioning everything. How is she supposed to navigate witch hunters and the possibilities these four men promise?

Urban fantasy was the genre that got me back into reading when I was 18. I will always have a soft spot for this genre, and I find that I circle back to it when I’m needing a comfort read, as weird as that sounds.

I’d put this as a new adult urban fantasy/paranormal romance. Gray Desario works a dead end job making deliveries, but it pays the bills. When she makes a delivery to Darius’ establishment, she is unwilling dragged into an altercation that ends up with her using powers that she’s kept locked away for years. Since she escaped witch hunters when she was younger, and ended up in Blackmoon Bay, her powers have stayed on lockdown, as using powers leaves signs that witch hunters can follow. When she finds out that her room-mate and best friend has been involved with the local coven, things start to take a turn for the worse. When three witches turn up dead, Gray starts to wonder if the hunters have finally caught up with her, and only the four men that seem to have fallen into her life can make sure that she makes it out alive. Though she finds it hard to concentrate because all four of them are delicious and she can’t choose, though, this is a reverse harem, so technically, she doesn’t have to.

Gray wasn’t a bad character, though I felt like she was a little flat. I liked her, but I didn’t love her and she’s not overly memorable to me, unfortunately, I feel like there’s a lot of room for character development which I hope to see in the following instalments in this series. The four love interests are interesting and I enjoyed all of them. Though I think Darius was my favourite, and I felt like Emilio came across as more like an older brother or friend character than a love interest, so I’m a little uncomfortable about seeing where their relationship goes haha.

The story was interesting enough and it was a good setup. Witches have turned up dead, and Gray is pretty sure she knows who is behind it all so there’s working together to get to the bottom of it all, stop the witch killings and keep Gray alive. Not a WHOLE lot happens in this instalment, but I feel like it was more of a setup story which prefaced the rest of the series. So I’m hoping that I’m right and the pacing picks up a bit in the second book, which I will be giving a go.

Nothing really gets resolved in this, because this was just the setup, as mentioned above, so I’m not mad at it, though you are left with more questions than answers at the end. Some facts come out to do with Gray’s past, but it has intrigued me, and made me want to continue. Come to think of it…an incident that happens at the beginning is never resolved, and that does irk me a little bit. It was completely minor and simply a plot device, but I’m still wanting to know what happened to Bean.

I found the pacing at times to be a little flat, and the story felt stagnant in places, but as an introduction to a new series, it wasn’t too bad. I didn’t really feel the chemistry between any of the characters, though if I had to choose, I feel like things felt more natural between Gray and Darius, but that’s only if you held a gun to my head. The narration felt a bit clumsy and clunky and times, so I’m hoping that as the series progresses we can see a bit of growth from the author as well. I’m always willing to give clunky starting books follow up instalments a go because I’ve had a couple of series where the author has grown as the story has progressed and it’s actually beautiful to see.

I feel like Piper has a lot of potential and I’m super excited to see what she does with it. I will be continuing this series with instalment two and will be doing a review for it when I have read it. I felt that this was a somewhat strong opening to some great ideas, let’s hope that the follow ups just get better and better.

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