May 22 2013 3:30pm

First Look: Nancy Gideon’s Prince of Shadows (May 27, 2013)

Prince of Shadows by Nancy GideonNancy Gideon
Prince of Shadows
Simon & Schuster / May 27, 2013 / $5.69 digital

The fourth original eBook in the steamy Shadows paranormal romance series features a woman forced to choose a mate, and a Shifter prince who may need to give up everything to win her.

Held hostage until she chooses a mate, Kendra Terriot must play a careful courtship game when choosing among the dangerous Shifter heirs. As a prince in the House of Terriot, Cale knows he can be the leader his clan needs with Kendra at his side, but first he must learn to become the kind of man she desires. In a treacherous race for the crown, where weakness means death, the only way to win her trust could mean surrendering his throne. But the only way to win her heart could mean letting her go…

Cale Terriot has loved Kendra Terriot since they were children. Sheltered Kendra has been forcefully brought back to live among the Shifters and ordered to choose one of the Terriot princes as a mate. The one she chooses will gain the throne, when king Bran Terriot dies. Unwilling to let anyone else have Kendra, Cale declares his intent to make her his queen, even if it means he must fight his brothers to do so. In the shifter world, the strongest survive and the weakest die. And family loyalty is not guaranteed. Cale knows this only too well.

Runt of the litter. That harsh stigma had followed him throughout childhood. The one his father should have crushed under a stone upon birth. Puny, sickly, and embarrassment. Survival had been a daily struggle, to thrive a near-Herculean feat. In order to have, hold and protect those things closest to his heart, he’d had to be bolder, braver, more ruthless than the others. He’d had to train until he was too exhausted to stand.

Kendra doesn’t recognize the cold, calculating, violent man Cale has become. She resents being claimed as his mate, despite his assertions that he has always loved her. Cole justifies his motives by claiming being mated to him is the only way he can protect her. Kendra views being mated as the equivalent of being imprisoned. She also cannot forgive Cale for what her family has suffered at Bran Terriot’s hands. Her mother was brutalized so severely that she eventually took her own life. Her father’s loyalty was questioned and he was beheaded, while Cale watched, powerless to do anything.

Cale has spent the years since then working to ensure that he would never be powerless again. His entire life has revolved around proving himself to the Terriot clan. He has had to try harder and train longer than his brothers to secure his place and to gain his father’s favor. Despite all this, Cale holds a tenuous place in the clan that he must fight to retain as he claws his way to the throne. He has hardened himself and his heart, but despite all the abuse he has suffered, Cale is capable of feeling love. Will Kendra be able to see this side of him before it’s too late?

In sharp contrast to his tougher than nails, arrogant demeanor, Cole cares very deeply about the welfare of his clan. As the power struggle for the Terriot throne ensues, Cole must maintain alpha status to protect those that he loves the most. Becoming king is not the end result, but rather a means to an end. In order to shelter and protect those he loves, he may have to let Kendra go. Cale must become the ultimate predator he was bred to be and embrace his dark nature in order to secure his place as king.

Although Prince of Shadows is the 8th in Nancy Gideon’s Moonlight series, it can easily be read as a standalone as the story line is almost wholly independent of the others in the series. As the pieces fall into place, Gideon reveals Cale Terriot’s ulterior motives and the beast that he has become isn’t who he wants to be. Initially an unwilling participant in the power struggle, Kendra Terriot grows into her role as the bonded mate of the future king. By doing so, she fosters positive change for the women in the clan. Gideon reminds us that shifters in human form are still ruled by their baser animal instincts. Some, fortunately, are able to retain their humanity.

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Prince of Shadows by Nancy Gideon before its May 27 release:

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Stephanie is a high school social studies teacher who enjoys escaping from reality with a good book. She is the mom of two energetic sons and when she isn't chasing herself in circles, she can be found lurking on Twitter @KindlesConsort.

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