Friday, April 22, 2016

Melting Shadows by Rhea Rhodan ~ #Review, #Giveaway, #ExclusiveExcerpt

Welcome to My Review of Melting Shadows by Rhea Rhodan!

Make sure to read about the book, meet the author, and enter the giveaway while you are here!!

When fantasy and reality collide, only love can be believed.

Melting Shadows
Rhea Rhodan

Genre: Romantic Suspense, with a Fantasy twist

Publisher: Rhea Rhodan
Date of Publication: March 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1523859375

Page Count: 259 (Kindle)
Page Count: 342 (pb)
Word Count: 80K

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

About the Book:

Shattered by a brutal attack and forced to flee, painfully withdrawn Dr. Prudence Marsh buries her emotions under numbing logic. For years, her escapes to a fantasy world created to survive her hellish past have been nothing more than a guilty pleasure. But when the host of the safe house turns out to be a dead ringer for her dream warrior, she fears she’s lost her precious mind along with everything else.

Ex-SEAL Max Delaney has been known to dabble in a hot, delicious mess—or two, or three. He has no idea how to handle a cold, sour one. Blackmailed into babysitting Dr. Marsh in his hidden bunker while she finishes a top-secret project sucks. Until he falls for her. Then it blows. Every clue Max unravels buys him more questions. Every step forward lands him two steps back, flat on his ass.

Demons past, present, and future haunt Max and Prudence as they stumble along the twisting path to love. Merciless enemies and shifting alliances drive both to desperate measures, tumbling them over the border between shadow and substance—where each must choose what, and whom, to believe.

My Review:

Prudence Marsh is a scientist hired by the government for a top-secret project. When her cover is blown and people from her past manage to locate her - again - Prudence is whisked away to a safe house with a former SEAL. As she settles into a strange town with a man she doesn't know, we learn all about Prudence and what makes her tick. Prudence, or Dr. Marsh as she likes Max to call her, buries any expressions of emotion when around other people and seriously lacks social skills. Her entire character screams loneliness, low self-esteem, and inability to function in the world.

Fortunately for her she was thrust into the care of Max Delaney. Touting an uncanny resemblance to Delane in the fantasies created in her mind, Prudence displays even more socially awkward behaviors and mannerisms when he's around. Max, unsure about the strange woman that has taken over his basement bunker, does his best to make sure that Prudence is protected and taken care of while in his charge. Then, as the story progresses, the bad-ass former SEAL is dropped on his knees in front of the mess in basement, Dr. Marsh.

The connection between Max and Prue was executed very well. There wasn't an instant attraction or falling in love within the first chapter. The author paralleled the reality with Prue's fantasies, and as the book flows on toward the HEA, the reader will fall in love with her at the same pace that Max does; slowly and surely. The story is engaging, perfectly paced, and full of emotionally charged passages that will have the reader shaking his/her head, laughing, becoming anxious, or a multitude of other feelings and emotions.

The character and world building and development was done very well.  Max and Prudence evolved before our very eyes.  The story contains struggles due to personality differences and includes suspenseful and tense moments as Max and Prudence attempt to overcome obstacles and life threatening situations.  There is never a dull moment in Melting Shadows and I highly recommend this standalone, romantic suspense novel that was written with depth and originality.

My review copy was provided by the author, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions, and the rating were entirely my own.

My Rating:

**I was provided a specific excerpt to share with you today and, I must admit, this scene resonates with me. Our heroine has low self-esteem and we get to see exactly how far that goes when a completely innocent meeting in the kitchenette causes her to take a situation, over analyze it, and put herself down. I used to be Dr. Marsh in the capacity shown in this excerpt.


Preoccupied with the effort of facing the day and shoring up her defenses, she didn’t see him until it was too late.
He stood at the sink in the kitchenette, wearing only a pair of denims. Thick, tousled, black locks curled at his neck. The overhead light glistened on his damp skin, defining the well-developed muscles of his shoulders and back. She gulped as her gaze fell lower, taking in the way the tight, worn jeans hugged his equally muscular posterior and thighs. Delane. She squeaked, and he turned toward her.
One good look at his bare torso sent her screaming back into the bedroom as fast as her long, clumsy legs would carry her. She slammed the door and leaned on it, fighting to remain standing. Brutus jumped off the bed, barking fiercely.
“Hey, are you okay? What’s wrong? Dr. Marsh?” She could barely hear him over the din.
Her heart thudded and skittered. Oh, gods of OtherWhere, he really was Delane, every stunning inch of him—including the wide, jagged scar low on his abdomen.
“Dr. Marsh?”
Prudence counted out a deep inhalation, then an equally long exhalation.
Better. She couldn’t possibly be in OtherWhere; it didn’t exist. Any resemblance had to be purely coincidental or imaginary. She didn’t have her glasses on. The stress of the last three days had affected her mental stability. Yes, that must be it.
Blessed, cool logic seeped in, enabling her to collect enough composure to raise her voice to a volume sufficient to penetrate the door. “I am fine. I was simply unprepared to encounter a half-naked man on my way to the washroom. While I am perfectly willing to make some concessions in light of the imposition of my presence, such displays are wholly unacceptable. Kindly finish attiring yourself and notify me when you have done so. I shall thank you to confine your nudity to your private quarters for the duration of my stay.”
A rolling chuckle leaked through to her ears, and she understood he not only found her ugly, but laughable as well. The thought burned her carefully-built wall to ashes in seconds. Tears came; the wherewithal to stop them had already been spent. Managing to strangle a sob offered a small satisfaction.
She slid down and rested her back against the door with her knees pulled up to her chin. Brutus licked her face and whined. She hushed him with a hug. He curled up with her there on the floor, an anchor in her storm of grief.    
The inner weight lightened as the tears ran their course, lending a degree of relief—until she caught a glimpse of her red, puffy eyes in the mirror over the chest of drawers. She was as helpless in the wave of terror gripping her body as she’d been to prevent the tears. That the fear was irrational, a vestige of her childhood; that there would be no punishment, didn’t make it any less real or more manageable.
No matter. A display of vulnerability was as dangerous now as it had ever been. Among her earliest lessons had been those that taught her not to supply ammunition to be used against her later.
Thankfully, cool water would aid in effacing the evidence, as would her glasses, provided she could reach the washroom undisturbed. Rather than honor her request, Mr. Delaney may have chosen to further amuse himself at her expense.
The prospect of additional humiliation galled to a greater degree than it ought to. After all, Esmeralda’s desire for Prince Delane’s regard belonged in OtherWhere, with the prince who desired her in return, not here with Dr. Prudence Marsh for a man who considered her a freak. 

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Meet the Author:

Award-winning author Rhea Rhodan resides in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She’s been telling herself stories since long before she learned to write. She attended the University of Minnesota with a focus on Journalism, then Brown Institute for Broadcast Journalism. After many adventures, misadventures, and a couple of short marriages, she found the love of her life in Regensburg, Germany, and has been living happily ever after since.

She journaled those adventures extensively (some might say rabidly) beginning in middle school, but didn't combine her writing and story-telling until several years ago, when one of the stories grabbed her by the throat and shook her like a rag doll until she gave in and wrote it. Having tasted freedom, her muse refuses to return to the confines of her head, and has successfully turned the tables, keeping her at the keyboard to appease it.

She welcomes feedback and fan mail :>). You can join her on Facebook and Goodreads, too. Rhea is always happy to meet new friends.

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Rhea Rhodan said...

Thank you so much for hosting me and providing the wonderful review, Amber! So glad you enjoyed MELTING SHADOWS.

Sapphyria said...

I enjoyed Melting Shadows very much. Not only did I love the bond that formed between Max and Prue, I loved the development between Sam and Farley.

Rhea Rhodan said...

The secondary romance came as a surprise to me, but I always did like Farley, and Sam's such a dynamic woman (um, character), they seemed meant for each other :>).

Sapphyria said...

I'm going to grab a copy of Finding Grace this afternoon. I just realized that it's about Dagger and Thorne from Melting Shadows.

Any chance we'll see more of these wonderful characters in the future? ;)

Rhea Rhodan said...

Probably not (though you're sweet to ask). Blackridge's appearance in this one took me by surprise. I'm not big on series (as a reader or a writer), though there are exceptions. Who knows? Maybe they aren't finished with me yet. :>).

Sapphyria said...

:) Either way, I can't wait to read about the next set of characters that are chatting up a storm in your head.

Rhea Rhodan said...

Has anyone ever told you what a fantastic blog hostess you are?

Sapphyria said...

I don't think anyone has told me that...until now :)

Thank you so much! Thank you, also, for chatting with me about your characters. I'm off to go buy Finding Grace since I didn't have a chance to yesterday.

Have a great weekend and I can't wait for whatever book you publish next!! You are on my favorite authors list!!