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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

NBtM TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Shadows by Stella Barcelona


by Stella Barcelona



Cataclysm. Now. Run.

A cryptic, urgent text message turns the peaceful life Skye Barrows has created for herself and her sister into chaos. She must follow her father’s instructions to the letter, but Sebastian Connelly is blocking her way. Telling Sebastian what she must do is not an option.

What He Doesn’t Know Will Get Them All Killed

When a prison break in the midst of a security system upgrade threatens to destroy the reputation of Sebastian’s company, Black Raven Private Security Contractors, he goes on the hunt for escaped prisoner Richard Barrows – a delusional and paranoid computer software genius.

Sebastian’s mission: find Richard Barrows and return him to prison, but stonewalled by Skye, who refuses to give him answers, and with the added complication of her special needs sister, Sebastian finds himself always a step or two behind vicious killers.

Nothing About This Case is Normal

For Sebastian, it should be simple, but this case will test him in ways he never imagined. As probing interrogation becomes urgent protection, the search for Barrows forces Sebastian and Skye into a murky world of shadows and illusions.


“I didn’t catch your name,” Skye said, keeping her tone cool. They hadn’t introduced themselves. She had wondered about his name after she had gotten Spring upstairs. If he had said it, she’d have remembered it. She remembered almost everything, even things she preferred to forget.

“Sebastian,” he said. “Sebastian Connelly.”

“I’m Chloe Stewart,” she said, “and we can talk right here.”

He frowned. He gave her a slight headshake. “Try again. This time with the name you were born with.”

Now he had her attention. His words, coupled with the weapon that was holstered at his hip, jolted her heart as her world shattered.


Was this why her father had sent the warning? Him? This Sebastian Connelly? Who the hell was he, and what did he want? Was he the reason the cataclysm scenario was in play? No matter what it was, Skye knew instinctually she shouldn’t hang around to find out. Oh God, she had to get away from there.

She drew a deep, deep breath. This couldn’t be happening now. She needed fresh air, so she could think. But there was no time to step outside as the walls started to close in on her. She drew another deep breath and slowed her thoughts, pushing aside her blossoming claustrophobia before it choked her. She focused on the three simple words her father had drilled into her, the reason why she and Spring were in hiding.

Trust no one. No one.

Trust no one.

No one with the government. No one with law enforcement. No one from your past, and no one from your future.

Trust no one, and that included gorgeous men who carried runaway puppies across the street and were gentle and patient with Spring, when he was the type of guy who didn’t seem like he had the time to pause. Maybe Mr. Blue Eyes was guessing. When in doubt, she had taught herself, say nothing. She stared into his eyes without flinching, wondering, why him? Why now?

Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I Dig Good Books.

A text message sends Skye on the run, just as soon as she can ditch Sebastian, Black Raven Security bossman, who seems to think she knows where her father is, after his escape from prison. But the 24 hour deadline looms fast, and things take a much deadlier turn than Skye was expecting, and she has to go against the very ingrained mantra of her father : Trust no one who knows you are my daughter. Well Sebastian knows, he knows far more than Skye would like, and Skye has to trust him, with both her life, and her sister's.

I wasn't sure, for a while whether I was gonna like this book, I'm being honest here, but once it takes off, oh boy oh boy!!

Crime/thriller was, pre-kindle days, along with horror, my kinda thing. Its so great to be getting back to it! And this book, the first in the series, is brilliant!!

It has lots of plot twisting, double crossing, passion, rage, violence, oh just about a bit of everything that makes this a very very good read. I very nearly managed to read it in one sitting, but had to go out!

I loved that we get to hear from Skye and Sebastian, but what absolutely made this book for me, is we get whodunnit too! In all his warped, twisted mind's glory! It was cringe worthy, reading about what he was doing, it was painful, hearing how his mind worked, and what he needed for what he wanted to do, and how he was quite happy to do whatever needed to do to get it. BUT it was absolutely a *sorta* pleasure to read, and he needed to have his input in this story. Its so rare we get into the warped minds of those whodunnit, and I LOVED it!!

Skye and Sebastian's relationship builds as the story goes on, both of them giving and taking just what they need from each other to get this nightmare over. Neither looking past the end, but both of them wanting to. Its so beautifully written, the way they tiptoe around each other, but really, they should be stomping on each others toes!

Some violence, as I said, we get the warped mind of whodunnit, graphic in places, not for the faint hearted. Some passion, steam, whatever you want to call it, but its not explicit, its just right for this book. Some complicated computer issues, that, to be honest, I didn't manage to follow very well, but well enough for me to get the story and what was happening and how I thought it might end.

An absolutely fabulous read, this is the second book by this author, and I am blown away, really. I want to go back and read the first book, Deceived, which features Sebastian's best friend, and from what I can see, this is a spin off from that book. Its not needed, I just wanna :-)

5 full stars.

**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, and**

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC + autographed book (book is US only) - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Stella Barcelona has always had an active imagination, a tendency to daydream, and a passion for reading romance, mysteries, and thrillers.  She has found an outlet for all of these aspects of herself by writing romantic thrillers.

In her day-to-day life, Stella is a lawyer and works for a court in New Orleans. She lives minutes from the French Quarter, with her husband of seventeen years and two adorable papillons who believe they are princesses. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Her first novel, DECEIVED, was inspired by New Orleans, its unique citizens, and the city’s World War II-era history.

Her third novel, JIGSAW, a Black Raven novel, will be released in 2016.


  1. Thank you for hosting, and thank you for the wonderfully written, 5-star review of Shadows. I love Debbie's take on my "cringe worthy" "whodunit!"

    1. I tried so hard not to give anything away! I loved getting into his mind! Thank you for writing it! :-)

    2. Debbie - You did a great job - no spoilers at all! I appreciate that you thanked me for writing Shadows, but I do it in the hope of finding readers like you. I'm always thrilled to hear that someone enjoys my writing. Thank you! Stella

  2. Thanks for hosting this great giveaway!

  3. Thanks for the review!


  4. Enjoyed reading your review of this book

  5. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and the review. Can't wait to read this book!