WHEN SHADOWS CALL is the prequel to the Shaede Assassin series by Amanda Bonilla. If you’re a fan of this series, then this novella is an absolute must-read! In this novella, Bonilla does a fantastic job of bringing insight to Darian’s character before she was Shaede.
As a human living in the 1900s, Darian’s life seems like the most perfect picture of happiness. However, upon closer inspection, readers catch a glimpse of the darker side of her life where she is the constant punching bag to her highly regarded but abusive husband. For five years, Darian tolerated the beatings her husband, Henry gave her night after night. It is not until one night that Henry brings a guest to their home that he finally snaps and beats Darian to her death.
This man that Henry introduces to Darian is no other than the elusive and mysterious Azriel whom readers know from the series. Bonilla crafts a well-paced and believable relationship between Azriel and Darian. I liked the fact that Darian was a little hesitant in trusting Azriel because, after all, she just met him. However, there is also the undeniably attraction between them that cannot be ignored. Which leads me to my next point....The sexual tension between Darian and Azriel finally overflows and yup, this leads to a smoking hot sex scene that had be breathless for more! Bonilla should definitely be writing more sex scenes like that.
I think part of the reason why the sex scene was so spectacular is because it involves Azriel. There’s his dangerous aura to him that intrigues readers and makes them want to find out more about him. I loved how possessive he was of Darian, but I also loved that he wasn’t quite the refined gentleman people think a person like him should be. Darian explains it well:
“My savior was no gentleman, he had admitted as much. And yet, I admired his unapologetic nature. He did not make excuses for his behavior or pretend to be anything other than what he was. I found his lack of pretense refreshing. “Good night, Azriel,” I whispered as I brushed his hair back from his brow. I couldn’t help but wonder, as I started down at his perfect countenance, if I hadn’t jumped from the frying man straight into the fire".
She may have escaped the dangers from the hands of her husband, but with Azriel, she still plays a dangerous game. The latter part of the novella depicts this nicely.
In the end, WHEN SHADOWS CALLS is a great addition to the Shaede series, giving insight to Darian’s past while making me fall in love with these characters even more. As if that were even possible.