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Review: Redemption (Shadow Dwellers: Book 4)
Devastated with grief over the death of her daughter, Bliss, Mortianna is determined to have her revenge against the man responsible. Not her killer, Edward, who'd already been destroyed by Fayne, nor Mikhail, the demented elder vampire who'd pulled Edward's strings. No, her victim would be the man who had taken her only daughter away from her, and introduced Bliss to the dark world of the Shadow Dwellers.

She believes that Bliss had deluded herself into thinking she was madly in love with the vampire, Damien St. James a.k.a. Sinjin. He'd turned her into a revenant, immortal, so that they could spend eternity together. Mortianna's fury had known no bounds, but Bliss had promised to leave him if her mother would spare his life.

Few would have had the power to take the life of an elder vampire, however Mortianna was the oldest and possibly the most powerful witch on Earth. Now that her beloved daughter had been taken from her permanently, nothing would stop her from destroying St. James. She sends forth her army of minions to his Sinjin's home with orders to bring him back to her.

One is never quite sure what exactly the minions are except small, lethal, and apparently none too bright. Instead of returning with Sinjin they arrive bearing a revenant and a female at that, Maeve.

Maeve had travelled to Sinjin's Scottish castle to train, but had been kept there for safe keeping following Mikhail's failed coupe, nearly a year ago. Both Val and Sinjin agreed that Maeve could be a target for the demented vampire's retribution. Val, Mikhail's maker, had taken Maeve, as well as his lover Shai, away from him over a decade ago. Now she was considered a likely target for his revenge. Mikhail was not one to forget such trespasses against him.

She chafed at her captivity, but had used the time to hone her body and mind for the day she would have vengeance against the vampire who had killed her twin sister and destroyed her life. Finally she'd acquired the knowledge that she needed to end the life of the elder from Sinjin's Chronicles of the Shadow Dwellers. Now, all she needed was a powerful witch of the proper line to give her the necessary spell.

Mortianna's estranged son, Quinn Montgomery had been summoned to his mother's side following the death of his half sister Bliss. An unwanted male child, the first-born Quinn had been cast aside in his infancy, along with his father. He'd been raised with love by his father and stepmother, and yet a hole existed inside him. He'd longed his entire life for the love of his birth mother, the love she'd lavished on Bliss.

Quinn realizes that Mortianna has become unhinged, when he arrives to finds her beloved daughter not buried, but enshrined in a glass coffin, two months after her death. She'd sent for him to aid her in her revenge. This he would not do. Yet when the minions arrive, apparently with his sister's former lover in tow, he can't walk away.

Furious at her minions' mistake, Mortianna demands that her son prove his worth by killing the revenant. It is his last chance to win his mother's love, but for Quinn the price is too high. A powerful witch in his own right, Quinn has based his whole life on the Wiccan Rede. He is incapable of harming an innocent. He defies Mortianna and liberates Maeve, earning his mother's contempt once more.

Quinn intends to return Maeve to Sinjin's home and then wash his hands of her. Yet he is inexplicably attracted to the fiesty woman. He doesn't understand it. For one thing she isn't his physical type, and for another he suspects that she is only interested in his ability to perform spells. He also considers immortals an abomination. Strike three. Tell that to his wayward body! Tell that to his wayward heart as well. By the time they arrive he's half in love with her already.

Mikhail, though blinded and badly scarred following the confrontation at the stones, has not given up on his hopes of becoming head of the Council of Elders. He sends his consort Gabriel to Mortianna to enlist the aid of the witches in his cause. The witches had heretofore maintained independence from the council. However Gabby offers their leader the one thing she wants most, the delivery of Sinjin into her clutches.

Upon their arrival back at the castle, Maeve immediately realizes that something is not right. Sinjin's protective wards are absent. She and Quinn find the elder vampire in the catacombs, entranced and apparently dying. Quinn recognizes Mortianna's work. It was the spell Maeve had sought to destroy Mikhail. He hopes that by witnessing the effects, Maeve will turn away from her thoughts of revenge. But she too has a hole in her heart, a hole left by the death of her twin and her abandonment by her remaining family. Can Quinn fill that empty space inside her, as he is beginning to feel she is filling his? Is he powerful enough to stop Mortianna and Mikhail for having their revenge?

J.C Wilder continues to show the depth of her writing abilities. While Maeve and Quinn are without a doubt the most passionate couple in the series to date, their relationship satisfies a deep seated need that each carries within. This reader found them quite endearing. The story also carries the moral that hatred and vengeance will ultimately destroy the bearer of those emotions. How true.

Mikhail has been thwarted once again. Edward is gone, but Cass is still at large and ready to make her own bid for Alexandre's position on the council. Be on the lookout for SINS OF THE FLESH, Book 5 of the Shadow Dweller's series, in November 2001.

Copyright © 2001

Original review for Retribution, retitled Atonement

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted December 12, 2001

SUMMARY

In her search for revenge, Maeve finds herself trapped in a world of magic and deception. With her twin sister dead, Maeve seeks justice for her murder. She's discovered the key that will guarantee her success—a magical spell to control a vampire. Now she needs to locate a witch of pure intent to teach the spell to her.

Quinn Montgomery wants nothing to do with his High Witch mother, Mortianna. Denounced at birth, Quinn was only summoned to her side upon the death of his half-sister. When he discovers the beautiful Maeve a prisoner in his mother's house, he refuses to allow his mother's plans to kill her and instead he rescues the prickly immortal from imminent death.

Maeve and Quinn reluctantly band together to battle the forces of darkness as they fight their growing attraction for each other.

Note: This title was previously published elsewhere, but has been extensively revised for Ellora's Cave.

 

Atonement
(The Shadow Dwellers: Book 4)
by J. C. Wilder

Ellora's Cave
May 1, 2006
ISBN #1419905961
EAN #9781419905964
e-Book (reprint)
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Other Books by
J. C. Wilder

Winter's Daughter
Stone Hearts
Deep Waters
Sacrifice
The Power of Love
In the Gloaming
Winter's Daughter
Thief of Hearts
Paradox I
Paradox II
Paradox III
Temptation
Sins Of The Flesh
Tempt not the Cat
Retribution
One With the Hunger
In Moonlight
Ellora's Cavemen: Tales from the Temple II
Dreamquest
The Shadow Dweller Series Volume III
The Shadow Dweller Series Volume II
The Shadow Dweller Series Volume I
Redemption


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