Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Shadows by Stella Barcelona - Review and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stella will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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.

My Review:

I was intrigued by this book just from reading the blurb-- it sounded like it was just up my alley. And, it didn't disappoint. It is the second book in the Black Raven series, but can very much be read as a standalone. I've not read the first book yet and am looking forward to being able to.

The characters are very well-drawn-- neither of the main characters are perfect, but their flaws just add to their personalities and make you believe in them as real people. I love how the author shows them interacting with Spring - even when Skye and Sebastian are fighting, they still have to use their "nice voices" to keep her calm. It made a really neat counterpoint to the action and tension elsewhere in the book.

Unfortunately, the scenario they find themselves is all too believable--and it's a bit disconcerting to read such a plausible scenario--and a bit scary. I can only hope that should we find ourselves in a similar situation nationally, that there is someone like Black Raven to help protect us-- and that they prove to be just as honorable.

This romantic suspense comes very highly recommended with a 4 flower rating. Can't wait to read about the next member of the team in Ms. Barcelona's upcoming book.

Enjoy an excerpt:


The number stream, the one and only communication she’d received on the phone that was dedicated solely to transmission of such a message, jolted the last sleep-induced blur from Chloe’s brain. Her hands shook as she mentally translated numbers to letters.


She gripped the phone tighter, checking her translation. Same result. It was the message she’d been hoping would never come. Maybe she’d made a mistake. Kicking aside the sheet and blanket, she turned on the lamp, opened the top drawer of the nightstand, pushed her revolver to the side, and pulled out a pen and paper. Drawing a deep breath, she started over, writing as she assigned letters to numbers.

Cataclysm. Now. Run.

Adrenaline surged through her veins, but as she stood, hope glimmered – maybe the message itself was a mistake. No. Not possible. A wrong-number text message would have made sense in a simple, uncomplicated life, rather than in her father’s private code. As her father’s daughter, her life was neither simple, nor her own. And despite her father’s propensity for paranoia, the cataclysm part of his secret code galvanized her into action.

‘Normal’ wasn't part of her father’s vocabulary. He wasn’t normal, but he was her father. While a majority of the world now ridiculed him, Chloe didn’t. Cataclysm wasn’t supposed to happen. The word meant only one thing in her father’s world, and she had instructions to follow. Without question. Well, maybe with questions. A train car full of questions, starting with how her father, who was imprisoned in a federal penitentiary, had managed to send her a text and why this particular message now. Yet she knew if he had a few minutes with a computer–any computer–he could do anything. Other questions bombarded her, but now was not the time to entertain them. Even with doubt, she’d follow the pre-arranged steps of his cataclysm scenario as though her life, and a whole lot more, depended on it.

About the Author:
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.

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for hosting and for the wonderful review! I love that your review highlights the disconcerting nature of the scenario in Shadows. I agree - cyber insecurity is a fascinating, troubling topic. Also, you're one of the first to comment on the "nice voices." I'm impressed by your close attention! Take care, and thank you, again, Stella

  2. LOVED this book, would love to own it and could always use Amazon card :)

  3. Thanks for sharing your review, I'm even more excited to check this out now ;)

    1. Victoria - I hope you do check out Shadows, and I hope you throughly enjoy it! Thanks, Stella

  4. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!


  6. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Enjoying following this tour, thank you!

  8. Great review. This really sounds like I book I have to read.

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


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?