Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Review: Shadows at Sunset by Anne Stuart

So, here is another review! I have to say that the romantico-blogosphere has been very quiet today, so I'll try to make things livelier with a review :D

Shadows at Sunset by Anne Stuart: 3.5/5
published in August 2000 by Mira (Harlequin)

La Casa de Sombre is a well-known mansion in Los Angeles, featured on many scandal tours, and is haunted by the ghosts of the murder-suicide tragedy. In the 60's, the mansion became the hang-out place for hippies and now, it is the home of Jilly Meyer and her two older siblings. Very young, Jilly has figured out that their father didn't get a damn about her and her brother; he only cared about their older sister Rachel-Ann, and perhaps beyond fatherly love. Thus, she has become their protector and caretaker. As a result, when her brother is kicked out from the company, Jilly goes and confront her father, Jackson Meyer. However, Coltrane, Meyer's new right-hand man, is sent to deal with her.

Coltrane is a cold, calculative and manipulative man. He came to work for Meyer to figure out how his mother was killed and is sure that Meyer is involved. Thus, to get to Meyer, he figures that he could use/seduce Rachel-Ann as she's the weak link. Despite his plans, the woman he is attracted to is Jilly. As for Jilly, she really doesn't want to have anything to do with Meyer's man, but Coltrane is persistant and just insinuates himself in her life...

Series: none
Genre: contemporary, romantic suspense

Review: The book was okay; however, there's something that won't allow me to immerse myself completely in the story. I don't know if it's the story, the writing or the language. It's cold and you can't really root for the characters in my opinion.

Characters - I'd say Jilly is emotionally dependant. She needs to take care of someone or something to work well. She's usually too busy to think about herself and be selfish. She's the type of heroine that's strong and tough on the outside, but not so on the inside. As for Coltrane, well cold and indifferent and a bastard. There's very little to sympathize with both characters... they do sound real though...

Story & Writing - The story was good, but perhaps the paranormal side (ghost) might have bit a bit superfluous. As for the writing, well there's nothing to say... Anne Stuart didn't reach her status with bad writing. So I guess it's really the characters that prevent me from enjoying 100% the book.

The Cover - I actually like the cover a lot. No characters, just the house and I like the colors.

Am I keeping the book? For now yes... Later, I can't guarantee.

Anything else? I've heard a lot about Anne Stuart on the blogosphere and so, I wanted to give her a try. She writes both contemporary and historicals and although she's better known for her historicals, I opted for contemporary because it's more my style. However, perhaps I should give her historicals a try...


  1. It's been awhile since I read this one but I think you got it exactly right. Not one of Stuart's best. Good review.

  2. Forgot to add... my favorite historical of Stuart's is A Rose at Midnight. If you want another RS try Black Ice - loved that one.

  3. Hey Renee :)

    Glad you agreed... Sometimes, I wonder if it's me. I mean, I now everyone has different tastes, but sometimes, I wonder if I didn't like the book because I wasn't in the right mood, or perhaps I'm just being hard and picky and try to find fault to the book.

    A lot of persons seem to love A Rose at Midnight. I tried to look for it, but it's very difficult! Rare book... and I guess, lots of ppl don't want to part with it. Sigh.

  4. I've read that one and don't really remember it so I think it isn't one of her best either. She written some excellent series books though. They are good and short.

  5. I've only read one Stuart--Lord of Danger, which I really, really liked. Though it's a historical.

    I want to read Black Ice at some point...

  6. Hey Kristie :) Well I'm slowly getting her backlist... however, lately, I'm afflicted with the buy now, read later syndrome. I have 3 or 4 of her historicals and 3 of her contemporaries that I've still haven't read ^^;

    Jennie - Yeah, I remember reading your review of it... which made me wanted to buy it, but unfortunately, couldn't find :( I have to read Black Ice as well...