Rayvin Woods, photographer and natural witch. She just wanted to start her life over again after a series of misadventures. She didn’t count on rekindling a lost love when she came home to Talbot…or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life.
Grant Michaels, police officer. He thought Rayvin was a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger…but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it’s too late?
Malcolm de Sade, cunning vampire, imprisoned underground for a year by Charlotte Fanning and Pike Mahonen (“Mist and Midnight”, Midnight Thirsts). His accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambition on a small, sleepy town…
Holy Halloween, Batman!! Tori L. Ridgewood’s Wind and Shadow certainly was an excellent choice for a little pre-Halloween reading with witches, vampires and, the past coming back to haunt everyone all rolled into one fast-paced read. And no, I am not going to tell you who is who and spoil it all for you!! So, get ready boys and girls ‘cause I loved this book and I am gonna gush 🙂
Rayvin Woods never imagined a time when she would have to return to her hometown of Talbot but sometimes circumstances change. When Rayvin left Talbot she did so under a dark cloud of suspicion despite the court having found her completely innocent of the crime she was accused of. Though she has spent years trying to escape the misery of Talbot, Rayvin has found herself in a situation she could have never anticipated and her best friend Andrea is the only person she could turn to for help. Rayvin’s intention is to stay in Talbot for only as long as is strictly necessary and once she can financially get out, Talbot will once again be a part of her past. But for now, yay, back to the one place on Earth where no one wants you. This should be fun, right?
Officer Grant Michaels has spent his life protecting the people of Talbot. Grant’s strong sense of right and wrong is simply a part of who he is and becoming a police officer was a natural choice and fit for his personality. And so, on a dark night on a winding road, Grant does his job and pulls over the slightly beaten up red Plymouth Horizon that catches his attention. To his utter amazement, the driver of that little red car is none other than Rayvin Woods, the woman who has haunted his life, memories and dreams for more years than he cares to admit to. Though it is a struggle to maintain his control Grant somehow manages to stay strong and stern as he warns Rayvin that her return to Talbot will not be welcome and she should absolutely expect an icy reception. You know something quite similar to the reception he just offered.
Though her feathers are a bit ruffled by Grant’s less-than-warm-welcome, Rayvin is not a stupid girl and knows life in Talbot is going to be anything and everything but ideal. Her hope is to keep her head down, her nose clean, and do the job Andrea has enlisted her for. For about thirty seconds, all of this seems possible. Talbot has always been a slightly odd place but since Rayvin’s return the odd has gone off the charts and it is no surprise that the locals think Rayvin’s return has triggered the events that are taking place. Desperate to stay out of the line of fire and protect herself, Rayvin determines that she must do everything within her considerable power to shut down the being that is causing so much trouble in Talbot. What Rayvin doesn’t expect is how powerful that being is, the lengths he is willing to go to in order to achieve his goals and, the fact that the only person who can really help her is Grant Michaels. So much for keeping her head down. 🙂
As the drama begins to increase so does the pace of the read and Ridgewood does a fine job of synching up these two elements. The action is fast and furious in many instances but Ridgewood clearly understands that both the reader and her characters need a little down time. Thrown into the mix are some slower moments that serve to not only break up all the drama and action but provide the reader with a little breather (in order to prepare for the next round of action) and some background information about the various characters and their lives. And thus, the past comes crashing into the present 🙂
Thanks to a great deal of secret-keeping and misunderstanding, Rayvin and Grant have a lot of animosity toward one another but there is also a great deal of attraction. The situation they currently find themselves in is desperate and dangerous and certainly draws them closer to one another and heightens their awareness of their shared attraction. Through all of the action and drama, Grant and Rayvin begin to work through their issues, clear up some serious misconceptions and, engage in some super-hot naughty bits that only serves to strengthen their bond and their resolve to solve their shared problem.
The Bottom Line: I was drawn into this one right from the beginning and found it very difficult to put down Wind and Shadow once it really got rolling. I love the strangeness of Talbot as a town, the backstory that took Rayvin from her home, Grant’s strength and sense of right and wrong (and hotness!), the big bad who is seriously diabolical and, Ridgewood’s willingness to sacrifice certain characters in order to satisfy the plot and motivate her major characters to move forward. Ridgewood has an excellent sense of pacing which makes an already entertaining read move even faster and, finally, though I am not the biggest fan of cliffhangers, Ridgewood has managed to pull off what I consider to be an acceptable cliffhanger. Who knew I could be satisfied with such a thing?? For me, Wind and Shadow is a combination of everything good: it’s paranormal, it’s well-written, it’s got just enough action and naughty bits to be realistic and, it has two more parts on the horizon. 🙂
After her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.
At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.
**Photo and author info from Goodreads**