Category Archives: Marni Mann

SEDUCTIVE SECRECY (Shadows #2) by MARNI MANN

seductive shadows

SYNOPSIS

“We were two broken souls who had found each other in a world of shadows. We were held together by a connection of secrets, dark and fearful and reluctant to leave. Their depth was seductive and overwhelming, an endless ocean of black that threatened to cover the brilliance we kept reaching for with each other.”

With her art career flourishing and the mansion predators no longer a threat, Charlie is creating a new life. Her desires have changed, and she has a chance at a healthy, loving relationship with Cameron—if they can bury the memories and doubts that plague them.

Can they overcome the destruction of their clouded pasts, or will the revelation of more painful, shocking secrets pull them back into the shadows?

 

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Reviewed by Gitte

4.5 Raw and Emotional Stars

Now, this is book two in the Shadows series and must be read in order and though I really enjoyed book #1 – Seductive Shadows; I had my reservations. Well, any lingering reservations were soon shot to bits as soon as I re-joined Charlie and Cameron. I was blown away and seriously loved every minute reading this sequel. It had such emotional depth and the raw sensuality drew me into a dark, eerie and chilling romance that had so much pain, fear and anxiety at its very core.

“..I don’t know what my life would be like without you. And I don’t want to find out.” – Cameron

The word dark is bandied around describing the content and setting of the story. However, in this case not only does it portray a dark thrilling and intense mood; the Author perfectly manages to place darkness inside the reader to the level of feeling absolutely everything our characters go through both physically, mentally and emotionally. I was shrouded in darkness and I felt this overwhelming sadness whilst reading interrupted by timely moments of hope and passion.

‘We were two broken souls who had found each other in a world of shadows. We were held together by a connection of secrets, dark and fearful and reluctant to leave. They recoiled whenever light reached them. Their depth was seductive and overwhelming, and endless ocean of black that threatened to cover the brilliance we kept reaching for with each other.’

The writing was intensely sensual and beautiful. Like I said in my last review Marni Mann’s writing is extremely artistic; I would say its equivalent of an artist’s expressive, confident and colourful brush strokes across a naked canvas. Every word counted and hit that raw and exposed part of the heart that feels every nuance and deliberate intention. It was astounding and compelling throughout.

“Because light is defined by the darkness it illuminates.”

The journey of Charlie and Cameron’s relationship and the tying up of loose ends were complex, extremely seductive and harrowing. I could not put my kindle down as I was immersed in this highly emotionally charged sequel. I applaud Marni Mann for sweeping me up and through her flawless writing, taking me into a dark and chilling part of the art world where secrets are exposed as one soul mate heals the other, weighed down by self-imposed restrictions and feelings of guilt. The passion and the artistic healing is plentiful; the road to recovery and self-realisation fraught with despair yet also seduction, beauty and empathy. I re-connected fully with these two broken characters struggling to become who they were meant to be individually and together after struggling for so long whilst throwing a couple of twists in there too that I did not see coming.

‘I stood at the edge of the canvas, our bodies glowing under the light. The mix of brightness in the relative darkness was almost blinding.’ – Charlie

I struggled in book #1 with Charlie’s character at times. She was an extremely sexual being who made decisions that boggled the mind at times. However, in this instalment this artistically gifted girl really came into her own. Her struggles were believable, her maturity and growth inspiring.

‘Maybe I’ll never be free of that house of horrors. It was my choice to enter; it was my choice to destroy it as well, and I accept whatever comes to me as a result.’ – Charlie

As for Cameron…sigh. This man is amazing. He’s had such a traumatic past and a broken but not yet irreparable soul that not only heals Charlie in the most magnificent way but in return is healed as well.

‘Cameron…my dawn. He had broken through the darkness – my darkness- and pulled me from its depths.’ – Charlie

Their story is not only tragic; it’s unbelievably beautiful and heart-rending. Some scenes were so inherently poignant and vivid that I involuntarily shivered from the eerie chills, felt myself heat up in their passion as well as felt the dark hopelessness of confusion at the size of obstacles thrown in their path.

“Sometimes I look at you and I’m amazed that you’re mine.” – Cameron

So, I did not want to talk about the story too much as if you haven’t read book #1 Seductive Shadows, my review will completely spoil the crux of the story. Instead I wanted to go for how I felt about the characters and their journey as a whole. The only reason for why this is not a 5 star read boils down to one revelation which in itself just didn’t sit right with me. I felt it was too unbelievable and handled with too much acceptance and understanding after everything that had happened, as well as the relationship of the main people involved. That’s as far as I will go on that one though and is my personal opinion.

Overall, I highly recommend this series, which in my opinion, takes a storyline from a well-trodden path to a new level of originality and uniqueness through the quality and the artistic flair of its Author. Marni Mann; I salute you!!!

*ARC received for honest review*

Check out and purchase the SHADOWS Series here:

Seductive Shadows (Shadows Series)

Seductive Secrecy (Shadows series)

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Marni Mann, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte

SEDUCTIVE SHADOWS (Shadows #1) by MARNI MANN

seductive shadows cover

 

SYNOPSIS

Charlie is a passionate, sensually-inspired art student, desperately seeking an escape from the abusive past that haunts her and a tragic accident that emptied her heart. Scarred and unable to love, her yearning for physical pleasure leads her into a tantalizing, dangerous world of power and seduction. The anonymity of the deal offers security; the money brings financial freedom and the madam is the mother figure she longs for.

But the thrill of the mansion and its arousing dominance quickly fades when she meets renowned-yet-mysterious Cameron Hardy, whose intense baby blue eyes send a nervous flutter through her core. Cameron is sexy, and not in a subtle way. He stimulates Charlie’s art, her intellect and her desires. Just as he begins to break through her emotional boundaries, she discovers a devastating connection between her past and her scandalous work at the mansion, shattering everything she thought to be true.

Provocative, intoxicating and erotic, Seductive Shadows is the unforgettable tale of a young woman’s self-discovery as she learns to forgive, to love and be loved, and to find redemption amidst a remarkable journey that will captivate your mind and stimulate your soul.

This book is for mature audiences. It contains explicit language and sexual content.

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Reviewed by Gitte

So, you know one of those books where you have absolutely no idea how you feel about it after reading and you’re still thinking about it for a while after?! Well this one is just that book for me. I was intrigued throughout and I needed to know what was going to happen. At times I rolled my eyes at others I felt so emotional my heart was pounding. To be honest I’m still not sure how I feel so bear with me.

The premise is one we’ve read about in a lot of books, in fact it’s a really fabulous mix of a lot of the books I’ve enjoyed. Despite this I felt it was quite unique too and quite artistic in parts as the writing was brilliant.

The story was quite slow to begin with; it was setting the scene for what was to come yet in some way I think the focus was placed too much on the sexual nature of our heroine.

“Sex held me at night, kept me from dwelling in the pain, from remembering and regretting. It was the only time I didn’t feel alone……”

I completely appreciate that we needed to understand the part sex played in her life as it was part of her traumatised psyche. However, it became too much for me which made me irritated with her story at times rather than have her gaining my sympathy. I’m not sure I really connected with her. She was fascinating, but I didn’t quite get her. At times she was just a little bit too odd for my liking, though I appreciated that she was a tortured soul. I just didn’t learn what I needed about her in order to fully understand her, I think. I loved that she was an artist, and after all, it takes eccentricity and a tortured soul to create a master piece no?! So in that respect the Author was spot on.

But wow, once it got going it was un-put-down-able! It was intense, raw and dark and I was enthralled; swept away by some class writing.

Our heroine Charlie is extremely passionate. She comes from an abusive home where sex was the order of the day as in her Mum and every Tom, Dick and Harry in their tiny flat. It’s the only thing Charlie knew, and by watching her Mum’s behaviour, Charlie soon starts to equate sex with love and self-worth. Her existence is heavily weighted by her past and she almost lives in her own little world in the shadows of life.

When Charlie is given a proposition, which comes about under extremely bizarre and mysterious circumstances, she sees an escape, a legitimate reason for her behaviour. She almost sees it as an affirmation and a release of responsibility.

The mansion of intrigue and menace fascinated me, I thought it was a real exciting concept and twist in the story and once we got more and more involved I was left gobsmacked. Charlie’s journey of self-discovery and ‘secrets revealed’ are all instigated by the acceptance of a fateful proposition. A journey that will shock and devastate her and make her realise and question everything.

“The music reminded me of a haunted house. But the loudest sounds of all were those in my mind. Questions swirled with each step: would I be working in this mansion… where was he taking me…what job was I going to be offered…would I accept it…and why was I dressed like this? I was anxious to find out the answers…”

Then we have Cameron, the gorgeous sexy bad arse painter who comes with his own mysterious circumstances surrounding him. The scenes with Charlie and him are highly charged and sensual. I wanted more of Cameron in this story, I felt we weren’t given enough of ‘him’ as well as them together before all hell broke loose so it was difficult to get the complete connection and the development of their relationship.

Hmmm….sat here thinking about it, I wonder if I have talked myself into a higher rating? Gah!!! I just don’t know how I feel, but maybe that’s part of the overall appeal? Who knows….?

If I had to describe Seductive Shadows in 5 words it’d be: Compelling, Dark, Erotic, Emotional & Unique!!

 Gitte: 3.5-4.0 Stars

ARC supplied by author in exchange for an honest review

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Check out and purchase The Seductive Shadows Series here

Seductive Shadows

Seductive Secrecy (Shadows series) – available for pre order

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Marni Mann, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte