Marked by Shadow

Meraki P. Lyhne
Marked by Shadow
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eXtasy Books
Release Date
August 2016
Book 3 of Chronicles of an Earned
Erotic Romance, Fantasy Romance, LGBTQ, Urban Fantasy

While sorting through an old estate in the basement of an auction house, Nathan finds a gold bracelet with strange markings on it. He recognizes it as an ancient language and reads the inscription out loud. This makes him the master of a man, Lucien, cursed into shadow by the Thule society during WWII. As this whole new world of the paranormal is revealed to Nathan, he finds both love and a fierce loyalty from Lucien, the man now bound to him—a loyalty he is going to need, as the men who made Lucien into what he is want him back. And they are willing to kill anyone who stands in their way.

Book Review by Elizabeth Ramsay (reviewer)
Sep 12, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
77 people found the following review helpful
Love finds Nathan and drags him into a whole new world in MARKED BY SHADOW.

Nathan spends his days sorting the contents of estates for the auction house he works for. He hopes to one day get out of the basement and really work with the artifacts he currently sends to be appraised. Nathan dreams of a job where his passion for ancient languages, puzzles, and codes could be put to use but doesn't see that as practical in this day and age. Instead he channels his energy into Taekwondo and makes up codes with his friend Jenny. Then he reads the writing on a strange gold bracelet and everything changes.

Lucien was a French spy captured by the Germans in WWII. The infamous Thule society bond him in chains and made him a shadow slave. Whoever wears the bracelet is his master. Lucien is banished to Shadow by day but appears in the world at night. Nathan is amazed when Lucien appears in his life and intrigued by the handsome man. Lucien is bound to be loyal to his master but the rest of his feelings are his own. Just as the men start falling in love, the Thule Society reappears to try to reclaim Lucien. Can the men outrun them, find allies, and finally free Lucian from his chains?

It is nice to read a gay romance where the two lovers are normal. There is no BDSM or self loathing in the romance between Nathan and Lucien. They are simply two people in love. The ending of the novel, however, is more problematic as Nathan and Lucien literally have a Master and slave relationship, and Lucien is forced to obey Nathan's orders. There is no way that that sort of power dynamic is healthy in a long term relationship. Yet the men are still in the same position at the end of the novel.

While this is likely because this is a series and Meraki P. Lyhne intends to free all the slaves at once, there is no real reason not to have some sort of key that can only free them one at a time. This would continue the series while addressing the happily ever after expectations of the genre. In spite of the lack of an ending to Nathan and Lucien's story, the novel is compelling and is well worth a read if you like m/m romance.
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