I discovered Nichole Van around two years ago when she self-published her debut book Intertwine (which is currently available for Kindle for only .99). I instantly fell in love and now eagerly await each new release.
Love’s Shadow is the latest and second book of four in her Brothers Maledetti series. This series follows triplet brothers named after famous Englishman of literature, who have supernatural capabilities. They descend from a long line of first born sons whose abilities have turned out to be much more of a curse than a blessing. Love’s Shadow tells the story of the middle brother, Branwell (can you guess whose namesake he is?)
Branwell has been in love with his brother’s ex-girlfriend from first sight years ago. Unbeknownst, to him she is also in love with him but due to their loyalty to the brother/ex-boyfriend neither one of them will act upon their feelings, leaving both of them believing their affection is unrequited. But when Lucy’s niece disappears on her watch and she comes under suspicion, Branwell steps in to help, hoping his and his brothers “gifts” will give them an advantage in finding the little girl.
I first met Branwell in Gladly Beyond which gave me a glimpse into the toll his special abilities take on even the minute details of his daily life. This is explained in greater detail in Love’s Shadow which led me to an understanding of the precautions he is forced to take. Lucy and Branwell’s romance is unique because of their great compassion and willingness to sacrifice their desires for the love of others. The Maledetti family is one that anyone would love to be a part of thanks to the special bond among the brothers and the rest of their family (mother, sister, grandmother) which is beautiful and sincere.
I hate to say Nichole Van improves with each book, because I love them all so much I cannot say which one is best. All her stories are light and frothy romances with great moments of humor woven in. Her heroes are swoony and her heroines, likeable and spunky. Because I am a fan of both historical and contemporary fiction I appreciate how she weaves them together in each of her stories in a believable way (well, if you can believe in time-travel and/or supernatural transference). Many books which contain the supernatural tend to feel somewhat heavy and dark, but this is what I would call supernatural-lite, as it simply adds a fantastical element without feeling threatening. I also appreciate that her stories are clean, with no objectionable material in them adhering to the values of an old-fashioned romance.
As usual, now that I have finished this story, I can’t wait for the next one.
Visit the author’s Pinterest page for visuals from the book.