In The Shadow of Darkness by Nicole StilingIn The Shadow of Darkness by Nicole Stiling is a supernatural romance that takes us from one century into the next and shows us that the power of love can conquer evil.

On an ordinary evening, walking home from work, Angeline Vallencourt is ripped from her normal life and thrust into a world she doesn’t understand. As a newly turned vampire, the only one she can turn to for help is the one who made her, Katherine. But Katherine isn’t willing to tend to Angeline’s needs outside of teaching her how to survive and enjoy eternity. Angeline puts up with her nonsense for decades, until one night when Katherine goes too far and drives Angeline away. For the next sixty-odd years, Angeline does her best to keep a low profile. But a chance encounter at a gas station might remind her there’s more to life than just surviving.

Meghan Denham is the epitome of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. After ending up the victim of a robbery-gone-wrong, her life is turned upside down by the strange and beautiful Angeline. If Angeline is telling the truth about who she is, then everything Megan believes about the world is a lie. Instead of being repulsed by Angeline’s nature, she is drawn to the enigmatic vampire and wants to know more about her as a person.

Angeline does her best to keep Megan at arm’s length, but her heart seems to be awoken by this beautiful woman. Pretty soon Angeline and Megan are spending all their free time together  and attraction starts to form. Just as Angeline believes she can fall in love again suspicious deaths begin to occur. Deaths where the victims are drained entirely of blood. They must team up and find the culprit before all of Fog Hollow is decimated by a true monster.

Will Angeline and Megan be able to discover who’s behind the killings? And will it solidify their bond, or get them killed in the name of revenge?

The Characters

Angeline is a vampire, albeit reluctantly. She was turned in the 1920s by a woman who really wasn’t worried about how Angeline might feel about it. This makes Angeline resentful towards her new life for a time. It also makes her resilient. Angeline studies the scientific side of what she is, and in some ways it makes her more accepting to think of herself as someone with a virus as opposed to a blood thirsty monster. She wants to be a good person, despite her new reality, and she does her best to live by those self-set rules. The only thing that she doesn’t allow herself to do is love. But she’s about to save the one person that can open her heart again to the possibility.

With Megan, her humanity is illustrated in the very actions she takes after her deathly experience at the gas station. She has a kind heart, a kind soul, and she’s honest to a fault. It’s interesting to see a woman who meets a vampire, and then tells the truth about it to everyone who asks, no matter how crazy she sounds. She would rather sound crazy than lie. But as crazy as she sounds, it is ultimately her truth that will save her and Angeline when someone sinister comes calling.

The Writing Style

Stiling doesn’t just tell us another story vampire. She shows us the trials and tribulations a newly turned vampire must endure. By switching between the past and the present, we are able to journey along with Angeline through becoming a vampire, coming to terms with her immortality, and most importantly experience the catalyst that forces her to close off her heart to love. We are then able to feel so much empathy for Angeline and we want her to succeed in finding that love once again.

The Pros

What I really loved is how Stiling didn’t get caught up in the vampire lore. It’s addressed through Megan’s curiosity and desire to learn what is real and what is myth. Once she is satisfied, we move on, and I was happy to see that.

The Cons

I really didn’t have any cons for this story. It was a well thought out, well written vampire story.

The Conclusion

I really liked this story because it concentrated on the relationship between two women. You get enough of the vampire lore to establish Angeline, and then you’re thrust into this mysterious, intriguing and beautiful story of two people wanting love. This is a must read for anyone who’s into supernatural romances and anyone looking for an unconventional love story between two lovely women.

Excerpt from In The Shadow of Darkness by Nicole Stiling

The sound of her blood pumping brought Megan out of the darkness. She tasted something metallic on her lips, and she could feel the weight of another person on top of her.

“Just a little more,” the disembodied voice commanded. “Come on.”

Megan felt her chest constrict, then she gulped a mouthful of air, repeatedly, until she felt like she could breathe normally again. Her eyes opened and she tried to regain control.

“Where am I? What happened?” she asked, panting.

“You were hurt.”

“Yes, I figured that out, but what are you doing?” Megan asked, looking at the stranger’s bleeding wrist.

“Saving you?” she said, sounding the slightest bit annoyed.

“Why are you bleeding? Are you hurt?”

She looked at her wrist, then turned it over quickly. “Yes, I’m hurt. Sure. So, best of luck. Godspeed. Get well soon.” The woman stood, brushing the dirt off her jeans.

“No, wait. You can’t just leave me here! Was I…shot?” Megan asked, recalling the events of the gas station.

“Yes.”

“Oh my God, I was shot. Why didn’t you take me to a hospital?” Megan searched for her wound but found that underneath the smear of blood there was no bullet hole. She opened her sweater and lifted her shirt to poke and prod at her stomach.

“You would have died.”

“What do you mean? There’s nothing here. The bullet must have grazed me.”

“Okay, then. My bad.”

“Who are you?”

The woman sighed heavily and rubbed the back of her neck. “Angeline. If you’re all set, I’m gonna go.”

“Did you kidnap me or something? What are we doing out here?”

“My God! Look, you would have died from that gunshot wound if I’d left you in that store or if I had called an ambulance…I saw you, and I didn’t want you to die, so I fed you a little of my blood to heal you. I’m not going to turn you or anything. That’s it. Can I go now?” Angeline raised her eyebrows and crossed her arms.

“You fed me your blood? Okay, so you’re psychotic? Or just a goth who’s taken things a little too far?” Megan took a few steps backward, realizing that poking someone who was clearly mentally unstable might not be in her best interest.

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Bits and Bobs

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Note: I received a free review copy of In The Shadow of Darkness by Nicole Stiling. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

Anna Gram on FacebookAnna Gram on Twitter
Reviewer at The Lesbian Review
Anna Gram works in entertainment in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not working she loves watching and playing softball, as well as reading lesbian romances. Her favorite authors are Rachel Spangler, MJ Duncan, Kenna White, and Andi Marquette…just to name a few.