Shadow Bound

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Adam Thorne founded the Segue Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O'Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow. Twilight is the place between life and what comes after- a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.

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Overview

Adam Thorne founded the Segue Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O'Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow. Twilight is the place between life and what comes after- a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kellison's debut, a blend of suspense and paranormal romance, follows Adam Thorne as he attempts to unravel the mystery of the wraiths, possessed humans who feed on human souls. Desperate to free his brother from possession, Adam follows a flimsy lead to half-Fae Talia O'Brien, a young woman with a newly minted doctorate, a mysterious past, and magical abilities that stop wraiths in their tracks. As the wraiths pursue Talia, determined to destroy her in retribution for her father daring to love and impregnate a human woman, Adam tries to protect her and understand her powers, and finds himself falling in love. Fast-paced without being frenetic, interesting and entertaining if not particularly challenging, this tale deftly avoids romance clichés while delivering plenty of action. (July)
Barnes & Noble Book Clubs - x x
"The search is over for your next book. If you're looking for a must read this summer, look no further than Shadow Bound. This book blew me away and I believe it will have readers talking and discussing for a long time to come."
~ Barnes & Noble Book Clubs - Heart to Heart: The BN Romance Blog
Review - Nina Bangs
“Powerful and fast paced. With compelling characters, chilling evil, and a fascinating premise. Erin Kellison has fashioned a riveting read.”—Nina Bangs, New York Times bestselling author
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780505528292
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Erin Kellison is the debut author of Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Literature and went on for a masters degree in Cultural Anthropolgie. She lives in Arizona with her daughters and husband. This is Ms. Kellison’s first novel.  She is an active member of the Romance Writers of America.

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Read an Excerpt

Shadow Bound


By Erin Kellison

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Clarissa Ellison
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-505-52829-2


Chapter One

Twenty-six years later ...

Adam Thorne took the graveyard shift at Jacob's cell.

He was wired with jet lag anyway, his circadian rhythms lagging somewhere over the Atlantic. He'd be right as rain in Korea, where he'd spent the last three weeks following up on a lead with the mystics on Mount Inwangsan. But in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, in a concrete hole under The Segue Institute, his body did not know if it was night, day, or some strange time zone in between.

Scrubbing a hand over his face, he tried to focus on the keypad next to the outer security door. Hot lightning burned across the whites of his eyes, and his face had roughened behind twenty-four hours of growth. A bottle of pills promised to take him out for eight hours, but the sleep would be poor at best if he didn't check in with Jacob first. Do his own time, albeit on the other side of the prison door.

Adam coded into the security room. A slight smell of rot hit him as the steel-reinforced door slid open. He frowned and braced inwardly. With a jerk of his head, he dismissed the guard, wondering how the man withstood the constant funk up his nose.

Signing on to the master security console, Adam caught a glimpse of Jacob in the video monitor: he lay on his side, arms wrapped around his naked belly as if to ward off cold or in an expression of acute modesty. He'd once chaired the board of Thorne Industries. Now he was cornered like a lab animal in a sterile white box. Overly thin and pale, Jacob was frightening only in the sense that no human being should ever be caged and starved like he'd been for the last six years. But then, Adam didn't think Jacob was human anymore.

Adam dropped four inches of files on the console before him. Might as well get some work in before he crashed.

It always amazed him how so little progress could generate so much work. He picked up the first file and opened the manila folder. A detailed spreadsheet of numbers blurred before his eyes. Budget can wait. He closed the file again and exchanged it for another. Inside was a stack of papers so thick as to require a rubber band to hold them together. A Post-it was stuck to the top.

I thought this might interest you. ~C.

Celia Eubanks was a research fellow at Johns Hopkins and an old family friend. He focused on the text of the document, titled, An examination of common motifs described in near-death experiences, by Talia Kathleen O'Brien.

Near-death. That wouldn't do him any good.

A shuffle hissed out of the speakers in the console. Jacob was moving in there.

"Ho, Adam. Good to have you back." The voice was nonchalant and familiar at the same time, coming in crystal clear over the monitor.

Adam ignored Jacob. Early on they'd attempted to test how he knew who was beyond his cell walls, each a foot-thick plane of reinforced steel, to determine which of his senses exceeded human parameters and by how much, but Jacob had caught on and started messing with their data.

Adam scanned the 316 pages of Ms. Talia O'Brien's dissertation. Dense text filled the pages, broken up by a chart or two. Deep reading. She could have chosen a larger point size for the font. He'd be blind before the end.

"You could answer me. Our mother taught you better manners than that," Jacob said in his usual condescending tone.

Mom would be weeping for both of us.

Adam forced his concentration away from Jacob and into chapter one, the section where Ms. O'Brien laid out her theory and her method of analysis. He liked the way her mind worked, her odd angle of inquiry. She did not assume near-death experiences were real, but neither did she suggest they were false. She positioned herself outside the stories and looked for common threads. She noted patterns between them to analyze how the living conceived of death, and not death itself. Death as a concept, an idea entertained by a subconscious grappling with mortality.

"Adam, it's just that I am so hungry, I can't even think. I may be ready to try some soup. Or a sandwich. What do you think? Just a little bite to give me something to go on."

You don't want a sandwich, Jacob. You don't even remember what to do with one. You just want the person who brings it to you, even if it is your own brother.

But any kind of dialogue with the thing that had his older brother's face and memories would be pointless. Whatever came out of his mouth since his change was a manipulation of the truth, contrived to keep Adam in hell. Nothing to learn there.

Adam focused on the study. Chapter two related the author's interactions with her sources. She'd managed to get a wide age range, which was laudable. Selected experiences had been transcribed and included in an appendix. Real work went into this.

Life after death.

Adam frowned. He hadn't pursued this approach; perhaps it was time he did. And this-he flipped to the front-Talia O'Brien came at the subject from a neatly objective point of view. He'd have to check her out. See if she was safe to come on staff at Segue.

"God, Adam, I don't know why you have to be such a shit about this. All I want is a sandwich. You could at least answer me. Answer me, goddamn it!"

Adam flipped through the dissertation, past her analysis, to her conclusions. Something caught his eye, made his stomach tighten. He skimmed back again. There. On the bottom of page sixty-nine. Footnote 3b. A source claimed to have met an individual named Shadowman.

A memory stirred, a long-ago rant from a gleeful Jacob, his eyes bright and wild, voice shrill. "Shadowman can't reach me!"

Jacob's face had been bloody, their father limp on the floor at his feet.

Adam braced against the flood of pain the recollection triggered and stuffed the vision back in the small box in his head. Shut it. Tight.

He blinked hard to restore his normal sight, shook off the heat that had suddenly slicked his skin, and forced a cleansing breath.

In the intervening years, he'd searched the name Shadowman exhaustively, attempted to question (and goad) Jacob further, but had come up with nothing. Nothing.

Until now.

Adam's heart hit his throat. Shadowman. Ms. O'Brien's source had conversed with him, and Shadowman had returned her from death back to mortal life.

I'll be damned. The Shadowman.

A strange sensation welled up in him, pushing at his chest, buzzing in his mind.

Near-death experiences. He should have thought of it before. Incredible lapse of imagination on his part. Here he'd been consulting wiccans, shamans, and holy men.

Adam pulled his mobile phone from his pocket. "Custo. Track down Ms. Talia O'Brien. PhD student. No-she's probably been awarded her doctorate by now, out of-" he turned to the title page-"University of Maryland. I expect she's got an offer and is teaching somewhere. Her field-damn, she's covered just about everything-but try sociology, anthropology, psychiatry perhaps. Find out what you can about her. Use whatever resources you deem necessary."

"I'll get right on it. Any particular reason you're interested?"

"For starters, her work is outstanding. You've got to read her dissertation. Tonight, if possible. I'll leave a copy on your desk. Let me know when you've located her." Adam had to get to the plane. Frantic energy coursed through his veins.

"Must be good. You haven't sounded this excited since ... well, in years."

"You will be, too. Read all the footnotes, and you'll see." Adam ended the call and stooped to pick up his files. Budget would just have to come with him.

"Talia O'Brien." Jacob drew the name out. "Sounds uptight to me, Bro. More my type than yours."

Adam glanced into the monitor. Jacob was on his feet, face belligerently in the camera.

"I know what to do with her," Jacob said with a grin. He licked his teeth in a gross parody of lust or hunger. Probably both.

"But I found her first," Adam murmured, turning away. He buzzed for the guard.

Behind him the room shuddered. Adam knew the sound: Jacob kicking at the cell door. Pray to God the reinforced steel held. An unearthly screech followed. Six years and it still raised the hair at Adam's nape. No bullet or blade could stop that monster.

Talia O'Brien.

Maybe she could help him kill his brother.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison Copyright © 2010 by Clarissa Ellison. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 1520 )
Rating Distribution

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(421)

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(352)

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(145)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1527 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great New Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Author

    Looking for a great dark fantasy read this summer?

    Ever heard of author Erin Kellison? Neither had I, until I clicked on a banner ad and ended up with a copy of her book Shadow Bound on my doorstep...

    Shadow Bound is one of those unexpected great reads that you would never see coming. Look at the cover - does that look like the cover of a great book? Unfortunately not... it's a very nice image, but I don't think it accurately conveys the theme and intensity of the story. It looks more like... something for a YA Romance. Which this is definitely not.

    Here's the Publisher's Weekly synopsis:

    Kellison's debut, a blend of suspense and paranormal romance, follows Adam Thorne as he attempts to unravel the mystery of the wraiths, possessed humans who feed on human souls. Desperate to free his brother from possession, Adam follows a flimsy lead to half-Fae Talia O'Brien, a young woman with a newly minted doctorate, a mysterious past, and magical abilities that stop wraiths in their tracks.

    As the wraiths pursue Talia, determined to destroy her in retribution for her father daring to love and impregnate a human woman, Adam tries to protect her and understand her powers, and finds himself falling in love. Fast-paced without being frenetic, interesting and entertaining if not particularly challenging, this tale deftly avoids romance cliches while delivering plenty of action.

    Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

    And it is! It delivers on all counts. The characters are interesting and multi-dimensional (though it takes awhile to get much from Talia, but I think that's simply due to the personality of the character), and the plot is fast-paced and action-driven.

    I also loved the concept of the wraiths, which seemed like a combination of Dementors from Harry Potter and the wraith from Stargate: Atlantis - very creepy, and truly evil. In a way, it's very refreshing to see truly evil villains, because as great as it is to have villains with pathos, I think recent paranormal/fantasy has got away from that Truly Bad Villain that readers simply want to see destroyed at all costs.

    A word of warning to the sensitive, however - there are two sex scenes in this book, but if you're not comfortable reading these, it's very easy to flip the page and get on with the story. Just something I thought worth noting, as I don't want to scare anyone off the book for the sake of missing such a great story.

    I should also mention that Kellison is on Twitter, and seems to love interacting with her readers! If you read the book and enjoy it, pop over there and send her a note.

    And one final thing... when you get to the end and think "Oh noooes, a cliffhanger?!?", never fear! Book two, Shadow Fall, releases this month - some places are even putting it out early, so keep your eyes open.

    21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book

    Such a great book. Loved it. Awesome read

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Intense and dark romance

    Shadow Bound is based on a very different point of view towards the world of the Fae and their existence. This story starts out strong and dark with a primary character known as Shadowman. Shadowman is also known to some as Death or the Grim Reaper. He lives in the Shadows, the world between ours and heaven. The atmosphere is immediately seductive and darkly intense, thus setting the pace for Shadow Bound.

    The romance between Talia and Adam was palpable to me, with each having their own personal demons to deal with before they can decide on each other. Talia is the type of heroine you can grow with through the story and Adam was such a strong and stead-fast hero that you can't help but fall for him.

    If your looking for something different in the world of Fae with a healthy dose of suspense peppered with villains that are truly treacherous and deadly and a romance that will fill you with hope, I highly recommend Shadow Bound. I can't wait to dive into Shadow Fall this coming weekend!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Unexpectedly good read

    I was intrigued by this book in stores, and almost bought it there, but felt a bit turned off by the cover: the romance font and blank stare of a ditzy teen had me concerned. Grabbed it when it went to free ebook, though, and I'm VERY glad I did: although there are some elements of paranormal romance, this is really more of a modern fantasy horror.

    The writing style is excellent (particularly the prologue, which was more like poetry than prose) and the plot was well constructed, fairly logical, and usually pretty well paced: it didn't rush through action nor feel a constant desperation to get back to it. Kellison also resisted the genre's pervasive need to implant every type of fantasy creature in a mishmash of overkill. Not everyone is delighted with unnaturalness, and some of the heroes die.

    Only complaints: although the adventure is very good, the plot twists were few and generally predictable; and the second quarter of the book, which exists solely to develop the main relationship for the later novel, needs some paring. These are just marks of a rookie author, though, and I really look forward to the rest of the series.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    Uninspired

    From the beginning its obvious the author is too eager to impress her worth as a new author, this proves to be a weakness that takes poorly crafted characters to an even lower point by the middle of the book.
    The cover is poor to say the least leaving it lost among the more skilled publishers who know what romance fans gravitate toward. I cant give it more than one star and will not recommend it to my reading group.

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    heeellllo shadow man!

    the first 2 pages had me hooked, never have i read this twist they put on death himself. This book starts off from the beginning and just keep going, if you like high pace and exciting plots then this is for you. Its definitely a page turner, although I feel the ending was a bit rushed, but it left you wanting more. I hope there is another book that takes off where this one ends. Its definitely worth the free download to your nook.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2010

    Not So Impressed

    The plot and originality easily earn 5 stars. Everything else gets 2. Other readers seem to be gushing about the writing style, characters and world-building but I can't because none of those were more than mediocre. Situations and dialogue were barely plausible, even for fiction. I lost count of my own eye rolls. Secondary and peripheral characters were more interesting than the leads. Conflicts and problems were solved too quickly, easily, magically and conveniently. Also, the person responsible for that cover should be fired. It was too easy for me to put the book down to do other things. I didn't hate the book; it just didn't meet my expectations.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    fascinating urban romantic fantasy

    In Appalachia, West Virginia, Adam Thorne is an obsessive dreamer wanting his Segue Institute to succeed. He has put up his vast inheritance to fund the foundation and backed that with time. His personal goal is to kill his brother Jacob a former CEO turned wraith; who he has incarcerated for six years with little success; while the institutes' mission is to study vampiric wraiths.

    Adam believes he has found the solution in Talia O'Brien who suffered a near death experience. She has the uncanny paranormal ability to cloak herself in the darkness so that neither humans nor wraiths can detect her. However, she must learn to use her ability, but loathes applying it as she detests being different. Adam mentors Talia but conceals from her is motive with a caring nurturing veneer.

    This is a fascinating urban romantic fantasy starring an obsessed lead male and the woman he plans to use as a tool to achieve his immediate objective of fratricide though he knows his sibling is no longer human. The story line is fast-paced, but the criticality that makes it fun to read is that wraiths and an enigmatic Shadowman seen genuine. Fans will relish this entertaining tale as Adam begins to fall in love with his latest weapon to kill his wraith sibling.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bound to read the rest

    I have to admit, I wasn't quite sure whether I liked Kellison's main characters. It took most of the book before I could decide I did. At times it felt like the book couldn't decide which it wanted to be--romance or fantasy. However, Kellison does manage to blend the two together nicely toward the end and her follow up, Shadow Fall, reads much smoother.

    With a cast of characters struggling for survival--let alone love--I can't wait to see who meets their match next or what happens to the mysterious "Shadowman" who set all these terrible events in motion unwittingly just for love.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    Good story

    I thought that being a free book it was great.lots of action and some romance.Well worth the read, very interesting story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2010

    Shadow Bound

    I had a little trouble getting into this book but a few chapters in and I was totally hooked and couldn't put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    Interesting concept. Slow start. Romance fizzles out.

    I would say overall, this book was okay. It took me a while to get interested into and I felt like I really had to push myself through the first three chapters. I liked the concept the author was exploring but I spent most of the time wondering "What is going on?" It feels like it took forever for my questions be answered. The author is technically a much better writer than Charlaine Harris or Stephanie Meyer, hands down, but unfortunately, she isn't as great at communicating her story. I hope that makes sense. I thought to myself several times "Wow, I really like that analogy" or "Good use of words here" but at the same time "What is in the world is going" or "What is she talking about?" She tends to be very vague. As for the romance, I could feel the passion at first but it sort of fizzled out unfortunately. I also felt like the main character's personality kept changing and the author couldn't decide what kind of attitude she was going to have.

    Overall, it was just "eh." Not bad but not great either. I don't think I'll pick up the sequel unfortunately, as much as I really wanted to like this. It was good for a free book though.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2010

    Love this story!

    Free book and new author - what to expect? I loved this book from the start. As a reader of sf/fantasy and paranormal romance, I am pleased to find a new author with fresh ideas and a compelling voice. I was engaged from the start and loath for the book to end. I eagerly await more from these characters and from Erin Kellison.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

    Interesting Read

    A very interesting and original concept with fun characters--worth the free read. I likely would have given it four stars if not for the rather liberal use of the "F" word and the three explicit sex scenes I had to skip over (just not my thing). If that kind of stuff doesn't bother you, check this one out for sure; if it does, be forewarned.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One of the best books I have read! Finished in 1 day!

    One of the best books I have read! Finished in 1 day!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    Thirsty for more

    I never wrote a review before, but felt compeled to on this one. The story felt fresh. Probably the most original story line I have seen in a little while. I totally fell for shadowman. So glad he got his own book. Can't wait to read it.

    The cover does suck. It implies its a cheap romance novel (wich is why I bought it), but it was so much than that.
    I want more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Awesome!

    I know, the cover is deceptive, depicting more of a teen story. Not!!!! I loved this story, full of action, mystery, and romance. Of course, I'm an Anita Blake, Black Dagger Brotherhood fan as well as Historical romance fan. This story had it all, I totally recommend and look forward to more from this arthur!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    Gripping story

    This one is a great read for fantasy lovers! Don't want to put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Just me

    Really enjoyed this read, i guess in the end it,s what one believes. I am a great fan of vampire and other world read and this one was different. Enjoyed

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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