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Ecstasy

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Author: Jacquelyn Frank

Published: January 1st 2009 by Zebra

Format: Mass Market Paperback , 330 pages

Isbn: 9780821780701

Language: English


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At one with the darkness, the mysterious Shadowdwellers must live as far from light-loving humans as possible in order to survive. Yet one damaged human woman will tempt the man behind the Shadowdweller throne into a dangerous desire... Worlds Couldn't Keep Them Apart Among the Shadowdwellers, Trace holds power that some are willing to kill for. Without a stranger's aid, one At one with the darkness, the mysterious Shadowdwellers must live as far from light-loving humans as possible in order to survive. Yet one damaged human woman will tempt the man behind the Shadowdweller throne into a dangerous desire... Worlds Couldn't Keep Them Apart Among the Shadowdwellers, Trace holds power that some are willing to kill for. Without a stranger's aid, one rival would surely have succeeded, but Trace's brush with death is less surprising to him than his reaction to the beautiful, fragile human who heals him. By rights, Trace should hardly even register Ashla's existence within the realms of Shadowscape, but instead he is drawn to everything about her—her innocence, her courage, and her lush, sensual heat. After a terrifying car crash, Ashla Townsend wakes up to find that the bustling New York she knew is now eerie and desolate. Just when she's convinced she's alone, Ashla is confronted by a dark warrior who draws her deeper into a world she never knew existed. The bond between Ashla and Trace is a mystery to both, but searching for answers will mean confronting long-hidden secrets, and uncovering a threat that could destroy everything Trace holds precious.

30 review for Ecstasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie (jjmachshev)

    Fans of Jacquelyn Frank can rest easy. She's followed up her 'Nightwalker' series with the 'Shadowdwellers', and the first novel "Ecstasy" is a winner for me. The first series introduced her creation of an Earth inhabited by paranormal creatures and focused on the battle of what humans call Demons. This series shifts the focus to another race. A race that exists both in and between Realscape and Shadowscape. Two different, yet co-existing realities that can and do affect each other and the creat Fans of Jacquelyn Frank can rest easy. She's followed up her 'Nightwalker' series with the 'Shadowdwellers', and the first novel "Ecstasy" is a winner for me. The first series introduced her creation of an Earth inhabited by paranormal creatures and focused on the battle of what humans call Demons. This series shifts the focus to another race. A race that exists both in and between Realscape and Shadowscape. Two different, yet co-existing realities that can and do affect each other and the creatures living in either. When Ashla suddenly finds herself in a world that's totally empty of any living creatures, she's pretty freaked. After all, once she's gorged herself on the never-ending feasts, shopped for free in all the best stores Manhattan has to offer, fulfilled her curiosity by seeing anything, anywhere she wants, all the while spoiling herself in the lap of luxury that is the Plaza hotel...what's left? So when she's surprised by the sudden appearance of two men fighting, with swords no less, she's pretty sure she really is insane. But after the deadly battle when one lies dying, she can't help but heal him...and that act will change her life forever. Trace is truly shocked when he realizes the creature who healed him is not a Ghost or a Fade, but a real human. For one who has lived as long as he, her existence would have been enough of a puzzle, but when she heals him from a mortal wound, he finds himself drawn to her...even though he knows any bond between human and Shadowdweller should be impossible, and is certainly forbidden. Very different. I don't confuse Frank's stories with any other writers and considering how much I read, that's a real compliment. Her universe is complex and filled with diverse races, each with a rich culture and history that unfold as her series progresses. Having said that, I now must resign myself to wait for the next installment, "Rapture", scheduled for publication in July 09...SIX whole months!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Rebecca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jacquelyn Frank's new book "Ecstasy" was disapointing to say the least. I counted at least 7 plot themes I'd seen in at least 4 different books from differnt authors, most remarkably J.R. Ward's BDB series. While I would never go so far as to accuse Ms. Frank of plagerism, I would definitely accuse her of unoriginality. I never fell in love with the character of Trace who's pushy sexuality was off putting. I wanted him to at least try to stay away from Ashla for a few seconds. There is something Jacquelyn Frank's new book "Ecstasy" was disapointing to say the least. I counted at least 7 plot themes I'd seen in at least 4 different books from differnt authors, most remarkably J.R. Ward's BDB series. While I would never go so far as to accuse Ms. Frank of plagerism, I would definitely accuse her of unoriginality. I never fell in love with the character of Trace who's pushy sexuality was off putting. I wanted him to at least try to stay away from Ashla for a few seconds. There is something wonderful in being wanted so thoroughly, however Trace's obsession sounded less romantic and more chafe inducing. And the special guest star appearance of Gideon from the "Nightwalker" series had me laughing out loud. It felt like I was watching an afterschool special with a guest spot from Mr. T. "I pity the fool that don't get healed right!" I loved *most* of the books in the Nightwalker series and Jacquelyn Frank was an author I trusted. My trust is on hold. I will read her next book, but I fear my eye may be biased. My favorite quote pg 320 in reference to Ashla being pregnant. ".....all I can say is, I hope the one-quarter part that is human does not include her mouth." OOOOOOoooo!!! Zing! Gideon you bitch! :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Buggy

    Opening Line:"Ashla stood shivering in the darkened streets of Times Square. Jaquelyn Frank has created a dense and complicated new society in ECSTASY. I tried very hard to like this new world but it was a tough read and fans should be warned that this is not a continuation of the Nightwalker series. After a horrific car accident our impish heroine Ashla awakens to find herself in Shadowworld. A strange version of New York City without any lights or people. It is also a place of endless night. Ju Opening Line:"Ashla stood shivering in the darkened streets of Times Square. Jaquelyn Frank has created a dense and complicated new society in ECSTASY. I tried very hard to like this new world but it was a tough read and fans should be warned that this is not a continuation of the Nightwalker series. After a horrific car accident our impish heroine Ashla awakens to find herself in Shadowworld. A strange version of New York City without any lights or people. It is also a place of endless night. Just as she grows accustomed to her solitary, dark world Ashla is confronted by a sword baring warrior named Trace. He is a Shadowdweller. A being able to exist in two demensions; Realscape (our world) and Shadowscape (an in-between world i.e. ghosts, spirits, coma patients). 'Dwellers' are unable to tolerate even the smallest amount of light and therefore must live in the shadows of Realscape as well as being able to fade into Shadowscape where there is no risk of light. If a Dweller however remains in Shadowscape too long he risks 'Euphoria' a deadly form of selfish lustfulness. Trace has been followed into Shadowscape by a conspirator against the Shadowdwellers. He manages to kill his enemy but is mortally wounded in the process. Normally those stuck in Shadowscape such as Ashla are unaware of Shadowwalkers like Trace but fortunately for him she not only sees him but possesses the ability to heal with her touch. After healing Trace Ashla takes on his injuries and Trace, feeling responsible as well as an unexplainable connection to her lingers in Shadowscape and begins experiencing Euphoria. Ashla accommadates Trace in his sickness and they both discover that she is turned on by submission. In Trace's culture selflessness and gentleness while making love are paramount and much time is spent schooling the youngsters in all manners of lovemaking. However Trace is so filled with Euphoria that he has all consuming, selfish sex with Ashla for days on end without relief. Evenually Trace is brought back into Realscape by two Shadowwalker warriors sent to rescue him. Leaving poor Ashla alone again in her gloomy spirit world. As Trace recovers back in Realscape he is filled with guilt and vows to return into Shadowscape, find Ashla and make amends. Unfortunately his people have begun their annual migration to Alaska and when he recovers enough he is expected to lead them. I was initially intrigued by the idea of someone living in an in-between world of darkness and solitide but when I had to read a whole paragraph explaining what a lie means in Shadowese culture and every single detail regarding that society including sex education, history, religion and politics. I was frankly overwhelmed and became bored with the complexity of the world Jacquelyn Frank has created. There is little character developement with Trace and Ashla and I didn't ever really get a feel for their characters. The many pages spent on their lovemaking are crass and border on erotica more than romance. Fans of the Nightwalker series will be thrilled however by a scene in the final pages when Gideon makes a brief appearance. This book is not a continuation of Jacquelyn Franks Nightwalker series and I would have a trouble recommending it to anyone except her die hard fans.

  4. 4 out of 5

    DarienMoya

    ^^ECSITINGLY GOOD!^^ In my eyes this book was a hit, and I am investing in all the others in the series. I will say this again I am a huge fan of Frank’s writing, she always seems to capture my interest. The Shadowdwellers series has captured my interest and I wanna know all about the nightlife, and the sexiness that is shadow dweller. Ashla is worried about driving on new years, because she knows there will be drunk drivers, as the designated driver her eyes are clearly on the road but has faith ^^ECSITINGLY GOOD!^^ In my eyes this book was a hit, and I am investing in all the others in the series. I will say this again I am a huge fan of Frank’s writing, she always seems to capture my interest. The Shadowdwellers series has captured my interest and I wanna know all about the nightlife, and the sexiness that is shadow dweller. Ashla is worried about driving on new years, because she knows there will be drunk drivers, as the designated driver her eyes are clearly on the road but has faith will have it Ashla’s car is struck by a drunk driver. Leaving Ashla in a coma and trapped in shadows cape, what is shadowscape? A place where the soul of a someone goes an wander, never knowing they might be dead and they no longer living in reality. Yet shadowscape co-exist with realscape and they form an interesting intertwining bond. Trace is shadow dweller and a powerful one, there are those seeking to destroy him and all he holds dear. While battling a traitor of their people in shadows cape he is injured and his wounds are fatal. The woman who comes to his rescue should not be able to acknowledge his presence, but this fragile human woman not only sees him but heals him with the touch of her hands. One thing that is clear is that Ashla should not be able to see him, or feel so warm so real. Trace knows this human female is something special but he has to find out just how special. The story then becomes an education in shadow dweller, their customs and beliefs, and a look into the political war of their world. Trace discovers some important truths about Ashla, and Ashla comes to know about the world she belongs in, and finally about herself. I don’t wanna get into too much detail about the book, so all I am gonna say is that I liked it a lot. I loved Trace and he made my stomach do some swan diving, it was all types of good. I liked Ashla and that’s it, not in love with her as a character. I am really interested to see what becomes of other characters, so fa sure I will be continuing the series. I squealed like a pig, when Gideon made an appearance love me some Nightwalkers and I was a lot more interested in Gideon in this book, than his own book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    BJ Rose

    Jacquelyn Frank expands her Nightwalker series by creating the world of Shadowdwellers, a community of Nightwalkers that cannot tolerate direct light - only the light of the moon and stars is tolerable to them. 'Dwellers exist in two dimensions - Realscape and Shadowscape - and have the ability to Fade into Shadowscape and Unfade into Realscape. It's easier for them to move around in Shadowscape without worrying about the dangers of Light, but they risk Euphoria and possible death if they stay t Jacquelyn Frank expands her Nightwalker series by creating the world of Shadowdwellers, a community of Nightwalkers that cannot tolerate direct light - only the light of the moon and stars is tolerable to them. 'Dwellers exist in two dimensions - Realscape and Shadowscape - and have the ability to Fade into Shadowscape and Unfade into Realscape. It's easier for them to move around in Shadowscape without worrying about the dangers of Light, but they risk Euphoria and possible death if they stay too long in Shadowscape. They therefore live a somewhat nomadic life in Realscape, migrating away from extended daylight hours. Ms. Frank again does an excellent job of world-building, which includes helping the reader learn the benefits and difficulties of the two dimensions of Shadowdweller life, and the mirroring of events in those two dimensions: that what happens in Shadowscape also happens in Realscape, but not always with obvious reasons. I loved the idea that events that happen in parallel dimensions are really the cause of unexplained happenings in our dimension, not ghosts or poltergeists. Shadowdweller Trace, vizier to the Lord Chancellor of Shadowdwellers, and Ashla, a human Lost girl in Shadowscape, are the focus of this first book, and their 'romance' was to me the weakness of the book. Although the story of how Ashla came by her unusual powers was compelling enough for me to accept that she belongs in the Shadowdweller community, I did not connect strongly enough with the Trace/Ashla love story. I did not enjoy the crudeness of the descriptions of their 'lovemaking', which leaned toward erotica rather than romance, nor the 'love' language which at times was just vulgar and left no tender emotions in this reader. What I did enjoy was the background story of the Shadowdwellers' long civil war, and the consequent political intrigue and assassination attempts by a rogue contingent that wants to kill the twin regents and take power. This will be the ongoing story and is the reason I will give this series one more chance.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Wade

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So I bought this book, read to page 115, went onto goodreads and rechecked the score it got. Oddly enough, it got a 4 out of 5 for the average reader. When I saw that I spluttered around and tried to find a reason, any reason at all I would rank the first half of the book a 4 out of 5. Unsurprisingly, I found none. This book from the very first page bothered me. Instead of a different realm, palace, or even era, I got a dead, dark, New York City. Forgive me, but that just screams boring and comp So I bought this book, read to page 115, went onto goodreads and rechecked the score it got. Oddly enough, it got a 4 out of 5 for the average reader. When I saw that I spluttered around and tried to find a reason, any reason at all I would rank the first half of the book a 4 out of 5. Unsurprisingly, I found none. This book from the very first page bothered me. Instead of a different realm, palace, or even era, I got a dead, dark, New York City. Forgive me, but that just screams boring and completely unorignal. I mean really, New York City? Atleast place your book somewhere different and new, like Oklahoma. This girl gets killed in a car accident, then becomes a weird half dead wraith- soul. (what the hell?) The first time she meets the man she obviously will soon become involved with, he beheads another man (what a turn on, right?). Instead of turning and running in the opposite direction, what does the smart girl do? She heals the phycopath that just murdered a man infront of her. If that were me, I'd run away screaming bloody murder. Then what happens? the guy leaves, comes back because obviously he has to get to know the lovely lady who saved him. They talk it out and what does said smart girl do? She basically lets the guy have sex with her until she wants to cry from pain. Yes, pain. Not happiness, not euphoria, not anything nice. This guy has gone crazy and will not stop going until two men have to physically pull him off her. That does not make me like this guy, and even worse I hate the girl. Who doesnt even tell him to stop, she just lets it happen. What kind of women doesnt fight that? This book is just too weird for me, Sorry. One point is all it gets in my mind.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Lap

    For me the Shadowdwellers are a little more muted than the other Nightwalkers species we've met to date. Of course, it makes perfect sense given the characteristics of their species. Still, I found Trace a fascinating character and loved his interaction with Ashla. I wish there had been more insight into Mayala, as we've glimpsed her presense in earlier books. I also wish we had more than just a passing, but important scene with Gideon being called upon to heal Ashla. It's always nice to see cha For me the Shadowdwellers are a little more muted than the other Nightwalkers species we've met to date. Of course, it makes perfect sense given the characteristics of their species. Still, I found Trace a fascinating character and loved his interaction with Ashla. I wish there had been more insight into Mayala, as we've glimpsed her presense in earlier books. I also wish we had more than just a passing, but important scene with Gideon being called upon to heal Ashla. It's always nice to see characters we've come to love from previous books. I liked the build between Ashla and Trace. I thought their conversations were interesting and am definitely interested in how the continuing story searching for the traitor will play out. Magnus, Trace's father, has the next storyline later this year and I'm hoping will go a long way in fleshing out more of this layered storyline.

  8. 5 out of 5

    valee

    3.5 STARS I really liked this book, even more than what I thought I would. I had been postponing and delaying this read for two years now, so I'm extremely happy I finally got to read it. I wasn't sure if I should read this series as I had read many negative comments about it. Well, let me tell you guys that while I gave only 3 stars to it, I would still recommend it as I had a great time with it. What I loved the most was the world building. This author created a whole new world out from nowhere 3.5 STARS I really liked this book, even more than what I thought I would. I had been postponing and delaying this read for two years now, so I'm extremely happy I finally got to read it. I wasn't sure if I should read this series as I had read many negative comments about it. Well, let me tell you guys that while I gave only 3 stars to it, I would still recommend it as I had a great time with it. What I loved the most was the world building. This author created a whole new world out from nowhere and it was so well done that I just couldn't help wanting to read more about it. I was way too much captivated by this series for the Shadowdwellers world alone. Even though if you don't take into consideration any of the characters I would still love this series for all the paranormal and fictional background it gives us. This is what I love the most about this genre, to read about a whole new world which has nothing to do with the real one, a world with it's own rules and customs. I just love to get lost in a book and all this new information is the easiest way for me to do so. While there was a lot of background information, I never felt bored by it because it was really interesting. It took me a while to understand this complicated world though, also it has been ages since I read the Nightwalkers series, so it was even harder. I wasn't able to give a higher rating to the book because I wasn't much fond of the main characters.I didn't like them much throughout most of the book but by the end of it I kinda ended up getting attached to them. And the rest of the characters... OMG... I just couldn't get my mind into choosing the next one I wanted to read about. Can't wait now to start the next, I have a feeling it's gonna be much better.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ally

    DNF. Holy Christ, everything about this book was terrible. The characters, the action, the writing, the story. The "romance" is essentially a guy raping a girl and she's so lonely that she welcomes any social interaction she can find. I actually laughed out loud at this bullshit. Trace, the guy, is literally taking advantage of Ashla, the girl, nonstop for eight hours and her thoughts are essentially "this is weird but he needs this for some reason should i stop him no what year is it i'm lonely DNF. Holy Christ, everything about this book was terrible. The characters, the action, the writing, the story. The "romance" is essentially a guy raping a girl and she's so lonely that she welcomes any social interaction she can find. I actually laughed out loud at this bullshit. Trace, the guy, is literally taking advantage of Ashla, the girl, nonstop for eight hours and her thoughts are essentially "this is weird but he needs this for some reason should i stop him no what year is it i'm lonely trace trace trace ow you're hurting me but it's okay don't leave me" and I couldn't stomach it after she "rationalized" that his abusive behavior is better than being alone. That's as far as I got until I gave up. The characters are inconsistent in their mannerisms, which drives me crazy. All the 'Dwellers go back and forth between regal and edgy; their dialogue was like a mixture of Downton Abbey and The Outsiders. It just makes everything awkward every time one of them opens their mouth. I read Frank's Jacob in the other series she has, and I didn't like that one either. I will not be reading another of her books ever again and it's definitely a case of "it's not me, it's you."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Hm, these Shadowdwellers can only exist in darkness, but live in our world in the shadows, but even headlights & regular lighting can do them in. So when they take an RV to Alaska, who's doing the driving? Also keeps mentioning their "conservative" culture, but includes hands-(and other parts)-on sex classes. Lots of time spent in the dark, over and over, which just doesn't work with living in, of all places, New York. Also has a parallel plane that mirrors this, but with no light. Running out of Hm, these Shadowdwellers can only exist in darkness, but live in our world in the shadows, but even headlights & regular lighting can do them in. So when they take an RV to Alaska, who's doing the driving? Also keeps mentioning their "conservative" culture, but includes hands-(and other parts)-on sex classes. Lots of time spent in the dark, over and over, which just doesn't work with living in, of all places, New York. Also has a parallel plane that mirrors this, but with no light. Running out of plot ideas? How about another fight, then a 10-page sex scene in the dark. Bleh.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Weak and pathetic, in body and spirit, I hated Ashland. Wrought with misunderstandings between Ashland and Trace, of omission and jumping to conclusions. I was rolling my eyes constantly. The world building was good, but these two main characters ruined it for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While I really like Jacquelyn Frank, I felt this book didn't come up to the other books from this series. I can usually lose myself in a good book even if there are other distractions around me. Even with complete quiet I had a hard time with this one. I did like Trace and Ashla. I liked how their chemistry worked, I'm not into submission but it seemed to work for them not to mention the "love scenes" were pretty steamy. The book only mentioned Noah once and Gideon did make an appearance and he While I really like Jacquelyn Frank, I felt this book didn't come up to the other books from this series. I can usually lose myself in a good book even if there are other distractions around me. Even with complete quiet I had a hard time with this one. I did like Trace and Ashla. I liked how their chemistry worked, I'm not into submission but it seemed to work for them not to mention the "love scenes" were pretty steamy. The book only mentioned Noah once and Gideon did make an appearance and he was in true Gideon form it just didn't do it for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn F.

    This book was pretty good, painful sex notwithstanding. Different enough from others books I've read, which made it an interesting read. Really enjoyed the hero and heroine interactions and their personalities. Hope in the other books in the series we find out what happens with them.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Smith

    Just pure ecstasy!! The way that Trace is in love with a half breed named Ashla of the shadowdellers and that Trace begins to go against his father. Can't wait for the next one.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ♡ Jeri's Book Attic ♡ Jeri the Romance Bibiliophile ♡

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    2.5/5 I wish the plot was better developed. The world bulking wasn’t as good as the night walker series. I do like that this is a world where POC are the norm.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    I'm changing my rating system and suppose that one star matches this book the best. 0 means it's been a stupid, stupid, stupid read, made me feel horrible and was generally crap. 1 means.. well, in this case it means that although the world's been interesting and the book had potential, the execution just sucked and most of the times I sat there like this: I'm not trying to disrespect the author or anyone who liked this novel - and obviously there were people who did - but it wasn't my type of book I'm changing my rating system and suppose that one star matches this book the best. 0 means it's been a stupid, stupid, stupid read, made me feel horrible and was generally crap. 1 means.. well, in this case it means that although the world's been interesting and the book had potential, the execution just sucked and most of the times I sat there like this: I'm not trying to disrespect the author or anyone who liked this novel - and obviously there were people who did - but it wasn't my type of book. The romance was hilariously unbelievable, the characters just dumb and not authentic, the plot all but crap and so not interesting. The worst part for me was the fact that Frank had some awesome ideas, such as the Sainted, the Lost etc. but then mixed it with -imho- stupid PNR sex-crap and all the fate-stuff that's been bothering me in her Nightwalkers series already. The best part, unfortunately, was Gideon's cameo. Anyways, if you liked her other novels you might like this one. MIGHT. I didn't. Now, I didn't particularly invest anything in her writing and should admit that I didn't like her other books much either.. Random thoughts 1. Sex. Teaching sex. In rooms. With models. Who have sex. In a room. Full of students. And a prof, who's.. I mean. Seriously? Now, I'll just pretend for a few seconds that I'm the monarch of an entire race. Dear Diary, today I was sitting in my castle, everything was dark, because I'm a 'Dweller and - wow, I just noticed that rhymes with cellar and cellars are always dark, right? - thought about our youth. As queen of them I thought: What shall they learn? What is most important in life? After some serious thoughts -it took me more than three minutes- I decided that, yes indeed, it was to know how to stroke her, how to pet, how to get fully into BDSM, fetishes and such. Therefor I'll talk to the other VIPS and we'll make a law. Everyone who's not adult has to learn how to fuck. Women and men and only when they know how to they'll be considered 'adult'. Don't get me wrong, Frank said something that made much sense. It was about how bad experiences can affect not only your sexuality but your life. That by having the time to experience what you like and what you don't and how to please your lover in return you'll be more self-confident etc. It makes sense. But let's face it. There are vipers, there are other races. They're at war or at least they often, very often try to kill eachother and what do they teach their kids? How to fuck. Yes, that makes sense. 2. Submission. Let it be known, I don't care about the sex lives of other people as long as they don't hurt anyone who doesn't want to be hurt. And as long as there are no children or animals involved. So, my problem wasn't the fact that the heroine obviously got horny when he bossed her around or that she liked to be the sub. (By the way, I once looked for a subTITLE board and found a website, sub-mission. Well, I thought it was something like "Subtitles are our mission". Figures I was wrong - there even was a instruction on how to be a good sub.. Very insightful, I suppose oô) Now, while I didn't have a problem with that I surely had a problem with Trace saying: She was somethign almost impossible to find among women of his breed. Submissive, easily ctonrolled, too damn sweet and gentle for words, (..) Excuse me, sir? His little speach was cute, though.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liz F

    Whoa! What a cool book! Leave it to Jacquelyn Frank to have come up with this strange and complex world! Ashla was pretty great. I liked her because she was amazingly brave but she had no idea that she was brave. At the start, she would worry about everything and was scared of the worst or of what "could" happen. But she always moved forward and kept living her life, despite all of her fears. She had such an awful childhood because her mother thought that she was the spawn of the devil. Like, lit Whoa! What a cool book! Leave it to Jacquelyn Frank to have come up with this strange and complex world! Ashla was pretty great. I liked her because she was amazingly brave but she had no idea that she was brave. At the start, she would worry about everything and was scared of the worst or of what "could" happen. But she always moved forward and kept living her life, despite all of her fears. She had such an awful childhood because her mother thought that she was the spawn of the devil. Like, literally. Ashla could heal with her hands and it freaked her mom out big time and her mom treated her horribly since then. So she's overcome A LOT, so much that I can't and don't want to get into here. But her biggest...and saddest...and best adventure is only beginning! Ooooohh my Trace was a sexy mutha shut your mouth! He was tall, dark, and handsome and he was deadly as shit! When he's first introduced, he's in the middle of a battle, like, with actual swords (!) and he was awesome! Then, once the book progressed, and I got to know him better, he was even more amazing. Trace lived through so much - things that would have broken, if not killed, a lesser man. He survived and he's getting better, healing. He still has the physical and emotional scars but those things make him even better and more irresistible. I thin the thing I liked most about Trace was his honor. I mean, he was honorable to a fault and it influenced his every decision. For me, that increased his sexiness. The Sexy Time in this book is ridiculously hot. Trace's people are all instructed, for years, about sex and how to best pleasure their lover. So he REALLY knows what he's doing. Maybe THAT was my favorite thing about him!? LOL! I liked how Ashla and Trace's relationship happened: by accident. She isn't supposed to be where she is when they meet and he has no idea what to do with her. He's kind of at a loss when he's around her because he's never met anyone like her. With Ashla being used to being treated like shit, it was great once they got together. They both needed each other and they helped to heal one another, and that was really sweet. I loved this book! It's the first in Jacquelyn Frank's Shadowdwellers series but it's a spin-off of her Nightwalkers series. The Shadowdwellers Goodreads page recommends reading Nightwalkers first but other than a brief cameo of someone from that series, I don't see why anyone would have to read Nightwalkers first. I don't think its necessary to know anything before starting this book. It's been a while since I read the Nightwalkers series so I'm not sure. My only complaint about this book is that even after reading it, I'm still not sure WHAT Trace is. He's not human. He and his people can't be in any kind of light - sunlight, firelight, lightbulbs, nothing. But they aren't vampires. It sounded like they were immortal? Or really long lived? They live in our world but can travel to some sort of shadow dimension... It was cool but it was a little confusing. Either way, I loved this series and will be continuing on with it. I already have the next book, ready to go!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Corrine

    I won't even begin to try to explain the world building in this series; I will just say that there are some very cool aspects (Middle East-influence) and some worrying parts (public sex for educational purposes). Basically, the Shadowdwellers live in darkness and are harmed by any type of light. They basically exist on two different planes, Realscape - our plane - and Shadowscape, a plane that is accessible only to Shadowdwellers and what they call the Lost, or humans whose souls have come disco I won't even begin to try to explain the world building in this series; I will just say that there are some very cool aspects (Middle East-influence) and some worrying parts (public sex for educational purposes). Basically, the Shadowdwellers live in darkness and are harmed by any type of light. They basically exist on two different planes, Realscape - our plane - and Shadowscape, a plane that is accessible only to Shadowdwellers and what they call the Lost, or humans whose souls have come disconnected from their bodies. Normally the Lost that roam Shadowscape are not aware of the Shadowdwellers or other Lost souls, but Ashla Townsend is the exception. After a car crash that left her in a coma, Ashla finds herself in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic NYC with no people. There are stores, there are restaurants, everything moves as it should, except there are no people. Trace is a vizier for the royal chancellors of the Shadowdwellers, and he is at once amazed and confused of how he can see Ashla, touch her, and speak to her when she appears to be one of the Lost. The two get off to a less than stellar start when she saves his life, and he inadvertently hurts her feelings. But Trace becomes obsessed, not only by the mystery behind Ashla's appearance in Shadowscape, but also by his growing feelings for her. This book was such a relief after the huge bores of Elijah, Damon, and Noah. This is probably the best book by this author that I've read, and it's definitely the sexiest. Trace is a strong character who is made very vulnerable by his attraction to Ashla, and the reawakening of his sexual feelings after being celibate for 12 years. Ashla is a real woman with understandable fears after being left alone for what she thought was months. She's been hurt in the past, and she can't forget those scars very easily, but in the end, her feelings for Trace overcome. This is a fast-moving, interesting, unique world and an great couple. B+

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jill Dunlop

    Ecstasy is the first book in a new spin-off series by Jacquelyn Frank. Ashla Townsend finds herself in a post apocalyptic world after she wakes up from a fatal car crash. She is the only living person until she finds two huge warrior men fighting one another in a department store. Trace, a shadowdweller is surprised that the beautiful human woman can see and hear him. In the shadow world no human should be able to. Strangely enough, Trace and Ashla form a unique connection even though they both Ecstasy is the first book in a new spin-off series by Jacquelyn Frank. Ashla Townsend finds herself in a post apocalyptic world after she wakes up from a fatal car crash. She is the only living person until she finds two huge warrior men fighting one another in a department store. Trace, a shadowdweller is surprised that the beautiful human woman can see and hear him. In the shadow world no human should be able to. Strangely enough, Trace and Ashla form a unique connection even though they both may be in danger with a traitor among his people. Ecstacy is my first Jacquelyn Frank novel. I found the book to be inconsistent at times. The first part of the book was fairly interesting and had my complete attention. As I continued reading, the pace would slow, pick up, slow down etc. It seemed that a lot of the book would be internal monologues from either Trace or Eden and that is when the pace would slow down for me. I liked it when the action was taking place. When that was going on I really liked the book. When Trace or Eden were overly thinking things and rambling on in their heads is when I would lose interest. I liked the world that Jacquelyn Frank created. It was unique and interesting. I just wish she would have focused on it more than she did. I think that if there would have been less internal dialogue and more action, I would have enjoyed this book more than I did. I liked the characters, both Eden and Trace. I feel that I want to give Ms. Frank another try. I may go back and try one of her Nightwalker novels.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alicia (aka Rozzie) Chamberlain

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was torn between two and three stars for this. I get it was the first book in this series, but still... it felt lacking to me. The Fade sounded neat and I guess since they are Shadowdwellers I expected them to be in the fade more. The fade is like a parallel universe to the one we live in. That only the shadowdwellers can get to by choice, it's also where ghosts/wandering souls go after death. But there is no contact between the two, b/c ghosts can't see anything but the fade and themselves. I I was torn between two and three stars for this. I get it was the first book in this series, but still... it felt lacking to me. The Fade sounded neat and I guess since they are Shadowdwellers I expected them to be in the fade more. The fade is like a parallel universe to the one we live in. That only the shadowdwellers can get to by choice, it's also where ghosts/wandering souls go after death. But there is no contact between the two, b/c ghosts can't see anything but the fade and themselves. I didn't have a problem with the characters. I do wish that it wasn't such an instant drawn to each other. Especially with Trace's past of being tortured by a women. To me I think he would have came across better if there was a little more angst or something between them. But since that's not the case, it was ok. I didn't not like him as a character... he was just not memorable to me. Ashla... I enjoyed her character, she reminds me of Bella from Jacob , that whole tiny packages with explosive qualities... like Ashla is so scared half the time, but when it comes to saving someones life... no hesitation she jumps in and helps. Even at the risk of her own life a couple of times. I think she's the reason i wanted to give it a three. Just because i liked her character that it made up for his. (almost)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    2.5 Stars; It was ok... Being the first in the series I understand all the "history" Frank had to give us...After all this is a new world for her fans...But I have to say all the info dominated the book. I got really frustrated (and I'll admit, confused) by always hearing about Shadowdwellers, Realscape, Mistrals, Lycanthropes, Shadowscape, Nightwalkers, Dwellers, Fade, Chancellors, Priests, Handmadiens....the list goes on and on and on....I do however understand the need to inform the reader of 2.5 Stars; It was ok... Being the first in the series I understand all the "history" Frank had to give us...After all this is a new world for her fans...But I have to say all the info dominated the book. I got really frustrated (and I'll admit, confused) by always hearing about Shadowdwellers, Realscape, Mistrals, Lycanthropes, Shadowscape, Nightwalkers, Dwellers, Fade, Chancellors, Priests, Handmadiens....the list goes on and on and on....I do however understand the need to inform the reader of the different worlds, but so many authors have done this so much smoother while not loosing sight of the main story. Trace is supposedly one of the highest in the kingdom and the only role he played in this book was to have lots and lots of sex with Ashla. My very generous rating is because the idea (the one behind all the plot) was great. I really liked the main characters, but in my opinion Frank had a real hard time pulling this off. I'm guessing there was a word crunch and this wasn't her first "edition"....I'm willing to read the next in the series b/c it is different, and I'm hoping it isn't focused on so much world building, and more on the relationships that complete it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    The Book Junkie Reads . . .

    Here a new series from one of my favorite paranormal/fantasy writers. Franks gives me a world to get involved in and immersed in the surroundings and lives of those put in to make the story sing. I was insta-love with Ashla. I am not completely sure what it was but I loved her right off. I did not however like the treatment of her. I was fully aware it was to build who she was but it was hard. No one should feel the way she did with her own family. Love, loyalty, life was hers to be taken. I was Here a new series from one of my favorite paranormal/fantasy writers. Franks gives me a world to get involved in and immersed in the surroundings and lives of those put in to make the story sing. I was insta-love with Ashla. I am not completely sure what it was but I loved her right off. I did not however like the treatment of her. I was fully aware it was to build who she was but it was hard. No one should feel the way she did with her own family. Love, loyalty, life was hers to be taken. I was so happy that she came upon Trace. There was a connection there between the two. She knew it even being faced with two beings both trying to kill the other but she just knew that Trace was the good one. Shadowdwellers was the new world that was introduced to me and I found solace in the dark. I found myself wanting to be a part of the world. Action, adventure, passion, heat, light, poof. . . this was an intense dark world where survival was hinged on staying away from the light and being true and real.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    The pacing of the book was strange, the female protag Ashla was annoying (though I did appreciate the mental gymnastics she put herself through to rationalize an eight hour session of forced sex -- apparently the poor man looked like he was "suffering some internal dilemma" so it was alright that he did this to her[?!?!]), and the male character actually used the phrase "You are too perfect. So ready. Primed for the pumping." Primed for THE pumping. *sigh* The only reason I didn't dnf and in fact The pacing of the book was strange, the female protag Ashla was annoying (though I did appreciate the mental gymnastics she put herself through to rationalize an eight hour session of forced sex -- apparently the poor man looked like he was "suffering some internal dilemma" so it was alright that he did this to her[?!?!]), and the male character actually used the phrase "You are too perfect. So ready. Primed for the pumping." Primed for THE pumping. *sigh* The only reason I didn't dnf and in fact rewarded this book with an extra star is that I was intrigued by the premise. The notion of Shadowdwellers and their society was actually pretty interesting. Unfortunately the world-building was pretty light in this book. I love "the pumping" as much as the next girl in my romances, but I also need a little bit of a story...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This is the first book in the Shadowdwellers series. Shadowdweller Trace, vizier to the Lord Chancellor of Shadowdwellers, and Ashla, a human Lost girl in Shadowscape, are the focus of this first book. Although the story of how Ashla came by her unusual powers was compelling enough for me to accept that she belongs in the Shadowdweller community, I did not connect strongly enough with the Trace/Ashla love story. What I did enjoy was the background story of the Shadowdwellers' long civil war, and This is the first book in the Shadowdwellers series. Shadowdweller Trace, vizier to the Lord Chancellor of Shadowdwellers, and Ashla, a human Lost girl in Shadowscape, are the focus of this first book. Although the story of how Ashla came by her unusual powers was compelling enough for me to accept that she belongs in the Shadowdweller community, I did not connect strongly enough with the Trace/Ashla love story. What I did enjoy was the background story of the Shadowdwellers' long civil war, and the consequent political intrigue and assassination attempts by a rogue contingent that wants to kill the twin regents and take power. This will be the ongoing story and is the reason I will give this series one more chance.

  26. 5 out of 5

    ൠSinful

    I didn't realize that the nightwalkers spun into this series, Shadowdwellers. I enjoy her books, but they aren't Showalter, Ward, Cole to me. The world was new and intreguing. Probably the best part to me. The two definately had chemistry and connected. Sometimes I think she over describes the characters when they are talking- she gives to much intention detail. I guess it is the need to show and not tell us. It is also up there on the sex content. Not erotica, but if you find Ward uncomfortable I didn't realize that the nightwalkers spun into this series, Shadowdwellers. I enjoy her books, but they aren't Showalter, Ward, Cole to me. The world was new and intreguing. Probably the best part to me. The two definately had chemistry and connected. Sometimes I think she over describes the characters when they are talking- she gives to much intention detail. I guess it is the need to show and not tell us. It is also up there on the sex content. Not erotica, but if you find Ward uncomfortable, this will put a blush on your cheeks. (especially her discovery of sex school)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sammy Loves Books

    This book is really hard to rate because it started out so good. Then by page sixty, I couldn't seam to keep my eyes open to finish it because it was so unbelievable slow. It was a excellent story. There was a lot of world building and necessary details, just relayed in a very boring manner. The storyline picked up pace again by page two hundred and I couldn't seam to read it fast enough. I truly can't wait to read book two of this series. The world building was meticulous but now that I am past This book is really hard to rate because it started out so good. Then by page sixty, I couldn't seam to keep my eyes open to finish it because it was so unbelievable slow. It was a excellent story. There was a lot of world building and necessary details, just relayed in a very boring manner. The storyline picked up pace again by page two hundred and I couldn't seam to read it fast enough. I truly can't wait to read book two of this series. The world building was meticulous but now that I am past that part, I can just enjoy the action packed story!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    This first book delving into the Shadowdweller realm was absolutely amazing! I have fallen in love with all of the Nightwalker books but this new series is hands down the best yet! Trace and Ashla's love and the world they create together is magical and leaves you breathless. Not to mention the entire chapter devoted to one sex scene! Yes that's right a whole chapter!!! Jacquelyn Frank has outdone herself.

  29. 4 out of 5

    ☔️ Stormy Day Reader

    I was a little disappointed when I first started this book when it didn't pick up where the Nightwalkers series ended. But then again, if it did it would just be another Nightwalker book so I should have known better. Jacquelyn Frank's creativity has yet to disappoint me on the other hand. This story was a nice introduction to the elusive Shadowdweller species. I kept me guessing throughout the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa theJeepDiva

    This is the first book in what seems to be a promising series. The Shadowdweller's are a spin-off from the Nightwalker series. This book introduces the world the Shadowdwellers live in, along with their beliefs and customs. It moves at a great pace. I found it difficult to put the book down once I got started reading it.

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