What if the new love of your life also holds the keys to your past?
When Chicago journalist Tom Welsh meets British banker Sanders Templeton at a conference, Sanders insists they have a connection, though he does not know what it is. They’ve never met before—but the strangest thing is, Tom can also feel it.
Sanders Templeton is a highflier who has it all—the money, the lifestyle and a rare intellect. Only a few chosen people know that he also suffers excruciating pain since childhood, with no cure, a mystery to western medicine.
Sanders knows that meeting Tom may be the most significant event of his life. As their relationship deepens, they learn that this is not the first lifetime in which they’ve fallen for each other. This time, true love can be theirs if they find the courage to forgive.
Disclaimer: We both beta read Eagle’s Shadow prior to its publication
Fra: Eagle’s Shadow is the intense and compelling second installment in Aleks Voinov’s Witches of London series. Co written with Jordan Taylor the novel can be read as a standalone but it does offer a window onto two of the characters’ lives – Julian and Lee – as they come to the rescue of the two MCs Sanders and Tom.
Voinov and Taylor’s writing complements each other beautifully and add an extra layer to the narrative: on the one hand the very European essence of Sanders and on the other Tom’s North American mannerism end up contributing in more than one way to the story and its development.
Karen: Totally agreed, it was great to read a book set in two main locations where you really did feel each place, Tom’s discovery of London was especially fun to read.
Fra: At times a realistic account of chronic pain as much as it is about the romantic journey of the two MC to finally accept the deep bond between them, I thought this novel principal strength rests in the complex relationship – from friendship to love – between Sanders and Tom as they explore the undeniable feelings of attraction and recognition and the manner in which these are interwoven with the exploration and eventual resolution of the pain, physical and emotional, which both men are in.
Karen: The attraction between the two of them was very immediate, and because of their history, it was one of the few times that the immediacy worked well for me, Sanders in particular is a complex character, and that is apparent from the off – however as you rightly point out Fra, so is Tom. It’s very cleverly woven, how these two twine together and then pull apart.
Fra: This is not an easy journey and the regression sessions reveal – and compel both the reader and the characters to relive – a odyssey through harrowing times from the Irish Famine to the utter madness of World War 2. As to be expected from both authors the accounts are realistic, harsh and historically accurate and the link between chronic pain and past lives is explored in detail but never forced on the reader.
Karen : The scenes where the characters regress are extremely powerful, but what was great to read was Tom’s logical skepticism, for me it made him ring true – it needed something to temper the immediacy of the attraction- and this just did it for me. I also appreciated the fluidity of the characters past lives, when I have read books with regression in before they seem often glamorous – but these were gritty real people.
Fra: To expand on that Karen – I particularly loved the tension between Sander’s determination to see the regression therapy through and Tom’s skepticism and denial of its effectiveness. I think this was one of the best underlying themes of the novel: the tension between Sander’s belief and Tom’s disbelief punctuates the manner in which the characters interact and eventually delivers a great emotional payout.
These are great characters; they are strong and broken at the same time, they are flawed and complex and realistically compelling. Their relationship from the undeniable sense of deja vu and belonging to the final denouement is also realistic and layered with complexity.
Karen: Eagles Shadow carries on with the theme set in Witches of London – Lars, of different belief systems and ways of life being harmoniously integrated amongst the everyday. And I find this wonderfully realistic and inclusive, very reflective of the real community – especially as a sceptic myself.
Fra: Agreed Karen, critical to the narrative is London’s Witches role. We see Lee in his practice as well as Julian in glorious supporting mode.And London itself – seen through Tom’s eyes in his solitary wondering is as much a character in the novel as the protagonists and roots the action in the strongest sense of place.
Karen: Ahh Lee ! Simply one of my favourite characters, I kind of want/ don’t want his story !
Also, a big shout out to Tiff, who has taken cover design for this series to a higher plane !
All in all this is a brave novel, unafraid to take its premises, and its characters, through the ringer before an emotionally rewarding conclusion and one that we wholeheartedly recommend.
You can buy Eagle’s Shadow here