Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Valley of the Shadow by Elizabeth Hunter
Series: Elemental World #4.5
Published by Self-Published on December 10, 2019
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
For eight years, Baojia and Natalie have pursued their goals: family, career, friendship and love—trying to carve out an ordinary life in an immortal world. And for eight years they’ve been mostly successful save for a world-bending adventure every now and then.
Except that their life was never ordinary. It was never going to be.
Natalie and Baojia might have made plans, but when ordinary life comes crashing down, they’ll have to turn to the family they have chosen—vampire and human—for help keeping their world together.
Five couples, four kids, three weeks, two paths… and a partridge in a pear tree?
For Natalie Ellis, it’s time to come home.
Elemental World is a PNR spin-off series from the Elemental Mysteries which was more urban fantasy following one couple. Elemental World series starts during the Elemental Mysteries but has a different couple in each book. I don’t recommend reading the series out of order – I never do – but with the ongoing story throughout, it wouldn’t be the best plan. The series plot and the world-building are excellent.
A holiday story, just longer than the 100 pages I use as a novella delimiter, Valley of the Shadow continues Baojia and Natalie’s story which came to life in Blood and Sand. The couple wanted to have children so Natalie has remained human to have their two children and raise them. Their schedule and plans have gone well; they are happy. Natalie has continued her work as an investigative reporter. The plan has always been for Natalie to turn vampire when the children are over 18. But now there’s a problem.
We see Natalie’s decisions about her life and death with the support of all their friends and family as they come together for the holiday at the South American ranch. In addition to allowing us to go through this emotional journey with the couple, we also get to catch up with everyone in the Elemental World. This sort of holiday “love letter” is appreciated since we see all our favorites and hear their latest antics. Combined with Hunter’s stellar writing and emotional character progression, it’s a must read for me.
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