REVIEW of *Primary Fault* ~ Book #1 in The Schattenreich Series, by Sharon Kae Reamer

A Suspenseful Blend of Science, Romance and the Supernatural!

PP Cover.3838236-Primary Fault CVR UBC-ps4NEWBCT-FIN-12X18-06141Book Blurb

Caitlin Schwarzbach has left home. For good.

Separated from her beloved brother Gus at age seven, Caitlin exchanges small-town Texas for Cologne, Germany to be with him. But upon her arrival, a man resembling her brother attempts to kidnap her.

At a university reception, Caitlin feels intimidated by one of her brother’s former colleagues, only to have the conversation interrupted by a dangerously attractive man, Hagen von der Lahn. She learns her seismologist brother Gus has included her in a research project with the amateur archeologist and stylish aristocrat. When Gus is called away to his institute by an earthquake, the deranged Gus doppelgänger again tries to drag her away. Hagen rescues Caitlin and secures her in his castle near the Rhine.

Gus vanishes, sought by the Cologne police for multiple sexual assaults. As Hagen and Caitlin begin the investigation into her brother’s disappearance, her feelings for Hagen grow. But before she can follow up on a promising lead, a blow to the head lands Caitlin in the hospital. An unwanted visitor appears by her bed; someone she feared since childhood, the being she thinks of as Death. His appearance can only mean one thing: her brother is in mortal danger.

A novel of supernatural suspense, Primary Fault is a delightful mixture of science meets magic set amidst a backdrop of Celto-Germanic Otherworld.

My Review

Absorbing and Original Fantasy Romance

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this clever and original read which merges mythology and magic with a heady mixture of romance, science and suspense. It is full of mystery and secrets with a complex plot and superbly well drawn characters, which drew me inform the off. Primary Fault (awarded a B.R.A.G. medallion*) is book #1 in the Schattenreich Series by Sharon Kae Reamer. Other books in the series include Shaky Ground #2, Double Couple #3 and Shadow Zone #4 is to be released soon.

After her life in the USA turns sour following the death of her mother, her own long recovery after a road accident and being dumped by her boyfriend, Caitlin Schwazbach travels to Germany, where she hopes to make a permanent home alongside her brother Gus, a renowned seismologist. Rather than the peace she craves, Caitlin walks into a nightmare scenario: she herself is assaulted by a mysterious man, who bears a striking resemblance to Gus and Gus disappears, suspected of a series of heinous crimes, deeds she knows that the brother she loved would never commit.

Caitlin’s own life is full of danger as she seeks to find Gus and prove his innocence. At the same time she falls for the handsome and mysterious Hagen, a business partner of her brother and a rich and renowned aristocratic playboy, whose actions towards her blow hot and cold. Her problems do not stop there as she experiences strange dizzy spells and visions which seem to be increasing in intensity. She is particularly terrified by the appearance of the figure she refers to as Death. Caitlin must unearth who is out to discredit/destroy her brother whilst protecting both her heart and her sanity.

We are treated to many forays into the Schattenreich, the shadowy ‘otherworld,’ where the author draws on a rich combination of both Celtic and Germanic mythology. I found this aspect of the novel truly fascinating as it added dark and mysterious depths to an already thrilling and suspenseful read.

Caitlin is mature enough to be a confident woman, not afraid to act on her own despite the possible dangers and she also has an air of vulnerability about her. I found that I was rooting for her from the off. I applauded her determination to get to the bottom of finding out who is trying to discredit her brother and why and above all secure his safety. The power struggles at her brother’s institute mask something far darker and dangerous than she can ever begin to understand. Caitlin finds that she has to rely on the help of Hagen, whom she feels is well out of her league. Hagen, a character whom I adored,  is a strong, sexy and powerful hero with a mysterious past and a connection to Caitlin which this instalment only hints at. I cannot wait to find out more!

There are many characters in this book aside from the main ones, some who straddle both the human world and the world beyond into which the book increasingly refers. They all have an important role to play in the evolving tale, and a number of different players are pulling different strings for reasons that we only begin to comprehend in this book. In terms of the romance the book ends on a Happy For Now but there are still many unanswered questions and I am impatient to read the next book in the series, Shaky Ground.

I recommend this book to readers who like strong heroines and heroes, with lashings of suspense and a plot which draws on myth and magic.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

* Book Readers Appreciation Group

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About Tina Williams

Book reviewer and blogger and co-organiser of Tamworth (UK) Literary Festival

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