Beyond Darkness: Shattered ( Crimson and Clover 1.5) by Sarah M. Cradit is a February 2014 publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Anasofiya arrived in Maine with a great deal of baggage. Although she had been helped a lot by the locals in preparing her for the harsh Maine winter to come, it was still much more than the New Orleans native could have imagined. That wasn't all Ana had to worry about that winter. She was the target of an obsessed man. Ana the St. Andrews brothers had barely survived that winter. Now, with Finn home from the hospital the feelings he and Ana have for one another have grown into a full fledged love affair. Things are not all peaches and cream though. While Finn was recovering in the hospital, Ana and Finn's brother, Joe had a moment most likely brought on my extreme stress, but it happened non the less and although Ana is concerned Finn wouldn' t understand and she doesn't want him to know about it, she has still put it behind her. Joe on the other hand... well, not so much.
This is a very tense novella that explains a few things the followers of the series should know and tightens up the scene for the next book which I am awaiting with bated breath. All of these paranormal stories have been suspenseful, but this one is certainly a bit darker than the others. Previously, we only saw glimpes into the personalities of these two brothers. Finn is a much more laid back guy and Joe is wound up way too tight. The tension in the household is palpable as Joe makes the most of every opportunity to remind Ana how much he dislikes her and how badly he wishes she would leave. To add to the story, some interesting things come out involving Ana'a mother, which explains a bit of Joe's hostility and it causes Ana to think Finn deserves someone better than herself. The situation builds to a cresendo and Ana is at the apex when things finally explode. A rip in the relationship between the two St. Andrews brothers and Ana will tear wide open.
The author does an excellent job of building suspense and tension. It's raw and edgy, leaving the reader holding their breath in anticipation. I am really enjoying this series and I am glad we got an inside look at what happened after the big Maine snowstorm and what took place in subsequent novels in the series. This explains a great deal and now we wait to see where we all go from here. I highly recommend that readers check out the first novel in this series before reading this one. Trust me, you like this series so you will want to start at the beginning so you will have better understanding of what brought us all to this point. Once again Sarah has done a fantastic job. A+