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Shadow Fox by Ashley J. Barnard

Shadow Fox by Ashley J. Barnard
Book Name: Shadow Fox
Author: Ashley J. Barnard
Publisher(s): Champagne Books
Formatt: Paperback / eBook
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Release Date: Jan 1, 2011

Jared Bruin has felt out of place his whole life. In his current home of London, England, he has few friends, and after his adopted American mother dies, no family. When he is fired from his dream job of fencing instructor at Magdalen University for using heroin, Jared gives up and slits his wrists.

But for better or worse he survives and suddenly begins having dreams of his forgotten childhood. Flashes of memories of his father, his real mother, and a place very unlike where he is now living. Haunted by his failures in life and crippled by mysterious headaches, Jared receives notice of a job offering as a private weapons instructor for a woman in California. With no other prospects, he accepts and makes the long trip back to America.

However, a job is not the only thing he finds when he arrives. His new student is a wealthy heiress named Tarika. Jared is skeptical at first, but when she proves she is already far along in her training and a quick learner, he begins to warm up to her. But Tarika hides a secret. A secret that could help Jared unlock his past and show him where he truly belongs. But can he discover what she’s hiding before that past catches up with him?

– – –

Shadow Fox by Ashley J. Barnard is the first book in her newly completed trilogy. The book follows Jared and Tarika as they try to make sense of their lives and their pasts. This story is interesting because half of it takes place in our world as it exists now and half of it takes place in a world of classic fantasy. The bridge between the two worlds is the two main characters. Each is here on our world for different reasons, working towards different goals, but they find a common bond with each other even before they realize who the other person really is.

There isn’t a lot of magic or supernaturalness in this book, but that’s because most of it takes place in the real world, not in the fantasy world. I believe the next two stories take place in the new world and will explain a lot more about the uniqueness of both Jared and Tarika.

I thought the way the new world was introduced was interesting. Most of what we find out about it is lived through Jared’s dreams and rediscovered memories until he finds a journal written by his real father explaining his past. You then learn about his father’s life story and Jared’s childhood in the other world through his father’s eyes. It’s like having a book within a book and I thought it worked rather well in the story.

Overall, the Shadow Fox was well written and the main characters were interesting and easy to relate to. It leaned a bit more towards the romance side of things then the stories I normally read, but it wasn’t cheesy and I did enjoy the read. Based on this I give the book 3-1/2 stars, but if you are romance lover I would guess your rating would be more like 4-1/2, so we’ll split the difference and say 4.

The sequel, Fox Rising, is available now and the final book, Night of the Fox, was just released this month!



  1. Thanks for the review, Jennifer – sounds interesting. Romance isn’t my thing but there’s a huge market for fantasy romance, particularly urban fantasy romance. Good luck with it, Ashley!

  2. Thanks for the great review, Jennie!

  3. Park Cooper says:

    How does one submit a novel to Fantasy Faction for review/other?

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