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The Shop of Shades and Secrets (Contemporary Gothic Romance #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  305 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
When Fiona Murphy inherits a small antiques shop from an old man she met only once, she’s filled with surprise, confusion and delight—and a little bit of terror at having a new responsibility in a life she prefers to be free and easy.

As she takes over ownership of the quaint shop, odd things begin to happen. Lights come on and off by themselves, even when they are unplugg
Paperback, 254 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Colleen Gleason, Inc.
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Jun 30, 2011 Tarra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, a contemporary book I enjoyed! And a romance that didn't have corsets, pantaloons, or quivering wombs (more on that later).

This was a really good book, heavy on the romance, much lighter on the paranormal. I enjoyed the character development and watching the relationship unfold between Fiona and Gideon. Their relationship never felt rushed, it seemed very organic and natural. Fiona was described as free spirited, New Age-y, but she was also very smart, strong willed, and organized. Gid
M.J. Fredrick
Jun 13, 2011 M.J. Fredrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE LOVE LOVE when an uptight hero falls for a free-spirit heroine. It is so much fun to watch him learn how to bend. What was great about Fiona, though, was she wasn't free-spirit and flighty. She was smart and gutsy, and while she faced some surprises, she did it with a brave face and accepted the change. Gideon (I love a hero named Gideon) doesn't know what to make of her, but his compulsion to figure it out drives the romance.

The ghost element was just enough to send chills up my spine,
This was my first book by this author. I liked it. I went and got the next one which was about the main characters brother. Will be reading it soon.
Colleen Gleason
Feb 22, 2016 Colleen Gleason rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote it, so of course I think it's good. :-)
I had come across a copy of this book on my Kindle, I recall reading the sample last year, so I guess I had acquired it at some point. I liked the premise of the book, and I had liked the sample. I started reading it and discovered it was way more of a romance than the mystery I recalled. But I gamely kept on. The characters were interesting and I liked the insights the author took in getting to know the main characters, they are a good match. I didn't enjoy their petty assumptions or jealousies ...more
Lisa Richards
First of all let me say, I loved Gleason's Gardella Vampire series. This book, not so much. It wasn't bad, I read it pretty much in one sitting. But it was just okay. I knew who the "bad guy" was pretty much from the start although I kept telling myself that it was so obvious that it would end up being a surprise twist at the end. Nope, no surprise. I did like the feisty Fiona and Gideon wasn't too bad either but the story just didn't do much for me. While I wouldn't rush out and buy a copy, if ...more
It was a decent read, but:

1.)The two main characters lacked any real spark
2.)THe mystery was way too predictable

Overall it was a pleasant read, but not great.
Feb 26, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun little ditty. I really enjoyed this opposites attract story. Good read.
Dec 24, 2011 Issa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, thrillers
Great story, very engaging characters!
Feb 29, 2016 AnnMarie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Shop of Shade and Secrets – Romantic Suspense is the first book in A Gothic Romance series by Colleen Gleason.
The story is about Fiona Murphy, a single woman who inherits an antique shop from a lovely old gentleman that she had only met once when she sought refuge in his shop during a storm. She was fascinated at the time by the atmosphere in the shop and enjoyed the tour that the owner gave her. It comes as a complete shock when she discovers that he has passed away and has willed her his b
Fiona is surprised to receive a call that she has been left an inheritance by wealthy man who owned an antique store. She has only met him once, when she ducked into his store to avoid a storm. She finds herself surprisingly attracted to the lawyer managing the estate, but finds him a bit full of himself. Fiona is shocked that the store is bequeathed to her and decides to take the plunge to run it. She finds that there are some mysterious and spooky happenings in the store and is shocked to find ...more
Dec 09, 2015 Rhapsody rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This book was unusually well-written for the genre, but in a weird way I felt that the careful and detailed prose was intended to compensate for a fairly weak love story. There wasn't any amazing spark between the characters, even though the author kept on telling us there was. Or rather, maybe there was an incredible spark between them, but it wasn't written in a way that made it interesting to me as a reader.

This is basically a contemporary and realistic romance story with a few touches of par
My first Colleen Gleason started out great but, unfortunately, the story lost some of its smoothness towards the ending. I initially bought the book because DA featured a very recommendable review, and I am always eager to try out new and self-published authors.

The plot itself is quite average but highly entertaining, but what really captured me was the author's writing style and talent to characterise the protagonists. The story reads seamlessly and easy and captivated me right from the start,
Kim Holliday
May 15, 2016 Kim Holliday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good!

I normally do not read romance novels, but I'm glad I read this one. I really like the character development, the author made it effortless to believe in them straightaway. The plot had a nice little twist, although anyone who knows anything about forensics will roll their eyes a bit. Overall, I would definitely recommend as a light summer read.
May 29, 2016 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is a great book! I loved the character and plot development. The romance was hot but also tender. And the light that came on even when it was unplugged was a perfect device to build suspense. All around a good read. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.
There were good spots and likable charaters in this book. However, I just couldn't give it a solid 4 stars for basic pet peeves of mine.
The first and most glaringly obvioud was the time line. This author (even the editor apparently) could have desparetly used and outline just to remember her months and dates! The author could never decide if it was spring, summer, or fall!!! It completely drove me nuts when, more than once, the author would say two weeks has passed since they have seen each oth
This had such an eighties aesthetic to it for me--I kept expecting her to have shoulder pads and big hair. I didn't really connect with the characters, but I enjoyed the premise and the ghost story end of it well enough.
Apr 10, 2013 Christy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was difficult for me to review. On one hand it was an enjoyable read. I liked the mystery of this story, Fiona's character, Gideon's grandparents, and the twist of Valente's hidden secret. But, on the other hand, as a romance it fell flat. The relationship between Fiona and Gideon never clicked for me. I never connected to Gideon; too often his redeeming qualities felt forced or underdeveloped. The paranormal element also seemed forced, especially at the end. The climax of the conflict ...more
Michele bookloverforever
things that go bump in the night + live story. chills and thrills. Yay!
This was a fun book to read, entertaining...
Apr 25, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is one of those mysteries that I cannot put down till I finished!
Linda Allen
Apr 28, 2014 Linda Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 13, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opposites attract in this fun, slightly spooky, romance. Although it did not catch my attention right from the start, I did find myself getting slowly sucked into the world of romantic suspense Gleason created in this story. I enjoyed how the completely different worlds of Fiona and Gideon collide but balance each other out so harmoniously. Story wasn't overly complicated but always had a level of mystery that kept you on your toes. Overall, very much enjoyed this read and would recommend to oth ...more
I've now read everything Colleen Gleason has written, and if her Victorian Vampire Slayer series were a 10, the Shop of Shades and Secrets would be a 4.

It was super cute, and I loved the magic, but overall this was much more of a romance story than a super natural tale.

Que the NTTATWWT. Because there isn't. I liked this book just fine.

But when it comes to my novels by Ms. Gleason, I want more vampires, more magic, and more kickass badass women than I do sweet romance.
Susan Nasiri

This author was listed as a new Barbara Michelson, whom I really enjoy her ghost stories. So I went into this book with expectations which is always dangerous, and I was disappointed. This is an okay story if you have actually nothing else to read and there are no Law and Order repeats on TV, otherwise if you want a good ghost story with a little history thrown on the side I suggest you check out Ammie Come Home, or the Walker In The Shadows by Ms. Michaels.
Dec 18, 2011 Kitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a very pleasant surprise. I wasn't familiar with this author, but the sample pulled me in, so I gave it a try. I'm hoping that this will turn out to be the first in a series. I will definitely look for more from this author.

I would call it a light mystery, with a bit of romance, and just a hint of the paranormal. The characters were quirky and interesting, and the book had a good pace. I enjoyed it all the way through.
Nov 16, 2013 Lynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another author who uses the word 'emotion' instead of making any attempt to describe the characters actual feelings.
The emotion in his eyes/face/voice could be anything (hatred? disgust?).
It just feels lazy and is probably why there doesn't seem to be any real spark between the lead characters.
One of my pet hates and has put me off what might have been an otherwise interesting series.
Aug 25, 2013 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book only because I wanted to confirm my suspicions from the beginning of the book. I wanted to know more about Gretchen, and the book was disappointing in that respect. The twists were predictable. The book was okay, but I wouldn't recommend it to a friend interested in a good book.
A Kindle bargain book. I thought it was going to be heavier on the mystery/paranormal side and lighter on the romance but it was the opposite. Fiona inherits an antique shop from a strange old man she has only met once and strange things begin to happen. Entertaining light read with likeable characters.
Cotton candy book--light and not filling. A freebie download, if I remember. When I finished it I had to look up to see what genre to consider it. This is what the book cover said: Modern Gothic Romantic Suspense. OK.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: The Shop of Shades and Secrets - 7th Nov Book 1 1 Nov 18, 2013 11:32AM  
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Award-winning, NEW YORK TIMES and USA Today bestselling author Colleen Gleason has written more than twenty books for major publishers such as Penguin Group, Harlequin Enterprises, Chronicle Books, and HarperCollins (as Joss Ware). Her books have been translated into seven different languages.

Colleen lives in the Midwest United States where she is fortunate enough to be working on her next book.

More about Colleen Gleason...

Other Books in the Series

Contemporary Gothic Romance (3 books)
  • The Cards of Life and Death (Contemporary Gothic Romance, #2)
  • The Gems Of Vice And Greed (Contemporary Gothic Romance, #3)

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