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Shadows You Left

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  18 reviews

The white picket fence.
The happily-ever-after.
That life was never meant for him.
For years he’s been bouncing from city to city—from one cage fight to another.
That’s his outlet. That’s pain Erik can control.
But in Seattle, everything changed.
River’s an artist.
He’s a pretty boy.
He does yoga.
Someone so soft shouldn’t be intrigued by Erik’s rough edges.


His life was qu
Kindle Edition
Published May 20th 2019 by Entangled Embrace
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  21 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Dark, dramatic, and gritty!

Shadows You Left is a sultry, character-driven romance that takes you on a journey into the lives of Erik and River, two tormented and tortured souls who together discover the comfort, solace, and unconditional love they each need to battle all their internal demons.

The prose is poetic and enticing. The characters are consumed, damaged, and impulsive. And the plot told from alternating POVs is a somber tale of friendship, family, addiction, hope, patience, violence, gr
Leigh Kramer
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Taylor Brooke and Jude Sierra are a dream team. Gorgeous prose, richly developed characters, and a captivating plot had me glued to the pages. No matter what Erik and River have to work through, hope and healing is at the center of this story and I could not have loved it more.

CW: addiction, codependency, casual drug use, alcoholism, violence (cage fighting), grief, reference to death of a loved one, anxiety, panic attacks, reference to death by overdose

Disclosure: I received an advanced copy fr
Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

***ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review***
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(This review will appear on my blog on May 13th, 2019)

There is something to be said for laid back novels, such as Shadows You Left by Jude Sierra and Taylor Brooke, which offers up an intriguing plot and the potential for great character development, then delivers. It is the sort of book that can keep a reader up at night with anticipation, urging them to continue until the end. A whirlwind romance with teeth and truth, this book is a stunner.

With that being said, this story revolves around two
Daniela W
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: do-read, favorites
It's so rough but so poetic at the same time.

I suspected I'm in for a treat when I received this book. A tough-to-swallow-but-so-worth-it-treat. I was right - only I didn't know how tough as well as how worth it would be.

Mind the content warnings, dear readers (also yay for content warnings though I'm not surprised those two authors gave warnings for their book).

I was not able to read Shadows You left in one go - but I didn't want to do that anyway. Instead I enjoyed it while taking reading brea
dnf @ 72%

I received an arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review

I'm super sad to be dnf-ing this, and I very rarely dnf books this far in. But I'm so bored. The thing about this book is that it has what I love about Taylor Brooke's books- their great characters. I've read one other thing by Jude Sierra, which I dnf'd too, and for the same reason I'm dnf-ing this- boredom. I find that I don't connect with Jude Sierra's plots, and as a whole I rarely like charac
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia, arc, ownvoices, a-spec
I found Shadows You Left to be a rather slow read that took a while for me to really become engaged.

Content warnings include: alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, emotional abuse and gaslighting, semi-explicit sex on-page that occasionally gets quite rough, anxiety, panic attack; mentions of death through overdose, eating disorder, child abuse, cheating.

I expected it to be quite dark and gritty, but for me it mostly... wasn't?
Shadows You Left deals with quite a few heavy topics, with both Riv
Suz Jay
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
“But River saw now, so clearly, that Erik was broken…perhaps still breaking. He was the light and the dark, the chiaroscuro of poison and loss and anger, and under it all, a terrible need for love. Perhaps it was ego, then, because River wanted Erik to want love. Specifically, his.”*

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Running from his past, fighting, and drugs are all Erik knows until he meets his sexy new tattoo artist. River is i
Nicole Field
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was a difficult read for me, not just because of the drugs and the fighting--although there were copious amounts of both--but because a big part of the storyline was Erik unknowingly triggering River's unresolved issues with his alcoholic mother.

Both of these characters are very broken when they come into each other's lives. River is a tattooist whose mother has been trying to contact him (again) for money for her rent, but she swears that she's sober! And Erik...

Erik has been running from
Bette Hansen
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent! The characters in this M/M contemporary romance are intriguing and captivating. River and Eric are two broken souls who are rocked by their attraction to each other. It is unexpected, intense, and swift. They both have secrets and pasts they don't want to talk or think about and each has handled their pasts very differently. They shouldn't work but they definitely do. The chemistry between them jumps from the pages. I enjoyed their story very much and would definitely recommend it to ...more
Raz Jayden
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Artfully crafted, heart wrenching, and heart warming queer romance. Jude Sierra and Taylor Brooke have created two fully fledged, complex characters whose relationship is just as layered as they are. The prose absolutely SINGS off the page, and the Seattle setting felt so real I could have sworn it was raining outside while I read! SHADOWS YOU LEFT is an angsty, emotional, queer love story that allows its characters to be real and messy and complicated. If you love romance with a bit of an edge, ...more
I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way influenced my review; all words; though, and opinions are my own.

Content notes:

(view spoiler)
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
3,5 stars

This book gave me mixed feelings. The first half of the book was really slow. They started out as maybe some kind of friends with benefits, but they weren't really friends. But even though they had a lot of sex the sex scenes was really tame and I just needed more from that half of the book. It was full of emotions, doubt, self-hate, pain, passion and so much more but it was a little confusing and I needed a little more. It just didn't catch me as much as it should and I really started
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, mm
3.5 stars rounded up

The first thing that drew me to this book was that one of the characters did yoga since I do yoga as well. Once I began reading, I did truly love the characters. Both River and Erik were really well developed and I could understand the reasons behind their thoughts and actions and feelings. It gave a really intimate tinge to the book. I really liked that the both River and Erik actually began communicating and putting in the work for a relationship instead of just holding in
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, queer-men
*I received a copy of Shadows You Left via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Shadows You Left by Jude Sierra and Taylor Brooke is a New Adult romance novel that is difficult to describe. It is intensely character-driven; the back copy, in fact, consists essentially of brief, poetic descriptions of our two main characters, Erik and River, with no mention of a plot other than “Erik and River are both trying to escape a shadowed past”. That sounds like an active focus, doesn’t it? But real
While it started out a bit slowly, this book built up into a strong, intense journey, and one well worth the read.

Full review to come.
Brooklyn Ray
rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2019
May 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-read
This book just wasn't for me.

The plot and the characters were fine, and I liked what the authors were trying to do. I just found it hard to keep in the story, I just couldn't connect.
Kristin Curry
rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2019
Annie ~ Queer Books Unbound
rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2019
Lydia Sharp
rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2019
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my cup of tea sorry.Love the cover and blurb , not what I thought it was about.I will recommend it to some of my friends who enjoy this genre.
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Taylor Brooke (she/they) is a traveling story-teller, occult fanatic, and a science fiction junkie.

She worked as a special effects makeup artist for many years before she wrote her first book. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the Pacific Northwest, backpacking, or reading. She writes #ownvoices Queer books about love, secrets and magic.