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The Isle of Sin and Shadows

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This island alone boasts more ghost stories than all of Louisiana combined.

And I'm one of them.

In the Louisiana swamplands, ghost stories are as much a part of childhood as chasing fireflies and crawfishing. They never much scared me, though, nor the possibility of evil out to do me harm. Until the night I watched shadows come to life and butcher everything I loved.

With a stranger's help, I managed to escape to an isolated place miles north, and, in time, became my own ghost story. A cautionary tale for the locals.

Nearly a decade passed, before I returned to my birthplace, in hopes of unearthing long-awaited answers. Instead, I found something I wasn't looking for. Someone. A remedy for my loneliness.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, Thierry Bergeron is no elixir. He's a deadly poison, cursed by the demons of his past, and feared by those who call him the elusive Rougarou of the bayou. A devious rogue, whose seductive whispers and rough hands haunt my dreams. The big bad wolf that defiles me without apology, or remorse.

I should resist him, but I can't.

And when the shadows return to stake their claim on me, his darkness is the only safe place to hide.

523 pages, Paperback

Published March 8, 2021

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About the author

Keri Lake

41 books3,054 followers
Author of dark romance who specializes in demon wrangling, vengeance dealing and wicked twists.

I love connecting with readers, so feel free to join my reading group: http://bit.ly/2lWjOFg

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 468 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
May 7, 2021
im saying this now. romantic suspense is my favourite hybrid genre. i love the mystery, the thrill, the drama, and the tension of it all - with both the crime and the relationship aspects. its honestly the best of both worlds.

i already know that KL is a genius when it comes to dark stories and this is no exception, but i was not prepared for how creepy this would be. like, there are some scenes that reminded me of horror films and my wimpy overactive imagination absolutely hated it. lol.

but theres something about that which i loved. the ghost stories, the voodoo, the eerie nature of the boggy marches of louisiana. its such a chilling atmosphere, so i love how the writing perfectly reflects that, even if it did scare me at times.

overall, this is another win for KL in my book. cant wait see what twisted story she comes up with next.

4 stars
Profile Image for Kat valentine ( Katsbookcornerreads).
616 reviews817 followers
March 19, 2021
What a outstanding captivating thrilling gripping tale full of twists and turns that had me saying more then once to myself " What the Fuck just happened"!!! This is one of the best books that I've read so far this year!! Its definitely a book that I will read though again and again. The characters are mesmerizing! Thierry is a dangerous and dark anti hero who owns and runs a strip club which covers his real job of laundering money for the cartel. With a face and a body of a fallen angel and a ice cold heart locked down to him women are nothing more then just a fuck, til he crosses paths with feisty and mysterious Carly James, not only does he scene that she's lying about who she is and why she's crashed in the old carpentier mansion that is whispered to be haunted by not one but two different murders from the past and the evil that took place. But also when he looks in her eyes he see's like him that she has seen awful things and their is a look of haunting sadness behind those beautiful green eyes of her's. From the beginning she gets under his skin and the sexual attraction is instant and very combustible. Celeste is back to get answers from her past, not to become this bad boys plaything but sometimes its better to let go of the past.But Celeste coming home to Chevalier Isle not only sparks Thierry's interest but the cartel's as well and then theirs also Tonton the monster who haunts her nightmares. This book had a spooky storyline that at times actually gave me the chills and kept my attention all the way through, in fact I read it in one sitting and couldn't have put it down even if I wanted to. Keri lake is a fabulous writer and one hell of a storyteller. This is definitely a must read! It has it all sex,suspense, and characters and villains that are memorable. And who doesn't cream their panties over sexy bad boys who speaks dirty in French! Sign me the hell up for this Creole hottie! Until next time Luv's💕💋
Profile Image for Arini.
781 reviews1,636 followers
December 16, 2022
2.5 Stars

Idk which is worse (or more titillating if you’re into this sort of thing) --> . I’m talking about the handle/butt of either one of those tools. It seems ✦ hOt ✦ and extreeeme, but I’m not inclined to find out. Are you??? Or possibly, hAvE YOUUU?!?

Also, raise your hand if you think the following banter is funny, sexy, and/or romantic!!! Because, I think it’s #gross.

“I have a confession.” Another bite, and I arch into him on a gasp of breath. “I used your toothbrush.”
He stills against me and lets out an exasperated groan. “You didn’t.”
“I did. But I put it back in the spaceship, so all is right as rain.”
“I’ll have to go ashore and buy a new one.”
“You’ve kissed me. Kissed … there. My germs have taken up residence in every corner of your mouth by now. Like the gold rush. And I’ll just tell you, if they’re anything like me, they’re not going anywhere for a while.”

I know that, but it doesn’t mean I want anyone reminding me of the fact that there are germs in/on our bodies.

My rating is going to put a damper on the avaragely high rating, and I’m sorry. I promise it’s not the book (probably). I’ve been reading ±15 Kristen Ashley books consistently. Everytime I tried picking up a non-KA romance, it never felt right and I kept “unconsciously” comparing them.

I was hoping this would be as good as Keri Lake’s previous release Master of Salt & Bones considering it was also a gothic mystery romance, but it wasn’t even half as that. Or maybe it actually was, and I just couldn’t enjoy it. Some of the reasons for that were:

For some reason the slowburn romance here annoyed me more than it moved me. The main leads didn’t meet until approximately 22% into the book. When they did meet, their exchanges left me feeling... not much of anything.

It wasn’t really the writing so much as the structure. (???) I didn’t like how looonngggg the descriptive passages and inner monologues were. Then there’d be sections where they were filled with just a string of dialogues.

Due to the setting, they spoke with an accent (southern/Louisiana/Cajun type of American accent). I’m not a native American, so it’s not ingrained in my brain how the variety of accents across the states sound like. Furthermore, some of the dialogues were written like this,

“I’m gon’ fill dat chatte wit’ some spicy Valir sauce. You ready for it, baby?”

It’s not that I’m making fun of it, I just don’t know how to properly pronounce that sentence in a way that would most sound like a true American. The way I say it, in my head it sounded ridiculous. You readers from non-English speaking countries, can you relate to me???

I love intrigue. I love mafia/cartel type romance. I love age gap. I love dark elements. I love sick and twisted characters. All of them, this book had in abundance and more. There were even a cult narrative slipped into the story. So, why couldn’t I have (had) an intense, erotic, and thrilling ride with this book???
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,020 reviews12k followers
March 7, 2021
This island alone boasts more ghost stories than all of Louisiana combined. And I’m one of them.

Spine tingling, suspenseful, and utterly mesmerizing. The Isle Of Sin and Shadows was unlike anything I’ve read and a story I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

When Keri Lake announced that she's writing another gothic romance, I knew I was in for a treat. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING prepared me for the absolute thrill ride that was this book. I mean MY GOD.
This unbearable ache inside of me has a name: Thierry Bergeron. He’s what I desire more than anything. The exquisite poison that’s sure to destroy my heart this time.

If you want a mystery that will send chills down your spine, possibly cause a few nightmares, and own you from beginning to finish...well, look no further.

Céleste has spent years both running from her past and seeking answers. Her mind is a jumbled mess of broken memories and horrors that haunt her living nightmares. After barely escaping with her life when she's a little girl, the grown woman needs answers. She's back to the town and her childhood home and all of the haunting memories that come along with it in her desperate search for answers about her family's gruesome death. She's fierce, feisty, and everything that I would expect from the brilliant mind of Keri Lake.

Thierry Bergeron is a mystery wrapped in barbed wire. He's the owner of an exclusive adult club and a cold blooded killer for hire for a ruthless cartel. His history is shadowed at best, but one thing is for sure. This is not a man that you want to cross. And when the young Céleste stumbles into his crosshairs, he's determined to learn her secrets. But nothing prepares him for the dark web that spins around this woman's past and just how dangerously close she is to his own present.

The romance is flawlessly and effortlessly interwoven into the dark mystery and suspense. It's a slow burn that hurts so good and when it finally explodes, it's downright incendiary. But beyond the romance, the story is completely unputdownable. The mystery unravels piece by agonizing piece, and nothing prepares you for the plot twists that hit you over the head like a two by four. Keri is the queen of dark suspense, I swear, but this was something altogether ELSE. I can't even begin to describe it to you. All I know is that it played out in my mind like a movie and at times left me completely shell shocked.

This was a book unlike any I've read in a long LONG time and if you're looking for a dark, gothic romance to take you out of your comfort zone and stay in your memory, look no further!

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Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,349 reviews1,263 followers
March 23, 2021
"I no longer fear the darkness..."

The Isle of Sin & Shadows is a dark and suspenseful romance full of action, suspense, and plenty of dark cult magic. Céleste is a young woman who has struggled her entire life. Traumatized by horrific abuse she experienced through her childhood, she struggles with remembering anything from her past. When she ventures home to Louisiana, she is thrust back into the terrors of her past. Thierry Bergeron is a mysterious man who has found success by working with the cartel. When he meets Céleste he is intrigued by her spunk and survivor spirit. Although the two could not be more different, a spark is ignited and the two come together in the most unlikely ways. As the mystery of Céleste's upbringing are revealed, Thierry is pulled deeper in to the darkness of her past.

"This is when the shadows wind themselves around me like vines from the deep..."
Told in dual POV, The Isle of Sin & Shadows offers a dark and suspenseful romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire read. With complex characters and a twisted plot, Keri Lake offers a dark and delicious read where the stakes are high and life and death hang in the balance. The passion is intense from the beginning of the read and as the truth unfolds, romance takes root. The atmosphere is clearly created and as a reader you will be completely immersed in this world.
"He’s what I desire more than anything. The exquisite poison that’s sure to destroy my heart this time."
Overall, The Isle of Sin & Shadows will appeal to readers who enjoy taking a ride on the dark side. Keri Lake has always been one of my go-to authors and she certainly brought her "A Game" with this creative piece of work. If you are a dark romance lover, you do not want to miss this epic read!

🖤✨ 🖤 This is an (F)BR with Loyda, CC, and WAR! 🖤✨ 🖤


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Profile Image for  Sonya ♕Chatterbooks book blog♕.
966 reviews1,092 followers
March 15, 2021

Well I have three simple words to say about this book: I made it!! My heart rhythm wasn't the same for a while but let’s not dwell on that. This story was haunting, dark, complicated with an old school visual that left you mesmerized and gave you chills all at once.

Celeste James has been haunted for the past ten years about her past. As the days continue to go by, finding out about a long lost mystery is the key to unlocking every haunting dream she’s ever had finally coming face to face with a dangerous past. But first, she has to get through the most dangerous man of all and there’s a reason he’s called “the wolf.


The list can be long as a legal pad and you would still need more room to describe Thierry. Running a successful business is never easy and it comes with a few headaches but when you’re side job deems more dangerous than anything else and people fear you by just looking at you, life will always be complicated. This becomes a true fact when a mysterious woman comes to town and changes everything.


I knew that this story was going to be different with a dark gothic theme and I was more than ready to jump on it. Keri Lake has this way of really sucking you into her stories and giving you chills at the unexpected moments. I loved the setting, the dialect and even some of the creepy characters that made me stabby because they made the story more entertaining.

If you’re looking for a slow burn and wickedly haunting romance, then this one's for you.


Profile Image for Mara YA Mood Reader.
336 reviews268 followers
March 25, 2021
I’m 35 and a Wattpad writer but I draw the line at sweaty, hairy ballsack sucking (mmm, nothing like toilet water splashed balls in the mouth to turn us on 🤮 🙄), bondage, and thumbs in buttholes. And referring to vulvas as CLEFTS and SLITS.

This always happens to me when I venture out of YA because I want more spice. But every. Freaking. Time. I pick up a NA/A it goes straight to trashy erotica & fetish. Where is the middle ground between YA and NA spice?????

More contemporary than I thought. Not my cuppa. I was expecting a ghost story but no, it was a satanic sacrificial rape cult story instead.

And I don’t care to talk anymore about this book.
Profile Image for CC.
1,060 reviews630 followers
January 11, 2022
4.5 ★

After leaving her childhood home and warned not to return, Céleste James decides to face her fears and unlock buried memories. With ghostly images and a community influenced by voodoo, Céleste’s journey to the Bayou brings her face to face with her demons. Thierry Bergeron is an intimidating man with nefarious ties. Thoroughly familiar with local superstitions and suspect of many, he begins to make connections between fact and gossip.

“That’s the thing about fate, isn’t it? We don’t really know what consequences await us. Or redemptions, for that matter.”

Narrated in dual POV, the character development is layered and well-rounded with fiery personalities offering an intensity between Céleste and Thierry. With a carefully crafted storyline, the past is highly influential in the lives of these characters. Getting answers is crucial and time is closing in on Céleste and Thierry as others have vying interests.

“Everything that she is, every lie, every truth – it’s laid bare and naked. I see her as much as she sees me.”

In starting this novel, I was expecting an eerie mystery and the plot fully delivered. Céleste is a character that incites empathy in addition to being endearing and feisty. Her tenacity is admirable, especially given her struggle. The dynamic between Céleste and Thierry is incendiary and I loved how Céleste wasn’t intimidated by him. This story has a solid cadence building into a crescendo ending with twists. I was definitely intrigued and couldn’t wait to connect it all.

The Isle of Sin & Shadows is a dark mystery steeped in superstitions and shady characters. This book would appeal to those seeking to be immersed in a world of sin.

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey, Liz and Loyda!*

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Profile Image for Júlia.
215 reviews3,182 followers
April 17, 2021

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 🌶🌶🌶/5

TW: Explicit Sexual Content, Crude Language, Rape, Explicit Violence, Psychological Torment.

I am officially labeling myself as Keri Lake’s number 1 hype girl. It seems like every time Keri writes a thriller she makes sure to put all of my personal favorite elements into the story. Isle of sin wasn’t as romantic as master of salt and bones - which is still my favorite/best read of 2021 so far. However it still has the same elements that make me obsessed with her writing.

Believable characters with heartbreaking stories, a mystery and so many twists that will leave on the edge while reading the whole time. Incredible world building in a setting of a fictional French speaking island that makes everything take on a grey, brown and green palette of colors for me - which I love.

Do you ever imagine a set of colors while reading or picturing a place in a book? I do that all the time and it made me realize that the better the writing the more vivid the colors are in my mind.

Even though the romance wasn’t necessarily the main focus of this story, this book was spicy and edgy. Every single character has their own broken past, their own secrets, their own fears and tortures. The fictional island takes a life of its own and everything feels so organic.

It’s like every single horror movie I’ve ever loved put together in one book with the special addition of a dark romance - my personal favorite - and voila, you get yourself a carefully crafted psychological thriller. If you’re a horror movie person, a ghost story kind of person, cultish and mischievous sort of human, then this book is for you.

An original, page-turner, sensual, crazy, roller-coastery type of thriller that will make you second guess your own instincts and morals. Totally worth the read.

Profile Image for kat.
496 reviews175 followers
December 6, 2021
5 stars ☆

❛La lune. Les étoiles. Ma Céleste.❜

to be honest, I wasn't hooked from the beginning, but it's keri lake, my favorite author, so I sucked it up and read it. I'm glad I did because I fell in love with the writing, the characters―even the side characters―and the book.

plus, the book ticked all the boxes for me.
I mean, how can I say no to this?

✰ dark gothic romance.
✰ curses & cults.
✰ slow burn romance.
✰ a broody hitman.
✰ a mouthy runaway.
✰ family skeleton.
✰ sins and secret.


and once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down
I was wide awake at 5 am because I couldn't get enough of Céleste and Thierry. the author did say it's a long book with over 500 pages, but to me, it felt short. It wasn't enough. I need more. p.s. they meet each other at around 22% of the book.

❝Je suis fou de toi.❞ I’m crazy about you. Tipping my chin up, he slants his lips over mine, eating the words that linger on my tongue with the kind of kiss that has my heart damn near clattering against my ribs. ❝Je t'aime, ma ‘tit moiselle.❞

anyway, I’m not going to say much about the book because I don't want to give anything away. It's best if you go in blind. The Isle of Sin & Shadows is one of those books that will remain with me forever.

❝I’ve got an envie for you, chère.❞

— 𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐠:
· 𝐈 𝐩𝐮𝐭 𝐚 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐛𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐱.
Profile Image for warhawke.
1,299 reviews1,958 followers
March 12, 2021
Genre: Gothic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person - Dual

After years of staying away, Céleste James decided to go back to her hometown to find answers from her past. But Chevalier Isle was as dangerous as when she left it. Now even more so when she caught the eyes of Thierry Bergeron.

Thierry was dark, sexy, and could harden or soften his heart when he needed to. While Céleste was sometimes reckless, she had determinations in achieving her goals.

I want to punish her for whatever the hell this is she does to my body. How easily she stirs the predator in me, that deep relentless craving that claws and claws, refusing to be ignored. This lack of control is foreign to me. Maddening.

I love a dark atmospheric book and this one fits the bill. I enjoyed the ambiance with a sinister feel and the mystery surrounding the events in the book. The story was engaging with plenty of revelations with some I expected while others took me by surprise.

The Isle of Sin and Shadows is a story of uncovering the truth. It would appeal to readers who enjoy a Gothic Romance steeped in mystery.

✨ ✖ ✨. . . (F)BR with Twinsie CC Loyda & Liz . . .✨ ✖ ✨

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Profile Image for Amy Estridh.
283 reviews117 followers
September 19, 2021
I've not read a lot of dark gothic romances earlier, but the ones I remember most clearly were the ones V.C (Virginia) Andrews wrote (I was freaking 10 years old. How my mother let me read those books is beyond reason).
Don't worry, this is nothing like Andrews. Or, some things maybe, but it's more modern and way more creepy, with an actual plot, and wonderful romantic interest.

I'm gonna include a list of some CW here because if you're searching for something else, it can be a bit gruesome at times.

Celeste has really had her share of pure shit and bad luck while growing up. As a lone child survivor in a famous murder, she escaped with a friend of her father's and lived her teenage years in anonymity.
When her caretaker dies, she decides to return back home and learn the truth behind all mysteries her mind is still keeping from her. All during this time she's struggling with visual and auditory hallucinations, as a result of her immense childhood trauma. I liked her character, a lot; she's so strong, passionate, and dedicated. And the way she can get under Thierry's skin is just... yep, just amazing.
Thierry is colder than really cold ice cream, even if he's as sweet as one on the inside. Let's see, we have...
The typical emotional detachment ✔️
The killing people without remorse because of trauma ✔️
The selfishness ✔️
The "I don't talk unless I have something important to say" ✔️
The sexual appeal so great that people are throwing themselves at his feet ✔️
The "I want to crush your throat as much as I want to fuck you" ✔️
Oh, and he's also very smart. And has expert endurance, agility, and shooting skills. Because, why the hell wouldn't he?

You can imagine the clash between these two when both have personalities like mules and temperaments like rhinos.

There is actually so much that happens, and I would just recommend everyone to go in blind as I did. It was super exciting to guess the outcomes and next events, and it was also spooky AF at times.

I can honestly say that after I started this yesterday night, I read nonstop, beyond sleeping that is. This one has such a unique, enthralling, and sinister story. There were copious twists and turns, and some were really unexpected. And hear this: it has more than 500 pages, I couldn't put it down, and I didn't get bored once. If that's not impressing I don't know what is tbh
Profile Image for Lo Bookfrantic.
767 reviews566 followers
April 13, 2021


Genre: Gothic Romance
Type: Standalone 
POV: First Person - Dual

Céleste James learned at a very young age that everything was temporary. She’s grown not really knowing exactly what happened to her family and why they died. In hopes to find answers she headed back to her home town which is influenced by voodoo and superstitions.

”A darkness lies beneath all that calm, like a wild animal scratching at his tightly woven facade. One that might be inclined to bite if I get too close.”

Thierry Bergeron was dark, intense and intimidating man. He knew trouble when he saw it but when he meets Celeste he couldn’t stay away. No matter how hard he made her curious and he needed to know what secrets she was helping.

“I don’t know what it is about her that has me so intrigued. She’s a hot mess with a side of crazy.”

I absolutely devour this story; from the beginning the story had a mysterious vibe. It had me intrigued wanting to know what is coming next. The hero and heroine both were like able and I loved their chemistry and their stubbornness which made for a very intense steamy story.

The Isle of Sin & Shadow is an enjoyable tale of dark gothic with dark suspense, full of action and a total page turner, once I started I couldn’t put it down. Readers who enjoy mystery stories will find this book appealing.

...This was a F(BR) with CC, War & Liz...
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Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,471 reviews787 followers
March 15, 2021
Hella exciting and nail-biting, edge of the seat Gothic thriller that will leave you gasping and panting with horrified excitement..for MORE!!!
A touch of goth, a dash of romance and a huge dollop of Mystery & intrigue, inhabited by a brainwashed sect of conspiracy theorists, and whaddya have- a BRILLIANT piece of writing from the prolific writer, who's become my instant one click author.
I had goosebumps the ENTIRE TIME I was reading it. Reading should be believing but I can attest to the fact that it was hard to believe the blinding twists and turns.
The setting is the Louisiana bayou. A haunted, abandoned Charpentier House. Witness to unimaginable occult rituals and carnage, its walls shift with unexpected visitors and it speaks in whispers and growls.

"More bible verses in black. Curse words scribbled over them in red. It looks like a war between good and evil inside this house."


characters all sketched in Grey undertones, some paper thin in appearance and can only be felt rather than seen.
Fog swirls around the plot making it difficult to separate factuality from apparitions or hallucinations of the mind.

"I’ve had so many dreams, both sleeping and awake, that are so vivid, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s imagined."

Keri makes the reader wander through this misty, smokey plot, we fumble through clues, tear down walls and hunt for clues to fill in the blanks of the story.
The jigsaw puzzle that is the framework, could not have been conjured by any lesser writer. It must've required painstakingly exhaustive research and detailing, and Keri crosses ALL the T's and dots ALL the i's when sketching out the plot. And it shows!
It's remarkably engrossing, cast a spell on me from page one. When ever I had to put it down to walk away, it called to me. I dreamt about it. heard it's words in my ears...
"Minou...Minou...I can see you"


Thierry Bergeron is a dark soul. His world tweeters on the fine edge between the Devil and The Deep Dark parallel world of the cartel. What he does, for all its intents and purposes is not for the faint of heart. In his crosshairs lands Céléste Pierce, the object of obsession of almost every character in the story for their own nefarious and heinous purposes. But one thing is definite- everybody wants her dead!!
Thierry was enigmatic, villainous and tainted, So why did I fall for him so hard!! The Handsome Devil was beguiling and mesmerizing!


Céléste kicked Ass! "Angeltude. Angel with a fuck ton of attitude!!!"
I don't possess even a gram of courage and bravery she had. Unafraid and undeterred in the pursuit of answers, she has a wickedly witty side and gave back as hard as she received. Intensely smart, intelligent despite her stumbling around in the forest with distorting visions.

“The big bad wolf who eats young girls in the woods.
What happens to the wolf if the girl bites back, huh?
What if she’s just as hungry as he is?”

Except Thierry "The Black wolf" who sees her as a window of opportunity, a bargaining chip to snatch his soul back from the talons of the Devil
Who is this Devil, whose ominous presence is lurking ALL over the Book?
Why does he hide in the shadows yet breathes down EVERYBODY'S neck, raising hairs at the nape and striking hard at every misstep?
He's The Goatman.“The Great Goat. As I understand the Valir call him Le Bouc Noir.”


It's a head-spinning race against time, the heart remains firmly lodged in the throat throughout. The chills run down your spine and goosebumps mottle your arms, are a constant thing. I had my jaw drop down to the heavenly earth and the ground opened up beneath my feet as the mask came off.. Like Thierry, I was...."The Fuck?".


I'm still shaking my head at the sheer ignorance of the herd of people whose brains are stoopid enough and vulnerable enough to be molded and used as a weapon at the hands of demonic & villainous intentioned faux-gods!! Its scary in fiction but even more in real life, like we have had the misfortune of witnessing around us!!


5 stars for Illegal Delicacy
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Profile Image for Leigh.
1,227 reviews228 followers
March 16, 2021
The Isle of Sin & Shadows is the latest release by Keri Lake and it was awesome. Before I begin this review I must say that Keri mentions in the beginning with Dear Reader that this is a very slow burn in regards to the romance but I found it was also a slow build that tested my patience for the first 50% of the book. Now once the second half begins the story takes off into a story of betrayal, lies and a whole bunch of sick actions. I loved Thierry and Celeste together, they both had issue but they were perfect for each other. As with all of Keri's books the road to HEA is dark and heartbreaking but there is always light at the end.

***ARC Provided by Author***
Profile Image for Tatianna.
125 reviews21 followers
September 26, 2022
I have wanted to read this book for quite awhile now, but I saved it for spooky season because apparently I am a masochist and thought it would be fun to delay gratification for so long. By the time I finally sat down to read it, I was itching with excitement. Keri Lake's books are my drug of choice; few other books seem to compare in terms of impact for me.

Potential triggers: suicide, cults, human trafficking, rape (not between love interests), violence, abduction, murder, explicit scenes including dub-con, representation of addiction and withdrawal, PTSD.

The Isle of Sin and Shadows is a haunting, suspenseful, sexy, and thrilling southern gothic romance. This type of setting is pretty foreign to me, in both fiction and reality, but I was immediately drawn into it, captivated by it, and haunted by it. Chevalier Isle is a fictional island in Louisiana, rife with ghost stories, cartel crime, cold cases, secrets and believers in the occult. Believe me when I say this book is a whole damn vibe.

“Don’t look away. No matter what you see. What you feel.”
“And if it’s too painful?”
“Pain is only the beginning.”

In this story, we follow Céleste, a young woman who was ripped from her life in Louisiana as a child after a brutal attack on her family that she narrowly escaped and hardly remembers. Despite time and space from that defining event, she's haunted by visions of a masked man. At the age of twenty, she finds herself travelling back to Chevalier Isle to learn about what happened all those years ago.

I adore Céleste. Honestly, she has it all; confidence, resilience, courage and heart. I love her razor-sharp, no-bullshit attitude that comes from her rugged upbringing. She's learned the hard way that she can't rely on anyone but herself, and it shows. A bit survivalist, and a bit savage. The flip side to this is that she's had to cope with her trauma all on her own, and this softer, struggling side of her pulled at my heartstrings. Her struggle to grapple with reality is chilling and alluring and exactly what I want from a gothic story. Moving alongside her on this journey to discover the truth amidst shadows, danger and mystery was such a wild ride.

We also follow Thierry, an indomitable and soul-crushingly attractive man who had his own defining moments in adolescence that lead him down a dangerous, morally grey path. He works for the Matamoros Cartel in Louisiana, which means having a conscience would be nothing more than a liability. He lives a life of emotional isolation with no interest in love.. Until, of course, Céleste barrels into his life.

“I swear to freaking Christ, if you don’t quit calling me hooker, I’m going to lose my shit right here. Right now.”
“Hooker? Mais, non. You’re in Valir country, not France. Here, it means something else.”
“I’ll let you find that out yourself.”

I especially love the addition of the Louisiana French dialect in this novel. It's woven seamlessly into the story, adding such richness (and heat!) to the dialogue. Thierry can talk dirty to me with that Valir mouth of his all day long. He seriously made me sweat and swoon! I love so many things about him: his controlled and tightly-wound demeanor, his frustration with himself at the first sign of his own unraveling, his little quirks, and his fierce devotion to protect the object of his affection at any cost. The banter between these two main characters is absolutely smirk-inducing, and the chemistry between them made me melt.

This romance is a true slow burn, so be prepared to wait with heightened anticipation for Thierry and Céleste to get together. When they do, it is thrilling, sensational and passionate. And that's not to say there aren't other things going on to occupy your mind; this story is first and foremost a mystery, packed with twists and turns that will keep you guessing and so interested in uncovering the truth. The plot is complex and well-put together, and the story's climax is stressful and intense (just the way I like it!). The romance, while slow burning, is anything but subtle, building organically alongside the mystery toward a love of epic proportions.

"I reach out to cup her cheek, and something aches inside my chest. A gnawing, twisting pain, like a steel blade winding through flesh. At first, I think it’s a heart attack coming on, and wouldn’t that be fitting, but it isn’t. It’s her. So fucking beautiful, it hurts. La lune. Les étoiles. Ma Céleste. The moon. The stars. My Céleste."

Céleste and Thierry's story was deeply affective, seductive, and emotionally haunting. I love the symbolism of Céleste having to confront her darkest shadows to move toward a brighter life. While on the surface this is a thrilling ghost story, a deeper look reveals commentary on traumatic injuries and the effort it takes to heal.

I definitely recommend this for anyone that likes gothic romance, contemporary romance with paranormal elements, thrilling and suspenseful stories, stories about cults and occult groups, southern settings, and slow-burning and passionate dark romance.
Profile Image for 💜VGreedyReader🖤.
507 reviews106 followers
March 17, 2021

⭐️5 full stars of Gothic charm⭐️

A masterfully woven plot infused with mystery keeping you second guess everything until the very end. Keri breathes life into the pages with a soulful tale. A story set in contemporary times but connected to a past full of history and legends, a land where reality and illusions collide, blending into one. A land imbued with an eerie atmosphere a gothic setting where you can’t tell apart dreams from reality, nightmares from memories.

Cèleste and Thierry’s story will keep you glued to the pages, two amazing characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading the last page of their compelling story. A booming chemistry, deliriously slow burning and an angst that will leave you panting and begging for more. No matter how strongly these two try to fight their attraction, the impending explosion is unavoidable, the harder they push the sweeter their surrender. All their foreplay sizzles with a brilliant banter that will have you laugh as much as blushing when temperatures skyrockets.

Cèleste, being an extremely clever perceptive girl, is hyper aware of how strongly Thierry is going to affect her. Just like a prey acknowledges his captor she recognise danger the inner alert radar is screaming at her to turn and run away

My freaking kryptonite, standing before me like a bad joke.

Thierry and his predatory ways sense Cèleste charm miles away, as soon as his eyes zeroes on such a juicy prey, all bets are off.

I can tell she’s wild--a walking ball of entropy, with enough disorder to throw everything out of balance. And still, for reasons I can’t explain, she’s stirred my curiosity.

This is a wet dream for all lovers of Gothic stories. Beautifully told, Keri’s writing depicts an enchanted world whose inhabitants will grab your attention taking you prisoner into their world, their stories will linger in your memory, taking root into your soul making a home in your heart.

My only warning is brace yourself for one hell of a book hangover, nonetheless don’t let this story pass you by, it deserves to be read, don’t deprive your avid reader mind of this tasty, luscious forbidden fruit.

***ARC given in exchange for an honest review ***

B/FR with my French bestie Mimi 🥂thank you for bringing me on this enchanting journey 💕
March 17, 2021


𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


After staying away from her Hometown for a decade ,Cèleste finally decides to uncover the truth of her past...when she caught the eye of our big bad wolf of the island, Thierry. Now, they are both caught in the middle of Cartel business and danger is looming over their head...

What I love the most about this author's work is her writing always gives me eerie feeling and the suspense keeps your heart racing through out the end...the Gothic feel to the story scares you yet leaves you wanting for more...
The strong, resilient character Cecelia and our dangerously gorgeous Thierry. The hot steamy scenes and the chemistry between the characters were off the chart...I love the thrill this book gave me...i couldn't stop reading it till the end...HEA is guaranteed guys!! But author Lake made them work for it...
Definitely on my top reads of 2021 for sure...

𝐅𝐈𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝐉𝐔𝐑𝐘: If you guys like dangerous edgy Romance with a bowl full of suspense and dark themes with characters marvelously written...then this book is for you...don't forget Dark modern fairy tale retelling too...
Profile Image for Book Buddies.
663 reviews11 followers
March 7, 2021
It's been way too long since I've felt the need to gush all over a book review. This one... sorry I can't help myself.

I have been a long time fan of this author and her masterfully written stories. Her mind is a conundrum of dark and depraved with glorious threads of beautiful imagery, edge-of-your-seat mystery and intrigue and pulse-racing romance. The Isle of Sin & Shadows is a perfect combination of all of these and just another to add to the long list of Lake's masterpieces.

Si seulement... If only, what then?

Don't be fooled, you won't be spoon-fed, but each and every thing that happens in this book is a beautiful, twisted piece of this magnificent, multi-layered puzzle. And trust me when I say, you'll be working for the answers.

But for me, that's the real beauty of a well-written story, right? I love it that I'm still thinking about it, weeks after I've closed the cover.

Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,763 reviews1,338 followers
March 12, 2021
I have been obsessed with Keri Lake and her stories for years! For that reason when I heard that she was releasing another twisty and suspenseful story I was intrigued. The Isle of Sin & Shadows was a delicious slow burn with so much intrigue and so many secrets. 

Céleste and Thierry were fantastic and so perfectly matched. It was filled to the brim with the gritty darkness and an edgy and addictive feel I've come to expect from Lake. I loved the connection Céleste and Thierry had and the equal thirst for truth and violence. I thought this story was sexy, addicting and so compelling! 4 stars! ~Ratula 
Profile Image for Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen.
1,683 reviews597 followers
March 25, 2021
5 Stars

This was AMAZING-CAPTIVATING ... a book I just didn't want to put down and couldn't get enough of. I love Ms. Lake's style of "dark" writing and the stories that have the twists and turns you aren't expecting. A few times while reading this book, my jaw dropped with a plot twist that I NEVER saw coming. Normally, I can predict a book and how it's going to play out but this one really got to me...definitely deserving of a perfect rating!

Profile Image for SP.
361 reviews77 followers
April 8, 2023
Entering my Gothic Romance Era.
The world building is amazing.
This book has easily become my whole personality, I'm honestly obsessed, and a little upset at myself for not reading it sooner. The way Keri Lake explains every detail, and can paint a picture so vividly, is so captivating to me. You get transported to another world almost. this story has me mind body and soul, and I don't know what to do with myself now that it’s finished.

At half way the pieces slowly start coming together, the mystery element is so well crafted. this story is definitely WAY more then a gothic romance, its pure magic.

This is a slower burn, with the main focus on the mystery aspect, but the romance is honestly some of my favorite I’ve ever read. The tension between the heroine and the hero, the chemistry… the connection these two have, will go up there as one of my top couples. The ride that Keri puts us on, is so unique and filled with twist and turns, I didn’t see coming. I went into this blindly and I am floored. I am officially a Keri lake groupie and I’m ready to binge all her books.

This is a darker romance, with some slight paranormal elements. But it isn’t a PNR or fantasy perse, just the way it’s written and the mythology behind the area this takes places, gives you this magical and mysterious feeling throughout. I honestly just loved it. I don’t know what else to say, because this is something you must experience to understand.
Profile Image for MissPetiteBrunetteBookBlog.
946 reviews183 followers
March 4, 2021
What A brilliant southern gothic mystery with secrets around every corner! Céleste is looking for answers from her past that she was warned to never look back for. This leads her to Louisiana’s Chevalier Isle, a place rich in history & cloaked in secrets. She meets a mysterious man named Thierry Bergeron who may or may not create a chain of events that leads to some of those questioned finally being answered. Thierry owns a high class adult club called Sinners & Saints. I don’t want to say too much as I think going in blind helps with this twisted tale so get ready for this southern gothic mystery with plenty of intrigue and heat. This states it’s a slow burn romance but for me it is more a mystery with haunted pasts, “supernatural” events and a side of Cartel all intertwining. The romance does come but much, much later however, you will not be bored as this story really makes you turn the pages for more. The chemistry and banter between the main characters jumps off the pages. A definite Top Read! Be aware this does have a few trigger warnings. Told in dual POV

📸 Teaser Collage by Miss Petite Brunette Book Blog
Profile Image for Natasha.
298 reviews306 followers
March 19, 2021
When I saw that Keri has another dark gothic romance I was beyond excited. Master of Salt and Bones was my fav 2020 read so ofc I had to read this one.

This book opens up with a massacre.
Little Celeste is running away while someone is chasing her and she needs to get to the address her father gave her. Then the story continues in the present about 10 years later where Celeste lives in a different city with the man who rescued her who she calls her father and she also has a sleeping pills addiction to keep the memories and hallucinations of her past away. Her "father" is sick and dying so after his death she realises she is alone and finally decides its time to uncover her past and the truth behind her real father death so she packs up and heads to Louisiana.

Thierry Bergeron is the "Black Wolf".

They don’t call him Rougarou for nothing.”
      “’Round here, it’s what we call werewolves.”
Rumor is, back when he was a boy, he was bitten by a wolf in the woods.

He is also a trapped man. He runs a gentelmen's club which is a front for the Mexican cartel where they launder their money and also works as an assasain for them.
When Celeste comes to his club by accident and they finally meet you can feel the sparks everywhere. They have such a funny banter and explosive chemistry. She is not bothered by him at all, not scared of him and she goes toe to toe with him on everything.

Keep in mind that this is a slow burn story and also a slow burn romance. In the first half Celeste is trying to find herself, to piece her memories together, what is real and what not so the story picks up a lot more in the second half when things starts to uncover and in the end everything comes together. But I didn't mind it honestly, there are so many aspects and mysteries plus even though they have their first kiss in about 70% their banter and chemistry is off the carts so when finally they get together I didn't get a feeling like I was missing something.

I didn't like one thing in the end which spoiled a character for me that I really liked so that kinda spoiled my raiting too. Overall I'm such a fan of Keri's writting and now I think I'm going to read all of her books lol.
Profile Image for Mimiorphee.
500 reviews25 followers
March 16, 2021

This story is simply phenomenal. You need to take the plunge into Keri Lake 's southern Gothic mystery romance. Both chilling and scorching hot, the atmosphere gripped me, never leaving me, while I burst out lauging, cried, hid behind my fingers, or fanned myself.
If you like dangerous, deadly, possessive and caring alpha heroes, you are going to fall for Thierry. I felt for Celeste, the strong, fiery badass heroine. She is a fighter who never backs down. I am in awe of her.
The intriguing storyline is masterly built, its intricacy kept me wondering until the very end. I felt trapped on this island and at the same time I didn't want to leave it. I am in love with this read!

BR with my Italian bestie...Cheers Vera, to a mysterious plot and cringe-worthy families! LOL
Profile Image for Ari.
783 reviews180 followers
October 4, 2021
It's official: I adore Keri Lake's stories. Holy shit was this good! She knows how to balance out story and sizzling romance perfectly, and the creepy atmospheric tale in this one was so much fun to delve into. I adored Celeste and Thierry--just sad that they're narrative's come to an end.
Profile Image for Picky_Book_B1tch.
602 reviews47 followers
March 15, 2021

It's writing like this that sets the standard by which I judge all others, and is the reason I'm a picky reader. This is how you set the tone, atmosphere, introduce characters, and keep the reader turning pages. My fingers were constantly itching to turn to the page, even before I'd finished the current one. This is exactly what I expect when I crack open a book--depth, a multi-layered plot, and characters that stay with you long after you close the book.

The Isle of Sin & Shadows is a memorable story that requires an investment from the reader, in time, emotion, and attention. The plot is develops in pieces, over the span of the book, and it is a long one, folks. But don't worry, you won't even feel its length. Every word, every twist, every side-story has a purpose and will make you eager for more.
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