Review: Twisted Pretty Things (Shadows of London #1) by Ariana Nash

Rating: 5🌈

I have long needed another urban fantasy author (can never have too many) and now I have one. And a great new series to boot!

I stumbled upon Ariana Nash when I found this urban fantasy story, Twisted Pretty Things. It’s the first book in her Shadows of London series and it’s a grand adventure and showstopper of a stage to a series.

It has a overall series arc of maze like proportions, continually looping back onto itself, then threading through the most obscure of narrative keyholes to keep the reader’s mind throughly boggled and trying to see where this intriguing plot and deeply layered characters will lead us next.

Ah these insanely wonderful characters. All smoke and mirrors, deceptions laid upon deceptively clever and devious personalities. Just when you think you have one completely figured out, wham, there’s a complete turnaround in what you perceive in character.

I love that. Pull that emotional rug out from all of us repeatedly.

All it does is deepen our connection in an odd empathetic way to the people in front of us instead of pushing us away. We need to know more about these obviously tormented individuals and the paths that brought them here.

And the horrors that are about to come. For they are indeed coming.

All the main characters such as the cockney born John “Dom” Domenici who now, through a convoluted journey, to his boss he works for , the elegant, wealthy Alexander Kempthorne , everyone here is fascinating and evolving.

The company, Kempthorne & Co, the main jobs revolve around retrieving magical objects imbued with dangerous powers. However, nothing is even that simple, as serious as it seems.

This story is steeped in British history and culture, including some of its most brutal and painful historical eras.

The author’s talent in using just a few phrases to telegraph something wordlessly barbaric is incredible. It’s used here to great emotional impact over and over.

The characters need to be read to be appreciated. Their growth, the revelations that are sprung on you as a reader cannot be put into a review yet it’s so much a part of them and this increasingly fantastic urban fantasy tale of romance and a fight for survival.

But against what?

That’s what’s coṃing…..

I was up late finishing this story and immediately grabbed up the next in the series. It’s plain addictive.

I can see several sleepless nights ahead.

I’m absolutely recommending this author and stories.

Start here! It’s a must read!


Something wicked is moving in the shadows of London…

In the underground world of glitzy illegal auctions, fast cars, and stolen magical artifacts, John “Dom” Domenici knows he’s out of his depth. But he needs the job at Kempthorne & Co like he needs to breathe. The alternative—going back to the organized crime gangs of London’s East End—is unthinkable.

So when Alexander Kempthorne, boss of Kempthorne & Co Artifact Retrieval Agency, wants him on a special case to track down an illegal artifact dealer, Dom can’t say no.

It shouldn’t matter that Kempthorne’s world is full of deadly secrets. It shouldn’t matter that the billionaire is sexy as sin, and it really shouldn’t matter how there’s an American agent stalking Dom, an American who knows more than he should about Dom’s case, including the real reason Alexander Kempthorne hired Dom.

The only thing that really matters to Dom is solving the case and finding the artifact dealer. Because there are worse things in London than a conflicted billionaire and a trigger-happy American. Something wicked is stalking London’s streets, and if Dom doesn’t stop it, its shadows will rise and consume them all.


Twisted Pretty Things is the first book in the all-new Shadows of London MM urban fantasy series. Action, mystery, and MM romance combine in this fast-paced adventure from the author who brought you the award-winning Silk & Steel series and the best-selling Prince’s Assassin series. Coming August 2021.

Triggering content: mention of past mental and physical abuse.

Please note the Shadows of London series is set in London and the characters are all British (so is the author). Although the series has been edited in US English for the larger US market, to include US spelling and grammar, many English slang words and spelling remain as part of the character of the work

Shadows of London series:

◦ Twisted Pretty Things #1

◦ Tide of Tricks #2

◦ Trial by Fire #3- coming May 31st, 2022 argh! The wait will kill me! › showWeb resultsTwisted Pretty Things (Shadows of London, #1) by Ariana Nash | Goodreads

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.


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