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Shadows at Sunset: Sunset Trilogy ~ Book 1 by [Royston, Tonya]
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Shadows at Sunset: Sunset Trilogy ~ Book 1 Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 306 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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She never thought her ability to communicate with wild animals was anything more than a unique gift. But this gift is tied to a long history of secrets that threaten to shatter her one chance at true love…

Laken Sumner isn’t your average teenager. Ever since she realized that wild animals could hear her thoughts, she’s spent more time in the woods with them than with other children. Even her wolf is a better friend to her than most people. She trusts him—so much so that she follows him out into the wilderness in the middle of the night to find a lost little boy. But the boy’s disappearance is only the beginning.

The one bright spot in her life is Noah Lawson, the handsome new town deputy. Charming and mature, he almost seems too good to be true. Then she meets Xander Payne, the new boy at school, who seems to know something about her. But how could that be possible?

As strange things begin to happen in her sleepy New England town, Laken wonders if Xander has something to do with it. Or is it just a coincidence that danger targets her soon after he arrives?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2081 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Black Opal Books (15 August 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0137VUD96
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,199 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Perfect for lovers of animals, paranormal romance, young adults and the young at heart. A love triangle and plenty of mystery in this creative piece by first time author Tonya Royston. A great debut novel. Very descriptive and well written. I can't wait for part 2 of this trilogy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What an enthralling read! 20 May 2017
By HonestReviewer - Published on
Verified Purchase
I first bought "Shadows at Sunset" because a colleague of mine (Tonya Royston) wrote it, and I wanted to support her. I also interviewed her for a short article for the website, and I've been eager to read the book since.

How can I describe this book? Well, to give you (a potential reader) an idea of why you should buy this book, let me give you a little insight into me and my situation: no wifi. No access to Netflix. Not able to stream or download anything. For. Five. Whole. Months. And I haven't been that much of a reader in about a year. Get the picture?

I am very grateful that I packed this book, because Royston made it very easy for me to get back into reading (and, surprisingly, not miss Netflix!).

What I really like in particular about Royston's writing, is that it is different. Books like Matched by Ally Condie or The Selection by Kiera Cass all share similar writing styles, which is why publishers like Harper Collins pick them up. They're great stories, but there's nothing unique about their writing styles. Royston's writing style is so different, and authentic. It doesn't sound in my head like a ton of gibberish when explaining too much. There is a very stark difference to her writing than many of the other bestselling authors these days, and I really enjoy and admire it about her. (Think J.K. Rowling. Her writing style is far different than Condie or Cass or someone like them. That's how I feel when reading Royston's writing. Different. Magical. (Pun intended).)

It is really easy to fall in love with the protagonist, too. Laken Sumner is clever, interesting, unique, and not a victim to the normal cliches. Yeah, she talks to animals, but the animals can't talk back to her. Yeah, there is the popular girl at school (Marlena), but Laken doesn't cower to her or makes herself fall prey to Marlena's false superiority. Laken isn't afraid to stand up for herself and she isn't scared of doing so immediately, in the moment, either. I really admire that about her (and about Royston, because most authors would have their protagonists dwell and wait until they've had enough before standing up to the school bully).


When Noah and Laken finally get together, butterflies gather in my stomach. I feel Laken's desire for an older guy and I feel her pain, her heartache, as well as her happiness and, yes, even her hormones that flutter when she's around him! I feel so happy for her. I just wish they had hooked up (or at least gone to third base) before the book ended.

When Xander enters the picture, I get really annoyed with him, and how he takes away Laken's affections for Noah at some points. But I do really like Royston's choice when it came down to explaining what Xander's dad does for a living: jewelry making/design. Rather than a movie exec or lawyer or whatever. It is a very unique career for a character who is very well off to have.


I'm wondering though what's going on with those other wolves. (I love Dakota, by the way. I haven't mentioned that yet. I love Royston's ability to write about a wild wolf as someone's pet and still educate the reader about how a wolf acts, if that makes sense.) The wolf with the yellow eyes -- my theory is that it's Xander's dad. Yup, I went there. I think Xander and his dad are werewolves. But then that'd make me wonder about the white wolf and why the white wolf and the yellow-eyed wolf attacked Laken, then with her finding Xander in his car afterwards... well, I wonder then if those wolves are from another, competing pack that Xander and his dad are on the outs with. And if the special necklace around Laken's neck is the real reason as to why the wolves attacked her.

I also wonder if the necklace around her neck is some sort of beacon or special token that relates to her being able to communicate with animals. Think about it: her dad gave it to her, saying it has been passed down through his family to every daughter. So since she hasn't mentioned her grandmother on her dad's side, what if every girl on her dad's side has had this very ability? The necklace has been passed down since ancient times, and it's not like the girls who have the communication power is going to blab it to the rest of their family, either.


I strongly recommend this book (I have already ordered the sequel, and I am so eager to read it). It is enthralling. There are a few things that bother me -- like a redundant sentence: "'What can I say? You're outside a lot.'"/ "I couldn't disagree with him on that. I was outside a lot." (chapter 9, page 126) That bothered me, and it isn't the only one like that. Also, I really hate it when authors use the word "then", like here: "Then I turned to him" (chapter 12, page 179), and other places in the book too. It's just so... tell-y, and feels like scapegoat writing.

In general though, I really love the story, Royston's writing style, and how immersed I feel into the book. It is an excellent novel and I highly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great wolf mystery... 3 April 2017
By Geo L. V. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Shadows at Sunset: Book 1 of the Sunset Trilogy by [Royston, Tonya]
Shadows at Sunset is the first book to a fascinating trilogy by Tonya Royston. Laken, the almost eighteen-year-old heroine, suffers the usual teen issues of what plans she will make for her budding future and who her date will be for the homecoming dance but she is different from most high school seniors. Laken’s ability to communicate with animals leads her to rescue a small toddler at the beginning of the story, that disappears under suspicious circumstances. Laken doesn’t feel comfortable in her new celebrity status that conflicts with her usual quiet life, spent in the lush forests of New Hampshire. Good things come from a town celebration in her honor, like meeting Noah, a handsome young man and her father’s new deputy. When summer ends and school starts, she meets another engaging classmate who comes off as being the bad-boy from the west coast, and for reasons unknown to Laken, she wants nothing to do with his dark image and haunting blue eyes. This particular love triangle keeps the pages turning as the wolf mystery unfolds. Every teen can identify with Laken’s character and would only dream of being torn between two very hot heroes… or are they? Thanks to Tonya Royston’s own review, I knew this book was a cliffhanger that would send me straight into the next book in this series. This is a great page turner and a “I gotta know what happens!” and I will let you know what I think about the second book soon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *Sweet~Mystery~Suspense* 6 October 2015
By cathrina - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a wonderful debut novel by Tonya Royston. The main character Laken Summer can communicate with animals, and especially her pet wolf, Dakota. I love animals, and when something happened, (I can't say what, since I never leave spoilers) I was so worried that poor Dakota was doomed. I adore the family aspect in Shadows at Sunset. Laken's father is the small town sheriff, and in walks the new deputy, Noah. Laken and Noah find a connection. And then comes a new boy at school, Xander, he's gorgeous, and Laken refuses to believe she's attracted to him when the older, good-looking Noah has asked her out on a date.

Mysteriously, the sheriff finds dead bodies in the forest with bite marks, and Laken doesn't believe her pet, Dakota could be responsible. The story rolls along nicely ~ until the end ~ and I couldn't read fast enough. And Ms. Royston leaves me with such a cliffhanger!!! I need to know what's going to happen next!!!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating with a touch of romance and mystery. 4 September 2015
By Wendy Leigh - Published on
Verified Purchase
So imaginative. I couldn't put it down. A great book for fans of animals and lovers of intriguing characters. There is a little mystery to keep you hanging. I am certainly awaiting anxiously for Part Two. Tonya Royston takes you on a descriptive journey where you can easily imagine yourself in the town and the wilderness where a beautiful wolf has captured the heart of our heroine. There is the handsome deputy sherif trying to win her heart, and then the very mysterious new boy at school who is clearly keeping a few secrets. Who can she trust and which one will she turn to in the end? It will definitely keep you guessing. As a debut novel, it is refreshing and creative. Very enjoyable to read and especially great for young adults. I am happy to recommend it to young people and also the young at heart. Nothing like a little romance and adventure to keep you entertained.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice debut book, looking forward to the next! 28 December 2015
By AC Gray - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll admit, as someone who's not super into pets or animals, I wasn't sure about a book where the main character, a teenage girl named Laken, can communicate with animals.

I'm happy to say I truly enjoyed the story. The author writes in a way that makes the story flow quickly. The characters are believable, and the descriptions of the setting (a small New Hampshire town) give you a really good feel for Laken's world. There is a good love triangle as well...Laken is torn between the young town deputy and the new "bad boy" at school. Both guys are hot (obviously), and I don't want to put spoilers in this review, so I'll just say that both of them merit her interest, and there's no clear least in Book 1.

The suspense of the story begins when Laken uses her communicative powers to rescue a little boy lost in the woods at night...except he was way too far from home to have simply wandered off. Someone, or something, is lurking in the woods. Laken's ability to communicate with animals may help, but it may also put her in danger. The author pulls off the human-animal communication very adds to the story and is believable, but it doesn't overwhelm the plot.

I do wish there had been more answers in Book 1. Like many YA series, though, the end is a cliffhanger, so it's not meant to be read as a stand-alone. Guess I'll be waiting for Book 2!