• In the Shadow of the Past

  • Shadow Series, Book 1
  • By: J.E. Leak
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (147 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

She fell for the wrong woman...now it’s going to cost her.

New York City, 1943. Reporter Jenny Ryan is plagued with guilt. Plunging into a world of danger after her father's murder, her burning need for justice drives her to take on a ruthless tycoon. But her plan goes awry when she falls for the criminal’s alluring mistress.

OSS agent Kathryn Hammond seethes with frustration. Trapped stateside in a dead-end assignment, the undercover spy fears she'll never pay her wartime debts. But when a feisty journalist enters the picture, her resentment blooms into undeniable desire.

When she discovers her revenge could destroy the woman she loves, Jenny is faced with an impossible decision. But as Kathryn falls deeper for Jenny, giving up their forbidden relationship could be her only chance at redemption.

Will their passion cost them their lives, or can the star-crossed lovers still create a happy ending?

In the Shadow of the Past is the mesmerizing first book in this lesbian historical romance series. If you like slow burn romances, secrets, and spies, you'll love this emotionally sweeping love story.

Listen to In the Shadow of the Past and get lost in the intrigue today!

©2021 J.E. Leak (P)2022 J.E. Leak
  • Series: Shadow, Book 1
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about In the Shadow of the Past

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Hurry with part 2 & 3!!!

I was so excited to have a new Abby Craden audiobook to listen to! She’s been gone from the WLW world for far too long. This one won’t disappoint!

The characters: OSS spy Kat (tall, dark-haired blue-eyed beauty with a brilliant strategic mind and a difficult past)
And newspaper columnists Jenny (short, blond-haired, green-eyed innocent with a proclivity to attract trouble and a wide eyed optimism) …. My absolute favorite type of duo!!! iykyk 😉

The story is filled with intrigue and secrets making it have a bit more focus on the OSS spy stuff than the romance but the romance doesn’t disappoint. Additionally, I loved the focus on love for country and patriotism.

This is definitely a slow, slow burn on the romance side, that doesn’t culminate in this book.

I could tell about halfway through that this was setting up a series of books which I am super excited about. I love that there was no consummation in the first book because it allows the connection and romance to breath and grow deep strong roots.

As for Abby Craden… what can I say? She’s a brilliant artist and an absolute gift to this genera and hopeless romantic lesbians everywhere. She played the voices perfectly (per usual). If she doesn’t narrate the next two books, it will be a tragedy.

I can’t wait for the next audiobook (although I will be buying it when it comes out) but I need to know what happens next, so I bought the next book on kindle. I’ll just have to put up with the sound of my own inner voice for the time being.

Happy reading!!!

4 people found this helpful

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In the shadow of the past

I love this book it is the best I've read all year I would recommend it on every level. The tension, Sparks and intensity between the two main characters is perfect. I personally love historical fiction and the fact that it's an lgbtq book makes it my perfect book not to mention that excellent writing which puts it in my top 10 favorite books of all time. This book was narrated by the one and only ABBY CRADEN !!!!! THANK YOU FOR THAT!
I hope that Audible picks up book number too soon I've searched and I'll keep searching but that has been the only let down so far please keep writing these wonderful books. Thank you big fan!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful!

It's been awhile since I was so engrossed in an audio book! I love era stories and this one did not disappoint. I will have to say though, Jenny got on my nerves in a few spots, but other than that, it was great. Can't wait for the next installment. For now, ill read the book.

1 person found this helpful

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I loved everything

I knew before I started listening that I would enjoy this audiobook thoroughly. The atmosphere and the characters are perfect for Abby Craden’s narration style. I loved the book when I read it in December 2021 and was looking forward to hearing Kat and Jenny come to life. I wasn’t disappointed. Abby Craden nails Kat’s sultriness and hidden vulnerability and she gives Jenny the perfect amount of determination and youthful ingenuity the character requires. The contrast is ideal, both in the way the characters are written and in the narration. The chemistry between Jenny and Kat is terrific and even more palpable in audio. The audiobook version of the next book (which I loved as well) is waiting for me and I will do my best to make time for it very soon.

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if you like lady spies with mysterious past…

if you like lady spies with mysterious past… Kathryn Hammond is your gal.

Abby Craden is arguably one of the best narrators of sapphic fiction, but her performance in this was exceptionally good.

The plot is heavy on mystery, light on the romance (though the sexual tension is there), and this book will leave you with many unanswered questions… time to check out the rest of the books in the series!

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Disaster-Lesbians in WW2.

*Loved* this book. Feels authentic to the time period without exaggerating some things like sexism to make it more dramatic.
Some of the polic procedural interactions seem... made up(?), though. They just didn't feel right.
As for the reader's performance, I'm not sure if it was her, or the authour's work, but she did so much better in this than in Aurora's Angel. She didn't sound like she was trying to rush through it. She made Katherine sound really sexy and Jenny sound sweet, so I really enjoyed it.

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Has it All!!

Great book, good story, sweet romance and intrigue. Really enjoyed it and would recommend to my friends.

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Great book

This is my first book by this author but I have already putchased the next book in the series. I love historical fiction but combine that with beautiful lesbians and Abby Craden, and you have a real winner.

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Intriguing characters, outstanding narration!

4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this 1940s noir-style book. Central to the story is the slow-building off-the-charts chemistry between newbie reporter Jenny Ryan and femme fatale nightclub singer Kathryn Hammond. It's not a romance - at least not yet. But it is a love story on the precipice of blooming.

Jenny is unwittingly drawn into Kathryn's web when she gets an anonymous tip about a wealthy, connected businessman who may be responsible for her father's death. When Jenny decides to seek out the man to ultimately bring him down, she doesn't expect to find Kat, whose stunning beauty and talent completely captivates her. What Jenny doesn't know is that Kat is an agent who works for the OSS carrying out missions stateside as the war continues without her in Europe.

This is the first of what I understand will be four installments. While it's not action packed, the pace lends itself to the time period and sets up their story nicely and teases a bit of what is to come.

Leak very wisely chose Abby Craden to narrate the audiobook. Her Kathryn voice is sultry and delicious and she brings Jenny's youthful, confident and likable persona to life.

While I will also need to own these in book form because the covers are absolutely gorgeous, there's no question I'll also be picking up the second audiobook, In the Shadow of Love, when it is released as well. More Abby to come!

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I am looking for the next book

I loved this book and the events in it, the MC were well created and the story line was a good preparation to the next book. As always Abby Craden has narrated wonderfully.

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  • JR
  • 06-28-22

Loved it

This is my first from this author. Certainly won’t be my last, Beside I have to find out what’s install for Kat and Jenny.

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  • Jess
  • 06-05-22

Chemistry of war

So I may be a closet spy wannabe but this is the best lesbian romance I have listened to this year. Rich and complex story arc and amazing chemistry.