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Shady Lady: A Corine Solomon Novel Mass Market Paperback – April 5, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Violent revenge threatens a demon-touched amateur witch in the solid third Corine Solomon adventure (after 2010's Hell Fire). Corine is ready to return to her normal life as a pawnshop owner, but when Kel Ferguson, Hand of God, arrives just in time to save her from touching an item hexed to kill her, she discovers that a drug cartel boss is out for her blood. Corine, Kel, and Corine's teen ward, Shannon, dodge enemies from Mexico City to Laredo, Tex.—with an even more dangerous side trip to Peru—while striking bargains with red witches, a rival cartel, demons, and their own consciences. Corine's inner turmoil over using dark powers to survive is compelling, as is her attraction to the strong and appealing Kel (even though he's love interest #3). Aguirre has a gift for creating strong characters who keep her readers coming back for more. (Apr.)
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I can't wait to see what [Ann Aguirre] comes up with next."
---NYT Bestselling author Patricia Briggs
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So Shady Lady finds Corinne back in Mexico, I was already cheering from the beginning of the story. And there are some positive things that develop in Corinne's love life that were much more tolerable and enjoyable than in the first few books. The quest/challenge is interesting and not predictable at all. So where does this leave me with the series?
I love Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series. That is one of my all time favorite series - a character driven story, amazing setting and hard choices. Aguirre never takes the easy way out as a writer and I love reading those kinds of stories. I wish that the first two in the Corinne Solomon series were automatic wins for me, but there is enough meaty stuff there that encouraged me to keep going and I am glad that I did. I plan to read #4 in this series, Devil's Punch, very soon and cannot wait for #5 to be released. If you like complex UF books, with richly developed interesting characters and very unique settings then I think you would like this book. But ... you have to understand that there are flaws with books one and two, there is a pay off to sticking with the series. The books improve and by the third, Shady Lady, the series is strong and very enjoyable. It has taken my 2 years to get to book 3 and I am thankful that I kept going. I cannot think of another UF series out there where the author is writing such diverse and interesting characters with settings that come alive and make you feel like you are there. So stick with this series. I promise you will be happy you did.
The leading Lady is Corine Solomon, a common woman with ancient lines of Solomon in her blood which give her 'powers' to fight the dark side of life. In this volume her powers increase as do life threatening encounters.
A dark Cartel lord decides to 'use' Corine to end another Cartel's leader. Corine is forced, in order to save the very ones she loves, to go along with this plan. Not only must she fight very human evil persons, she must deal with demons and her increasing powers.
This book may be a fantasy but it makes you think about your own life choices that are made daily, perhaps, without as much thought as we should apply. Is Corine joining the dark side?
This is the 3rd book in the series and I hope the series lives a long life.
I have been a fan of Ms Aguirre since I picked up her first Sirantha Jax novel GRIMSPACE back in 2008. So when she started the Corine Solomon series I eagerly read and thoroughly enjoyed Blue Diablo, which was released in 2009. So of course I grabbed 2010's Hell Fire. Due to some very quirky timing, movers coming to put everything in storage for a year and the very enthusiastic packers who grabbed everything I wasn't physically holding onto, I wasn't able to finish HELL FIRE. Well to be honest, I put it down the night before the packers showed up because I was in a kinda scary part of the book and I wanted to finish it in daylight and then it got packed :P.
I have to admit I was slightly worried that I would not be able to dive straight into SHADY LADY because at that point it had been about a year since I last looked at HELL FIRE, but Ms Aguirre didn't let me down. I was able to immediately become engrossed in the story. One of the things I find very refreshing about Corine Solomon is that she isn't the "typical" urban fantasy heroine but one who prefers to avoid trouble and live a quiet life in a quiet neighborhood. Corine thinks she has finished all of her adventures between helping Chance, her ex-boyfriend, rescue his mother in BLUE DIABLO and finding out what really happened during her childhood in HELL FIRE. She receives a visit from the very mysterious Kel Ferguson, heavily tattooed, self professed Hand of God, who played an integral role during BLUE DIABLO with a warning that someone was trying to kill her.
His appearance and warning all happened in the first few pages and needless to say I was hooked. Why did Kel show up? Who is trying to kill Corine? How will she deal with it/them/Kel? Ms Aguirre answered those questions and more while continuing to use entities and stories of Central and South American myths and legends throughout Corine's travels. Corine made quite an enemy, Montoya, in BLUE DIABLO and since she doesn't have a powerful protector like Chance's mother, she becomes the only target for his revenge. Kel was sent to protect her and to possibly assist her on her mission to survive this latest threat. After Montoya finally finds what will make Corine decide to stop running and start fighting she encounters his biggest rival, a gentlemen named Escobar who is willing to assist Corine if she can prove to him that she has what it takes to continue to distract Montoya so Escobar can take over his territory. I have often read the phrase never get between a mother bear and her cubs because she will do whatever it takes to get them safe. Well I would like to add, be wary of pushing Corine too far because eventually she will decide to do what it takes to protect those she cares about.
For the Kel fans out there or for those who are just curious about him, we get to find out a lot more *wags eyebrows* about him, his mission and how he tends to operate. I have decided I am certainly a Kel fan and I hope to see more of him...often. Kel certainly demonstrates that despite or maybe because of his powers and his long history he is also in some ways extremely human, vunerable and attracted to Corine.
All in all SHADY LADY was a very suspenseful, entertaining good read. Corine continues to grow and mature as a person while learning that sometimes decisions made for the best at that particular time can have some unforeseen second or third order effects. I learned more about some of my favorite characters and also got to explore some slightly less well-known myths and legends. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and I certainly look forward to reading DEVIL'S PUNCH due out in April of 2012.
P.S. each book is named after a drink and the recipe is included, happy reading :).