Shady Lady

Shady Lady  - Ann Aguirre Review posted at: http://wickedlilpixie.com/2011/04/21/spaz-reviews-shady-lady-ann-aguirre
In this third book in Ann Aguirre’s Corine Solomon series we find Corine trying to live low-key in her pawnshop in Mexico, -trying- being the operative word. She succeeds for a couple of months until dark, mysterious and somewhat frightening Kel Ferguson shows up at her door. Kel opens a huge can of reality on her… the Montoya cartel want her dead to save face for her involvement in the events that happened in Blue Diablo. He urges her and then helps her get on up out of there and go! Thus begins an action-packed journey for Corine to keep herself and the ones she loves alive, while accepting the only way to do that might be to take the Montoya cartel down herself.

I feel the need to state that I had a love-hate relationship with the last book in the series, Hell Fire. The love triangle with Corine, Jesse, and Chance and the tension it caused really exhausted me. Even though I have been waiting for this new release, I was nervous to see where it would go. With that being said… I. loved. this. book. Shady Lady is a masterpiece in dark and descriptive narrative. From colorful streets in Mexico to hot, creepy jungles in Peru. Ms. Aguirre takes you to places in your imagination only an expert story teller can take you. There is one scene that involves demonic monkeys were I was truly spooked… and the scenes like that just kept on coming! What Ms. Aguirre does with Kel Ferguson in this book was fantastic. I loved every turn the voyage took Corine on, I enjoyed all the players, and … just … wow. Helping to make the story feel that much more authentic, Ms. Aguirre weaves in Spanish to the dialog and has Corine translate it in her head for us, which is excellently done. The characters we initially were introduced to in the first book in the series all make an appearance, as well as Shannon from the second book, who is now living with her.

In Shady Lady I never knew what would happen next, the story was constantly moving and had me bewitched. I expected intense drama and a lot of magical action as I have come to expect that from this author. Those expectations were delivered. What I was not expecting was for a beautiful and unexpected romance to bloom that packed one hell of a punch. I am still “OMG!” over it. OMG! And there are some really surprising plot twists that will leave you freaking out with how the book is wrapped up. Freaking out. I cannot begin to tell you how distressed I am that we are not to get another Corine Solomon book, Devil’s Punch, until April of next year. This is without a doubt my most favorite book in the series and I am quite pleased with the direction the series is taking.

I think you could try to read this novel as a stand-alone and still follow along, but I certainly would not recommend it. Corine has too much history with the secondary cast that the reader would miss out on the emotional experience of the book. The Corine Solomon series is SO FAR set to be a five book series but Ms. Aguirre has said there could be more depending on readers! Here is the reading order for your convenience:

Blue Diablo
Hell Fire
Shady Lady
Devil’s Punch – 4.2012
Bloody Maria – 4.2013