I’ve got to admit right off the bat that I was really excited to read this book.  It’s the third in a series that I adore and I got to read it as one of the un-corrected galley copies.  I’m also stuck for good intros anymore.

Ann Aguirre’s Shady Lady is the third of her Corine Solomon series which has so far covered, among other things, drug cartels out for revenge, magic as a street weapon, demons and small towns, and messed up relationships.  Shady Lady doesn’t really do anything to change that.  Corine finds herself with the Montoya cartel is out for her blood because they can’t attack Min or her son, Chance.  This, unfortunately, pulls her way from the nice normal life she so desperately wants and thrusts her back into the role of not-quite heroine.  Along with Kel Ferguson, the Hand of God, Corine has to prove herself to one dangerous cartel boss in order to get Montoya out of her life permanently.

First off, I love the amount of character development Kel gets and how strong Corine is for most of the book.  Secondly, Corine’s emotional responses tend to ring more true than not.  I like the way that Corine worries about becoming a monster.  I wish she wasn’t quite so much of a broken record about it, but overall it is a good thing.  I like that Shannon responds to Corine’s less heroic decisions with something other than a stoic stiff upper lip, she worries about her friend and how far Corine’s going to go down the slippery slope.  I like that the book was relatively Chance free.  Corine thinks about him a lot sure, but she doesn’t moon over him like she had a tendency to do in the first two books.  She’s made her break from him and started to move on.  That said, Corine also does some really stupid things with little apparent planning or reason.  She gets lost in her own head a couple of times, resulting in the narrative being broken a bit as she slogs through her own emotions.

I’ve also got to admit that I was a bit disappointed in the ending, but that most of my problems with it will probably be tied up in a later novel.  I give Shady Lady a four out of five, and suggest picking up the series if at all possible.