by Sarah McCarty
Published by HQN
Expected Release January 31st, 2012
Net Galley Copy
Shadow Ochoa is lying low in the western Kansas Territory, waiting for his fellow Texas Rangers—the Hell's Eight brotherhood—to clear his name. That is, until he's unjustly strung up for horse thieving…and pretty Fei Yen intervenes. Invoking a seldom-used law, the exotic lady prospector claims Shadow as her husband and rides off with the bridegroom shackled to her buckboard.
Savvy, fearless Fei is single-mindedly devoted to her hidden claim and all it promises: wealth, security and freedom. A husband is just a necessary inconvenience and a name on paper to hold the claim she cannot.
Shadow isn't a man to take orders from anyone, especially from lovely Fei—except that the daily friction between them ignites into nightly blazes of all-consuming passion. Soon Shadow is dreaming a little himself: of the life they could have if only Fei could see past the lure of independence. If only bounty hunters weren't closing in on him. If only he's left standing when the impending showdown has ended….
Finally! I've been waiting on this book for at least a year now. Contract gaps or something. I personally think it was worth waiting for. You guys remember when I reviewed Caine's Reckoning? Well, I'm fairly sure that I mentioned how much I love this incredibly sexy historical cowboy series.
Shadow's Stand didn't disappoint. Shadow is a broody, dark character. He's been a fairly significant member of the Hell's Eight crew from the beginning. He had a way of killing people who needed to die. In this, his book, he is running from the law after killing a prominent business man in front of the US Army. (Obviously the bastard needed to die. He'd been raping women and sending people to kill the wives of his friend Caine and his brother Tracker.)
He's distanced himself from Hell's Eight and convinced himself that he is a burden to anyone that would care about him. When his circumstance find him the husband of Fei Yen, an ambitious and headstrong American-Chinese woman, things start to go a little sideways for Shadow.
One half completed hanging, lots of explosions, another threat of a hanging, and a gold mine cave-in. These are things to expect from Shadow's Stand. It didn't disappoint.
Business details: Harlequin has done away with the SPICE imprint. The first four books in the series were completely littered with scenes of hot sheet scorching sex in every way you can dream up. Now all of the former SPICE titles are being printed under the HQN imprint which has historically been a bit more mainstream. Shadow's Stand was not as spicy as it's predecessors in this series. It was still hot, just not as explicit, and a little more vanilla. It is my assumption that this has to do with the publishing changes and not with the author.
My copy had a lot of grammatical errors and typos, however it was an advanced review copy so I am hoping that all of that got worked out before it went to the printers for the final round.
I really enjoyed this read and I give it a 4/5 rating!