Those of you who have read the Shade Trilogy, from the uber lovely and infinitely talented Miss Jeri Smith-Ready, already know the master-crafter she is with story-telling. Shine is no exception. Since it had been eons after reading Shift--- Okay, so maybe not that long, but sure felt like it. Have been impatiently waiting for this book for sooo long... Anyway, I felt like I had just finished reading Shift. Like no time had passed. Shine picks up right were we left off. Well, kinda.
If any of you follow Jeri you will have read the Chapter 1 tease she released not too long ago. You know how the story starts, and instantly hated Jeri for such an awfully wonderful tease! If you have NOT read the Chapter 1 teaser I will simply say this: Jeri will leave you with a gaping mouth, cinched heart, and an endless stream of "no-no-no-no-no-NO!"
As for the rest of Shine, you will have to be this side of out-of-your-mind crazy to not read this final installment. And by that I do mean my side of crazy, the not right, borderline unhinged kind of crazy. *giggles*
No seriously, this was a great read and I am glad overjoyed ecstatic -- dammit I can't find a strong enough adjective to describe how happy I am to have received this advanced copy! Miss Jeri, once again, takes us on a wild ride of laughs, tears, giggles, blushes, fear, sadness, and heart wrenching decisions. But she does so in such a way you keep begging for more. You laugh with Aura, you cry with Aura, and you want to jump into the pages, push up your sleeves, and seriously box some baddies with Aura when she gets to being frisky. And we all know Aura can get some serious frisky on!
Shine will leave you breathless in more ways than one. Sure, there are some really steamy scenes with, my other husband, Zachary. How could there NOT be? Come ON! But there are so many wonderful moments of 'almost' you cannot sit still. Whether Zach and Aura almost get caught, or almost die, or almost catch the bad guy, or almost save the day, you are left with no other option than to flip to the next page!
Miss Jeri's characters are so real you feel like you could really befriend them. Aura is eternally this feisty Italian chick who will seriously kick your butt even if she doesn't know how; she will freakin' find a way. Her heart is ten times bigger than you expect and she grows in Shine in such a way that you can't help but adore her.
Of course, we also have Zachary. Oh how I love me some Hottie Scottie.... But we see a side of Zach in Shine that we have not before. In previous books he acted as the pillar of strength for Aura as she dealt with some major stuff. In Shine the tides shift and it is he who needs the pillar. It makes Zach so much more enjoyable to read and you fall in love with him all over again.
Shine is truly action packed and will keep you guessing down to the last pages. The love that Aura and Zachary have for each other is something we all probably strive to achieve. It is pure, it is all-encompassing, and it is truly romantic and soulful. Shine is filled with the characters we have come to love (or hate, but in the good literary way), mysteries, resolutions, good guys, bad guys, feisty Baltimore-ians, even feistier Scots, and everything else you could ever want from a novel.
As with any closing book, be it trilogy or series, there is a sense of loss because you know this is it. But I am damned glad I made the journey. Miss Jeri is a wonderful author and an even more wonderful person. I adore her writing and the love she has for her characters as well as her fans. She is truly a diamond in the literary rough. The Shade Trilogy is one of my favorites and I will continue to suggest Miss Jeri's books to other readers. Shine was, quite possibly, the most perfect conclusion to an awesome set.
Did Shine rock my world? Beyond words - I have to say the entire series is off-- the-- charts!