Title: Shadow’s Stand by Sarah McCarty
Hell’s Eight, Book 5
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
Husband of convenience. Lover by choice.
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….
Sarah McCarty’s fans are going to love Shadow’s Stand, the long awaited and eagerly anticipated fifth installment of her Hell’s Eight series. With pulse pounding adventure, heroic rescues and some very steamy sex, readers will finally learn more about the enigmatic and incredibly sexy Shadow Ochoa. Beginning about a year after Tracker’s Sin ends, Shadow is about to hang for stealing horses when Fei Yen Tseng saves his life with an unexpected but timely wedding. With both of their pasts hot on their heels, their marriage is off to a rocky but passionate beginning.
With his Mexican/Indian heritage and due to prejudices of the time period, Shadow is on the outer edge of society. Like the other heroes in the Hells Eight series, Shadow is deeply scarred by the brutal events of his childhood. He attempts to protect himself and those around him by keeping an emotional and physical distance. He has an immediate connection with Fei, but just like he does with his other relationships, he pushes her away when the opportunity presents itself.
With a Caucasian mother and Chinese father, Fei Yeng does not fully belong in either world. Sometimes meek and subservient but always clever and headstrong, she is a fascinating mix of both cultures. She is Shadow’s equal in every way, and she is definitely her own woman, fully capable of making her own decisions (much to Shadow’s dismay).
Of all the books in the Hell’s Eight series, Shadow’s Stand is the only novel that can easily be read as a standalone novel. Past characters make short, yet crucial, guest appearances and there is enough information revealed from past stories to make it easy to follow the current storyline.
Shadow’s Stand is a delightful addition to the Hell’s Eight series. While not as erotic as the previous novels, the sex scenes are fairly detailed and quite hot. Fei Yeng and Shadow are appealing and likable characters and the story is engaging and fast moving. The ending is heartwarming and the only question that Sarah McCarty leaves unanswered is whose story she will tell next!