Mar 14, 2020

Review--Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost

In this thrilling new Night Rebel series set in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress world, sexy and ruthless vampire Ian finally meets his match!

The Rule Breaker

Master vampire Ian is unrepentant, shameless…and every shade of wicked. He’s made one too many enemies in his two centuries of existence, including Dagon, a demon who now lays claim to his soul. Ian’s only chance to escape Dagon is to join forces with a Law Guardian, but he’s never been able to abide by the rules for long.

The Law Maker

Veritas’ normal role is police, judge and jury to reprobates like Ian. But she has her own ax to grind with Dagon, so if she can use Ian as bait…well, all’s fair in law and war. As they scour supernatural hotspots to perfect their trap, Veritas soon realizes Ian’s devil-may-care, roguish image hides something much more powerful. And Ian discovers that Veritas has shocking secrets of her own. As they’re drawn to each other with a passion as intense as their peril, either love or justice will prevail. But each will have devastating consequences…

I've been dying for an Ian book ever since Jeaniene Frost wrote one for Spade years ago and though it took me too long to pick up Shades of Wicked, I finally read it and I absolutely thrilled with what I read! It's been wayyy too long since I read Jeaniene's books and I was happy to get back to them! Though, trying to remember the timeline of all the books combined was a bit tricky, in terms of trying to figure out who was with who and for how long and all that jazz, but it wasn't something that kept me from enjoy myself!

Veritas, the law abiding Law Guardian is on a mission that's not quite "legal." She's trying to track down Ian, who is apparently bordello hopping because he is the only one she knows who can help her get revenge on the demon who tormented her years ago. She knows this because Ian has been marked by the same demon, his soul will be forfeit to Dagon in two years and Veritas wants to kill Dagon before then. But if you've read the original Night Huntress series and the various spin offs, you know that Ian isn't exactly the team player, just the player. Lol.

After a few rounds to it, Ian and Veritas make a deal that will get them want they both want, freedom and Dagon dead. As you know, Ian isn't the easiest person to get along with and their tentative partnership has its ups and downs for the first part of their mission, they have to get Ian's demon marks on him "blocked" so to speak so that Dagon can't track him and they can devise their plan to lure, capture, and kill the demon. But naturally, their plans don't pan out in the way that they had hoped!

What I positively love about ALL these Night Huntress spinoffs is how they still include EVERYONE in it! Yes, we get to see Mencheres, Spade, Cat, and Bones again! Vlad makes something of an appearance as well, but more by mention and a voice over a phoneline, but close enough! Lol. It seriously feels like the best kind of reunion to have everyone all together on the same page! I love that we continue to see Cat and Bones pop up amid their tentative happily ever after, but of course how I recall things, there really was no HEA, just a sort of tentative peace before the next person's story started involving chaos and they stepped up to bat and help their friends out! That's one of the reasons why I ADORE this series! The characters are just so downright amazing! Yes, they're mainly vampires, but they have the strongest sense of familial bonds with one another.

And okay, let's briefly talk romance! We knew going in that this would be when we finally meet the woman who be it for Ian! And just whoa! Like many an Urban Fantasy couple, Ian and Veritas didn't have a love at first sight thing going on. They barely liked each other and barely formed their tenuous partnership, but honestly that makes watching them slowly, ever so slowly, fall in love the best part! And I honestly would have to go back and read our famed Chapter 32, but there was definitely a chapter here that I felt was rivaling for new victory! But also, can we just rejoice that there was finally a person to make Ian dare to be devoted to?

We also get a slowly revealed story about Veritas. I could just barely remember her role in the series so far. Thanks to the flashbacks or I'd be in real trouble for that part. Anyway, if you're like me and have spent too much time away from this world unwillingly, you do get an easy sense of how Veritas played a role in the series so far. And then, as this story moves along, her past and history is revealed. In particular why she wants Dagon dead so much.

The story moved along at a fairly quick pace! I tell you I could read Jeaniene's books all day long if I was able to! The story moves along so rapidly, yet lingers here and there with moments that get built into something more. Jeaniene is just a remarkable writer and I love her books!

The ending here was a bit of a cliffhanger! Things were happening quickly and decisively and then just as you think you might know where things are headed, BAM! Game changer! Luckily I've the next book at the ready, but I won't be so lucky the next time around! I will have to deal with that particular pain later though! For now, I'm diving right into Wicked Bite!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

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