By: Sarah McCarty
Synopsis from Amazon:
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….
Shadow is one of the more mysterious members of the Hell's Eight. He's been mentioned before, but we've never delved into his character too terribly much. I had been looking forward to his story since the beginning of the series and was glad he finally got his happily ever after.
The story begins as Shadow is being strung up by a group of men for the alleged theft of a horse. As they are stringing him up for a hanging, a mysterious Chinese woman named Fei, appears and asks that she be able to claim him as her husband. Shadow goes along with the marriage idea, seeing a desperate woman and a way out of his predicament.
Fei has lived her whole life on the edge. Her family life is in shambles, her father is mentally unstable, and she has had little to no stability while dealing with rampant racism in an almost all white community. When she sees Shadow, she immediately sees a way out of her current life and into the life she wanted. Thinking this desperate man will do anything she wants of him, she underestimates both Shadow and herself in the end.
Both of the characters are out of the norm romantic characters. Fei is uncertain, comes from a different culture, yet is trying to find her way in the tough American west. Shadow feels that no one can ever know his true self and is uncontrollably drawn to Fei as the story advances. Through trials and tribulations, Shadow and Fei learn more about themselves and their love for one another trumps everything.
"Shadow's Stand" is an enjoyable romance but not a favorite. While the characters are well drawn out, the story seems to go too fast in some places and then drags in others. A good addition to the Hell's Eight series, I wouldn't recommend this as a starting place for readers who haven't read McCarty's other stories. Great books that would be great companion pieces are "Caine's Reckoning," "Sam's Creed," "Tucker's Claim," and "Tracker's Sin."
Date of Publication: January 31, 2012
I received this book for review with no compensation from Net Galley