by Sarah McCarty
Published by HQN
Expected Release January 31st, 2012
Acquired through Net Galley
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….
I read the first four books in this series when they first came out. Due to contracts and such, I had to wait a whole year for this book! I thought I might die waiting! So when I saw it on Net Galley I simply had to request it!
A little background on the series; Hell's Eight are a band of Outlaws turned Texas Rangers. The eight men survived an attack of Mexican Army as young boys and once they grew into mean they hunted down the mean who killed their families. Rather than waste energy and men trying to arrest these skilled killers, the government offered them jobs as Texas Rangers. Together they have worked hard to establish their ranch and work to keep peace in Texas. No longer outlaws, they still aren't above using necessary force. Once by one the men of Hell's Eight encounter women who turn their worlds upside down and change their way of thinking.
The first four books of the series were Caine's Reckoning, Sam's Creed, Tucker's Claim, and Tracker's Sin.
Tracker's Sin ended with Shadow Ochoa shooting a man in front of the US Army. Now a wanted man, Shadow is on the run after escaping his captors. He has cut himself off from his brother and the rest of Hell's Eight. Along the way trouble continues to find him as does Fei Yen, a young Chinese American woman who is looking for a quick husband that can help her with her current predicament.
There are a few slow spots in the book but I really enjoyed it on the whole. Shadow has already been portrayed throughout the series as the most dangerous of Hell's Eight but he has always been on the fringes. We finally get to know him and learn that he may also be the most damaged of the group. Fei Yen is also a very interesting character. She isn't necessarily my favorite heroine in the series, but she is very likable. Her culture is different and that is always fascinating. This series is full of diversity as far as the heritage and backgrounds of the characters.
My copy had a lot of typos and errors but it was an advanced copy so hopefully most of those will be taken care of before the final print.
A point worth making for those who have read the previous book in this series is that this book was published under the HQN imprint as opposed to the SPICE imprint. The first four books, published under Harlequin's SPICE Imprint, were real sheet scorchers and I loved them! Now all of the 'SPICE' books are being published under the HQN imprint. Does that mean they will be tamer on the whole? Time will tell, but this one definitely had a lot less steamy sex scenes than it's predecessors. That's not to say I didn't still like it! But fans of the series will notice the change.
Overall impression? I really liked it, and I will continue to read this series, and I have a feeling that Fei's cousin Lin will be making another appearance. Maybe? Who knows. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a sexy cowboy book. Because if it's place in the series you could read this book without having read the others before it, but I recommend starting with Caine's Reckoning and working your way through.
** Due to explicit sex scenes this book isn't recommended for those under the age of 18 ;) **