In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.
When Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she’s taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished…
I was less than impressed with Ms Bonilla by the time I finished this book. Not because I didn’t love it, because I totally did. It broke the awesome scale. But it had me biting my nails again, a habit I thought I’d kicked in primary school. But then along came Shaedes of Gray, and I suddenly I was rendered a nervous, nail-biting wreck. Eight years of restraint and “maturity” down the tubes in the space of time that it took me to read this book.
Ruined fingernails aside, this book was amazing. Honestly, it was epic. I loved the characters, or loved to hate them in some circumstances. Shaedes of Gray had everything: we had a smart, kickass heroine, a sweetie pie hero, and there was action, suspense, humour, and some romance on the side. See what I mean? It has everything. What’s not to love?
I have a confession as far as Darian goes: I think she’s my fictional girl-crush. I just loved her so much! She’s a Shaede and she’s an assassin. Yes, thank you, Captain Obvious. I know you could have gotten all that from the title and the blurb, but it does bear mentioning. Shaedes are humanish in most respects except that they have the power to sort of… poof into smoke? Sorry, I’m not entirely sure how else to describe it. I picture it as being similar to what the Dementors did in the Harry Potter movies. This whole poof-ing thing really comes in handy for Darian, especially given her profession. In addition to being the type of person you would not want coming after you, Darian is a little on the prickly side. And who can blame her? All of the people she ever trusted, the people who were supposed to look out for her, screwed her over in spectacular fashion. Her parents couldn’t wait to marry her off to any random wealthy stranger, her random wealthy stranger abuses her, and the guy who promised to take her away from all this supposedly dies on her. In short, people suck and Darian knows that the only person she can rely on is herself. So Darian is the poster child for trust issues, except for when it comes to Tyler.
Can I just have a minute here?
Sorry about that. It’s just… I loved him so much! He was alpha when the need arose, but most of the time he was so sweet and supportive that I just wanted to cuddle with him. For the record: Tyler is definitely one of my book boyfriends. Even when Darian was being all prickly and sullen, he was there for her every step of the way. No matter what, he always had her back. And he’s not Mr Average Joe either. He’s a… Nah, I can’t tell you. Let’s just say that I haven’t ever had one of those in any of the books I’ve read, and leave it at that. I don’t want to spoil the surprise 😉 The next male character we deal with is Xander Peck. I liked this guy quite a bit, but I didn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. Xander has hired Darian to carry out a hit for him, but he doesn’t think her skills are quite where he needs them to be. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Well then, why doesn’t he get someone who can do it?” You’ll have to read it to find out. This is where my favourite peripheral character came in: Raif, the King’s brother. I vow, if I hadn’t been pulling for Tyler from the get-go, Raif would have been my man. Xander has decided that it’ll be Raif’s job to train Darian and make her the fierce assassin he knows she’s capable of becoming. Raif hands Darian her ass a couple of times but, almost in spite of themselves, mutual respect eventually leads to a grudging friendship. He is definitely my favourite of the two royal brothers.
I highly recommend this book. It was nothing short of brilliant. There were so many unexpected developments that I spent a lot of the time reading this with my mouth hanging open. Very few of the characters were what they appeared to be, and there were double-crossings galore! Shaedes of Gray was really the best kind of book: it had crash-boom-bang action, laugh-out-loud moments, and romance that was sweet but never over the top. In summary? Go read it. Now.