Killian Marks is a third-generation hitman. After hunting monsters for over twenty years, he lives under no illusions of happily ever afters and fairy tales. Until he meets a man who threatens to disarm him, by giving him hope for a future and showing him there’s more to life than just death.
For Nick, living in shadows is second nature. He’s all too familiar with the dark side of humanity and knows how delicate life can be. Each new day is a gift, even though it means doing it alone. But he’ll risk his survival for the one man who awakens something deep within and leaves him yearning for more.
Nick wants to solve the mystery behind the dark, brooding man, while Killian craves the life and light emanating from Nick. They soon discover they have more in common than either could have anticipated. With both their lives and hearts at stake, they must confront the ghost from Nick’s past intent on tying up a loose end. Only then will they truly find peace, and discover the shades of life in between.
A new Reese book!!! This was definitely my most anticipated book of the year and I was (unsurprisingly) blown away. Shades is dangerous, dramatic, and downright romantic. First things first, I love the title. One of the many definitions of shades is: “when there is a gradual change from one color to another”. Or my favorite, “when darkness is slowly illuminated”. I can’t think of anything that fits Killian’s transformation better. He leads a dark life. He never imagined he would have anything bright to gravitate towards until a pair of intoxicating green eyes startle him. He was born into a family of…exterminators. It was only natural for him to join his father and eventually continue on with the business after his father was gone. He is a fierce assassin and prides himself on his flawless track record. Come hell or high water, he gets the job done. He is well aware his profession has an expiration date and has accepted the fact that he needs to get out while he still can. But then Nick swoops in and throws off his game and tosses his plans out the window. He is determined to save the man who lights up his heart and soul, but he can’t guarantee he will survive as well. He’s fully prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary. But Killian is a master planner, is it possible for him to create a plan to save them both? We shall see……
The tone is miles away from Jaime’s previous books and yet her signature style comes through clearly; compelling characters on an emotional journey fall madly in love. And of course it’s always meticulously penned. I adored both Ian and Nick. Ian is a highly skilled hunter. He pulsates danger. Quite frankly, he is badass. And I know he wouldn’t appreciate it, but I can’t help but want to hug him. He is a lone wolf. Rather than having a pack family he has taken on mankind. He wants to protect the innocent and rid the world of as much poison as he can. Admirable as this is, he is slowly destroying himself in the process. You see, our defenders must invoke blackness to perform their duties. This darkness is the evil that surrounds us and threatens us. Our warriors need a light-keeper. They need someone to pull them back from the shadows. Ian is forced to embrace the evil to fight against it and when he meets Nick, he finds himself leaning towards the light that was becoming a flicker. *sigh* Their connection is exquisite. Then they share a revelation that forges an indestructible bond. So. Good!
Jaime did a remarkable job showcasing how even angels can lose their way, particularly when they’re missing an anchor. Thankfully Ian isn’t lost anymore. He knows what he wants and where he wants to be…and that’s with a young man with an easy smile that makes his heart soar. I am going to be deliberately vague when it comes to Nick. He is a mystery that I can’t wait for you to unravel. I adore him and his bossy streak. I was delighted that he didn’t fear Ian and instead wanted to comfort him. He wants to take care of Ian but he’s afraid that his precarious situation won’t allow it. He can’t say yes until he knows with one hundred percent certainty that he can stay. But how can he stay and put Ian at risk? He won’t. He will deny himself a chance with Ian if it endangers him. Luckily Ian is just as stubborn. And patient. Well….kinda.
By far what I loved most about this exhilarating story is the pure love Ian and Nick share. They strengthen and enhance one another. It’s not as if Nick makes Ian a better or brighter person, but he allows those parts of Ian to emerge when he’s with him. No one has ever looked far enough into Ian to see the beauty and light within, but Nick sees Ian. And he would be honored to be his man. Wanna know a secret? They are unbelievably sexy together!
The cloak and dagger suspense filled me with anxiety. The secondary characters brought a smile to my face. The flashbacks tugged on my heartstrings. The passion had me bouncing in my seat. This story will grab you and refuses to let go. I was so entranced I immediately went back for another dose. I had to ensure I didn’t miss a single thing in my high-strung first read. I can’t say that I enjoyed this more than The Men of Halfway House because they are impossible to compare. But I certainly loved it just as much and I am going to wager you will feel the same.
A byproduct of a hitman includes dead bodies and Killian leaves them piled in his wake. Especially when they dare to touch his beloved. Killian’s best friend and ‘cleaner’ Dex is hilarious and will win you over. Slow but fierce burn. Their spark is early but the flames don’t engulf the pages until midstory. And let me tell you, I was desperate for their first kiss. It was worth the wait.
If you are a fan of Jaime’s sensational stories, I probably don’t have to tell you to read this. If you haven’t found the addiction yet, this is a glorious place to start.
Bonus! Don’t forget to zip over to Jaime’s blog to meet the cast here.