Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Review: Shades by Jaime Reese

by Jaime Reese
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance; Romance Suspense
Release Date: May 23, 2018

Life made him dangerous. Love made him lethal.

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.

Absolute perfection (for me)!! I always have a hard-on for anti-heroes, characters such as hitmen and mafioso. Shades is right up my alley and I love every bit of it and more. Killian 'Ian' Marks is in his 40s, a hitman with a heart of gold. I know this is not something new, but it pushes all the right buttons for me. Ian is contemplating retirement and leaving everything behind, but feel tied down due to his attraction to a certain restaurant waiter.

Nick had been working in the restaurant for 2 years now after fleeing the normal life he used to have. He is always looking over his shoulder, being afraid. Meeting Ian at the restaurant for the past six months serve as a reminder of a future he couldn't have. But he should know Ian isn't just a normal guy, Ian might just be the person who can save him.

Let's get on with what I love about this book. First, this is a slow burn romance. Ian and Nick have their initial encounter at the restaurant whereby everything is very platonic, but I can feel the simmering tension underneath the surface. On one hand, I want them to just get on with it already, but on the other hand, the wait is so delicious and so worth it. It built up the anticipation and make everything much more meaningful.

Secondly, the suspense and the funny sidekick, Dex and also the other side character, Ramon. These two might be the only friends Ian have and they are both so precious. Okay, Dex is straight and all coupled up, but I seriously hope Ramon will be having his own book. Nick's past is coming back to haunt him and although Ian is the hero that will save the day, I wouldn't label Nick as a damsel in distress. Nick is level-headed, his calm and reasonable demeanour serves as a balm among all the chaos. Often time amidst the suspense, someone will do something stupid, and I will be like 'No' and 'I told you so', thankfully none of these cliches happen here.

Shades is a great romantic suspense that has a perfect balance of swoon-worthy romance and the nail-biting suspense. I was instantly connected to Ian and Nick right from the start. They are both endearing and so lovable together and also as an individual. All their interactions are so sensual and touching. When it was revealed about their past, let just say I'm in tears. Jaime Reese really did outdo herself with this one.

Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.

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