Third in the Corine Solomon urban fantasy series about an evolving and Gifted woman.
Oh, man! Talk about ups and downs! In this episode, Corine is conflicted over the demonic encounters that continue to crop up; she feels as though she is falling deeper and deeper to the dark side and it terrifies her. Then she finally falls in love. The real kind with someone she can’t have just as the life she has created for herself is falling apart.
Jeez, Aguirre is just incredible at creating the tension and drama in this unique series. There aren’t too many authors (that I’ve come across anyway…yet) who’s main character is a touch psychic. The back history she created for Kel is fascinating; I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for Chance…lord knows, Aguirre has been teasing us enough!
Life is peaceful in Mexico City, at least until the loveliest silver salt and pepper shakers show up on Corine’s pawnshop doorstep. And Kel intervenes in time to save her life. Again. It seems that Montoya has Corine back in his sights and it’s time for Corine to get outta town.
This time she has Shannon along for the ride with Kel as they head down to Catemaco to find a witch to cleanse the salt shaker. A successful trip provided you don’t object to evading assassins—demonic and human. It’s on their trip up to Laredo that Corine, Shannon, and Kel are hijacked by Escobar’s men. And Escobar makes a deal that Corine really cannot refuse. A deal that has so many benefits for Escobar but forces Corine to pass test after test after test.
Tests that Kel helps her struggle through. In which she learns more about the powers she inherited from her mother. The changes that have been made to her powers since she touched her mother’s necklace. The greater depths to which Corine will sink to take this threat to her and her friends away. The hopeless love that grows between Corine and Kel.
Corine Solomon is making a life with Shannon in her pawnshop in Mexico City. She’s told Chance off and is dating Jesse virtually. Only, something happened back in Kilmer when she picked up her mother’s flower pentacled necklace. After dying for the second time in her life and returning, her psychometric Gift of touch no longer leaves obvious burn marks behind, but it’s added something more. This third death…well, she is determined to be true to herself in spite of owing a demon a debt. Butch is a chihuahua in touch with his supernatural side. He’s not bad at communicating with Corine and Shannon and just gets better and better. Señor Alvarez picks up treasures to sell to Corine; in a pinch, he mans the shop for Corine when she has to take off. Tia is an ancient witch friend in Mexico City who recommends she contact Nalleli in Catemaco. She also rescues Corine’s grimoires.
Shannon is so much happier with Corine. A fellowship with another Gifted person. Shannon’s own gift is of communicating with ghosts via a vintage radio. She’s not sure if she can ever forgive her father for not protecting her (see Hell Fire) and she feels a kinship with Corine. Come hell or high water, Shannon intends to stick.
Jesse Saladan is a detective on the Laredo Police Force with a Gift for empathy. He’s not willing to give up his career and move to Mexico City nor is he willing to give up on Corine so they’ve settled for a non-monogamous relationship via email with the occasional physical meet. Lieutenant Glencannon is his boss. Clemsen and Rudd are the cops guarding Jesse and Shannon in the safe house. Chance is wallowing in his anger and feelings of self-righteousness. He helped Corine with her Kilmer thing. Endured a lot and she didn’t follow him home to Florida. The fact that the Kilmer trip was his payback for Corine helping to recover his mother doesn’t seem to have hit his radar… His particular Gift is luck but the universe likes to balance this by striking whoever is standing next to him.
Kelethiel “Kel” Ferguson is a convicted serial killer…we thought. It turns out he really is the Hand of God and now an archangel has sent him to protect Corine from Montoya. Ian Booke has become friends with Corine and they IM frequently and talk once a month. In between they practice astral projection and object translocation. There is some mystery about Booke for he’s trapped in his house and can’t leave it. Eva Obregón is eight months pregnant and she and her husband Chuch are looking forward to the baby even as they remain belligerent about Montoya. “Maury” is the demon Corine freed in Hell Fire and to whom she owes a debt for saving her life. Even if it did leave a knife blade embedded in her body! Now he’s calling his debt due.
Diego Montoya is the head of a drug cartel. Due to a curse Chance’s mother laid on him and then the deal he made with her, he can’t attack Chance, but he can come after Corine. Vicente Montoya is his brother and it seems he’s been taking black magic lessons. Ramiro Escobar is the chief of a rival cartel. He wants to use Corine as bait to make Montoya crazy and lure him out so Escobar can take him out. His son Paolo has the Gift of telekinesis. The drug soldiers of Escobar’s that Corine picks up from the Rosa Negra through Zaragoza‘s help are García, Petrel, Santos, and Morales.
They used a different model for Corine on this one. Wearing either black jeans or a miniskirt (yeah, sorry, I can’t tell from the shadows…) and a cropped, knit tank-top, Corine is standing in profile but with her head turned to look at us, an athame in her right hand and her witch’s circle bounded with lit candles in the background. It has the feel of an alley but one at an angle for when looking straight on, you can see a lit-up building directly in front of us on this fuchsia-fogged night.
The title is another drink Corine needs that night in Rosa Negra. She’s certainly feeling like a Shady Lady.