Shady Lady / Forbidden Fruit (Corine Solomon, #3 & 3.5)

Shady Lady  - Ann Aguirre Forbidden Fruit - Ann Aguirre

Summary: Corine finds herself being targetted by a drug cartel lord based on the events of Book 1. She also finds herself with an unlikely ally, and an even more unlikely guardian angel.

 

Corine has come a long way, she's gained a lot of confidence and her dealings with both her newly expanding powers and her enemies is a far cry from book 1. 

 

She still does really stupid stuff concerning men though. I want to shake some sense into her. In this book, Kel from book 1 makes a reappearance and we find out his tragic backstory. And when Corine is kidnapped and given a test to earn her freedom but allowed a single person to go with her, she actually makes the sensible choice, and chooses him. And then lets him walk away at the end, and goes back to dithering around between Chance and Jesse.

 

My real problem with this book, which has by far the coolest plot of all of them, even outside of Kel's plot,  and where Corine finally starts to act the badass witch it's been hinted she is from the start, is the ending. Jesse declares his love, she decides he's the one, then as soon as there's an obstacle (in this case, of her own causing) she just runs off with Chance. Ok, so she accidentally cast a spell on Jesse and Shannon making them forget her, but she's just decided he's the love of her life - and doesn't stick around trying to find a counter spell or a way to break it, she just runs off. The short that follows, then goes and sets up Shannon and Jesse as lovers, shutting down that storyline pretty well. Jesse is going to feel like a total heel when he does get his memory back, probably so will Shannon. And the only reason this works even a little bit is, it's in character for Corine, because she literally has no faith in herself when it comes to relationships. It's believable, for her, but it doesn't make her very likeable though. 

(show spoiler)

 

Booke, Chuch and Eva only show up here and there in this book, which is a shame, they are fun. Chance only shows up at the very end, and that's fine, I didn't miss him a bit. Even Jesse really only has bit parts here. This book is focussed very tightly on Corine and Kel to start with, then Corine and Shannon, and then manages to blow both those relationships completely out of the water, damnit.

 

So, now that I read all the ones I have access to, I'm a bit conflicted. There's only two more books, and the series is complete, although there's been hints of a spinoff featuring Booke as the main character. That might be interesting. I'd definitely read one with Kel as the main character. I'll probably dig up the last two of this series at some point, but no big rush, and if Corine doesn't pull her head out of her ass and stop wandering off with whatever man is handy and looks interested, she will be going down as my favourite heroine I love to hate. 3 stars, and an extra half just for Kel.