I’m somewhere between a 3.5 and 4 stars on this one. First, Joanna Wylde could share her grocery list and I would happily read it. She’s just got that “thing”. Shade’s Lady was a fun read, one I got through in about a day with sleep and binge watching of The Americans thrown in. I really liked Mandy as a leading lady. She’s your every woman, just trying to survive, loving her family but screwed over by every man she’s had in her life. She’s got a boyfriend when the book opens, Rebel, who she’s just dating for fun. For her the sex is good and she loves riding on his motorcycle, something she’d never done before. She even suspects he’s cheating, but doesn’t care enough to get worked up about it. Honestly, she’s just doing her thing. Enter Shade.
Shade is the national president of the Reapers MC. You know, those hot guys in leather that we’ve all grown to love. He sets his eye on Mandy, determined to have her. She ends up in his bed in a way I won’t mention because it’d spoil the fun, but Shade and Mandy are smoking hot together. And, they’re cute together. Their conversations-both in person and via text-are cute and flirty. And, you want this to work out because you can’t help but root for Mandy to find something good in her life, even if it’s an outlaw.
But, there is definitely something missing. We don’t really get to know Shade at all. I can’t say that I know him better now than I did in all his cameos in prior Reaper books. There’s nothing to him except that he’s a badass and the youngest president in Reaper’s history. While we get Mandy’s back story, Shade is an enigma. Because of this, I never connected with him. One could argue that this is a novella, so there’s not going to be details like you’d get in a full-length novel, but Wylde’s short story, Charming Bastard, about Boonie and Darcy and it hit all the marks. Though shorter than Shade’s Lady, I didn’t finish feeling like I’d missed something. (Boonie is the Silver Bastard president, a brother club to the Reapers)
And, if you’re hoping for cameos of our favorite Reapers, I’m sorry to say they don’t show up. But, we do get to meet Shade’s road captain, Dopey, who was fun and we’re introduced to Mandy’s co-workers Sara and Bone, who are dynamic characters. We also meet Mandy’s sister Hannah and nieces, who I loved. Hannah has her own little romance within the novella and can I just say, wow! I wouldn’t turn away a book about Heath Andrews.
Overall, I did enjoy this. It’s a nice filler until summer when the first book in the Devil’s Jacks series comes out.
3.5/4 Stars. Heat level: 3.5
Shade’s Lady was published as part of the 1001 Dark Nights Series in March 2017 by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated.