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Shine

Shine - Jeri Smith-Ready Read this review at Smash Attack ReadsSmashtastic Entertainment Quickie: An incredible finale that pulled at my heart-strings and kept my heart racing!Interest in the book: I adored the first two books in the series, and I'm really impressed overall with the story arc, characterization, world-building and action. And the emotion! I'm pretty sure anything Jeri Smith-Ready writes is worth reading.First Impressions: The author opens the book with a bang and I was thoroughly immersed back into the Shade world from the very start. But what a crappy way to open the story! I shake my fist at thee, Jeri Smith-Ready! *fist of doom* Heh. Just kidding. Kinda. ;)Characters: I guess I have to mention Aura since she is our protagonist, though I really want to talk about Zachary! *grin* Aura is a mature, level-headed young lady who loses her cool every once in a while and reminds us what it's like to be human. She is fiercely passionate about those she loves, even those she has lost. She speaks out when others are being wronged, and don't even think about locking up her boyfriend in some backwoods secured facility! Aura really um, shined in this book. :) She utilized her uniqueness to help others, in many different ways. An admirable young woman, indeed.Zachary! #TeamKilt! Oh my. What an incredible character, full of depth and dimension, passion and courage. My heart bled for this lad in Shine and I was ready to jump through the pages and console him. His experiences are left unsaid but implied, and the aftermath is heartbreaking. Lucky for him, however, he has a young lady to stand strongly at his side. Why he chose Aura over me is still difficult to comprehend, but I get it, I get it. They are connected and their stars have aligned and all that astrological stuff. ;) I must admit that their romance is beautiful in its simplicity, honesty and innocence.I adored Dylan, Logan's younger brother, in this installment. So very much. He put aside his own feelings and really stepped up to the plate. His courage, selflessness and compassion were admirable and I wanted to hug him in every scene. I want to hug him now. The entire Keeley clan is pretty stellar, as is Meghan. All the characters in this book are damn relatable and real.I guess I can't write this review and leave out Logan. I admit, he isn't one of my favorite characters in this series. His spoiled, selfish antics got to me in Shade, but then we got to see a more compassionate side of him in Shift. Now that he has moved on, I have to admit that I came to appreciate him a hell of a lot more through Aura's eyes. He is remembered and mourned by Aura, as well as his family and friends. While that occurs in the previous books, time has lessened the grief and people are trying to move on. This allows for a much clearer and stable view of Logan via his loved ones. It was kinda awesome to experience, and so very touching and personal. Did I mention I adore Zach?World-Building: Holy research, Batman! I am amazed, over and over again, at the amount of research that Jeri Smith-Ready must have done to write this series. And how wicked interesting it all was to read and discover. Granted, it's fantasy, but she still had to research Irish and Scottish lore, Gaelic language, Astrology, the physical landscape and settings, etc. Plus she put her own spin on ghosts and the afterlife. She really wove a pretty creative and intriguing plotline together that was full of intrigue and mystery. Wicked impressed.Lasting Impressions: A beautiful ending to a fast-paced, hold-on-to-your-heart-strings mystery that will keep you glued to the pages and pleading for another book. *Ahem*Dylan*Ahem* (We DO get a Zach novella this July though!) Characters that jump off the pages and into your heart, an intricate mystical mystery that you investigate and uncover along with the characters, and some damn good emotional output. Oh, and cute boys in kilts, people!I have to thank Jeri Smith-Ready for my little slice of fame in the Acknowledgement section. A plethora of readers and I were mentioned because we are devout #TeamKilt fans. Til the end.Favorite Scene:Instead I crawled next to him, snuggling close. "Zach, wake up.""Can't. Sleeping."I pressed my mouth to his in a full, deep kiss."Second thought, not sleeping.”