Jess Haines throws the H&W series on its ear with this installment. Just when things seem like they are going in a clear direction for Shiarra and her life, Haines takes her on a screeching detour filled with danger and a shocking betrayal. In short, she blindsides Shiarra (and me) with a sucker punch I never saw coming… and I’m still reeling.
Let me back up. The story starts with Shia making plans for a getaway vacation with Chaz. The idea is to get a closer look at his pack and cement her relationship with Chaz after their struggles in the last book. She’s even thinking of signing a contract with him, to show him how much he means to her. Unfortunately, their romantic trip is quickly upended by threats from inside the pack and from outside sources as well.
I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read, so only click through to the spoilers if you have already know what happens. I know not everyone loved Chaz, but I actually empathized with his character. He always seemed so loyal and loving to Shiarra. When his betrayal was revealed, I felt sick. I always figured Royce was the endgame, and I had wondered how Haines was going to get Chaz out of the picture. But I never dreamed it would be this way. I don’t know how I feel about the choice, but I am heartbroken for Shiarra.
The pacing of the book is very different in the first half and the second. The first is slower, but in hindsight, I can see what a setup that is for the back half –which just flies by. As with the first two books, I enjoyed the world-building and the voice of the main character. Haines does a great job of making me experience her range of emotions… the yearning, the hurt, the fear, and anger. I believed it all, which makes me feel so invested in her story.
Then there’s the ending. Which managed to sneak up on me out of nowhere. We’re left with many lingering questions and I can only say thank goodness I have book 4 waiting in the wings. This would have been tough if I had to wait for the next installment.
Deceived by the Othersby Jess HainesRelease Date: July 1, 2011Publisher: Zebra