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I Belong

Review: Deceived by the Others by Jess Haines

Deceived by the Others (#3) by Jess HainesTitleDeceived by the Others

Author: Jess Haines

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: H & W Investigations (Book 3)

Publication Date: July 1, 2011

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1420111892 (Kensington Books)

ISBN-13:  978-1420111897 (Kensington Books)

Reviewed by: Sheila


They’re here, and they’re real. . .werewolves, vampires, mages, and other creatures of the night. For New York P.I. Shiarra Waynest, taking care of Others business started out as a way to stay solvent. But now business is getting very, very complicated. . .

Shiarra’s relationship with sexy werewolf Chaz may be somewhat unconventional. Still, after a few bumps, Shia is finally ready to get serious. That means meeting family—or in this case, bringing Chaz’s entire werewolf pack along for a rollicking full-moon weekend in the Catskills.

Soon after they arrive, threatening notes appear, warning Chaz to go home. Then their cabin is ransacked. Shia starts digging to find out whether it’s the work of upstart teenaged werewolves or something more sinister. Yet as rumors about her vampire connections arouse the pack’s hostility, Shia has to contend with other dangers. Not just from an adversary about to make his fatal intentions known, but from a threat that’s even closer than she knows. . .

Quick & Dirty: A delusional and impetuous PI gets more than she bargained for when getting involved with her boyfriend’s pack.  Full of tension, laced with denial, Shiarra Waynest tries to reconcile events beyond her control.

Opening SentenceMy hands shook as I put my pen to the contract laid out before me.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

We should never underestimate the power of denial.  It is unfortunate how accurate a statement that truly is.  A person’s ability to perceive their surroundings through their emotions and expectations, rather than what is really there, is amazing.  Shiarra Waynest has demonstrated this ability throughout the series but never more than in the third installment, Deceived by the Others.

Shiarra Waynest is a typical human with non-typical friends.  The Others, or supernatural citizens, are a misunderstood but accepted part of her world.  After a year of being up close and personal with the Others, Shiarra has radically changed her point of view about the weres and magi.  Her current boyfriend Chaz, the alpha werewolf of Pack Sunstrikers, may have something to do with that.  They have decided to take their relationship to the next level: Spend time to get to know the pack and see if a future between the two of them is possible.  Alone in a secluded retreat, Shiarra and the pack are getting to know one another.  Unfortunately, not everyone is excited about having a human among them.  When someone starts to make trouble for Shiarra, will she turn tail and run or stand up for her possible future place in the pack?

Shiarra has demonstrated time again her ability to see her world through a skewed perspective.  At first, she refused to see the Others less as individuals and more as unthinking monsters.  Now, she thinks only positively about the weres, almost to a fault.  She cannot seem to find a happy medium between the two polar opposites.  And when once again, her illusions are shattered, she responds irrationally.  By denying the inherent dangers of surrounding herself with weres, she is less than vigilant in her safety, which leads to the unthinkable occurring.

Chaz has demonstrated that he is not the perfect boyfriend he has portrayed himself as.  In the last two books, we get the impression that he is misunderstood and unfairly treated by Shiarra.  But like all people, there is always more to it than what we see.  His actions have lead Shiarra to, once again, question his motivations.  Is the man she loves the real man or the one he wanted her to see?  How does he really act when his girlfriend is not around to observe and criticize him?

After an attack, Shiarra remains in shock.  A traumatic event often leaves a person in such a state.  Shiarra refuses to acknowledge her predicament, which is very true to her character.  I may appreciate her consistency, but I would have liked to see some growth as well.  Even her relationship with Chaz showed some signs of her acceptance of his “Otherness” until it’s tested.  But again, she reacts poorly and causes more harm than good.  On the other hand, how would a woman respond when she feels she has nothing left to lose?

I think that this is my favorite book so far.  The “Chaz issue” has taken an unexpected turn and left me looking forward to the next installment.  I think that Haines has finally found her stride and I am impressed with how things are progressing overall.

Notable Scene:

“Ms. Waynest – Shiarra – I feel some measure of personal responsibility for your well-being. I did as much as I could for you without forcing you to remain by my side.  This is not what I would have chosen for your future.”

If not for the sincerity with which he said it, I might have taken offense at his assumptions that he had any right to plot some fate for me.  Knowing Royce, it was a bit hard to be angry at him for saying he was sorry he hadn’t turned me into a vampire instead.  He hadn’t made it a secret that’s what he wanted from me, after all.

“It’s too late to be sorry.  It wasn’t something I wanted, but there’s nothing to be done about it now.  All I’m asking is that you stay quiet about this.  I may have more questions later.  I suppose it depends on how things turn out.”

“That may be so, but it might not be too late to do something to change your future.  If you are willing to take the risk, I could make you a vampire instead.”

The H & W Investigations Series:

1. Hunted by the Others

2. Taken by the Others

3. Deceived by the Others

4. Stalking the Others

FTC Advisory: Kensington Books graciously provided me with a copy of Deceived by the OthersNo goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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