Deceived By The Others (H&W Investigations #3)Deceived By The Others by Jess Haines

My rating: 2.5 of 5 flames

With all the hype this series has been getting, I was very excited for the chance at an early copy. And unfortunately I was incredibly disappointed in this book.

I almost DNF’d this book. I’m glad I didn’t, as it wasn’t awful by any means. I do think a lot of people will like this book, as the world was easy to slip into, the writing easy to follow, and the world was actually pretty cool. For me? I have a hard time enjoying a book when I hate the main character. I found Shia to be a stupid idiot who had a temper. That’s all. No depth. I think we all had problems with Chaz, but I let it go, thinking he was just worried about the weekend where Shia would be amongst the whole pack. But my complaint, is he never acted like he loved Shia. He was more possesive than protective, and he was incredibly domineering. I didn’t like how he was never ever around when she needed him. So all the comments about how Chaz could protect her, don’t really work when he has failed at every chance.

Shia actually had 3 strikes right off the bat. By page 16 she had been warned by 3 separate people that something was going to happen if she went on vacation. By page 43, she’s been followed, and had a note with a knife sticking it into her cabin door. Both times shs “shrugs it off.” If this had been book 1 where she was still new to the Other world, I could have shown more understanding, but she wasn’t a newbie. She’s dating the Sunstriker pack’s alpha, she’s blood-bonded to Alec Royce, a vampire, and she’s had dealings with mages, werewolves, vampires, the White Hats (anti-Other group)…do you see where I’m going with this? It made no sense for her to be so oblivious.

Several times she put stuff off to Seth (a lower ranking packmember who made no bones about his dislike for Chaz) playing a prank, or just shrugging it off. That made me so angry! I mean, death threats? You don’t shrug that off when you’re in the middle of a werewolf pack, and you’ve been warned something big and bad will happen soon.

There was a random little side plot regarding the threatening notes that was so out of left field, and absolutely pointless, that I rolled my eyes. I won’t spoil it, but really? That’s what those notes were about? That was not in any way relevant to the story. Like at all.

And the biggie…Chaz did something naughty. Not just naughty, but a dealbreaker in my book. And apparently in Shia’s as well, as she left him. I began to respect her a bit more around there. But what made me hate Chaz even more, if possible, is that he arranged it so that Shia had no other choices but to ride home with him. So he talked to her the whole drive, “apologized,” if you can call that an apology, and once he realized she was genuinely hurt and angry, he kicked her out of his Jeep, right there, in the middle of the street, nowhere close to home.

That’s when the action basically picked up and it was non-stop til the end. I liked it, I loved watching her interactions with Royce, and with her friends. I really thought she was growing as a person. She’s grown a lot since book 1, so I was thinking that this was it, the point where she impresses me. And then she bailed. She grabbed the belt and left. (I can’t spoil the belt, but anyone who’s read the other books will know what the belt does).

I wish I could rate the book in 2 parts. I’d give it a 1 for the first 150 pages and a 3.5 for the last half. That’s how different the two halves of the book are. But I think what Shia does at the end after all Royce did for her, is pretty sucky. And that cliffhanger? It’s not much of a cliff hanger. We all know she’ll go after the bad guys. But my complaint is that she was PI…shouldn’t she be at least a little kickass?

**Thank you Kensington for the review copy

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