Be warned that spoilers of Book #1 and #2 might occur, so if you haven't read those yet, you might close your eyes and skip reading this review.
My Thoughts: Deceived by the Others is the 3rd book in Jess Haines' H&W Investigations series and after the terrific ride of Taken by the Others, I was excited to dig in and see how things would go on after the bang ending of Book #2.
Unfortunately Shia does what she does best: she avoids dealing with uncomfortable situations, so of course she hides from Royce (just a little warning for all of you Royce fans out there: Shia won't speak with Royce until about way after page 250). So sadly I didn't get in Deceived by the Others the big confrontational talk between Shia and Royce after the blood bonding and their dealing with of where they go from there, but I keep hope I'll get it in Book #4.
So to get back to Deceived by the Others: Shia is debating whether to take her relationship with Chaz to the next level and sign the contract binding herself to an Other. As an attempt to rekindle their relationship after Shia's bonding to Royce in Book #2 which took its toll on Chaz, Shia and Chaz are going for a short vacation in the mountains to spend a few days with the whole Sunstriker pack during full moon.
Before I started reading Deceived by the Others I have glimpsed plenty of outrage exclamations of fans and warnings that there will be some pretty shocking revelations, so I was on the lookout constantly for the big fallout. I have to say I wasn't that surprised because I haven't liked Chaz from the beginning. He seemed phony and superficial to me, his interactions with Shia didn't seem deep or intense, so I can't say I was stunned by what he did and his plan. I never cared for him, and I have to say I'm even a bit glad because this way Shia can finally forget about him and look on to new and greener pastures (*cough* Royce *cough*). ;-p
Though there was plenty of mystery and dubious events taking place, and even though Jess Haines managed to keep the nail-biting excitement and thrill up I somehow found the mystery plot of Deceived by the Others less formidable than in the previous two books. But then with the conclusion Jess Haines revealed that it was more of a prank, the humour of which I appreciated, but would have loved to have a more serious and bigger evil in the works too. I know, I'm greedy :-)
I think Jess Haines was very brave in undertaking to have most of Deceived by the Others without Royce appearing on the pages until about page 260, but of course the exciting character of him and especially his interaction and crack up dialogues with Shia were sorely missed. Though they clearly are the spice of this series and what makes it outstanding, Shia's humour and sarcasm on her own is still remarkable and just as funny as before:
Maybe I could crack the thing's skull before it tore out my insides. Right. And the tooth fairy would swing by to play backup for me next.
Coitus interruptus does not a happy camper make.
"You should be afraid," Gabe said his voice gone deeper, guttural with anger. [...] "You aren't one of us. Don't you know what we could do to you?"
"Try me, Fluffy. I've fought your kind before. You kids don't know who you're messing with."
Verdict: All in all Deceived by the Others was an exciting page turner peppered with the usual entertaining witty humour of Jess Haines' heroine. And if it didn't succeed Taken by the Others I might have rated it higher, but I just loved Book #2 so much that I was left a bit disappointed I had to miss out on the Shia & Royce goodness so much. But I really hope they'll get their time to shine in the next books and Jess Haines will reward us with plenty of yumminess :-)
Cover: 10/10 - finally! It was about time this series got a great cover and I love the cover of Deceived by the Others! Atmospheric yet colourful and finally Shia looks normal and not like some leather-clad hooker. yay!