Once, New York P.I. Shiarra Waynest's most pressing problem was keeping her agency afloat. Now she's dealing with two dangerous, seductive vampires who have been enemies for centuries. The only thing Max Carlyle and Alec Royce agree on is that they both want Shia--for very different reasons.
Max is determined to destroy Shia for killing his progeny, while Royce's interest is a lot more personal. That's not sitting well with Shia's werewolf boyfriend, Chaz. As the feud between Max and Royce gets ever more deadly, a powerful vampire-hunting faction is urging Shia to join their side. Shia has always believed vamps were the bad guys, but she's discovering unexpected shades of grey that are about to redefine her friends, her loyalties--and even her desires. . .
Shiarra was trying to put some order back in her life after being contracted to Alec Royce, hottie-vampire-business-man. After months of avoiding him, she thought she might have gotten rid of him somehow, but this hope was shattered when Jack, White-hat (Other hunter) nicely announced her, with a gun aimed at her face, that a new bad guy was in town and might want a piece of her. This is how Shiarra found herself between a rock and a hard place in Other business.
I really like the open world Jess Haines created. Mages, werewolves and vampires are out of the closest and their human familiar must sign contracts before any intimate actions can legally happen. Of course it doesn’t stop all trouble, but the “monsters” must be willing to break the law. All Hell breaks loose for Shia when Max Carlyle, old enemy of Alex Royce, sees her as a mean of revenge, and let me confirm any doubts you might have, he doesn’t give a damn about the law.
The plot was knit real tight and full of action, and while the title is a pretty big giveaway, the many twist and turns surprised me anyway.
My favorite aspect of this series is the character’s psychology. Their reactions always keep me on my toes and I think the author kept the right balance of fear and bravado for Shia to be a believable character and keep her reactions shockingly real. I was a bit sad that Arnold didn’t take a more important place in the story because I really like the guy. Either way, Royce is still my favorite character. He is mysterious and everything he does is toward an ultimate goal. We, mere mortals, just aren’t privy to exactly what it is. Even though I have my doubts, I wouldn’t gamble on the outcome.
The end was great and I really can’t wait to discover all the consequences in the next book, Betrayed by the Others, scheduled for July 2011.
I don’t mean to be harsh toward the art department of Kensington Books but the cover is truly terrible. Please do yourself a favor and don’t let it stop you from purchasing this series because you’d be missing out on a great series.
H&W Investigations series:
Hunter by the Others
Taken by the Others
Betrayed by the Others
Book Source: Review copy sent by the author.