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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sheep Review: Stalking the Others by Jess Haines

ARC: Stalking the Others
 (H&W Investigations Novel # 4)
Vampires, werewolves, mages–the Others are very real, and wreaking havoc in Shiarra Waynest’s life. But now, she’s returning the favor… 

Once, she was one of the good guys–or as close as a New York P.I. can get. Then Shiarra Waynest was drawn into the world of the Others. Every faction has its own loyalties and agenda. And Shia’s recent betrayal by her ex-boyfriend means that she may be on the verge of becoming a rogue werewolf at the next full moon.

Of course, with all the threats against her, Shia’s not sure she’ll live long enough to find out. The enigmatic vampire Royce wants her back in his clutches, as do two powerful werewolf packs, along with the police. Instead of going into hiding, Shia is enlisting the aid of her enchanted hunter’s belt and every dirty P.I. trick she knows. If she’s going down, she’ll take out as many of her enemies as she can–and hope that in the process, she keeps whatever humanity she has left

The H&W Investigations series falls right into my favorite genre: dark urban fantasy with first person POV. I love Shiarra’s tough personality and her healthy fear of all things “Other”. Unlike heroines in most UF, Shiarra is a normal human trying to live her life when the supernatural world comes knocking on her door, repeatedly. The fourth book, Stalking the Others, is another wild and emotional ride for Shiarra and all the other characters. The next paragraph will be for people who haven’t read this series before and would like to know a little about it. If you have read the first three books, then skip to the next section where I talk about Stalking the Others.

Why I love this Series:
I already mentioned the dark UF, first person POV element. What makes this style of writing work is the emotional growth of the main character throughout the books. I love Shiarra and the world Jess Haines has created. After the 9/11 tragedy vampires decided to make themselves known to humans and are referred to as the “Others”, hence the titles. The vampires were followed by the shifters and mages who were more reluctant about revealing their existence. In this new world there are extremist groups that want to wipe out the Others and the normal humans who want to integrate them into society. Shiarra is a private investigator who, with her partner and best friend Sara, takes on cheating spouse and missing persons cases. But she catches the eye of Alec Royce, leader of the vampires in their region and a wealthy business man who walks that line between good and bad so well. He is super smexy and their romance is a simmering one that Shairra fights tooth and nail (ha, pun). And then there is her Ex-boyfriend and werewolf, Chaz who still wants her back. She is just a human, but does find supernatural help in battling the “Others” through a possessed belt that is sentient and has an agenda of his own. You don’t have to read the books in order, Jess does a good job of catching people up with each book, but I really think Stalking the Others would be better appreciated if you have read the first three.
Okay, gushing is over… go buy book #1 Hunted by the Others and enjoy! It is on sale for the kindle for only $2.99 till 7/8

Time to talk Stalking the Others! The last book #3, Deceived by the Others, was devastating emotionally for Shiarra. Her world was rocked by multiple betrayals from those she trusted, as well as the possibility of turning into a werewolf at the next full moon. My heart broke right along with hers and now she is mad and looking for a little payback. I loved the last line of DBTO:

“The hunt for those who had wronged me was on.”

I was so glad I had the next book already sitting next to me. Shiarra doesn't know who to trust anymore and nothing is as it seems. I can’t talk too much about what happens because one of the things I love about this series is each book comes with a plot twist or surprise I didn’t see coming and this book holds a few. I will say Shiarra finally gets some <G> and it is hot! One thing that didn’t sit quite right was Shiarra got very weepy at the end, but considering the life changing decisions she has made and what she has been through, I guess she is allowed to fall apart. We learn the history of the possessed belt and we see Shiarra like we have never seen her before, full of rage and vengeance. There is a ton of kick ass action as Shiarra goes after the weres and we meet some nerd shifters that add a little humor to the story. We also get to know a little more about Royce and his motivations when it comes to Shiarra. This was one of my favorite lines:
Shiarra has finally found Chaz and the other weres:

“Knock, Knock bitches!"

The first chapter of the next book, Forsaken by the Others, is included which was a nice thing for Haines to do so you aren’t left hanging. Things are changing in Shiarra’s world and she has made a lot of people and Others angry who aren’t likely to forgive and forget. Stalking the Others mentions the other vampire leaders in the U.S. and I think we might get more information about the political workings of the vampire world.

4.5 "keep doing that thing with your tongue" Sheep

SharonS (edited by BAK)

Jess Haines, author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, is a displaced New Yorker who writes about vampires, werewolves, and other bitey creatures of the night from her home in Southern California. She's best known for the H&W Investigations series

Find her online:
You can check out our interview with Jess Haines here

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