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Review: Taken by the Others by Jess Haines

Review: Taken by the Others by Jess Haines
Taken by the Others by Jess Haines
Series: H&W Investigations #2
Published by Zebra
Published on: January 1, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 351
Format: eBook
Source: Author
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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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. . .

twisted paranormal HORRIFIC

TAKEN BY THE OTHERS proves that even ancient vampires aren’t above acting stupid over a woman. And, not only that, but these two elders are too self-involved to realize that the heroine doesn’t actually want either of them, because she’s already dating a hunky werewolf named Chaz. MEN! Granted, their motivations are slightly different, however at the end of the day it all comes down to jealousy. Six months have gone by since the previous installment, and Waynest was still under the misguided impression that she could walk away from the Others’ universe, well this book certainly cleared that up, and then some! I love me a good super villain, and we get that in spades with Max Carlyle—epic battles, betrayals, and sacrifices ensued as a result. That first kill is always the toughest, but consider Shiarra officially initiated into the elite club of vampire hunters. BOOYAH!

Becoming a kickass protagonist is never easy, and Waynest was most certainly put through her paces in this latest novel. She gets kidnapped on several occasions, experiences her first (and second) fanged kisses, and beats one of her assailants to a pulp. She also gets bound to not one, but two vamps, and overcomes the symptoms of blood withdrawal in all of their glory. However, when the dust finally settled, she was still standing, and in Urban Fantasy that’s the only thing that counts. I have enjoyed following Shia’s journey from human P.I. to don’t-mess-with-me slayer; I liked how Haines explained her insta-skills in HUNTED BY THE OTHERS, and then made her hit rock bottom in book 2. So many authors brush over the harsh learning curve that comes with their lead character’s heroine status, but not Jess, she let readers witness Waynest’s transformation in all of its gruesome magnificence.

The plot’s rather self-explanatory, just read the blurb and you’ll pretty much get the gist of it. I thought that the story tied in well with the previous novel while also adding to the H&W INVESTIGATIONS world nicely, and ensuring that this series will continue to gain speed in future installments. Another supe gets added to Haines’ already teeming paranormal cocktail in the form of Dawn, the elf supermodel, and the White Hats show their true colours. I can’t say that I was overly shocked by the latter, but at least Devon and Tiny demonstrated that not all members of their order are bigots. I also enjoyed learning more about this universe’s vampires including more details about the Others’ contracts, blood bonds, and their internal politics. The final powwow was an action lover’s wet dream, and meeting Mouse was a real delight—I hope that this won’t be the last we see of her.

I’m not completely sold on the direction of this series’ romance; I like Chaz, but I just don’t know. He gets mad props for sticking with Shia throughout her recent ordeals, and bonus points for staying the course without a contract, because no paperwork = no sex. They’ve officially been on-again for six+ months now, and surviving that long without knocking boots is a huge challenge for your average Joe, but for a werewolf it’s nigh impossible IMO. It’s either true love, or the man is a complete sucker. I personally like Royce as a match even though his true motivations remain unclear. I know, I know—me choosing fangs over fur that has to be a first! It’s just that Chaz hasn’t really shown any alpha tendencies, and I didn’t particularly care for his reaction to Waynest’s blood bond woes, although I did sympathize with his reasons.

I broke-up with the vampire hunter story line long ago, but TAKEN BY THE OTHERS is proof that Jess Haines is doing great things for this genre, and as a result, it might soon be making a comeback on this reader’s shelves.

H&W Investigations Series

My Review

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Carmel Signature
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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. This is a series that has been on my radar for a while, but I’ve yet to pick it up. After reading your review, for this one and book one, I may need to change that.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Immortal Audiobook by J. R. Ward (Review)

    • I just finished book 3, and it was a 5-star read, in case you needed extra motivation.

  2. Stick with it! Many twisties and turnies coming up. Mouse has her own book called Silent Cravings. And she does show up in other books in this series too.
    Sharon Stogner recently posted…Book Review: Pool of Crimson (The Blushing Death #1) by Suzanne M. Sabol + giveaway

    • Good to know! I hadn’t come across Silent Cravings yet, so thanks for adding it to my radar. Is it a spin-off? A novella? Aah, heck, I’m too impatient to wait for your reply. GoodReads here I come!

  3. The romance in this book is… interesting. Definitely not your typical romance. And I kind of like that. (Even though I haven’t read beyond this book. Yet.)
    Amanda recently posted…To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn {Amanda’s Review}

    • Ha! In that case, just WAIT until you read Deceived by the Others. *shakes fist at Chaz*

  4. I absolutely love that this is something new and different and just GOOD in the vamp genre. We so need more of these. I really do love a good vamp story but it can be awfully hard finding something that sticks out anymore.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

    • I just quit looking altogether because I got so discouraged. Luckily, Jess Haines came to my rescue!

  5. Oh this series sounds good! Her face on the cover is a bit weird but otherwise great review 🙂 I love slayer, vamp, werewolf books!
    Chanzie recently posted…Book Review: Armageddon (Angelbound #3) by Christina Bauer

    • The earlier covers aren’t the greatest, but it’s what’s on this inside that counts, and this series has got it in spades!

  6. Wow. The romance sounds like a mess…that is if the protagonist lets it. Anyway, this book sounds like it had more to offer than the romance. So I hope the rest of the series just gets better for you.
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…[443]: The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts

    • The romance is secondary which is exactly what I expected from an Urban Fantasy, but a little steam never hurts!

  7. Wait, are you Team Vampire for this series?! I don’t know what to say right now. This sounds like my kind of read, I think I have the first on my Nook, I’ll have to double check but your review is making me move this series up my list for sure! 🙂
    Lori recently posted…HER AVENGING ANGEL Blog Barrage & Giveaway

    • Haha! I was waiting for someone to catch that. Did you do a double-take?? YES, I am Team Vampire! That’s pretty high praise coming from a werewolf fanatic.

  8. Yet another series that I have on my shelf and need to read. Quite a few of my friends love this one!

    • The reviews have been rather mixed, but don’t let those haters fool you. This series is amazing!

  9. I do enjoy these 😀
    blodeuedd recently posted…Some Veil Did Fall – Kirsty Ferry

  10. I have shelved vamp books because I burned out on them, but this is a series that I am still considering. I know that Felicia@ Geeky Book Blogger loves this so I am interested in it. I am glad that you are liking it. Hopefully the romance will improve as you go.
    Heidi recently posted…Something Wicked Strikes Day #13: Blood Rule by Heather Hildenbrand: Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

    • I didn’t realize that they were on Felicia’s fav list until she started going all fan-girl on me when I started reading ’em. I am now seconding her opinion!

  11. Remember that cartoon Thundercats? That’s what I thought of when I saw the chick on the cover. lol. This sounds like an interesting series, though.
    Christy recently posted…Seeds of Iniquity by J.A. Redmerski

    • Ooh, Christy! You crack me up! Thundercats asides, yes they are indeed interesting.

  12. I’ve been wanting to start this series and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I don’t mind about the romance because UF usually tends to go quite slow with it so I can deal. 🙂 I love the sound of the characterization though! Must try!
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Something Wicked Stop with Giveaway: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

    • You’re right, the lack of progress in the romance department wasn’t overly surprising, but the PNR reader in me always wants more smexy times. Hehe!

  13. it wasn’t my favourite book in teh series if i remember well it just get better ( i love when it just keep improving) but like you i had my radar off with Chazso that part i can only recommend you to continue reading
    miki recently posted…La Malédiction de l’Aube (Negociator T.1) par C. E. Murphy

    • I just recently finished the third installment, and now I totally know where you’re coming from on the Chaz front. URGH!

  14. Seeing her going through the paces on the way to bad ass sounds nice to read about

    • Agreed! The insta-mastering of abilities is a personal pet peeve of mine, so I was SUPER happy that Haines found a work around.

  15. Oh yes, this sounds so good! I love it when things are hard for the heroine – I hate it when everything is simple, I roll my eyes like crazy! I’m okay with the romance being a bit off, since this is UF and the romance isn’t the end-all be-all like in PNR. Added to my TBR 🙂
    Berls recently posted…The Next Breath | Book Review

    • Exactly! Life should be an upward battle in UF, at least in the first couple of books. Rest assured that there was no cause for eye rolling in this installment!

  16. An action lovers wet dream ending….sounds intense.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Premonitions by Jamie Schultz

    • So much gore!!! Thus the ‘horrific’ review icon at the top.

  17. I’m glad you’re still having a good time! My fave for the third book! SO many surprises ans twits. It’s a nice series and I’m happy you’re enjoying it as well.

    • I SO know what you are talking about now!! After your comment on GoodReads, I put a rush on reading Deceived by the Others, and OMG!!

  18. I know, I need to read first book and read this one and continue with this series. I will… 🙂
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Top Off Tuesday: The Billionaire Cowboy by Mandy Baxter

    • It’s so hard adding a series that is this far in to your TBR, but trust me, this one is worth it!

  19. Ya know I think I actually own book one and I am excited to see you are happy with book two and see development. I need to bump book one up
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

  20. I’m so torn on the multiple love interests thing. On one hand a wishy-washy heroine is the most annoying thing ever (I’m so glad this book doesn’t have that) but like you, sometimes I like the guy she doesn’t wind up with, so I’d rather him at least exist, you know? I don’t like the sounds of her hitting rock bottom. I like the whole learning curve thing, but I like my heroine’s to kick butt. Nice review! 🙂
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, and Blood of Olympus By Rick Riordan

    • The love triangle goes bye-bye after the third novel if that helps, and Shia is really starting to come into her own. Stalking the Others is my #1 priority right now.

  21. Oh this one sounds far out of my comfort zone LOL! That being said while I don’t know where I stand on the romance I do think this book has more to offer than just boy meets girl! Lovely review Carmel 🙂
    Lily recently posted…{Guest Post} Author of Snow Like Ashes: Sara Raasch

    • If you’re overly squeamish then this installment probably isn’t for you because it is bloody. Boy meets girl is the least of the heroine’s problems at the moment. Hehe!

  22. This is one series I’ve been wanting to read. I’m glad you’re enjoying it!
    Candace recently posted…Blog Tour Book Review & Giveaway: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

    • So far so good, only… 3 more installments to go. 😉 Ooh, plus Mouse’s story.

  23. I will have to file this series away for later when I get a moment. It sounds fun and the cover cracks me up! That outfit. hehe Love it. So fun. I also love that the romance is secondary, I like the action a bit more but do want a little romance on the side. Thanks! These seem like good bathtub reads.

    • I like reading in the tub too, and I haven’t dropped any of my eReaders yet, so GO ME! I’m strongly tempted to ask for the Kobo H2O for Xmas though cuz you just never know.

      • I don’t have an e-reader, in part, for that reason! I LOVE to read in a REALLY hot bath and it just doesn’t seem wise to bring tech into that equation…I’m a major klutz.

      • For the longest time I only read paperbacks in the bath, then I started using my cheapest eReader, and when that went well, I brought in the Kindle Fire. I’m a ditz too, but so far so good. *knocks on wood*

  24. I was just going to say that by book 3 you’ll know where you are standing with Chaz, but then I saw your comments, Carmel LOL I was the same 4 stars for the first two books, and then the third one blew my mind. Glad you are enjoying this series!
    kara-karina recently posted…Laughing Through The Graveyard: A Guest Post by Jamie Schultz

    • Yeah, I’m bad at reading on ahead after my reviews are scheduled, especially in cases like this. I just HAD to know what was going to happen next!

  25. I’m so glad this second installment didn’t let you down, Carmel. I’m especially glad Haines explained the insta-skills from the first book because, if I recall correctly, that was something the bugged you about the first book. I’m going to have to break down and read this series – I do own the first book, after all. 🙂 And I’m liking the sound of how things are shaping up. Great review!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**That’s What HE Said ~ #15**

    • I’m not normally a fan of heroines that don’t go through a learning curve, but Haines took a different route altogether which was a nice surprise.

  26. Yesss the journey from private investigator to badass slayer/fighter of evil is such a classic. Sounds like The Others series has lots of wonderful secondary characters too (both good and evil ones!) and of course that’s a must! I think I’ll wait until you’re further into the series to make a decision on this one…I don’t know how I feel about a series where you’re rooting for a vamp over a were. Scandal! 😉
    Danya recently posted…ARC Review: Black Dog by Caitlin Kittredge

    • I know!!! I considered omitting that part from my review, but then I thought better of it because I do pride myself on providing honest feedback after all. LOL It was kinda a pie in the face moment.

  27. See, I still love vampire hunters when they’re awesome, and if this one persuaded you despite your ennui, I need to give it a chance! I’ve heard good things about this author’s books. Plus I love both vamps and weres…
    Wendy Darling recently posted…This Shattered World: blog tour sign-up

    • I love vampires and werewolves, however after reading one too many hunter books I was reluctant to jump back on the bandwagon. Haines made is easy. 🙂

  28. I am glad to see this series has some new fans. It deserves it… And again, Chaz is blah.. bastard -_-
    Lea Krnjeta recently posted…Swooning for covers (4): New covers revealed since the last time I posted

    • I was originally supposed to review it way back when, but my copies got lost in the mail. I’m super happy that the author followed-up. Better late than never!