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Deceptions (Cainsville)

Deceptions - Kelley Armstrong "Some booksellers have mistakenly listed Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series as a trilogy, but rest assured that Books 4 and 5 are scheduled for publication. Being the third book, Deceptions has a bit of Middle Book Syndrome - it answers some questions, but others dangle.

We find out how Ricky Gallagher is linked to the plot, which is a relief because I wondered in Visions if he was just included as a love rival. (Bikers being all the rage in romance at the moment...) Mind you, the motorcycle club element is the weakest part of the novel. Olivia Taylor-Jones notes the sexist nature, yet submits to going along to the club and being ""handed off"" to minders while Ricky has a meeting. Olivia (*cringe*) gets into a girl-fight, and then has to fight off a guy. In other words, that ""alpha-hole"" environment is just as stereotypically bad as I expected.

Another questionable plot element involves ""roles"". Some people may enjoy fate as a trope, but it doesn't work for me, and it reinforces the love triangle.

Also, the paparazzi are included just to create more trouble at the funeral, but are conveniently absent during the outdoor sex scenes. (There are a few. Seriously, I expected the paparazzi to follow Olivia all the time.)

Even though these are my quibbles, Deceptions is a high-quality page-turner that may be slow to start but builds to a big finale (with a rather convenient rescue that I didn't quite believe). The characterisation is thorough, the psychiatric care facility is fascinating, and the piece-by-piece reveals are handled well. It's a solid read, and I'm very much looking forward to Book 4."