There’s only one way to win this game: break the rules.
Halle Shifters, Book 5
James “Barney” Barnwell is losing his ever-loving mind. Between the threat to the white shifters and a riddle he’s been ordered to solve, he can actually go for ten whole minutes without thinking about Heather, the woman destined to be his mate.
As much as he burns to get the redhead under him, the safest place for her is far away from him. If the bad guys catch the barest hint of her scent on his skin, she’ll become a target.
The way Heather sees it, the quicker she helps the stubborn Bear solve the riddle, the quicker he’ll bite her—literally. But when she’s hurt while protecting her cousin from an attack, she finds herself right where Barney never wanted her: smack dab in the middle of the investigation.
Like it or not, Barney is forced to bring her fully into his crazy world. With his mate’s life in his hands, he’s in a race against time to solve this maddening riddle before the enemy discovers that the Hunter has finally been caught by love.
This book contains explicit sex, graphic language, lots of questions and maybe even some answers. Remember: Fox holds the key.
I started this series at book 4, Figure of Speech, and I read it as a standalone. I had no problem following along with what was going on despite skipping the previous three books. Bell did a nice job of giving the reader the pertinent info throughout the novel so that a new reader to the series wouldn’t feel lost. You may be wondering why am I starting my review of Indirect Lines with this info. The reason is simple, by no means should you read this installment without having read the previous books. Can you? Strictly speaking, you can probably get away with it. Should you? Absolutely not. I managed to squeeze in the first three books and reread Figure of Speech before beginning Indirect Lines, and I personally feel that reading this installment without having read the others is doing a disservice to you, the reader, and the author’s vision for the series because a LOT comes to head in this book.
Two becomes one, one becomes three. Bear knows the way, but Fox holds the key.
This is the prophecy or riddle that was given to Chloe, Julian, and the Kermodes in the previous books. And it is the driving force behind Indirect Lines as our grouchy Hunter, Barney, does his best to avoid claiming his mate, Heather. Heather is one of the big reasons that reading the previous installments is important and not simply because we met her previously. There is an incident that took place in her past that factors in to the series thread in a big way, with most of it being disclosed in book one. Julian’s healing of Chloe in book one, and of Jamie in book two, also play big roles in this installment. As does the return of Glory’s missing sister, Hope, in book three. Having reread book four, I noticed details that I missed out on the first time around because I hadn’t read the first three books. There was a building of the series thread that wasn’t as obvious to me because I had come in at book four and it goes a long way toward understanding the significance of this installment.
Obviously, I’m doing my best to stress the importance of the first four novels on Indirect Line’s storyline without actually revealing any spoilers, hence the vague as heck review. If you have actually read the previous books, you will be stoked to see how some of the questions from the previous books are answered, but don’t expect to know all because this is not the final book in the series. In fact, even more questions arise as conspiracies are uncovered. And we meet THE Leo!!! Halle’s population experienced a bit of growth and it looks like more may be on the horizon. Of course, getting back to the matter at hand – Barney and Heather’s mating – it was as unique as each of the previous couples’. Bell creates unique personalities for each of her main characters and Heather proved to be a breath of fresh air as she came out of her shell. She also possesses anti-prickly bear powers if Barney’s responses to her are any indication. Much like Barney did, I found Heather’s understanding of his job to be a relief and it kept the story’s tension where it needed to be – on the prophesy and the conspiracy. Not surprisingly, their actual mating was hot as heck, but it is the love that develops between them that is really moving. Barney’s brusque nature is absent when dealing with Heather, he exercises far more patience and gentleness than I would have expected from what we’ve seen of him in the previous books. This is, of course, balanced by a wicked sense of humor them seem to have in common, which makes for some rather entertaining banter. I really, really hope that the author is working on releasing the next installment in the Halle Shifters series sooner rather than later because I NEED to know what happens next – especially if Jamie is involved.