Ever since her mother died while serving time for a murder she didn’t commit, Bellhas been focused on one thing: revenge. She knows her mother was set up by the head of the powerful Gable family, international bankers who will crush anyone for profit, or amusement. Now she’s determined to take the Gables down—from the inside.
Seducing her way into the life—and bed—of the family’s rebellious youngest son, Lander, she figures it should be easy to uncover the secrets she needs to destroy the Gables. But Lander turns out to be much more complicated than Bell ever could have imagined. He’s enticing, intelligent, mysterious—and their sexual chemistry is off the charts. Lander is still the target, but when he touches her, he starts seeming much less like an enemy…
Which is why her anger is so necessary: memories of her mother must help fuel her quest for justice to the very end.
Worldbuilding: Same awesome setting of Harlem slash Upper East Side, the world of the rich although not so famous, crime & revenge.
Characters: Bell (or Adoncia/Doncia) evolved nicely in this part of the story, coming to terms with her feelings and letting go a bit of the anger & revenge obsessive tune. Don’t get me wrong, I liked that tune, but without it being broken with some genuine human feeling in the present day, I feel the character would have turned from interesting to somewhat unbelievable. As it is, Doncia finally came to terms with her own humanity, in a way. I enjoyed that.
We also find out more about Lander, and get a good picture about him and where he’s coming from. Without spoiling it, of course, I can say that the two of them together make perfect sense and indeed seem like a match made in vengeful heaven.
The one on one between them was again insanely hot and their chemistry as going stronger and stronger with each part of the story. We can only imagine how hot it’s gonna go in the next part of the story (there will be one, read lower).
Plot: While some of the romantic tension was solved in this third part of the serial, the actual story wasn’t. That’s because there’s another novel coming out sometime in the future that will pick things up from where the serial leaves them. Frustrating, but not enough to make me give up on these characters.
Writing: First person narrative from Adoncia/Bell’s POV, present tense. I loved the sense of tension and angst her voice gave me, and for me at least it wasn’t about the present which I often find irritating in fact – it was all about the MC.
Curb Appeal: Awesome cover, hooking blurb, wanna-buy author name. I do feel there should be some clue as to the fact this is not the story, some sense that this third part isn’t the end. I get profits and all, but I still feel there should be a sense of fair-play about it.
At first I freaked out when I reached the end, because it didn’t feel like an end to the story at all. But after stalking the author’s blog, I found out that while Deceptive Innocence does indeed finish here, there’s a full length novel coming out – DANGEROUS ALLIANCE – that takes the story on from where this serial ends. While I find it evil to leave us hanging like that, I am happy that the story doesn’t just stop here. I for sure wanna read that novel, whenever it’s supposed to come out, but since I don’t know anything about that I have a feeling I won’t read it anytime soon – might miss when it comes out.
I will add that as a practice, this takes the breaking of one story into serial to a whole new level of breaking a story into a serial and a later novel. I don’t like it, and I wouldn’t buy the serial if I’d know the story doesn’t end with it but goes on in a whole new other novel (to be broken into bits too, or to come out all at once? Remains to be seen…). I recommend getting this closer to the date when the end of the story comes out, if you wanna read it. It’s a good, exciting story (so far, at least), but this milking it to the extreme works against it for sure, as far as I’m concerned.