Initial reaction: Yet another interesting installation in this series. Bell has more on her plate than a little bit in this second installment. I enjoyed seeing more of Bell moving the chess pieces around in terms of seeing how she could dig deeper into the flawed lives of the Gable family, but at the same time, she makes many missteps that cost her greatly. This installation also ends on a cliffhanger, but it’s well worth the tie-in to the previous installment and leads into the final part of this story nicely.
Quick review for a quick read. I enjoyed this second part in the “Deceptive Innocence” serial novel. When the story last left off, it was on the note of a very tense encounter between Lander and Bell, and while I thought that might’ve been the encounter that was purported from where the story left off, it definitely kept me guessing up to a point. I was probably as relieved as Bell was when she realized it wasn’t what she thought – though not for the same reasons (I was just glad the story wasn’t over from that point!). Much of this part of the serial focused on Bell trying to determine how she could use information against the Gable family and find any openings for weakness that were possible. There were definitely sensual scenes between Lander and Bell that spiced up the narrative, but I was glad also to read of Bell’s growing internal conflicts and more character revelations that added to the overarching story’s conflict. The ending of this part of the novel was not a turn I expected it to take, and made me eagerly want to pick up the next installment of the novel – which I have as a galley and will review soon. Definitely looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Overall score: 4/5 stars.