Indirect Lines by Dana Marie Bell (Halle Shifters #5)

Indirect Lines by Dana Marie BellAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Samhain

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

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.

Admittedly, I should start out this review by saying there are two series at work here within the same town of Halle and I’ve only read this one, Halle Shifters. However, the direction of this series was wrote long ago with the Halle Puma series and I did not read those first five books. Bell does a good job recapping that series within this newer series but if you put both together there are now ten books total. I also did not write reviews for the previous books because they were read, not for review, but for the sheer pleasure of reading to get me out of a review slump. I devoured those books, loved them just as much as they aggravated me with the continuing questions they posed.

Book five, Indirect Lines is the story of Hunter, Barney and his intended young mate, Heather. Waiting to claim her was always Barney’s plan because his line of work is dangerous but never more so than now when shifters are being killed and with a riddle being the only clue as to why. When Heather is hurt in an attack it leaves him no choice but to take her early, breach her virginity and make her his forever.

Ok, so part of me enjoyed this book, the heat between Barney and Heather being the main reason. I enjoyed their push and pull in the beginning as Heather tried to sway Barney to claim her as nature intended. I liked the sweet, gentle way Barney was with her even as everyone else saw him as a badass Hunter they couldn’t avoid. The quirky, at times, funny commentary between them garnered more than one chuckle from me.

My problem with this series is the lack of any closure of any kind. Indirect Lines didn’t really answer a single thing that has been dragging on now for the past 5 books in this series, and the other 5 books from the Halle Puma series. I feel like we should be closer to figuring out the reasoning behind the killing of shifters, who is involved and how all the puzzle pieces fit together. Instead this book ended abruptly, with barely a HEA (for now) for the main characters I’d become invested in and more questions posed than answers.

With any series that is this long running there tends to be a rather lengthy list of characters but I’d say this is more so than others of the same length. I am often confused and have to stop reading to think briefly on who each character is who walks onto the page. It becomes an issue that pulls me out of the story, especially if I can’t remember who someone is (which is often). It’s annoying when I feel like I should have a printable character list and how they relate to the series arc.

At this juncture I’m nearly to the point where I will stop reading this series. Hopefully the next book will give me the much needed closure I crave and bring this series to a firm close. I’m hoping for a new series, maybe one a bit less complex, with the heat I know Bell is excellent at creating and without all the limping story line.

I give Indirect Lines by Dana Marie Bell 2.75 stars

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