I have to admit I wasn’t happy when I learned who was in Betrayed by Shadows by Nancy Gideon. It’s about Brigit MacCreedy, Silas’ sister, the manipulative bitch we met in Hunter of Shadows. So yeah, my mind was made up, I didn’t like her. And now I’m supposed to read a whole book about her? On top of that her and Giles, together? GILES?! Oh Nancy Gideon, how I love and hate you all at the same time. You play with my emotions so with this series. I was so happy to hate this chick; and I did for a long time. Why did you have to change my mind?
Balancing a criminal empire and a preternatural clan war, reluctant front man Giles St. Clair doesn’t need a problem like Brigit MacCreedy . . . How much trouble can the head-strong and manipulative Shifter beauty get in to in two weeks? Plenty when her schemes range from kidnapping to fleeing the retribution of her dead lover’s relatives.
With her family’s lives on the line, Brigit is willing to do whatever it takes to save them. The only thing standing in her way is an immovable stone wall of a man she can’t bully or beguile . . . a human, no less, who has promised to protect her from the secrets and dangers she conceals.
Risking her own safety gets complicated when an honorable and annoyingly desirable man puts himself between her and her powerful enemies in a battle he can’t win in this Taming of the Shrew meets Shifter Goodfellas on the bayou tale of consequences, redemption and finding love in all the wrong places.
Betrayed by Shadows began difficult to read. I won’t lie. It was worse than starting Hunter of Shadows, (book #5 and the first not all about Max and Charlotte) because I hated Brigit. I loathed her. Anyone willing to hand over innocent people for her own personal gain, without blinking, is not someone I want to be near or read about. But I pushed forward because of my crush on Giles. He’s a thug, but he’s cute, kind, clever, funny and trustworthy, not to mention he’s a human in a shape-shifting world. That says something about who he is as a man, that he can be one of the big boys, even without claws and fur. LOVE him. So yeah, I pushed through the first few chapters because I did not want to see him get hurt or see him fall for someone he didn’t deserve. All the while purposefully mispronouncing her name because I’m demented enough to think it would irritate her. (It’s pronounce Bri-zheet, by the way)
And then that damn bitch won me over.
You start out learning who and what Brigit is. You see there is nothing she won’t do to save her own skin. Witnessing the messes her mere presence creates to everyone around her, the deaths she has caused just by showing up, you hate her! Or I did until she started to soften and become, normal, almost normal, anyway. Then you see her in a totally new light. She has spent her whole life using and manipulating people to stay alive. Though horrible, and painful, to see all the people who die because of her, she begins to make sense. Her and Giles together, begins to make sense. The whole book takes on a new angle and you’re all ‘Ok fine, she may be decent, in some twisted way’. In the end, it’s a beautiful, touching match. And another couple that I want to read more about. Seriously they beat out Silas and Susanna, maybe even Jacques and Nicca, gasp. UGH Ms. Gideon why do you do this to me?!
Everything about Betrayed by Shadows was intense. The characters and what they go through was extreme. We get to see Max and Charlotte again, which was bitter sweat. Every time Max was on stage I was in tears; my heart hurts so for him. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read Seeker of Shadows and you will understand. No, no, scratch that. You have to read the whole series, to truly understand how gut wrenching seeing Max like this is. You will also understand why I hated Brigit so. Anyway. All the fighting, the near death to actual deaths of those the characters love, the romance between Giles and Brigit, dear all things holy I had a death grip on the closest object my hand could find the whole read. The chemistry between the characters, from Giles to his family, to Giles and Brigit, to Brigit and her family, etc. all the way down to Max and Giles in that room, OMG. Intense! Sex scenes anyone? Oh yeah, they were good, so so good. Yet, with all that happens in Gideon’s books, and believe me, there’s a lot going on, everything flows effortlessly together. How she does it, keeping track of everyone and everything they do and where things are going to go, while misdirecting you, I do not know. It’s just brilliant, man.
Do I have any complaints? Yes, a few. First, one of the bad guys gets inside somewhere he’s not supposed to (sorry about being vague but I cannot say where), no one knows how he did it and we never find out how. Unless I missed it in my speed of lightening read session, it would be nice to know how he avoided all the guards and security system. Second, I fell in love with another couple in this world of Gideon’s and I know that the next book is not about them. Who knows if they will have their own book again? Does Brigit really learn how to feel wanted and needed? Does she ever stop lying and manipulating? I want to know! Ugh, uber frustrating, but I understand the necessity of it. With it we see more of the story we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Third, it ended. Period. That sucks. Fourth, I want to see firsthand, not through the eyes of other characters, what is happening to Max; it’s something I think would be better to see through Max and Charlotte’s eyes and not others.
But I digress.
You learn many lessons in Betrayed by Shadows. You learn the lesson of not judging someone until you know them, entirely. You learn the lesson of true friendship and family, blood and non-blood related. You also get smacked upside the head and reminded that bad guys, true down to the bone bad guys, do not give a shit, you cannot turn your back or let your guard down for one second. And, you learn once again, that Gideon knows her craft. She, and her ever spiraling web of storyline and characters, just keeps getting better and better.