Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday #Review - Betrayals (Cainsville #4) by Kelley Armstrong (Urban Fantasy)

Series: Cainsville # 4
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Release Date: August 9th 2016
Publisher: Sphere
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy

When Olivia's life exploded--after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers--she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents' crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn't enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.

Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel's help to clear Ricky's name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

Betrayals is the fourth installment in Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series. Betrayals continues Olivia Taylor-Jones story as she travels through a series of events that will decide which side she chooses. Liv is the ultimate prize in a battle between the Elders of Cainsville and the Huntsman of the Cwn Annwn. Then there is the love triangle aspect of this series. Will she choose Ricky, or Gabriel? Or, will she choose her own path which hasn't yet been revealed in a last minute coup de foudre? 

The three main characters, besides Olivia, are Ricky Gallagher (the reincarnation of the Celtic myth Arawn), and Gabriel Walsh (the reincarnation of the Welsh myth Gwynn ap Nudd). Liv is the living embodiment of Matilda of the Hunt, Matilda of the Night, Mallt-Y-Nos (Welsh mythology). Like Matilda, Olivia was born with the blood of both the Cwn Annwn (Huntsman) and the Tylwyth Teg (Middle Welsh for Fair Family). With attempts at manipulation by both sides, Liv has to walk a tightrope of emotions, while uncovering her own path.

Liv is a private investigator who has helped solve some pretty twisted mysteries with her sight. Liv's real parents, Pamela & Todd, have been in prison for the past 22 years after being found guilty of murder. With Gabriel Walsh's assistance, she's been getting to the bottom of what really happened, why her parents did what they did, and what they get out of doing what they did. But, in the meantime, Liv is also getting a whole lot of dire warnings, Omens, & portents that lead her to the mystery of who is killing lamia girls, and why. 

This series, for me anyway, has been part mystery, part paranormal set in a world where Liv is the leading lady in the play of her life. The residents of Cainsville, where Liv calls home, have made themselves players in the contest for Liv's ultimate choice. They hold secrets, power, and answers to things Liv, Ricky, and Gabriel need to know. They've already made there feelings known who they prefer for Liv. Easy for them to say. I, simply, can't nor won't make a choice between Ricky and Gabriel. 

It is apparent that neither is really all that bad for Liv. Neither is looking forward to repeating history all over again. Repeating history, and what happened between the three characters in the past, doesn't actually work out to benefit anyone. Let's say this about Ricky, he really comes into his own in this story. He becomes an adult, and not just a sexy biker who caught Liv's fancy. He stands up and accepts his role and who he is supposed to be. He saves a Hound who immediately becomes attached to him. And, even though he clearly loves Liv, he is willing to ensure that nobody ends up reliving past failures. 

Gabriel has had the chance with Liv, only to muck it up time and time again. Yet, Gabriel seems to always be there for Liv when things are the most curious. Are they friends? Well, yes. Are they lovers? Nope, not yet anyway. Gabriel is a dark character. He is a devious lawyer who uses blackmail, intimidation, and extortion to get what he wants. His emotions are all over the place where Liv is concerned. One could say that he was cold as a cucumber fresh out of the refrigerator at times. Other times you just want to hug the lug and tell him things will be alright.

It all comes down to the final installment called Rituals. Rituals releases August 3, 2017 by Sphere.  

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