Destiny and Deception

Warning!  You must read the first three books in Shannon Delany’s 13 to Life series (13 to Life, Secrets and Shadows, and Bargains and Betrayals) before proceeding with this post.  I just finished reading the fourth book, Destiny and Deception, and it is not a stand-alone novel.  You’ve been warned!

As you’ve no doubt gathered, I finished reading Destiny and Deception, the fourth book in Shannon Delany’s 13 to Life series, this morning. Like the other books in this series, book four is full of drama, emotion, danger, and supernatural mystery. It’s a great read that had me eager to turn the page. Told from three differing viewpoints, Destiny and Deception shows readers that, though life has changed drastically for the Rusakova clan and their friends, things are far–very far–from normal…

After the tragic series of events that took their mother and forced them into an alliance with the Russian Mafia, the Rusakova’s, particularly Pietr, fought back in the only way possible…they took the “cure” and stripped the wolves from their bodies.  Or did they?  Only Jessie and Cat really know that the cure isn’t exactly permanent, but they soon realize it is strong enough to change things completely.

Almost immediately, Jessie notices changes in her beloved Pietr.  He’s somehow less than he was before.  He’s lost his spark, his fire, and, seemingly, his interest in her.  Jessie is trying to get used to the “normal” Pietr, but what if the Pietr she loved with all her heart was stripped away along with his inner animal?  Can she learn to love the boy he’s becoming?  Does he even care?

Alexi Rusakova, adopted brother and guardian to his siblings, is dealing with his own turmoil.  Now that his family is no longer under the protection of whatever agency wanted them, they must find a way to support themselves.  Yes, his younger siblings can get jobs, but will that be enough?  Alexi will have to sacrifice even more–including his own happiness and pride–to ensure that his family stays strong and together.  But when a new threat arrives on the scene, even Alexi’s sacrifices may not be enough to save everyone…

Marlaena is an alpha female who embraces the wolf within her.  “The Wolf is the Way,” and anyone who disagrees is, quite frankly, wrong.  She and her pack have settled in the town of Junction, and Marlaena is looking for a way to unite with the Rusakovas.  She knows their inner wolves are lurking just under the skin.  They may just need a little “help” to get out.  What is she willing to do to provide that assistance?  Well, there’s not much Marlaena won’t do to remain top dog…

As Jessie tries to hold on to the Pietr she once knew, Alexi struggles to provide for his family, and Marlaena fights for dominance, there is even more going on in the small town of Junction that anyone truly realizes.  Can anyone put together the puzzle pieces before something bad happens?  Or is it already too late?  Find out when you read Destiny and Deception by Shannon Delany!

Just when I think that things might be looking up for some of my favorite characters, I’m thrown a curve ball.  Jessie and the Rusakovas just can’t catch a break!  I knew that the “cure” wasn’t the solution everyone thought it would be, but I was not prepared for how it effected Pietr.  Neither was Jessie.  I’m hoping he regains his spark in the next book because, to be honest, I found him kind of boring in this book.  (So did Jessie.)

The introduction of Marlaena and her pack definitely throws a wrench into the works for Jessie and the Rusakovas.  I can say with all honesty that I do not like Marlaena, and the last few pages of this book only cemented that opinion.  I’m definitely anxious to see how things play out in the next book.  Maybe Jessie and company can finally have things go right for once.  Or maybe that’s wishful thinking.

Speaking of the next book…Rivals and Retributions is set to be released on August 7th of this year, so the wait isn’t too terribly long.  I just read the synopsis on Goodreads, and book five looks like it’s going to take us on yet another roller coaster ride.  So much for good things happening to these characters…

Oh, well.  If you’d like more information on Shannon Delany and this awesome series, visit  Peace out.


Bargains and Betrayals

If you haven’t read the first two books in Shannon Delany’s 13 to Life series (13 to Life and Secrets and Shadows), read those before continuing with this post about book three, Bargains and Betrayals!

So, I finished reading Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany last night, and it totally lived up to the previous two books. How can you go wrong with a book that has mental institutions, conspiracies, werewolves, and the Russian Mafia? (There was actually one part I could have lived without. One word. Zombies.)  This book is extremely dramatic, tense, and action-packed, and it kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.  (And how glad am I that the fourth book, Destiny and Deception, is already out?  I started reading it as soon as I finished Bargains and Betrayals.)

Bargains and Betrayals picks up right where Secrets and Shadows left off.  Jessie is being taken to a psychiatric facility, Pecan Place, “for her own good.”  Jessie is not happy about being away from her werewolf boyfriend Pietr, and she’s even more unhappy when she discovers that Pecan Place is not exactly what she thought.  After all, would a real mental institution have zombie guards and dead bodies in the basement?  Would a real psychiatrist murder a patient?  I’m thinking no.

While Jessie is dealing with a bunch of craziness at the mental institution, Pietr is struggling with how he can free the two people he loves the most–Jessie and his mother.  Time is running out for everyone, and Pietr makes a drastic decision that could help to save everyone but may just destroy him.  But Pietr will pay any price, sacrifice almost anything, to save the people he loves.  Will it be enough?

Jessie and Pietr aren’t the only ones having issues.  The entire Rusakova clan is facing an uncertain future.  Jessie’s friend Amy is learning to live and trust again after enduring an extremely abusive relationship.  People are dying all through the town of Junction, and an agency that may or may not have government ties seems to be responsible.  What can Jessie, Pietr, and their families and friends do to stop the madness that is invading their lives?  What bargains will they have to make (and with whom)?  Who will be betrayed so that lives can be saved?  Uncover the truth when you read Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany!

I’ve enjoyed the entire 13 to Life series so far, but I must admit that Bargains and Betrayals is now my favorite (so far), despite the zombies.  I was not prepared for the twist at the end of the book, and I think it will be very interesting to see how that plays out in Destiny and Deception.  Luckily, I don’t have to wait to find out since book four is already out, and I started reading it last night.  I hope to finish it this weekend.

A word of caution:  Bargains and Betrayals deals with some mature themes (sex, violence, rape, etc.), so I would not recommend this book to readers under the age of 16.  Of course, maturity levels vary, so do with this what you will.

If you’d like more information about author Shannon Delany and the 13 to Life series, visit