Haze by Paula Weston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
4.5 stars – I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I’ve tried writing this review a handful of times and stopped because I wasn’t quite sure what to tell you. This has become one of my favorite series out there … enough that I bought the books from overseas because I couldn’t wait until they finally came out here.
Haze actually picks up shortly after book 1, Shadows. Gaby is no longer having the nightmares that brought her and Rafa together, but she still struggles with remembering her other life. The life where she and her brother Jude were at odds. Mystery still plays a big part in this story because Gaby has no idea what happened with Jude… what caused the accident that has her believing he is dead and the question arises as to whether Jude is truly gone. Rafa is convinced he’s not.
Gaby struggles with moving forward… and continues to find reason after reason not to go on the search, which kind of stalls the progression of the plot of this story, but in no way took away from the enjoyment of reading for me. I can understand her struggle with hoping that Jude is still alive and I can understand her hesitancy to find out the truth about what actually happened a year ago. That doesn’t mean I’m not impatient and want her to suck it up and get going. I love Gaby. She has her vulnerable and soft side, but we almost never see it. She’s kick-ass and tough and snarky.
Rafa glances at me as we walk. His hair looks fairer out here in the sunlight. Right now I’d like to run my fingers through it, get a good handful, and smack his head into the brick wall we’re passing.
We do get to see some relationship type of things develop between her and Rafa here. But I have to say that the more Rafa refuses to tell Gaby about their past the more I’m curious to know exactly what kind of past it was. It only makes me more eager for Gaby to get all her memories back, and yet I’m afraid of what those memories will bring.
Rafa of course is arrogant, sexy and brooding … he’s determined to find Jude, but he needs Gaby’s help.
“But what if we can’t find Jude?”
He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. “We will.”
“How can you be so sure?” I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember.
“Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to.”
I love that the story hasn’t become about the romance between Gaby and Rafa … it’s hovering out there in the distance, and we get bits and pieces of it, but it’s not what Weston is focusing on. Instead we get to see snippets of the evolution of their relationship… the tenderness that Rafa is starting to show towards Gaby, the confusion that Gaby has because of her missing memories and how that impacts them together… I am really loving how Weston is pacing this part of the story. But what I really love about these two is that Rafa sees her strength and pushes her to try to remember who she used to be. Despite the fact that it may change her feelings for him going forward.
All that said, what Gaby’s stalling early on in the story does lead to, is a handful of subplots that while interesting, kind of slowed the book down a bit. We are drawn into several other dramas before we get to the meat of the story that I really had been dying for since the end of Shadows. Don’t get me wrong, they are interesting in their own right and definitely add to the overall arc of the story, but I was dying for these two to get to Melbourne. Let me just say I was so excited when we finally got there. We readers got some resolution!
And that’s all I’ll say about that.
What I will say is this – if you aren’t reading this series yet, go get it. Weston has created vibrant, wonderful characters that jump off the page and a story that will have you captivated from the start of book 1. If you’re looking for something amazing in the paranormal / fantasy genre then this series should be on top of your list. Filled with mystery, action, humor and romance… there is a little bit of something for everyone and the end will have you begging for the next book. I know I am!
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