Sunday, 11 August 2013

Book Review: Once bitten twice shy by Jennifer Rardin

I'm Jaz Parks. My boss is Vayl, born in Romania in 1744. Died there too, at the hand of his vampire wife, Liliana. But that's ancient history. For the moment Vayl works for the C.I.A. doing what he does best--assassination. And I help. You could say I'm an Assistant Assassin. But then I'd have to kick your ass.
Vayl and I have to take out a Miami plastic surgeon with ties to terrorism. But the assignment gets complicated when it turns out he's in cahoots with a supernatural nasty powerful enough to bring America to her knees.

I loved this book! Jaz and Vayl are assassins who are to take out Assad, but the plan quickly changes when he teams up with the world's most deadly vampire terrorist The Raptor, to introduce a plague in America. Stopping the plague, destroying a mythical chaos goddess and finding out who keeps trying to kill them is all in a days work for our heroes! Assisted by a psychic, a private detective and a gadget man, Jaz and Vayl take on terrorists, vampires, mythical goddesses, a cult and Vayl's psycho ex-wife. 

Jaz is feisty, hot tempered, impulsive and sarky which is why I loved her. She really has attitude and makes a great team with elegant, cool Vayl, who is James Bond with fangs. Their partnership is enjoyable with a hint of attraction simmering under the surface. An example of Jaz and her one-liners is when she sees Vayl's wife for the first time. "Hey look Vayl, it's Vampire Barbie." As well as her smart comments and kickass attitude, Jaz has flaws and weaknesses which make her more believable. She is suffering trauma over the loss of her entire team including her fiance' and blackouts threaten her long term employment prospects. Cole the private detective is a shameless flirt who brings friction to Jaz and Vayl's relationship, but is a likeable guy. I loved the tension between Cassandra the psychic and the paranoid tech guy Miles who is like an unstable version of Q! They are a very entertaining team and I loved all the main characters. The bad guys were also interesting though of course you want them to get what is coming to them!

The plot is action packed from start to finish with great humour, and emotion as Jaz deals with her trauma and her family issues. It is clear that these things will continue to develop as the series moves on. I'm not a big fan of the romance side of urban fantasy and this book doesn't really have any but I find myself hoping that something will happen between Jaz and Vayl as I love them both. That is the mark of very good writing from an author. I'm also interested to see more of Jaz's brother David who is a military man and her grumpy dad Albert who uses his contacts to help Jaz on her mission as she tries to find the traitor. It all leads to the big action finale at the end which is a great finish to the book and leaves a few intriguing thoughts about what might be coming in later books. I very much recommend this book to fans of urban fantasy and paranormal.

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