Saturday 25 December 2010

Review: Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Jennifer Rardin

I'm Jaz Parks.  My boss is a guy called 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 CIA, doing what he does best - assassination.  And I help.  You could say I'm an assistant assassin. could say that.

But then I'd have to kick your ass.

Vayl is the CIA's top assassin.  A master of black ops, he has never failed.  He's also a 291-year-old vampire.  Assigned to protect Vayl, if such a formidable creature can be said to require protection, is Jasmine Parks - 'Jaz' to her friends.  A young lady with exceptional talents and secrets of her own.

In a world where the bad guys aren't always human and the CIA needs some very specialised help...

Jaz Parks Series:
Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Another One Bites the Dust
Biting the Bullet
Bitten to Death
One More Bite
Bite Marks
Bitten in Two
The Deadliest Bite (2011)

Visit Jennifer Rardin's website for more information

Jaz has been working as an assassin for the CIA for 6 months when she is given a new assignment.  She has been partnered with Vayl - a 300 year old vampire who happens to be the CIA's top assassin - as his body guard.  Something about the partnership doesn't ring true to Jaz - after all how can such a powerful vampire need a human body guard? - but she doesn't have much choice but to go along with it unless she wants to lose her job.  Their latest assignment is to take out a plastic surgeon who has known links to a terrorist organisation, it sounds simple enough and they are expecting to get the job done quickly and be home in a couple of days. But that was before they overhear a conversation and uncover a terrorist plot that could have devastating consequences if they don't find a way to stop it in time.

This is one of those books that I randomly picked up when browsing in the library, the comment on the back cover by author Patricia Briggs stating "Bond meets Dracula" was enough for me to add it to my must read pile and I'm so glad I stumbled across the series.  I'm surprised I'd not already heard of Jennifer Rardin and am looking forward to getting stuck into the rest of the series.  Although not perfect Once Bitten, Twice Shy is a promising start to an urban fantasy series and one I'd recommend trying if you're like me and hadn't heard of it before.

Jaz is quite a flawed character, she has a snarky attitude and was quite funny at times but she often speaks without thinking which tends to get her into trouble.  She wants to be good at her job and is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect Vayl but I think she probably has quite a lot of learning to do even though she is capable of standing up for herself.  She has had a tough time over the last couple of years and events from her past have had a massive effect on her present.  It's only as the story unfolds and we learn more details of these events that we get to see why she is the way she is and I started to understand her better.  I'm intrigued to find out more about who and what she is and am looking forward to seeing her work through her issues.

Vayl is an intriguing character but there is just something about him that really drew me in.  Most of his past is shrouded in mystery and we're never quite sure why he requested to have Jaz as his partner but you can tell he cares about her and there is definitely chemistry between them even though this hasn't been acted on yet.  I definitely have plenty of questions regarding the bond between them but I just want to spend more time with the pair and see how things develop.

The plot moves quickly and smoothly to the finish line and although they win the battle they certainly haven't won the war.  We have been introduced to some likable secondary characters who I hope we'll get to see more of in the future (I particularly liked tech geek Bergman and Jaz's Dad Albert) and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of situation Jaz & Vayl will get themselves into next.  I'd definitely recommend the series to urban fantasy fans.

Source: Library

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  1. I've heard a lot of great things about this series! It sounds like a fun read =) I'll have to pick it up!

  2. Hi Casey, based on this book I've got high hopes for the rest of the series :o) I've been told the books get even better so I'm looking forward to reading more. You'll have to let me know what you think if you do try it



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