Sunday, October 28, 2012

ARC Review: Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days #1) by Rachel Caine

A bargain with the Devil or a blessing in disguise?
Title: Devil's Bargain
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Red Letter Days
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars.
This book is the start of another series written by Rachel Caine. She has written many series but the most notable is The Morganville Vampires and the Weather Warden series. I came across her work last month while reading her Revivalists series, which I may add is brilliant (Read my review for Working Stiff and Two Week's Notice). This series also has the same type of tone to it.

Jazz has just lost her job after her partner Ben was accused of murder. Since then, she has been looking for evidence to reverse his jail sentence and also open her own private investigation agency. Opportunity comes knocking on the door when a company offers her this chance and the capital, if she agrees to their terms. The terms are that she can do whatever she wants with her firm but the cases that would come in a red envelope will take precedence over everything. Hesitantly, Jazz takes up the job but she has to partner up with Leslie. Leslie is an under cover officer who has worked for the FBI, CBI and every other short forms of agencies trying to track criminals.

The first half of the book was spent in Jazz and Leslie trying to get on and opening the partnership. We also had a budding romance going on the side involving Jazz and the lawyer who came bearing the envelope, James Borden. There was nothing paranormal in the he first half of the book. It read like a thriller detective plus story line with tons of sexual banter thrown in for good measure.

The paranormal aspect didn't come until later and even when it did it wasn't anything involving your usual were wolves and vampires. However, it's implications were profound. It was subtle and well done leaving me wanting more. Jazz wasn't someone I felt connected too. She came across as harsh, and sometimes cold. But I really enjoyed watching her and James fumble around to find their footing in their building relationship. The story was spread across a few months so we get to see a growth of the relationship between Jazz and Leslie too.

" Later," he said quietly.
"In your dreams," she shot back.
"Yeah, I'm almost certain that will happen, too"

This series also sees the introduction of Pansy and Manny, whom I had grown to love from the Revivalist series. This is where they meet and we are first introduced to our paranoid genius, Manny. In some ways I felt some resonance of the Revivalist series with the same side characters and some what same feel with a white collar and stiff necked love interest.

The writing style was similar too but I like it over this book. Maybe the fact that this series was written before the Revivalists may be the root course her. Regardless, the book was enjoyable. The plot did not give anything way and it kept me guessing about the next twist. The banter between James Borden and Jazz lighten things up and the paranormal, when brought in, was clever. The villain was convoluted and I'm still not sure if he is good guy or bad.

Over all, a book which kept me interested and thrilled me with its well written action, romance, comaraderie and wonderful side characters. A must read for the fans of Rachel Caine

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley


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