Sunday, 2 December 2012

Review: Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine


  Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine
  Publisher: Mira Harlequin UK
  Publication date: October 5th 2012
  Source: Netgalley
  Rating: 3.5 Stars
  


Jasmine "Jazz" Callender is on the downhill slide to ruin. Once a decorated homicide detective, she's lost it all: her former partner's been convicted of murder, she's been cashiered out, and she's drinking away what little self-respect she's got left.

But Jazz has a talent for trouble, and somebody knows it. When a mysterious, sexy stranger comes looking for her with a fateful red envelope in his hand, she's about to make the deal of her life...for good or bad.

The deal requires her to enter into a partnership with a stranger and investigate cases that arrive in special red envelopes...which is odd enough, but gets weirder as she and her new partner Lucia realize that they may be working for someone with supernatural abilities.

And maybe they're not on the side of the angels anymore.

Devil’s Bargain started out as a calm mystery and turned into an enthralling read.  There is romance, a touch of paranormal, plot twists, and heart pounding action. 


Jazz used to be a decorated homicide detective until her partner was found guilty of murder.  No longer on the force and unable to exonerate her partner, she has reached a low point.  While schlepping at a dive bar trying to drown out some of the depression, she is approached by James Borden.  He’s handsome and completely out of place, but he comes bearing an offer.  Take money to start a private investigation service, and be fully backed.  The two requirements are that she partners with Lucia Garza, unknown to her, and give priority to cases given by Gabriel, Pike, and Laskins law firm.  Jazz feels like there must be some catch and is reluctant to take their offer.  So is Lucia, who has received the same offer.  Lucia has an impressive resume working in law enforcement in some shape or form. 

They partner and the assignments they receive are a bit baffling and seem to be without purpose.  They have instructions to observe and photograph people, when nothing seems to happen.  Then things change and one of the surveillance jobs Jazz is assigned to ends up murdered.  Can these assignments be the product of some type of foreknowledge?  Is it possible they’re being sent to prevent crimes?  Larger forces are at work and Jazz and Lucia need to figure out what the heck is going on.  What exactly did they sign up for?

Like I said, this was a calm mystery to begin with.  The first third of the book was relatively uneventful and even though it held my interest, I wasn’t sure what was going on.  By the time I got the second half of the book the action kicked in and I was anxiously turning the pages, anxious about what was going to happen next.  Both Jazz and Lucia were likable characters, but this book focused more on Jazz. She was one tough cookie, able to kick some major behind, with her precision fighter skills.  It’s funny that she seemed tougher than her love interest, James, for most of the book.  Yet, he wasn’t threatened, and didn’t take this as a bruise to his ego.  I love a confident man, especially one in a well-fitted suit!  Even though romance wasn’t the main focus of this story, James manages to get Jazz’s blood pumping whenever he’s around.

He stood up and loomed over her, and for some reason, that felt good.  Safe. She let her gaze slide down him and had an instant appreciation for the way the black knit shirt hugged him.  She had a sense-memory of soft skin, hard abdominal muscles fluttering under her touch as she’d checked him for broken ribs.

Their relationship starts out slightly antagonistic, with Jazz being difficult and snarky, but there’s no fighting their attraction!  

I enjoyed the easy friendship Lucia and Jazz fall into.  It’s so nice when female characters actually like each other and has each other’s backs.  There are some notable secondary characters, as well: Pansy, the office assistant and Manny the genius independent crime tech.  He’s paranoid from a truly horrifying experience, and majorly quirky in an adorable way.  

Devil’s Bargain wasn’t a particularly deep read, but it was a lot of fun and quick, just under 200 pages.  The next story focuses on Lucia, and I have to say I’m excited to find out what happens next.  This was labeled as Urban Fantasy, but I would call it light UF.  Not that I’m an expert on UF, mind you, but hey I’m coming along!  


21 comments:

  1. In received this book too. Those I was reluctant to read at first! The cover is similar to the Morganville Vampires and I wasn't sure on how different Rachel's writing to be in comparison with her other series. I love all of series, Weather Wardens, Morganville and I'm starting to read Working Stiff next work! I'm looking forward to how they differ and whether they have the same impact!
    But aside from that, this sounds like a brilliant read and I like the sound of Jazz and James. And that quote really sums it up! I think you have convinced to read it ASAP! Brilliant Review Rachel.

    I have recently read and reviewed the Morganville #11 and #12 if you want to check it out Here

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  2. Oh my co-blogger Glass love the Morganville Vampires series. I haven't read any book by Rachel Caine. From your review this sounds really good. I should give it a try someday.

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    1. Great review btw! :) I'm still thinking "to read or not to read" xD

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  3. Is this a new series? It sure sounds like a slow going read but I'm glad you enjoyed it nonetheless, Rachel. Lovely review, as always!

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    1. I think this was a reissue by Harlequin Mira UK, because some of the release dates say August 2005. I think there's only 2 books in this series and this doesn't even show up on Rachel Caine's website. And thanks. :)

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  4. I was a little anxious on seeing the cover's similarity to those in Morganville, but hey. This is Rachel Caine so who was I to resist? ;) This does sound like a quick read, and it's good to know it at least picks up. I can't wait to start this one! Fab review, Rachel. :)

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  5. Ahhhh! I'd completely forgotten about this book Rachel! I adore Rachel Caine's books, I can't believe I left this one off my TBR list. I love a confident man as well, so James is definitely appealing to me. Men that can take a punch to the ego and keep on going work really well for me:) I like too that Lucia and Jazz are friends, like you said, relationships between women are often portrayed as catty and antagonistic, so it's nice to get to see a solid friendship:)

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  6. Sounds like a pretty interesting read! I hadn't heard of this book before until today, but I've heard some good things about Rachel Caine!
    It's too bad that the book was a little slow at first. It seems like it could have been a 4 stars read for you!
    I love the sound of James! Sounds like a hottie!
    Great review, Rachel! :)

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  7. This sounds quite fun - Jazz and Lucia seem so likable! I may pick up the book just to see how snarky Jazz is. Wonderful review, Rachel!

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  8. I've seen Rachel Caine pop up everywhere, but somehow I wasn't too interested to try out her books. You've definitely piqued my interest though, Rachel, and I love UF, light or not, so I definitely think I'll check this one out. Thanks for the fantastic and helpful review, dear! :)

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  9. Great review Rachel. This sounds like it has the kind of relationship I enjoy. And it is short, hopefully I'll get to picking it up soon.

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  10. I have wondered about this series. I have only read one Rachel Caine book: The Revivalist and it was good but not fantastic so I haven't picked her up again. This may not be the right series either. Thanks for the input.

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  11. Lovely review. I really adored the first few of Morganville Vampire series I read, so I hope I enjoy this one just as much too! :)

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  12. The characters sound pretty likeable, which is where I have always thought Rachel Caine does best. I'm not expecting this to be a mind-blower, but I know I will have fun with it. Brilliant review, Rachel! :)

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  13. I really liked Rachel Caine's morganville series, and I didn't know she had a new book out. Definitely going to check it. Thanks!

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  14. I've never read any of Morgan's books, but I've heard good things. This does sound like a cool book, despite it's slow start. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  15. I honestly didn't think I'd be interested in reading this at all, but it actually sounds very interesting. I love that there are two strong female leads, and although Jazz and James' relationship IS slightly antagonistic, I don't think I'd mind that all that much.
    Sounds great.
    Wonderful review!

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  16. I have yet to read any of Rachel Caine's books...(not counting half of Glass Houses) but everyone seems to LOVE her books, so I should give her books one more try :) I don't know if I'll like this one though...but I *might* give it a try one day! Great review Rachel :)

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  17. The female protagonists sound very amazing! I love kick-butt heroines, and it's interesting to hear that sometimes Jazz can be tougher than her love interest! It's very strange since mostly we have the love interest as the strong pillar in the relationship. :)

    Awesome review, Rachel! <3

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  18. Loved the book and the series. Only issue with this book is an issue I have with a number of eBooks. That issue is that while to writing is verbally okay, the use of words isn't. Example; "They all worked hard four it." The obvious mistake is the use of the word "four" instead of the correct word of "for". This is just an example and it happens throughout the book. While minor, it is irritating. Overall the book is well written and the story flow is very good.

    Jasmine
    Great data for Top Georgetown Tow Truck

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