Wednesday, December 11, 2013

review: ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY by Jennifer Rardin

ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY by Jennifer Rardin
Series: Jaz Parks #1
Hachette: Orbit
Released: October 8, 2007
Source: Bookstore
Page Count: 308

Rating: Really liked it!

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.

Our current assignment seemed easy. Get close to a Miami plastic surgeon named Assan, a charmer with ties to terrorism that run deeper than a buried body. Find out what he's meeting with that can help him and his comrades bring America to her knees. And then close his beady little eyes forever. Why is it that nothing's ever as easy as it seems?

My Thoughts
I have been putting off this series for quite a while now. First, I had been acquiring them but waiting for the last two books in the series to come out, because I had a feeling that I was going to love it and want to rush through it. Then Jennifer Rardin passed away in September 2010, just before the seventh book was released, and I was too sad to pick up her books. It's probably irrational, but I do this all the time.

Two-and-a-half-ish years later, I came across a review of the eighth and final Jaz Parks book which noted that it was a satisfying conclusion to the series. I realized that I had yet to dig these books out of the "read someday" series and grabbed the first one.

Jaz grabbed my attention right out of the gate. I enjoy sarcastic, badass female leads who are actually able to access their emotional sides, which embodies Jaz perfectly. And Vayl... oh goodness. I CANNOT WAIT to see how their relationship unfolds throughout the series! They seem perfect for each other, and that makes me happy.

To be quite honest, the storyline was a bit of a stretch for me. It's difficult to explain why without spoilers, but basically how and why the terrorist group was going to "bring America to her knees" seemed a little far-fetched, as though it had not quite been thought all the way through. Considering this is an urban fantasy story with a vampire assassin, well, take it as you will. That said, I very much enjoyed Rardin's easy writing style and found Jaz to be a very interesting narrator. With first person narratives, it is very important to click with the main character. I consider that to be more important than the story itself, especially for the first book in a series. I would not hesitate to recommend Once Bitten, Twice Shy to any urban fantasy fan!

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