Author: Jennifer Rardin
Date of Publication: October 8, 2007
Formats Available: Paperback, E-Book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: 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?
I'm not a huge fan of vampire novels, I don't exactly dislike them but ever since the huge vampire phase there just seems to be more bad vampire books than good. However, I was surprised by Once Bitten, Twice Shy and how much I ended up enjoying the action and intrigue as well as the cast of quirky characters. Even though it was a bit stereotypical at times this novel was fun to read and in the end turned out to be one of the best vampire novels I've read in a long time.
Despite not being the most original book on the planet, Once Bitten, Twice Shy is enjoyable in its slight predictableness. Jaz is a fun character and even though she's an assassin she doesn't follow the lead of most paranormal romance heroines and have an arrogant attitude. Sure, she has her smart-ass comments and internal commentary but they don't overwhelm her character and make her hard to relate too. Jaz manages to keep her tough girl demeanor but still remain real enough for the reader to connect to her. Not only is Jaz a sassy heroine as well as an assassin but she has her own set of supernatural abilities. From being able to sense vampires to leaving her body I have a feeling there will be even more to her powers as the series progresses.
The rest of the characters are just as enjoyable as Jaz; from Vayl and his interesting ability to manipulate temperature to Cole, the amateur private investigator who has a bit of a crush on Jaz, there wasn't a character I didn't like throughout the entire novel. Even the villains were masterfully crafted, each with a personality and their own set of interesting powers. Although there wasn't much romance in the novel but there were just enough hints to keep me wondering just what both Cole and Vayl felt for her. I sense the beginning of a love triangle forming and even though I like Cole I'm already rooting for Jaz and Vayl to end up together.
At first I was a little thrown off by Jaz's internal commentary but I quickly got used to it and in the end thought it was one of the things that made the book so much fun to read. Jaz has a huge personality and the constant commentary gives the reader a chance to really get inside her head and understand what she's thinking. Likewise I was very surprised by the plot; it quickly went from a simple story of a assassinating terrorist group leader to a corrupt senator and a world wide plague. By the end of the novel I was racing through pages, desperate to find out what happened.
With great characters, an exciting plot, and hints of a love triangle, I would highly recommend Once Bitten, Twice Shy to fans of vampire novels who are put out by the amount of bad vampire books in the genre. The start to what promises to be a great series I can't wait to see what happens to Jaz next!