Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks, Book 1)
by Jennifer Rardin
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?
My Opinion: I really wanted to love this :(
This book had been in my to-read list for a long time (actually since I first started reading Anita Blake and Mercy Thompson ^^") and I was quite excited to finally read it but was actually a bit disappointed.
First, I read the short story "Scouting Jasmine" that takes place prior to the first installment and really liked it. Written from Vayl's point of view, it was my first encounter with Jaz Parks. I loved how badass and smart she was described as. I was imagining her as not only a strong and cunning assassin but also as a sort of dark and brooding character, one that would seem emotionless and only interested in doing her job while struggling with a terrible past.
So of course, I was so thrilled when I opened the first page of Once Bitten, Twice Shy... but that didn't last unfortunately.
The heroine described in the novel was far from the one I was expecting. I didn't find her particularly strong and clever. Actually, she appeared a bit irritating in my eyes, she was much more of a whiner that I expected and almost childish at times.
When the novel starts Jaz and Vayl have been working together for a few months and they have a pretty good relationship which was pleasantly surprising to me since I was sure she was going to hate working for him. I'm so used to the two main characters "hating" each other at first and playing cat and mouse that I almost couldn't believe it at first.
The other nice surprise came from the depiction of Vayl. Again, I was expecting the usual tall, dark and brooding man but he wasn't at all. He didn't hesitate to show and tell Jaz that he cares about her and I loved that.
Once I got over the fact that the heroine was far from what I had imagined, I started to actually enjoy the read.
I found it a bit clumsy at times and not always clear but it was nice enough that I stayed awake quite late to finish it because I was so enthralled by the plot.
However, I am not sure I'm going to read the following installment as I am not a big fan of Jaz. She wasn't a terrible character but I didn't really feel anything for her and I am not really fan of the fact that the author gave her some supernatural "abilities". I'd really like to read about a normal human heroine that has to do with just her brains and muscles, that would be a very nice change.
To summarize: Unfortunately, Jaz Parks won't be added to my list of favourite heroines of urban fantasy :(