Wednesday, 31 October 2012

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

Ebook. Book Cover.

Rating: 3.7 out 5 stars.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

'Tis true, what they say- Deals with the devil never go well..

Emotionally tortured by the iniquitous condemnation of her partner with the charge of murder, and his resulting arrest, Jasmine aka Jazz Callender never expected life to turn out the way it did. At least, the psychic mumbo-jombo part she never imagined.. she already new life as a conniving bitch.
Approached by an enigmatic lawyer, James Borden, with an outrageous business offer and a check with a damning amount, she finds herself getting tangled deep into an unbelievable world where nothing is as it seems.

The first thing that disconcerted me about this book was that it wasn't the paranormal romance I was expecting it to be. I mean, I'd anticipated a hefty chunk of the story to be filled with paranormal gore and suspense, but what I found was a mystery/suspense with a paranormal underlining. Not exactly disappointing, but slightly restive nonetheless.

I also thought that the romance was lacking. Intending no demerits to the characters- as they were pretty much up to it- I just thought that there could've been more intimate or romantic scenes between the leads.

Lastly, I couldn't really pinpoint some particular fault that finally sealed my opinion, but I just believed that there was quite a room for improvement with the suspense and romance. Especially with the suspense, cause more often than not, I found myself getting so engrossed in the criminal, ass-kicking parts(cause hello, they were made to shine into an almost perfection), that I didn't even care what the mystery about those red-envelopes was. 

Although, I would like to mention, the story was good.. sometimes really good. I loved the criminal parts most, you know where either Jazz shot someone or someone else shot Jazz or when Lucia and Jazz chased someone. Very interesting, that, hehe.

Anyway. The writing..

The writing was clean, flowing and meticulous, totally suiting the theme and characters. It gave the descriptions a sort of intimate tone with an undertone of a clipped and well-informed voice, totally befitting the main leads' personalities.

Let's talk about the characters now.

James Borden. I like him. I mean when the fight broke out in the pub and he got pummeled, I thought- okay so not my type, can't even hold his own, but then his character was made to stand in light, and we see that he's an attorney-at-law, and easy to like. I don't know, there's something immediately engaging about that guy, of course after you get over his introduction that began with a creaky 1000$ leather jacket and no bad-boy vibe which is actually pretty easy to do once you focus on the washboard abs and the high-wattage smile and oh, the kind eyes.

He's smart. I guess that's a word especially tailored for him. Adorable with the uncertainty and the quiet caring. Not to forget the beguiling fact that he's sharp as a shark's molar(if they have one.. they do, right?), and slick as a seal with business dealings. I say that's a guy who knows how to work it, in and out of a bed.

Jasmine Callender. Hmmm.

I gotta admit.. the girl is bad-ass. Like, hell yeah bitches! I liked her. From the beginning. And then fell halfway in love with her when she kicked the sexist, biker-guys tattooed fat ass. And that was all in chapter one. What comes next, is nasty, hardcore, I-mean-business, we're-all-badass-here pages of "Fuck, this is great" moments.
Later on, as the story progressed, I realized that apart from being totally awesome, she was also a person who appreciated justice. But the downside of this placement of faith was that she ended up being a little narrow-minded towards the paranormal. Not wrong, not exactly, but still insular.

Lucia Garza was an amazing character- beautiful and dangerous, isn't that a combination we all love? I loved her sharp professionalism along with her loyalties that soon came to lay with Jazz. And did I mention how kickass she was with that attitude that said, "I kick ass like I was born doing it".

The rest of the supporting characters, Manny, Ben and Pansy provided a nice backing, if slightly cliched.
Till the very last minute I was sure I was going to give it a 3.7 stars, I mean really- you know all the faults that I found with it, but the ending somehow pushed it to 4. 
I am like, wow. O-kay.
But then I slept over that decision and I realized, no.. It has to be 3.7. It lacks the certain.. awesomeness of 4, and like I mentioned before, has quite some room for improvement.

Overall, quite an interesting plot(that would've been more interesting if the story had delved more into the paranormal, but oh well) and a good book, I'd recommend it to anyone looking for paranormal, suspense reads. 

This review can also be read on my Goodreads profile.

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