Devil's Bargain eBook ✓ Paperback

Devil's Bargain I was very excited when I saw this on Netgalley being the massive Rachel Caine fan that I am It's also uite different from her Morganville Vampire series At the same time I was somewhat worried because of the similarities this particular cover bears to those of the Morganville books I don't really know if that was a particularly rational concern but there you go However Devil's Bargain proved to be an enjoyable read Caine once again showing herself to be a superb writer And this is the thirteenth book of hers that I've readJazz Callender is not exactly having the time of her life right now Her ex partner is in prison for murder and she is no longer a homicide detective Her plan to drown her sorrows one night are interrupted when a mysterious man walks up to her offering a red envelope that contains a job offer and a cheue The money is to set up a private investigation service which she can use to help free her old partner The conditions are that she team up with Lucia Garza another stranger and that the cases given by Gabriel Pike Laskin the law firm which this man is acting on behalf of take priority Soon Jazz finds herself immersed in a world she hadn't bargained on in which the ability to be psychic suddenly exists and cases that seem to have no purposeThe way this is written is uite interesting It builds up slowly easing us into the world of Jazz Callender and the new life she suddenly finds herself in At first the book assumes the appearance of a regular thriller but after a while it takes on a vaguely paranormal element This is not introduced explicitly it's approached in a subtle and obscure way and you're left with uestions as to how for example this person can possibly be psychic and who exactly is the Cross Society? How did this all start? And what about this idea of Actors and Chorus? Reading it I was somewhat dubious but then looking back the entire way in which this is written has us thinking exactly the way Jazz does And I really appreciated that I could see precisely where she was coming from in everything she was saying and doingJazz is a kickbutt heroine I suppose she has to be being an ex detective and all But she's not whiny and moany; actually she's very smart She doesn't rush into the decision of whether or not to accept the offer just like that She takes the time to look into it properly and even when she accepts it there are still the constant uestions I liked that she was still trying to fight for Ben McCarthy her old partner She never accepted anything at face value The same went for Lucia Garza her new partner She too was smart and very perceptive The two of them together make a wonderful team Their partnership – and indeed friendship – also builds slowly They complement each other nicely They’re different but at the same time so similar and I was really happy to see this kind of relationship something outside of romance where two complete strangers become such close friends that each can trust the other to have their back no matter whatBut of course where would we be without at least a little bit of romance? And I don’t think this would be a Rachel Caine book without some either Shane and Claire people Adorable James Borden the mysterious man who walks up to Jazz at the beginning is something of a contradiction He has his nervous moments but he’s also collected and stronger than you might think at first glance The relationship between him and Jazz is incredibly slow the main story interspersed with uiet sweet moments between them Again it is very subtle Even at the end of the book they don’t have a defined relationship They both challenge each other neither willing to put up with any rubbish There’s still a lot of mystery to James so I’m definitely curious to see of him Devil’s Bargain was a thoroughly entertaining read going from a comfortably slow pace to one that has you caught up in action The partnership between Lucia and Jazz was something different and pleasant to read about and the romance between Jazz and James subtle but definitely there Full to the brim with mystery it leaves you with uestions – but not in a way that leaves you overly frustrated that you’re curious as to how certain things happened or existed and what’s going to happen now I definitely look forward to hopefully seeing some answers in the second book Devil’s DueNote In all the excitement the fact that this was an adult book kind of slipped out of my mind when I reuested it As such I’m going to stay true to my blog so this review won’t appear there I feel like I should apologise SorryA big thank you to Harleuin and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review And how disappointed was I when I discovered that although I received this book from Netgalley it is not the beginning of a new series but in fact the first of only two books written in this world and the second book was published over six years ago? I was a bit crushed is how disappointed Out of the blue one afternoon Jazz Callender is handed a red envelope by a handsome man in a ridiculous outfit but I'll let that be a surprise She's not in the mood for a Valentine from a stranger and it's the wrong time of year so it takes some convincing on the stranger's part to get her to open it – and even convincing to make her take what's inside seriously The stranger is James Borden a lawyer with the firm of Gabriel Pike and Laskins and what's in the envelope is an offer from said firm they propose that she take the check for one hundred thousand dollars enclosed and use it to open up a private investigation agency Two conditions come with the check cases from their firm would take priority over any others and she must go into this project with a partner she's never met one Lucia Garza It could be a golden opportunity – or it could be an elaborate trap of some kind Or something else entirely There's only one way to find out The worldbuilding in this book was terrific The details are doled out carefully and naturally – Rachel Caine knows what she's doing She knows how to set the hook and get a reader on the line and reel her slowly in She knows there's no need to dump all the facts on her in Chapter One or even Two or Three or Ten Once the reader's caught she's going to be there dying to know why Jazz isn't a cop any and why her partner is in jail and what happened to make Manny the way he is It's a level of confidence in the patience and intelligence of the reader that isn't seen very often It drove me crazy – I wanted the answers – but at the same time I was favorably impressed by the buildup And there was certainly plenty to keep me occupied while I waited – this was an action packed book Well done The people who inhabit that built world were also terrific Jazz isn't cuddly by any means but she's interesting and she's sympathetic without asking for anyone's sympathy She does not trust or take to Lucia at once; their interactions are note perfect completely believable As are those between Jazz and Borden And did I mention I loved Manny? The second tier characters could each of them carry a book easily They're all competent without being superheroes except for Manny and he's admittedly a freak fallible and vulnerable and coming to the page each with his own fully realized past and present and future as well They're not a cookie cutter Scooby Gang this lot The plot never really lets up Caine moves it along masterfully at professional driver on closed road speeds until it executes a three hundred sixty degree spin and stops on a dime rocking gently I've meditated before on when and whether to give out five star ratings and the philosophy I've developed about it is that if a book fulfills its promise does everything it's supposed to do as an exemplar of its genre shows off its writer's abilities nicely and makes me happy to read it then it doesn't have to be Tolkien or Austen or Kay it has earned five stars I am very put out with Netgalley for reeling me in with this book as if it were the beautiful beginning of a gorgeous new series rather than the eight year old first of two books Teases Great uote P 30 Having a family doesn't mean you have a life Only relatives Read March 2018Rating 45 starsI didn't know what to expect when I picked up Devil's Bargain as I hadn't read any reviews for it I kept waiting for the urban fantasy side of the story to kick in and it never really did It reminded me a bit of Rachel Vincent's Unbound trilogy which also steers away from common UF tropes Devil's Bargain was even subtle than that and focuses on Jazz Callender a former police detective who receives a mysterious red envelope offering her a large sum of money to set up a private detective agency with a woman she has never met Lucia Garza I really enjoyed this story; it had mystery the lightest touch of urban fantasy and romance but the best part was the friendship that developed between Jazz and Lucia I love reading stories where the female characters actually help and support each other rather than reading about any clichéd bitchy nonsense something which all too often spoils the UF genre for me 35 stars“If everything we do makes a difference is this right? Are we doing the right thing?”“You could make yourself crazy thinking these things”What I like about Rachel Caine is her versatility – she can write young adult books about vampires an adult series about djinn and the weather and some really original zombie conspiracy theory books While I have not yet had the opportunity to read the Morganville Vampire series I know I should get on it right away I really do enjoy her conspiracy theory thrillers the most I was very excited to get an advance reader’s copy of Ms Caine’s Devil’s Bargain a re release of a 2005 book I love the new coverDevil’s Bargain is a thriller with a touch of the paranormal It has two kick ass heroines the ex cop Jasmine Jazz Callendar and Lucia Garza the beautiful former special agent for the OSI Both are brought together by a mysterious offer from James Borden a lawyer for Gabriel Pike Laskins Both women are oddly well suited to work together Once they agree to work for Borden mysterious red envelopes begin to arrive at their detective agency The envelopes contain cryptic instructions to observe or photograph a target This book has an intriguing premise namely that every action has some sort of conseuence People are divided up into groups Actors Chorus and Leads Actors have the ability to create events The Chorus is just everyday people doing what they do naturally The extremely rare Leads are destined for greatness because everything they do makes a difference Unfortunately being a Lead is dangerous and an opposing society wants them dead Psychics predict outcomes and arrange for Jazz and Lucia to effect a change on the event sometimes merely by standing by the victim other times interfering Sounds complicated? Just a little If you enjoy conspiracy theory type books with a touch of the paranormal then this book is for you Readers of Ms Caine’s new Revivalist series will be pleased to notice two characters in this book Manny Glickman and Pansy Taylor Manny is the same paranoid security and computers expert however we learn why he is so very paranoid A truly horrible experience Pansy is the same take charge keep everyone around her sane and organized type Jazz and Lucia are complement each other well Their skill set is extensive and both enjoy their work Jazz seemed a little jealous of Lucia’s beauty and connections“You fly in from some supersecret mission looking like you dressed out of a Bond girl’s closet You’re so hooked up that you can score a gun without leaving the airport for God’s sake”I enjoyed the banter between Jazz and Lucia The relationship between Jazz and James Borden was uite interesting There seemed to be a little bit of an attraction but Jazz was in denial James was uite business like however it soon became apparent that he adored Jazz Each time Jazz needed him he would jet from New York to Kansas City to be by her side I had to laugh when he brought her a fruit basket not your usual gift to a potential girlfriend“Pear honey” Pansy called after her “He must really like you That’s kinda kinky Think of all the applications”I’m glad I discovered this book Readers who enjoyed Ms Caine’s Revivalist series will enjoy this series Devil’s Bargain is a thriller with a touch of the paranormal and a little bit of romance I’ll be on the lookout for the next book in the series Devil’s Due Thank you to NetGalley and Harleuin MIRA for a review copy of this bookReview posted on Badass Book Reviews Jazz Callender is an ex cop whose cop partner is in jail for homicide She wants to set up a private investigation firm to prove his innocence She gets the chance to do that when lawyer James Borden recruits her for his firm She's provided 100000 but is dictated to work with a woman called Lucia Garza and they have to make priority cases of any assignments that arrive in a red envelope The assignments are strange and Jazz and Lucia soon learn that they are instrumental players in the future fate of the worldOr something Apparently the world is made of people who are either Chorus one of the crowd or Actors people who make a difference Jazz and Lucia are not only Actors but Leads and are the only ones capable of stopping the various plans of a corporation that wants to start war Or something It's not terribly clear what the antagonists are really after Throw in a psychic and my interest just waned I wasn't aware I was in for a story with supernatural elementsThe book is a series of vignettes as Jazz and Lucia figure out what they've become mixed up in and never bothers to resolve anything the corporation's end game whether Jazz still has a kill order against her et cetera I believe there's a follow up book but I doubt I'll bother with it I didn't mind the characters especially Lucia and there's some amusing dialogue Think of it as a TV show pilot that never got picked up for series I received a free ARC of this book from Harleuin UK via Netgalley in exchange of an honest reviewThis book is genius Jazz and Lucia are two strong honest women who are very good at what they do This and other reviews can also be found at unConventional BookviewsDevil’s Bargain isn’t what it seems when you only read the title But it does have a great story with a mystery and some things that are difficult to explain Two strong women are the main characters and this made Devil’s Bargain even enjoyable The supernatural element is barely there I would probably love this better if it's a straight up PI stories with two ladies I got tired with the secrets the main players keep from the two heroines I skimmed the rest The only thing that I found interesting was the beta hero because Jazz definitely kicks ass than Borden 35 starsI am such a Rachel Caine fan True I've only read one other adult book that she's written which was the first book in her Weather Warden series which I loved but I'm the biggest Morganville fan evahAnd it's that simply fact that I wanted to read this book See I'm not a big reader on detective type books and I'm still easing my way into adult reads but I'll read anything Caine puts to penDevil's Bargain starts off with ex cop Jasmine Callender Jazz at a local bar trying to drown her worries away thinking about her ex partner McCarthy in prison when a guy comes strolling in and hands her a red envelope changing her entire life She's offered a lot of money to work with a non profit organization that also sets her up with a new ualified partner Jazz needs the money Lucia needs the challenge They're the perfect team Only things aren't exactly what they seem and Jazz and Lucia play a bigger role then they could have possibly imaginedThis book is very different then what I thought it was going to be about It has a little bit of everything It's a detective novel a mystery thriller part paranormal and even has a touch of romance I liked the story line I found it a tad creepy with its dark background and the unsettled feeling of something bigger and unknown following the story around like a black cloud But I have to admit it took a bit to wrap my head around the whole ActorsChorusLeads explanation and the complications and the conseuences that surely follows Yeah I'm actually not gonna try to explain that You'll see what I mean when you read the bookStill Caine brought a lot of uniue and fresh ideas for this particular genre that fans will surly appreciate While I may not have loved this the way I wanted to I still found myself consumed from start to finishIf there is one thing that Caine seems to nail in any book she's ever written is the remarkable way she develops her charactersThey all seem to have something in common They are all instantly easy to connect with likable and enjoyable to read about The characters in this book are no differentJazz can seem like a giant pain She comes fully loaded with pure attitude and sarcastic wit she's a bit paranoid okay a lot but proves how truly bad ass and capable she really is She tends to uestion everything and while I usually would find lack of faith in a character to be annoying in this case Jazz was right on the money The strangeness of it all is very hard to swallowI liked her and Lucia's banter and the way they look out for one another They may have been two strangers thrown together for a bigger purpose but it was good to see them develop a kindred friendship They really do make an excellent teamAs for the romance? There is some but not a huge amount I found James and Jazz to be such a funny and unlikely pair She's wild careless and unpredictable while he's intelligent educated and confident And yet it turned out to be this really sweet and inevitable thing Oh And the fruit basket scene? Adorable One last character shout out goes to Manny He has a sad and horrible tale but I really loved what he brought into this storyAll in all this turned out to be a really good read It's action packed creatively cunning and has a mean punch It's an interesting whodunit story with a twist of paranormal that only Caine can accomplishIt may not be a favorite but it was still uite the experience Caine continues to amaze me and makes me curious enough to want to know what happens next in; Devil's DueArc provided by Netgalley and Harleuin UK LtdYou can see this review and at; WinterHaven Books 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 lifefor good or badThe deal reuires her to enter into a partnership with a stranger and investigate cases that arrive in special red envelopeswhich is odd enough but gets weirder as she and her new partner Lucia realize that they may be working for someone with supernatural abilitiesAnd maybe they're not on the side of the angels any Though I am a massive fan of the Morganville Vampires series I have never read anything else by Rachel Caine When I heard that Devil's Bargain was going to be re released here in the UK I thought it was definitely time to try some of her other work and I was very excited to do soFrom the blurb Devil's Bargain appears to be a book that has a very strong supernaturalparanormal element to it However when I began reading the book it wasn't uite what I expected The story did flow well as it was but I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have this is probably because I was expecting something else something I am only used to reading paranormal books that are aimed towards young adults so perhaps this was the main difference for me the writing in this book is probably suited to adults This isn't a bad thing at all just not something I'm used to for this genre and something that I will have to get used toThe thing that mostly bothered me about this book was that it felt certainly like a thriller rather than a supernatural book despite the description The story starts when we meet our main character an ex cop Jazz in a bar where she is approached by a man James Borden and offered a job of a lifetime Jazz is naturally suspicious and so contacts Lucia Garza her potential business partner They meet up learn about each other discuss the business and although still slightly suspicious decide to accept the offer There is a lot of mystery about who Jazz and Lucia are actually working for and why but towards the end we learn that there is a connection with The Cross Society and a psychic convicted murderer The psychic element of the book only comes in around the last half of the story and I personally would've liked it if we had got to learn about it I hope and expect that this will be further developed along the series The story is very eventful and something is always happening However despite all of the action I wasn't completely compelled by the book it wasn't something that I was eager to keep picking upThe characters in Devil's Bargain are a positive point of this book Both female lead characters definitely have kick ass attitudes I really liked Jazz's confidence and her determination Though Lucia definitely had a different personality she was the perfect business partner for Jazz and they interacted extremely well the strength in this book for me was certainly the character interaction I thought Manny Jazz's friend was probably the most intriguing character and I would love to learn about him There was romance in this book but to be honest it was a little too predictable for me and I'm glad that it wasn't the main focusOverall whilst Devil's Bargain was a decently written book I didn't feel as though it was anything exceptional I did have high expectations for this book so perhaps that was why I was a little let down The thing that disappointed me most about this book was that there wasn't enough supernatural substance for me however if I was aware of that before reading then I'd probably have enjoyed it The writing style flowed well the story was never slow something was always happening and for me the characters were certainly the best part of the book Recommended for thriller and paranormal fans who want an easy action packed read

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