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Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin

1/12/2010. Contributed by Sarah Bruch

Buy Once Bitten, Twice Shy (a Jaz Parks novel book 1) in the USA - or Buy Once Bitten, Twice Shy (a Jaz Parks novel book 1) in the UK

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Once Bitten, Twice Shy (a Jaz Parks novel book 1) by Jennifer Rardin. pub: Atom/Little Brown. 290 page paperback. Price: GBP 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-637-5.

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This is the first in a series of seven books written by Jennifer Rardin. You can probably guess from this fact that most of the characters will get out alive, mind I’m not promising anything.

Jasmine Parks has been newly hired as the bodyguard and side-kick for Vayl, a vampire black-ops assassin for the CIA. Jaz and Vayl are sent on a mission that starts out simple but gets gradually more and more complicated and dangerous. I'd say that going from kidnapping a plastic surgeon to eventually doing battle with an ancient evil being, stopping by a bit of bio-terrorism on the way, would be a pretty steep learning curve.

Oh no! Not another urban fantasy, filled with vampires and other creatures from myth, I hear and understand. However, this book is better than that. For one thing, Jaz seems to suffer from OCD and Vayl has more phobias than I do, making them more human than most human characters. Most of the novel is told by Jaz, this makes for interesting reading since she is trying to hide some of her past from even herself. I can't wait to read the later books to find out if more of Jaz's past is revealed. I would have to say this is one book that doesn't take itself too seriously, although there are some dark moments, these are lightened considerably by moments of intense hilarity!

This is quite a small book in comparison to others in this genre, I’m thinking Kelley Armstrong in particular here. But this isn't a disadvantage in my mind. There is one disadvantage to this particular printing, the font is very little, so not something to read in poor light or when you’re feeling tired. Although there are a lot of other paranormal novels out there at the moment, I’d say that this novel really holds its own. I'd recommend this book to lovers of paranormal literature as a little appetiser between the slightly bulkier books out there.

Sarah Bruch

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