Anna (Bobs Her Hair)'s Reviews > Devil's Bargain

Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine
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Sep 29, 12

bookshelves: netgalley, mystery, paranormal-romance, for-review
Read from September 26 to 28, 2012, read count: 1

2.5 stars

Jasmine “Jazz” Callender life is in a downward spiral. Her former partner, Ben McCarthy, convicted and sent to prison for murder taints Jazz’s stellar service as a homicide detective. Now she’s unemployed, nearly broke, drinking yet remains determined to prove Ben’s innocence using her dwindling resources. Her fate changes with a red letter offering her one hundred thousand dollars in seed money for an investigation agency with two stipulations: form a partnership with a stranger and investigate cases from a mysterious group called the Cross Society. Strange events indicate supernatural forces are at hand.

With a juicy carrot dangling before Jazz’s eyes, she does the smart thing, investigate. Jazz’s credibility as a decorated detective shines through and slows the story’s pacing to a crawl. Under the impression Devil’s Bargain was a paranormal romance, I waited for the paranormal. Then I waited for the romance. It was a long wait!

The relationship receiving the most development was Jazz building a relationship with her new partner Lucia. Both women demonstrated skill, quick thinking, and courage under fire. Then their plotline faded and moved in several directions - Jazz investigates Ben’s case, the Cross Society, and the mysterious red letters & cases. It’s rich in mystery. Ultimately, little is revealed by the story’s end and my sense of this series’ direction remained very vague as to its purpose.

The Devil’s Bargain settled comfortably into mystery fiction in an urban setting. The paranormal is tucked in the dialogue and alluded to in peculiar investigative cases. The romance made impractical appearances, especially with the lack of development between Jazz and her love interest. (I had to check the blurb to verify the hero.) The romance had unexplored possibilities – her dominance, their roles in the grand plan, his fateful choices - and short cuts were taken. Overall, book one of Rachel Caine’s Red Letter Days showed it had an interesting seed at its core; unfortunately, there were a few too many underdeveloped possibilities.


Galley courtesy of Harlequin UK Ltd. via Netgalley

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Reading Progress

09/27/2012 page 25
8.0% "Still leading up to something...let's get there! Waiting for paranormal activity and/or creatures."
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Wanderlust (new)

Wanderlust Let me know if it is good, they offered me it but i didn't like the authors other series so i haven't replied yet.


Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Sure thing, Shona! :o)


message 3: by Mara (new)

Mara Weird, you got an ARC of an already published book?


Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Yeah. It's a re--release evidently. I didn't know until I saw the publication date here. : /


message 5: by Wanderlust (new)

Wanderlust It happens all the time, publishers are even giving me books for the beginning of this year, the books new reviews & interest so they give out a few book in hopes that it will sell more :)


Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Shona wrote: "It happens all the time, publishers are even giving me books for the beginning of this year, the books new reviews & interest so they give out a few book in hopes that it will sell more :)"

I'll have to check pub dates carefully from now on. Another Netgalley book I need to read/review is a re-release. Got it at the same time as this one. I wish all publisher would note re-releases and book #, if it's part of a series.


Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Shona, my review is up, which should tell you whether I'd recommend it. Read other reviews, too. I appear to be in the minority.


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