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As Hope Sanderson struggles to fend off her attraction for Keir Carmichael, the man who tried to bargain with her future, Robyn Donald offers another intricate conflict filled with captivating characters, provocative scenes and dark secrets. As ever, her story mixes the grit and glamour of life Down Under with breathless tension.

Topics: Dark Past, Dysfunctional Family, New Zealand, and Steamy

Published: Harlequin Presents an imprint of Harlequin on
ISBN: 9781426886386
List price: $3.99
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Nice...very nice indeed. Well written and I loved it very much.more
Author: Rachel CainePublished By: Silhouette BooksAge Recommended: AdultReview By: Arlena Dean Book Blog For: GMTASeries #1Rating: 4Review:"Devil's Bargain" by Rachel Caine was the first in this series of the Red Letter Days and had some paranormal, mystery and thriller ...all in this urban adult read. This novel will have some supernatural going on and full of action. I thought that the plot was somewhat complex then with a mix of the urban paranormal which became interesting by the 'Cross Society' the idea of the Leads and Actors that was explained toward the end of the read. Now, to really see what is going on you must pick up "Devil's Bargain" to see where, how, why and what of it all by this author. "The catch to this story is that Jazz has to become partners with a woman she doesn’t know and go on investigations for a mysterious company, no questions asked."The characters were all intriguing...Jazz, Lucia, James, Ben, Manny, and Pansy were are likable in some form or another and very realistic. Was their a blossoming romance between James and Jazz? That remained somewhat strange to me but it did clear up somewhat as I continued with the read. I found this read somewhat strange at times but since this is a series I am sure it will catch up especially with that cliffhanger ending. If you are in for a paranormal, mystery thrillers, with detectives and a female lead you have come to the right place for "Devil's Bargain" would be recommended to you as a good read.more
Jazz Callender has been handed an offer she can't refuse. She needs the money. And they know it. What's she gotta do? Just follow the directions that are given to her via a red envelope. Jazz isn't alone though, she's been given a partner, whether she likes it or not, Lucia who is the opposite of Jazz in every way. But one thing they have in common? They're both being offered something they both really want. All they have to do is sign on the dotted line. And they minus well be signing in blood.Devil's Bargain is the first book in the Red Letter Days series. It starts off with a bang. Jazz gets down and kicks some ass. All while being buzzed. Pretty badass, right? Rachel Caine slowly drags you into this mysterious world, where people are chess pieces and that opponents playing are masterminds, so to speak. Psychic more like it. Moving ponds and knights where they see fit all to gain the upper hand in this deadly game. While this book starts off with a bang, Caine leads you in slowly. But there is no lack of entertainment. Caine has a firm grasp on you, slowly baby feeding you tidbits of information so that you're not lost.When you start the book you kind of get the feel and you think you know who the bad guy is, but as the story moves along, the game changes. Ponds are taken off the game board. Knights are defending the queen and king. Rooks are moving stealthily...and then BAM the story changes with it. More information is revealed and you're stuck with a "wtf just happened" kinda face. There is romance in this book. Like the story itself, it's slow in building, but it is building. It's not a big part of the story, but I do get happy when these little scenes come up in the book (My ever beating heart dying for romance lol). When the book ends you're left at a cliffhanger. The final red envelope of this book has you at the edge of your seat wanting more.I would definitely recommend this book. While browsing NetGalley I saw this beaut and just HAD to request it! And I was approved *happy dancing* I'm no stranger to Rachel Caine, I love her Young Adult works (Morganville Vampires) as well as her Adult works (Weather Wardens). Rachel Caine has no problem working her magic with words and delivering a story with a world so different, you kinda actually wish you lived in it. And that doesn't stop with this series.more
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 more 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 anymore, 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 quote: P 30 - Having a family doesn't mean you have a life. Only relatives.more
Jasmine Callender is approached by a tall, skinny, lawyer dressed in new leathers while she was tossing shots in a biker bar. Naturally this lawyer caught the attention of a couple of belligerent, large bikers who butted into her business and accosted James Borden, the lawyer with their fists. Jazz intervened and quickly kicked the butts of both of the bikers and was tossed from the bar by the owner and his large club. He told her not to return and that the police were in route. The lawyer, Borden followed her to the street, still trying to press the red enveloped card he had on her while also trying to control the bleeding from his mouth and nose. She was surprised by the card when she opened it as it was a generous offer from a non-profit foundation to fund her Private Investigation office providing their conditions were met. Taking on a qualified partner they had chosen and taking cases from them, usually short and well paid. Her proposed partner, Lucia Garza was competent but different in many ways, fastidious dresser for one and no former partner in prison for twenty five years after a murder conviction. Jazz still thought Ben McCarthy had been railroaded and had made it her mission to prove Ben's innocence. After a period of guarded reservations and a dance between them while trying to decide whether or not to accept the conditions of the partnership, they jointly decided to not bend to the manipulators and go their own ways without the commitment and contract. That's when outside forces took action and shot Jazz who's life was saved by Lucia. Both their lives were threatened, making them angry and determined to find the source for these threats and promising to deal with it in an appropriate fashion. The took the check, made the commitment and opened an office. Both had scores of intimate friends (and enemies) along with valuable resources both financial and human. They thrived together and managed to be that competent support, covering each others backs. This story introduces a number of interesting characters and an intriguing web of their benefactors as well as a counter organization that is like the opposing side to a chess game using people as board pieces. No satisfying conclusions to this story but plenty of action and enough curiosity to drive you to immediately pick up the sequel, "The Devil's Due". This is an engaging two book series worth the effort of picking up them both!more
Jazz Callender is an ex-cop who has a talent for getting involved with bar fights. She really has no hope for the future without some money and would love to have a private detective agency of her own. When a mysterious group offers her a chance at this she's tempted. When she takes the offer on, she finds herself paying them back in mysterious ways. Her enquiring mind won't let her just run with it.Interesting and I really should have read this one before reading the sequel, things would have made more sense.more
Jazz Callender is an ex-cop, but not by choice. When her partner was framed for the murders of three people Jazz went down by association. Now Jazz has no money, no resources and no way to prove her parnter innocent and get him out of jail. Enter sexy lawyer James Borden, with a red envelope and a deal Jazz is having a hard time refusing. The deal is a mysterious agency fronts her the money to open a PI agency with a new partner on the condition that all cases, earmarked by the arrival of a red envelope, take top priority over anything else they may be working on. Jazz's new partner, Lucia, is a definate perk to the deal but as things begin to get stranger both women start to get the feeling that maybe taking the deal for the agency was more an act of making a bargin with the Devil.This was a romance that should have been marketed as a mystery. That certainly doesn't make it a bad story but people going in to the story thinking they will be reading a steamy courtship tale are going to be surprised. Devil's Bargin was much more a story of mystery, suspense and the build-up of the business partnership and friendship between Jazz and Lucia, than a romance between Jazz and James. Once I got past the idea that the romance was secondary I really started to enjoy the story, although mysteries aren't usually my choice.Now that I've finished Jazz's story in Devil's Bargin, I'm interested in also reading Lucia's story in Devil's Due so expect a review on the second book of this duo in the not too distant future.more
Oh dear another romance how will my reputation as a tough guy survive.I had enjoyed the Books in Ms Caine's the weather warden series a lot and ordered this just on the authors name it turned out to be a “Silhouette Bombshell” and so I approached it with trepidation but I was rewarded with a good story containing good lines and plenty of action. A well drawn cast and most amazingly a believable romance.No writer should try and get away with “they though up something to tell the police but I don't know what” twice in one book but what the hell its not a police proceduralmore
Read all 8 reviews

Reviews

Nice...very nice indeed. Well written and I loved it very much.more
Author: Rachel CainePublished By: Silhouette BooksAge Recommended: AdultReview By: Arlena Dean Book Blog For: GMTASeries #1Rating: 4Review:"Devil's Bargain" by Rachel Caine was the first in this series of the Red Letter Days and had some paranormal, mystery and thriller ...all in this urban adult read. This novel will have some supernatural going on and full of action. I thought that the plot was somewhat complex then with a mix of the urban paranormal which became interesting by the 'Cross Society' the idea of the Leads and Actors that was explained toward the end of the read. Now, to really see what is going on you must pick up "Devil's Bargain" to see where, how, why and what of it all by this author. "The catch to this story is that Jazz has to become partners with a woman she doesn’t know and go on investigations for a mysterious company, no questions asked."The characters were all intriguing...Jazz, Lucia, James, Ben, Manny, and Pansy were are likable in some form or another and very realistic. Was their a blossoming romance between James and Jazz? That remained somewhat strange to me but it did clear up somewhat as I continued with the read. I found this read somewhat strange at times but since this is a series I am sure it will catch up especially with that cliffhanger ending. If you are in for a paranormal, mystery thrillers, with detectives and a female lead you have come to the right place for "Devil's Bargain" would be recommended to you as a good read.more
Jazz Callender has been handed an offer she can't refuse. She needs the money. And they know it. What's she gotta do? Just follow the directions that are given to her via a red envelope. Jazz isn't alone though, she's been given a partner, whether she likes it or not, Lucia who is the opposite of Jazz in every way. But one thing they have in common? They're both being offered something they both really want. All they have to do is sign on the dotted line. And they minus well be signing in blood.Devil's Bargain is the first book in the Red Letter Days series. It starts off with a bang. Jazz gets down and kicks some ass. All while being buzzed. Pretty badass, right? Rachel Caine slowly drags you into this mysterious world, where people are chess pieces and that opponents playing are masterminds, so to speak. Psychic more like it. Moving ponds and knights where they see fit all to gain the upper hand in this deadly game. While this book starts off with a bang, Caine leads you in slowly. But there is no lack of entertainment. Caine has a firm grasp on you, slowly baby feeding you tidbits of information so that you're not lost.When you start the book you kind of get the feel and you think you know who the bad guy is, but as the story moves along, the game changes. Ponds are taken off the game board. Knights are defending the queen and king. Rooks are moving stealthily...and then BAM the story changes with it. More information is revealed and you're stuck with a "wtf just happened" kinda face. There is romance in this book. Like the story itself, it's slow in building, but it is building. It's not a big part of the story, but I do get happy when these little scenes come up in the book (My ever beating heart dying for romance lol). When the book ends you're left at a cliffhanger. The final red envelope of this book has you at the edge of your seat wanting more.I would definitely recommend this book. While browsing NetGalley I saw this beaut and just HAD to request it! And I was approved *happy dancing* I'm no stranger to Rachel Caine, I love her Young Adult works (Morganville Vampires) as well as her Adult works (Weather Wardens). Rachel Caine has no problem working her magic with words and delivering a story with a world so different, you kinda actually wish you lived in it. And that doesn't stop with this series.more
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 more 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 anymore, 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 quote: P 30 - Having a family doesn't mean you have a life. Only relatives.more
Jasmine Callender is approached by a tall, skinny, lawyer dressed in new leathers while she was tossing shots in a biker bar. Naturally this lawyer caught the attention of a couple of belligerent, large bikers who butted into her business and accosted James Borden, the lawyer with their fists. Jazz intervened and quickly kicked the butts of both of the bikers and was tossed from the bar by the owner and his large club. He told her not to return and that the police were in route. The lawyer, Borden followed her to the street, still trying to press the red enveloped card he had on her while also trying to control the bleeding from his mouth and nose. She was surprised by the card when she opened it as it was a generous offer from a non-profit foundation to fund her Private Investigation office providing their conditions were met. Taking on a qualified partner they had chosen and taking cases from them, usually short and well paid. Her proposed partner, Lucia Garza was competent but different in many ways, fastidious dresser for one and no former partner in prison for twenty five years after a murder conviction. Jazz still thought Ben McCarthy had been railroaded and had made it her mission to prove Ben's innocence. After a period of guarded reservations and a dance between them while trying to decide whether or not to accept the conditions of the partnership, they jointly decided to not bend to the manipulators and go their own ways without the commitment and contract. That's when outside forces took action and shot Jazz who's life was saved by Lucia. Both their lives were threatened, making them angry and determined to find the source for these threats and promising to deal with it in an appropriate fashion. The took the check, made the commitment and opened an office. Both had scores of intimate friends (and enemies) along with valuable resources both financial and human. They thrived together and managed to be that competent support, covering each others backs. This story introduces a number of interesting characters and an intriguing web of their benefactors as well as a counter organization that is like the opposing side to a chess game using people as board pieces. No satisfying conclusions to this story but plenty of action and enough curiosity to drive you to immediately pick up the sequel, "The Devil's Due". This is an engaging two book series worth the effort of picking up them both!more
Jazz Callender is an ex-cop who has a talent for getting involved with bar fights. She really has no hope for the future without some money and would love to have a private detective agency of her own. When a mysterious group offers her a chance at this she's tempted. When she takes the offer on, she finds herself paying them back in mysterious ways. Her enquiring mind won't let her just run with it.Interesting and I really should have read this one before reading the sequel, things would have made more sense.more
Jazz Callender is an ex-cop, but not by choice. When her partner was framed for the murders of three people Jazz went down by association. Now Jazz has no money, no resources and no way to prove her parnter innocent and get him out of jail. Enter sexy lawyer James Borden, with a red envelope and a deal Jazz is having a hard time refusing. The deal is a mysterious agency fronts her the money to open a PI agency with a new partner on the condition that all cases, earmarked by the arrival of a red envelope, take top priority over anything else they may be working on. Jazz's new partner, Lucia, is a definate perk to the deal but as things begin to get stranger both women start to get the feeling that maybe taking the deal for the agency was more an act of making a bargin with the Devil.This was a romance that should have been marketed as a mystery. That certainly doesn't make it a bad story but people going in to the story thinking they will be reading a steamy courtship tale are going to be surprised. Devil's Bargin was much more a story of mystery, suspense and the build-up of the business partnership and friendship between Jazz and Lucia, than a romance between Jazz and James. Once I got past the idea that the romance was secondary I really started to enjoy the story, although mysteries aren't usually my choice.Now that I've finished Jazz's story in Devil's Bargin, I'm interested in also reading Lucia's story in Devil's Due so expect a review on the second book of this duo in the not too distant future.more
Oh dear another romance how will my reputation as a tough guy survive.I had enjoyed the Books in Ms Caine's the weather warden series a lot and ordered this just on the authors name it turned out to be a “Silhouette Bombshell” and so I approached it with trepidation but I was rewarded with a good story containing good lines and plenty of action. A well drawn cast and most amazingly a believable romance.No writer should try and get away with “they though up something to tell the police but I don't know what” twice in one book but what the hell its not a police proceduralmore
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