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Thursday, March 18, 2010

'Bite Marks' Jaz Parks #6 by Jennifer RARDIN

From the BLURB:

Jaz is possessed. After biting the neck of a domyter during a forced visit to his territory, she now has unwelcome voices in her head. While fighting for supremacy in her own mind, she finds herself confronted with a near-impossible task: perform perfectly on her next mission or face the unemployment line.

This is Jennifer Rardin’s sixth ‘Jaz Parks’ book.

Jaz is back, along with Cole, Bergman, Cassandra, malamute Jack and official boyfriend, Vayl. Rardin has set this 6th novel in Australia’s capital, Canberra. As an Aussie I should be patriotic and proud – but Canberra, really? The most boring Australian city? Rardin does not exaggerate when she comments on its ugliness and the complete lack of nightlife.

One set-back to Rardin’s series is her reliance on reader’s memories. She picks the story up right where Jaz left off in ‘One More Bite’, including references to Cassandra’s complicated demon-warding rituals and the state of Jaz’s soul. There were a few times reading ‘Bite Marks’ when the references to past books were over my head – and I just had to smile, nod and keep reading in the hopes that it would all eventually make sense. Which it usually did, kind of.

But I also kind of love how fervently Rardin jumps into the story – from page one everything is helter skelter, full-throttle peddle-to-the-meddle and I love it! Jaz and Vayl are at their best when their fighting back-to-back because Rardin clearly relishes writing action scenes.

I kind of wish Rardin had as much fun writing Jaz/Vayl sex scenes. After finally making their flirtation official in ‘One More Bite’, I was looking forward to reading about Jaz and Vayl in couple’s bliss in ‘Bite Marks’. And while it is quite clear these two are loved up and blissed out – Rardin doesn’t go into the nitty gritty (unfortunately), she just offers readers tantalizing glimpses of Vayl and his sexy tush and hints at Jaz and Vayl’s passion:

Rising so deliberately that I could see the muscles bunch and relax in his shoulders and chest, he took my hand and lifted it to his lips. Every finger got a light caress. Then he kissed Cirilai solemnly before looking up into my eyes, his own telling me things only my heart could understand. “We are sverhamin and avhar now. That means we walk in our own Trust. Together.”

This was my biggest disappointment. I thought that after such a build-up to their relationship, Rardin would gift readers with some seriously sexy smut. Not the case, and I feel a little cheated.

I really liked this sixth installment. A ‘Jaz Parks’ book is always a fun read, and Rardin delivers ten-fold in ‘Bite Marks’. Plenty of action, lots of Jaz/Vayl developments (which are good, even without detailed sex – damn!) and plenty of funny Cole comments.

3.5/5

5 comments:

  1. I tried not to read too much of this review as this series is on my "series to start" list. Do you like the series? Is there any series you'd compare it to, as in "if you like X, you'd like this" type thing?

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  2. Danielle,

    I've only read the first book in this series - Once Bitten, Twice Shy - and it was an okay read - but I was not rushing out to buy the next ones in the series. LOL After your review, I may have to revisit Jaz - give it another try. :)

    M

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  3. Patti - I do like this series. If I had to compare it to something, possibly Lilith Saintcrow's 'Jill Kismet'. Or even Jeaniene Frost's 'Night Huntress' minus all the sexy smut. Seriously, 'Jaz Parks' is *very* light on smut. The female lead is extremely sarcastic, and hilarious to read. The books are action-packed, and there is a HEA romance (minus any explicit sex - lol).

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  4. I so LOVE this series!!!! I agree with everything you said! I had a problem remembering a lot too LOL I missed me some Jaz and Vayl smut hehehhehe


    but it was a really fun read! Awesome review! =)))


    xx

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  5. Hmmm...haven't read Jill Kismet (damnit you book pusher!) but do like Frost's series. Was worried it might be more like Jocelyn Drake's Nighthunter series, which I didn't care for at all.

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