Thursday, December 20, 2012


Publisher:  Ace Books
Date published:   August 28, 2012
ISBN:  978-1-937007-76-8
Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via publisher


Anna Strong is a kick-ass bounty hunter and vampire who has made a lot of enemies along the way.  Her friend, Culebra, is a shape-shifter, a former assassin and owner of a bar that caters to supernatural clientele, located at Beso de la Muerte, a ghost town somewhere in northern Mexico.

When Culebra’s past suddenly returns in the form of an old buddy, Ramon, who is seeking to cash in on a favor, Culebra, Anna, and her ex, DEA agent Max, soon find themselves involved.  Culebra - Tomás - and Ramon had been members of the same drug cartel.  Ramon is now on a mission of revenge which is why he needs Culebra’s help.

After finding themselves deep in Mexico, Anna and her friends are quick to encounter betrayal, some missing, abused young girls, and a secret drug operation, including all the violence, danger, and drug cartel infighting that goes along with it.

As Anna does what she does best, she soon finds herself on an adventure she hasn’t expected.  But at what price?

HAUNTED:  AN ANNA STRONG, VAMPIRE NOVEL by Jeanne C. Stein is a well-written, well-plotted story, filled with plenty of action, murder, and mayhem.  The eighth book in her vampire series, this one does not fail to entertain.  Anna Strong is a strong woman with a mind of her own, and plenty of skills to handle herself in any dangerous situation.

This was my first Anna Strong novel, and I was thoroughly entertained.  Stein has a knack for superb, suspense-filled, action-filled writing, as well as being original in her plotting and ideas.  HAUNTED is a page-turner that will keep the reader on the edge of her seat.

Anna Strong is indeed a force to be reckoned with.  Not only is she a strong heroine but, as a vampire to boot, she uses her supernatural abilities to protect against evil.  She is independent, intelligent, and decisive in her actions, and is the sort of woman who can stand on her own two feet and literally bring the house down, if necessary.  I love this
about her.  So gutsy and brave.

Stein does a great job in sharing Strong’s human side as well as her vampire side.  Her compassion for the missing young girls in HAUNTED is evidenced by her words and her behaviors.  The fact that one of the girls, Adelita, isn’t even afraid of Anna, after seeing her in vampire mode, is a great part of HAUNTED.  Adelita is so accepting of Anna, just as she is.

Culebra, Anna’s shape-shifting friend, is a really cool character.  I couldn’t wait for him to change and was thrilled when he finally did.  Despite his dark past, he also uses his gifts against evil. This is one reason I came to like both Culebra and Anna so much.  Despite the people they are, have become due to their pasts, overall they are the good guys in HAUNTED. 

The bad guys; namely, those of the drug cartel, are as slimy as one would expect them to be.  Stein does a great job in describing them, so it doesn’t take much to dislike them.  The reader will look forward to seeing what happens to these guys.

The loyalty displayed by Anna, Culebra, and Max toward one another is a great aspect of HAUNTED.  They are great characters.  They had initially displayed that toward Ramon, until he betrayed them, so it was interesting how they dealt with him later. 

Adelita surprised me.  As a child, she has the wisdom and patience of an adult, as one who has grown up way too fast, yet understands the dangers for others her own age.  She is an intriguing character, and I think it would be interesting to see the sort of woman she will grow into later.  That would be an interesting book, I think.

There is so much action and adventure in this novel, it makes me want to read the rest of this series.  Anna Strong is a great female character.  She is a vampire, yet has all the problems, and then some, that all humans have, which endears the reader to her.

HAUNTED:  AN ANNA STRONG, VAMPIRE NOVEL is a great read, for anyone interested, and I look forward to reading not only future books in this series, but also those that came before HAUNTED. 

If you are looking for some fun and fantasy, then HAUNTED:  AN ANNA STRONG, VAMPIRE NOVEL is definitely where you will find it.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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