Friday, January 16, 2015

AWAKENED by Virna DePaul

Belladonna Agency #2
Bantam Books, January/July 2014
Obtained via:  publisher
ISBN 978-0345542472
Paranormal Romance

Virna DePaul’s second Belladonna Agency book, AWAKENED, is a paranormal romance focused on retrieving a young girl from the clutches of a sex trade ring catering to vampires.

Barrett Miles works for the Belladonna Agency, a black ops section of the FBI that saves young women from sex traffickers catering to the undead.  In AWAKENED, Barrett has just discovered that the teenage child of a deceased friend is missing and as she has pretty much lost contact with the girl, she is frantic to find her.

Nick Maltese also works for the FBI eliminating rogue vampires.  When Barrett, Nick’s ex-lover and teammate, comes to Nick for help finding the missing teen, they will have to work together to bring Jane home and maybe even attempt to resolve their unfinished relationship issues.

Virna DePaul’s AWAKENED is a paranormal romance centering on the retrieval of a missing teen taken by sex traffickers.  While the romance between Barrett and Nick evolves throughout the story, the real focus of the story is the missing girl and how Barrett and Nick unravel the mystery behind her disappearance.  The main characters are unaware of each other’s involvement in the FBI, so the way their jobs intermingle on this search brought some weight to the storyline.  There appears to be a mole in the FBI and Barrett and Nick are closing in on him or her.  As the mole is still deep in hiding at the end of the book, this story arc will undoubtedly continue throughout the series.  As trust was a big issue for both lead characters, this reader had a difficult time connecting emotionally with their romance.  Still, the mystery and how it unravels really carried the story and fans of a good mystery surrounding paranormal romance will probably find AWAKENED worth taking for a spin.

Reviewed by T. Barringer

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


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