Author: Stacey Jay
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 05/31/11
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Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dreams became nightmares. Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood -- and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death. Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t. Including helping law enforcement -- and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective -- collect evidence when a body is discovered outside the fairy-proof barricades of her Louisiana town.
But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a six-year-old girl or a former lover-turned-FBI snob taking an interest in the case. Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier, and even the most trustworthy friends become suspects. Annabelle’s life is imploding: between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and Cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run -- from her past, toward her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her...
Plot: 5 Stars
The fairies in this novel were so completely out of left field. It was fantastic! They're completely primitive, controlled by instinct. The background information about how they came about, why they're all over the bayou, and how the town protects themselves was so intricate in its details. Add in that fairy bites are very harmful to most humans and their waste is used to make an addictive drug, and you've got an awesome plot before the murder is even on the table. Annabelle is unique in that she is unaffected by fairy bites, so her job involves doing things most people wouldn't even dream of.
Pace: 5 Stars
The author did a fantastic job of giving the reader just enough here and there to start to form a conclusion to the mystery. These little pieces were almost like teases, because they weren't enough to put the mystery together, but definitely enough to leave you wondering who had done it. The twists and turns left me dizzy, and I couldn't put the book down. My hunches were vaguely in the right direction, but when I found out the actual events that went down, it blew my mind. I love when a book slaps me upside the head with the conclusion the way this novel did.
Characters: 4.5 Stars
Annabelle was a great heroine, because in many ways she wasn't a heroine. She drank to help herself deal with her issues, and sometimes wasn't completely sober when the job called. She got herself into a number of sticky situations, and didn't always come out unscathed. She often spoke without consulting her brain first, and I just all around really enjoyed her character. Cane added some balance and stability to Annabelle's life, even if she held him at arm's length. Her friends were interesting, and I hope we get to see more of them in future novels. The two special agents that swept into town caused a fair share of drama, especially for Annabelle since she had a past with one of them. They added a little extra spice to the plot, since their presence caused Annabelle some problems.
Cover: 5 Stars
The details included in this cover transformed it from a good cover, to a fantastic cover. The cover model was the perfect choice for Annabelle, and the slightly haunted look on her face fits the character and her inner demons very well. I loved the fact that she was barefoot. The bicycle in the background was perfect, since Annabelle does not drive, although I wish it could've included Gimpy the cat and the cooler he liked to snuggle with. He grew on me even quicker than he grew on Annabelle (although I am a cat person). The fairies in this novel are described as being similar to mosquitoes, so the fairy on her arm is a nice touch. I cannot tell if it's a tattoo or an actual fairy, but either way it fits their description pretty well. I also liked that the background of the image hinted at the bayou.
Overall: 5 Stars
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.