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Under a Spell by Hannah Jayne

Under A Spell (Underworld Detection Agency, #5)


ORDER A COPY: Under a Spell (Underworld Detection Agency)

Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: August 6, 2013
Paperback: 416 pages

Rating: 4 stars


Sophie Lawson was seriously hoping life at the UDA would get back to relative normal now that her boss Pete Sampson has been reinstated. Unfortunately, her new assignment is sending her undercover into a realm where even the most powerful paranormals fear to tread…her old high school. Being a human immune to magic is no defense against soulless picture-perfect mean girls—or a secret witch coven about to sacrifice a missing female student. And Sophie’s Guardian, uber-proper Englishman Will, is determined to convince Sophie he’s the kind of temptation she should indulge in permanently. Now, as the clock ticks down to apocalypse, he and Sophie will have to summon every trick in the book to battle devilish illusion, lethal sorcery—and betrayals they’ll never see coming…


Sophie Lawson has to face her biggest fear since arriving at the Underworld Detection Agency and it’s not zombies or vampires or even a fallen angel looking for the Vessel of Souls, it’s—returning to high school and once again facing the dreaded cool girls.   High school was a nightmare for an awkward and shy Sophie with no sense of style and crazy, no-tame red hair.   She would rather face a rabid werewolf then the homecoming queen, but her boss, Pete Sampson, isn’t giving Sophie a chance to say no.

Another girl has gone missing at Sophie’s old high school and while the police have no concrete leads, the UDA believes that a coven of witches is working out of the school and they are trying to bring something forth with human sacrifices.  As the only “breather” at the UDA as well as someone who is immune to magic, it is up to Sophie to go undercover as the new substitute teacher.

As if returning to high school and facing some childhood demons isn’t enough to throw Sophie into a tailspin, Sophie’s friend and personal fantasy, fallen angel Det. Alex Grace is leading the police investigation, but he wants no help from Sophie.  In fact, Alex has decided to “distance himself” from Sophie and it’s breaking her heart.  

As Alex once again leaves Sophie spinning, right into the arms of the waiting Will Sherman, will he eventually regret  letting her go.  Sophie has to pick up her broken heart for now because she only has a week to find the missing girl.  On the night of the seventh day, the moon will be perfect for a sacrifice. Sophie needs to be the hero and stop the Coven from killing the girl and opening a door, but to where?

THOUGHTS:
I love the Underworld Detection Agency. Poor Sophie can never get a break, but she is always surrounded by friends who let her know just how much her life sucks.

Although it wasn’t bad, this was not my favorite story of the series. Some of the plot was a little predictable. There certainly wasn’t enough Alex in the story, who was acting bizarre since the end of the last story. In the last story, Alex and Will are just short of peeing on Sophie to mark their territory and both (especially Alex) are notably laid back in this story.

There seemed to be a hint at the very end that the next story might involve Sophie’s father. We’ll just have to wait and see.

As always, Nina has a new project and this time she wants to be the director of a promotional video for the UDA. See the link below for the video she produced. :)

The Underworld Detection Agency.

Received an ARC from netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

“We need to go back in the building.”

Will looked at me, eyebrows disappearing into his sandy hair. “Back into the high school? Why? We’ve checked it over twice.”

I sucked in a slow, deep breath. “I don’t think I was ready to see anything.”

Will’s brow furrowed and he pressed his lips together.

I rushed on. “I didn’t want to see anything there except for what I knew–in my head, in my–what is it? Repressed memories.”

Will reached across the center console and took my hand tenderly in his. He cocked his head slightly and blinked the honey-amber of his eyes warm and inviting. “You’ve never repressed a thing in your life, love.”

I snatched my hand back and grabbed the door. “Are you coming or not?”

We stood in front of the glass double doors and stared, somehow both waiting for the ultimate evil to come barreling toward us or for a commercial break. The school remained silent, the double doors cloudy and revealing nothing, and there was no pause to regroup or offer some sort of cheery distraction. My heart was thundering in my ears and Will had been uncharacteristically silent the whole walk from parking lot to school entrance. A wind kicked up and a handful of skeletal leaves and garbage brushed past us.

“Ready?” I asked, my fingers closing around the administration key Principal Lowe had offered me.

Will shrugged and attempted to look nonchalant, but his eyes never left the keyhole. “I guess.”

I unlocked the door and stepped aside, waiting for Will to push it open.

“What?” he asked.

I gestured. “You always open doors for ladies.”

He cocked a brow. “I didn’t know gender roles held firm even in the face of unspeakable danger.”

I steeled my body and tried to sum up confidence I didn’t feel. “What are you so worried about? You said yourself we’ve checked the place twice already and found nothing.”

Will pushed open the door for me and I hesitated before stepping through. “Yes, but that was before your whole ‘I see dead people…if I care to look’ routine.”

I huffed, crossing my arms in front of my chest. “I don’t see dead peple. I mean, I’ve seen dead people.” I shuddered. “I’ve probably seen more dead people inthe last two years than most people will see in their whole lives.”

Will glanced at me before slapping a flashlight into my hand. “You’re not the best at putting people at their ease, you know?”

I flicked on the flashlight and shined the yellow bulb toward Will’s face. “Hey, you’re the Guardian.”

He slung an arm over my shoulder. “And if there’s a team of fallen angels lurking around this place, then you’re in luck.”

“Otherwise?”

Will flashed his light down the blackened hallway. “Otherwise? You’re on your own.”

“What a relief,” I groaned.

“They don’t pay me enough.”

I rolled up on my tiptoes and glanced through the windows into darkened classrooms that looked as benign as they had during the day–desks in neat lines, unoccupied by witches, hobgoblins, or any other manner of creepy-crawly; stacked textbooks; glossy posters reminding girls to stay off drugs.

“I ask again,” Will said as we approached the last room. “What exactly are we looking for?”

“I don’t know, exactly. Just keep an eye out for anything that seems…off.”

Will swung his light toward me, and I was enveloped in a bright yellow glow. I rolled my eyes.

“You’re funny.”

Predatory by A. Ivy, N. Bangs, D. Duvall and H. Jayne

Predatory ( Sentinel,#0.5, Immortal Guardians, #3.5)


ORDER A COPY: Predatory

Publisher: Zebra Books
Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages

Rating: See each story


Four of today’s most exciting paranormal authors take readers into the thrilling realm of vampires, immortals, and other supernatural beings with a thirst for illicit desire…

Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy
Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he’s actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other…

Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . .

In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Immortal Richart d’Alençon can’t forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist. . .

High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay’s design contest rival is found dead, she’s the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He’s the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him–and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?​


Out of Control by Alexandra Ivy

Angela Locke is just weeks away from finishing her PhD when visiting Professor Hottie…umm, Dr. Niko Bartrev comes to the college and for the first time ever, the only biology Angela can keep her mind on is the kind involving a naked Niko. Niko isn’t really a professor at the college to monitor Angela’s class. He’s actually a Sentinel on the trail of an escaped high-blood who wants the knowledge in Angela’s brain to change her advance DNA and make her a normal human. Niko fears that when Angela learns of his deception, even if it was for her own good, he might have lost his chance with her forever.

THOUGHTS:
This short story is supposed to be the introduction to the new Sentinel series. Although there is a basic explanation of the Sentinels, who are guardians, and the high-bloods, who are mutants (some dangerous/some not), this story was really too short to build to any real understanding and interest in the new series. I would definitely have to hold off judgment of the Sentinels until after Book #1.

Rating: 3 stars – Being an Alexandra Ivy fan I will check out the next Sentinel book, but this short didn’t do anything to really draw me to the series.

Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
Cassie thought she was just going to help out her friend for a few hours answering phones while Felicity had an “emergency.” The problem is Cassie is at the wrong place/wrong time and some men show up to remove her from the job permanently. When she ends up killing one of them in self-defense, she releases the vampire they had captured and now he has taken Cassie under his wing for her own protection, but how can she be safer in the arms of a hot, sexy vampire?

THOUGHTS:
Nina Bangs in one of those authors on my I want to read list, where I hope that someone offers me a review copy and give me an excuse to pop her on my TBR list. This story was just ok. There are some things that I don’t understand why she wrote them in, but again, I haven’t read anything of hers yet so I don’t know what’s part of her series and why she added them.

Rating: 3 stars – This story should have intrigued me enough to grab Book #1 of the series, but the characters just didn’t interest me.

In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Richart d’Alençon has been an Immortal Guardian for about 240 years now but the night he saves Jenna McBride from a group of vampires, is the night that truly changes his life. Guardians are not supposed to date humans, but he is so drawn to the lively Jenna that he can’t think about anything else but seeing her again. He wants to take the relationship further, but not until he can confess the truth to her. When Richart is wounded and drugged by an unknown enemy, he teleports directly to Jenna’s living room, carrying swords and covered in blood, just before passing out. Maybe she won’t notice anything weird about that? Uh, oh. If he survives the night, he’ll be in so much trouble.

THOUGHTS:
I like the Immortal Guardians series, and we got to know Richart a little more in the last book, Phantom Shadows, where we see him sneaking phone calls to his human girlfriend. I definitely enjoyed Richart and Jenna’s story.

Rating: 5 stars – I like the Immortal Guardian series, and this had all the fun, excitement and great characters that I have come to expect from Dianne Duvall.

High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
When fashionista Nina LaShay goes to New York City to compete in a fashion show, she bring her best designs, her scissors, but she forgets to pack an alibi. When her fellow competitors start turning up dead, of course, who is the first one they look at…the vampire. Like she would even need to snack on those “breathers” just to win. Nina had this competition in the bag. Now she has to figure out who’s killing the rest of the competitors before she ends up in jail or in a body bag.

THOUGHS:
Nina is a great character from the Urban Fantasy series, The Underworld Detection Agency. As roommate, co-worker and BFF of the main characters, Sophie Lawson, Nina is always around to add life and some fashion sense to the story. It was nice to see Nina shine in her own story, but something was missing without Sophie. Think Ethel without Lucy.

Rating: 4 stars – It was a good story, but if I didn’t follow the UDA series, I don’t know if this would have convinced me to try the series. Nina is playful and snarky, but without Sophie, you are missing the star of the series.


Favorite Scene:

From In Still Darkness By Dianne Duvall:

“I was attacked by vampires?”

“Yes.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” How could he keep something like that from her?

“Jenna—“

“I was attacked, Richart! You should have told me!”

“How?” he asked helplessly.

“Easy. You should have said, Jenna, I know this is going to sound strange, but you were attacked by vampires and I rescued–okay, I see your point. I would have thought you were off your rocker.” She rubbed a shaking hand over her face. “I can’t believe this. Did they…? What did they do to me?”

“Other than the bite, you were unharmed. They must have just taken you when I came upon you.”

“Am I infected?” If all Richart had said was true, she would turn into a psychotic vampire if she transformed. She didn’t have the special DNA need to make her immortal. She couldn’t read minds or teleport or see the future or whatever else they could do.

“No. A single brief bite won’t turn you. You would either have to be bitten fairly often over a stretch of time or have your blood drained until you were on the brink of death, then infused wholly with infected blood.”

And the vampire had only bitten her once. Briefly.

Richart covered the hand she had braced on the mattress with on of his. “Are you all right?”

She met his concerned gaze. “I’m freaked out over being attacked and having no memory of it. That’s really scary.”

“I know.”

“So you—what—killed them Blade-style?”

He smiled. “All but one, who got away, yes.”

“One got away?” Panic shrieked through her. “What if he came back? What if he bit me again and I just can’t remember it?”

“He didn’t.”

“How do you know?”

“Have you experienced missing time again? Have there been any blank spots you couldn’t recall?”

She thought hard, trying to think of any other instances. “I don’t think so. But how can I be sure?”

“I’ve been guarding you,” he admitted, seeming almost ashamed.

“Guarding me?”

“I used speed and stealth to obtain your work schedule and have been at the store every night when you arrived and departed in case he returned and tried to harm you.”

She stared at him. “Every night?”

“Yes.”

“Is he likely to return?”

“No. He would have done so before now.”

“Yet you continued to watch over me.”

He shrugged. “At least you said watched. Sheldon kept accusing me of stalking you.”

Under the Gun by Hannah Jayne

Under the Gun (Underworld Detection Agency #4)


ORDER A COPY: Under the Gun (Underworld Detection Agency)

Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: February 5, 2013
Paperback: 352 pages

Rating: 4 stars


When you’re near the top of the Underworld Detection Agency, the claws really come out…

Quick thinking and loyalty have taken human Sophie Lawson a long way in the UDA—along with a healthy dose of magic immunity. But when her old boss Pete Sampson asks for help after a mysterious two-year disappearance, she’s determined to find out what high-placed demon has put two ruthless werewolf killers on his tail. Of course, sucking up to her icy vampire department head and negotiating a treacherous inter-office demon battle are the kind of workplace politics that could easily get a “breather” way worse than reprimanded. And sexy fallen angel Alex is doing whatever it takes to heat up Sophie’s professional cool and raise feelings she’s done her best to bury. Too bad their investigation is about to uncover the Agency’s darkest secrets…and powerful entities happy to sign one inquisitive human’s pink slip in blood.


Sophie Lawson is on the job again. But as the new head of the Fallen Angel Division at the Underworld Detection Agency, there really isn’t much to do. Unless you count the fact that her past has come knocking on her front door. Her former boss, werewolf and frequent star of Sophie’s sexy daydreams, Pete Sampson, has returned. Sophie’s not sure what’s more shocking, the fact that he’s not dead or the fact that he let her think that he was dead all this time. Someone has put out a contract for Sampson’s life and he has been hiding out from the fiercest werewolf killers on the west coast—even if one of them does dresses like an anime character…

When bodies start to turn up, not just dead, but mauled to death by say…a werewolf? Sophie is torn between her loyalty to her old boss and her devotion to fallen angel now Det. Alex Grace. Hey, yeah, I know where we could find a possibly killer werewolf—on my couch. Oh, that would go over well.

If she tells Alex that she’s hiding a werewolf in her apartment, he’ll have no choice but to bring Sampson in for questioning. She just can’t do it. Not only won’t a human jail be able to hold a werewolf, but then the hunters will know exactly were to find Sampson. But is her loyalty to Sampson getting people killed?

It’s just a typical Monday in the life of Sophie Lawson…

THOUGHTS:

I love Sophie and the gang! After the last book when Sophie and Will get a little bit closer and Alex finds her sneaking out of Will’s apartment, I couldn’t wait to see how Alex reacted in this book. I wasn’t disappointed especially when Will and Alex play a game of She’s My Girl. I do think Alex is still a little too noble with his “but I’m a fallen angel” bit. Stop being such a tease.

I did miss Nina a bit in this book. San Francisco is hit with a heat wave and sunny skies are keeping the vampires inside and they’re getting more than a little batty (he, he). Nina goes on a QVC spree, but her cabin fever seems to tone her down a bit in this book.

Also with Sophie’s new position as head of fallen angels (as there aren’t very many registered fallen angels with the UDA), she doesn’t have much interaction with the clients in the last two books and I miss that novelty of the mundane registration of supernatural creatures. It was a very quirky and funny part of the series. See my notes from Under Attack.

Hannah Jayne is an entertaining storywriter and I enjoy her quirky cast at the UDA.

Don’t forget to check out our past interview with the cast of the UDA.

Received ARC from the publisher. Thank you.


Favorite Scene:

We pulled up to a stoplight just off Union Avenue and I listened to the car idle, to the faint sounds of someone playing a saxophone on a distant corner. And then there was something else.

A wail—or a moan.

“Did you hear that?” Alex asked, ear cocked toward the open window.

I turned the stereo off and leaned out my own window, holding my breath for a silent beat. A lazy wisp of oregano scented air wafted into the car, and on it, a chorus of low moans. They were desperate, insistent rumbles that cut through the city noise.

I furrowed my brow. “What is that?”

Now the moans and rumbles were joined by thumps, then a shallow scraping as though something—or someone—was being dragged.

Alex’s eyebrows went up. “Lawson?” I saw his hand hover around his concealed gun.

I held up a silencing hand. “Wait, Alex. I thing it might be—“

“Zombies?”

They engulfed the car before the word was out of his mouth, their fingers scraping against the paint, lifeless limbs thumping against the mangled exterior of my vampmobile. Alex’s eyes were wide, distressed, his face ashen as their fingers came through the open window, clawing at him, touching his skin, ruffling his hair. Zombie fingers brushed at my face, too; a clammy hand landed on my arm, grabbed a fistful of my shirt.

I couldn’t help myself. I started to giggle.

Alex, swatting at the grey, rotting arms that waved at him, looked at my incredulously. “You’re laughing? This is funny to you?”

One of the zombies had curled his fingers under my neck and was actively tickling me now, giggling back at me as my laughter grew, his grin wide and goofy. I clamped my knees together and tried not to wet myself. “They’re—they’re—they’re real!” I squeezed out, throwing the car into park and doubling over myself.

“Of course they’re real!” Alex said. “How the hell do we kill them?”

“Double tap!” A zombie on Alex’s side of the car yelled. “Cardio-oooo!”

“Beeeeer!,” another one groaned, a rivulet of black-red blood dribbled out the side of his mouth. “Beeer!”

Alex wrinkled his brow. “Is that zombie asking for beer? Can they do that!”

I was laughing so hard now that tears were pulsing from my eyes and I started to cough. Finally, I got hold of myself. “They’re real, Alex. They’re real people.”

Alex paused, his lip curling up into a snarl as another zombie wannabe poked her full torso through my window. “Graiiiins!” she moaned, stiff arms waiving. “Graiiins!”

“She’s a vegetarian,” I said by way of explanation.

“What the hell is going on here?” Alex wanted to know.

Veggie-zombie bared a mouth full of grayish teeth, half smeared with a thick coat of shiny black greasepaint. “Zombie pub crawl,” she informed. “We’re only on our second pub.” She craned her neck to look out the windshield. “Light’s green.” She wriggled out of the car and I inched forward. Veggie-Zombie’s undead brood wailing and flailing in the street behind us.

“There’s hundreds of them,” Alex said, staring out the back window incredulously.

“Probably.”

“You’re not the slightest bit spooked by that?” Alex said.

“Why should I be? Those zombies are in way better spirits than the ones from the Underworld. And they can be satiated with beer. The ones at the office? Ugh. They’re supposed to have eaten before they come in, but if you even look the slightest bit intelligent, they’re salivating all over your desk. I had a guy suck the hair tie right off of my ponytail once.”

Alex shook his head in disbelief. “I’m hearing the words, but they don’t make sense.” He was silent for a beat and I glanced at him from the corner of my eye, his serious expression starting my giggles all over again. He gave me a dirty look. “Look, you’ve got to cut me some slack.”

I shot him a devious smirk. “And why’s that?”

“Come on. It’s ninety degrees in San Francisco, we processed a murder scene that was right out of a Wes Craven film, you were shish-kebabed by a hoarder, and suddenly, the streets are overrun with the thirsty dead.” He brushed the zombie-fist marks out of his shirt. “It’s perfectly normal that a guy would get a little unnerved.”

“Or that a guy could scream like a little girl.”

Hannah Jayne – Cast Interview


We are talking today with the cast of the Underworld Detective Agency Chronicles. The awesome urban fantasy series by Hannah Jayne.

Check out our interview.

Check out some of my reviews on her latest books:

Under Wraps
Under Attack
Under Suspicion


Under Suspicion by Hannah Jayne

Under Suspicion (Underworld Detection Agency, #3)


We are going to be giving away winner’s choice of a copy of Book #1-Under Wraps or Book #2-Under Attack. Giveaway ends Friday, April 20th. U.S. or Canada residents only!

Thank you to Kensington Books for the giveaway!


ORDER A COPY: Under Suspicion (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles)

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Company
Publishing Date: May 1, 2012
Paperback: 333 pages

Rating: 5 stars


She’s the new head of the Underworld Detection Agency’s strangest division. What a nightmare…

Being a human immune to magic helped Sophie Lawson get promoted. It’s also made her a major, very reluctant player in a game that stretches beyond even the Underworld. Having handsome buttoned-down Englishman Will as her new guardian is one tempting blessing, especially since sexy fallen angel Alex is mysteriously MIA lately. But as a frightening number of demons start disappearing around the city, Sophie suspects that an Armageddon-level prophecy is about to become everyone’s nightmare. And her investigation is testing her bravery — and Will’s unexpected vulnerability — in ways neither could predict. Now Sophie and Will are fast running out of time as an unstoppable evil prepares to lay waste to demons and humans alike…


Sophie Lawson is the only human working at the Underworld Detection Agency. The Underworld Detection Agency monitors, regulates and assists demons in the San Francisco area, sort of like the Social Security Office for demons. Sophie’s mother and grandmother were Seers, so Sophie is the only human or “breather” on staff since she is immune to magics and glamours.

In this chapter of the Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles, Sophie has noticed that several of her clients have not arrived for their monthly appointments, including hot-headed dragon Mrs. Henderson. Since Mr. Dixon, new vampire head of UDA, doesn’t share Sophie’s concerns, she takes it upon herself to check on Mrs. Henderson only to find her home trashed and dragon’s blood smeared everywhere. When even Sophie’s on again/off again love, fallen angel and FBI agent, Alex Grace doesn’t believe her, Sophie decides to tackle what she believes is a supernatural killer on her own.

With the help of her best friend, roommate and vampire, Nina LaShay, Nina’s brooding nephew Vlad and Sophie’s sexy Guardian, Will Sherman, Sophie tries to locate the killer; if only she could get everyone focused on the problem at hand.

Currently, Nina is falling in love with Harley Cavanaugh, author of the new book Vampires, Werewolves and Other Things that Don’t Exist, and Sophie can’t convince her that she can’t get to happily ever after with a man who doesn’t believe she even exists.

Vlad is still busy fighting for the Vampire Empowerment Movement (VERM) so that all vampires are in charge and are free to dress like Count Chocula; and breaking VERM rules by dating a breather himself.

And with things off again with Alex and his being on a stakeout across the country, things are starting to heat up between Guardian Will and Sophie in his absence. (“Guardian—and not in that “until your eighteen” sort of way, but in an “until the balance of power has been restored between the good and the fallen, I will protect you” kind of way”).

While Sophie stumbles through another investigation in her I Love Lucy way, you will again be laughing and chuckling at the snarky comments and zippy one-liners. Once again, Hannah creates a world and characters that are so charming and delightful.

This story was fun as well as entertaining and just thoroughly enjoyable. I continue to look forward to where she will take us next. I am also looking forward to seeing how this will play out with the Sophie/Will/Alex triangle. Sophie has been “ready to lay down my soul” in love with Alex from the beginning, and although he is noticeably attracted to her, he is standoffish in his “I’m trying to get back to heaven” way. Will he change his mind now that the competition for Sophie’s affection has heated up? Oooo, I can’t wait to see.

My only comment would have been that the end of this story leaves us with Sophie opening the door to a mystery man that leaves her gaping. In this case, I would have left it there since I would have been panting to read the next book to see who was at the door. The publishers have added a few pages from the next book to draw you in, and you find out who was at the door. Kind of ruins the mystery, but I for one will be looking for the next book coming out in the Fall.

Received an ARC from Kensington Books. Thank you.


Just leave a comment to be entered for winner’s choice of a copy of Book #1-Under Wraps or Book #2-Under Attack. U.S. or Canada residents only!

Thank you to Kensington Books for the giveaway!


Favorite Scene:

“Hey, come on. We don’t have much time.”

Will’s eyes were focused over my head; his lips pressed together. I watched his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed slowly.

“What?” I looked over my shoulder at the two carved cement lion/dragon statues that guarded the mouth of Chinatown. “Those? They’re not real. Promise. They don’t come to life during a full moon or a Keeping Up with the Kardashians Marathon or anything.”

“It’s not that,” Will said, starting to shuffle with the tourist crowd. “It’s”—and here he wagged his head from side to side, hazel eyes scanning, scrutinizing—“Mogwai.”

I stopped dead and crossed my arms, feeling one eyebrow creep up, “Mogwai?”

We had crossed through the Chinatown gates and were flanked by a couple with thick Midwestern accents, who were pausing to photograph everything, and a guy power walking while listening to his iPod loud enough to hear every one of Steven Tyler’s wailing screams.

“Yeah,” Will said, voice lowered, “Mogwai.”

“Look, Will, I know every single demon in the Underworld. And a majority of the upper world, too—wait? A Mogwai?”

Will nodded nervously, as if saying the word would bring one about.

“That’s a Gremlin, Will.”

“If you feed it after midnight, it is. And whose midnight, you know? They’re Chinese, right? Is it when it’s midnight in China or here? And, well, I’m British. Does my Mogwai become British—”

“It’s a freaking Spielberg movie, Will!”

Will stopped, putting his hands on his hips. “And you don’t think it was based on something real?”

I could feel my left eye begin to twitch. “Fine.” I put out my hand, wiggling the tips of my fingers. “Give me your wallet.”

“No. Why?”

“Give it to me.”

Will reluctantly fished his wallet from his back pocket and handed it to me. I pulled out his credit cards and all of the cash—seventeen dollars, all in ones—from it; and handed it back.

“Hey!”

I shoved his money into my pocket, clapped a hand on his shoulder. “See? Now I’ve got all of your money. There is absolutely no chance of you buying a Mogwai, unless you’ve got some magic beans in your pants. Now let’s get going.”

Under Wraps by Hannah Jayne

Under Wraps (Underworld Detection Agency, #1)


ORDER A COPY: Under Wraps (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles)

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Company
Publishing Date: March 1, 2011
Paperback: 343 pages

Rating: 5 Stars


As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny. . .

Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn’t what he seems, she’s got only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in. . .and about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power.


Sophie Lawson is the only human working at the Underworld Detection Agency. The Underworld Detection Agency monitors, regulates and assists demons in the San Francisco area, sort of like the Social Security Office for demons. Sophie’s mother and grandmother were Seers, so Sophie is the only human or “breather” on staff since she is immune to magics and glamours.

This is the first chapter of The Underground Detection Agency Chronicles. We meet Sophie Lawson, the only human at UDA. She is working as the secretary—I mean Administrative Assistant to the gorgeous and sexy Pete Sampson, head of the UDA and werewolf, whom Sophie has a bit of a crush on. Part of her duties for Mr. Sampson is to chain him in his office each night so that he doesn’t go on a rampage through the streets of San Francisco.

SFPD Detective Parker Hayes comes to Mr. Sampson requesting his help on some very disturbing murders in the area, including a victim drained of blood and another who was shredded within minutes. Since Mr. Sampson cannot wander the city loose at night, he offers Sophie’s assistance to the SFPD since she is the most knowledgeable about the various supernatural types.

As they try to nail down the killer, Sophie attempts to introduce Det. Hayes to the world of the underworld supernaturals, including an introduction to Sophie’s best friend and roommate, vampire Nina LaShay. While Sophie is working with SFPD, Nina is supposed to be chaining up Mr. Sampson, but since Nina is a bit flighty, she quickly forgets. Clues start leading in the direction of a werewolf and Det. Parker begins to look toward the missing Pete Sampson, but Sophie can’t be convinced that her Mr. Sampson would ever be a killer, werewolf or not.

The longer she works with Det. Hayes, Sophie can’t decide if she wants to punch him or kiss him, and then questions start to emerge that Det. Hayes is not being 100 percent honest with Sophie.

I treated myself; taking the time to backtrack to this first story in the series. I had so thoroughly enjoyed Under Attack and just finished Under Suspicion, and wanted to see how the series began. Although I didn’t think this story was as humorous as the other two stories, it was just as well written and enjoyable, and I finished it in a day. If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, I would definitely recommend this series to you. If you haven’t tried it yet, grab a copy of Under Wraps and get started today. You will be happy you did.


Favorite Scene:

“So,” Nina repeated, her midnight-dark eyes glittering, “how was your day with Officer Love? Excellent? Wonderful? A freak show of wild, breather sex?”

“I’m sitting right here!” Vlad moaned.

“You’re one hundred and twelve, get over it. Humans have sex,” Nina called back.

“Gross.”

I downed my wine and Nina frowned.

“That bad, huh?” she asked.

“Not with Officer Lo—I mean Detective Hayes. He’s fine—straddles the fine line between obnoxious and wonderfully hot—but fine. It’s this case.” I shuddered. “There was another murder today.”

I saw the top of Vlad’s head poke over his laptop screen as he listened in. Nina looked away, reaching for an out-of-date InStyle magazine on the coffee table. “I still don’t see why this is such a big deal. Everyone kills everyone in this city. Everyone’s either dead, undead or dying.”

I raked my fingers through my hair. “Nina, this is serious. The crime scene, it was awful. It was a woman our—or, my—age. There was blood everywhere.” I tried to swallow, but my throat was dry. “And someone removed the woman’s heart.”

Nina’s eyes flashed. “Removed it?”

“Removed it?” Vlad repeated. “Completely?”

I nodded. “Gone. Hayes is convinced it’s a vampire.”

“Stupid,” Vlad groaned, going back to his computer game.

Nina raised an eyebrow and snapped a magazine page, ignoring Vlad. “Is that so?” She sat forward. “Does this detective even know anything about vampires? Anything at all? Humf.” She snapped another page. “He probably thinks we’re anti-garlic too.”

“You hate garlic.”

Nina pinned me with a glare. “It gives me bad breath.”

Vlad chuckled from his spot at the table.

Nina rolled her eyes. “Anyway. We don’t do hearts. Or waste blood. Ever. Starving vamps in Africa, you know?” She pointed, her eyes narrowed…

I sunk back into the couch, my stomach gurgling. “I can’t think of fashion right now. People are dying. And other people are thinking it’s coming from the Underworld. You know—

Nina wrinkled her pixie nose. “I know. Delicate balance between worlds, blah, blah, blah.” She tossed the magazine and kicked her legs up onto the coffee table, balancing her chin in her palm. “You don’t think it’s coming from the Underworld?”

“I don’t know. There was veiling and a pentagram, so it’s got to be someone who knows their magics.”

Nina eyed me, the corner of her mouth turning up. “Pentagrams? How very every eighties horror movie. And any demon could learn to veil; it’s magic one-oh-one.”

“Can you?” I asked.

Nina looked away. “Any person could learn to do it, too.”

“Well, the veiling was one thing, but the rest…I’ve worked in the Underworld for a long time, Nina. I’ve worked with vampires, werewolves, even hobgoblins, and I’ve never even seen a hint of this kind of”—I shuddered again—“destruction.”

Nina raised a sculpted eyebrow.

“Not even from zombies,” I added. “Or ghouls.”

“Well,” Nina said, sitting forward, “remember when that Choas demon ate your goldfish? That was pretty destructive.”

“A Chaos demon ate your goldfish?” Vlad said. “Cool.”

“It was not cool,” I snapped. “He swallowed Tipsy whole. And the little plastic pirate ship she was hiding in.”

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