To Catch a Vampire by Jennifer Harlow
ORDER A COPY: To Catch a Vampire (A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation)
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publishing Date: September 8, 2012
Paperback: 288 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Mission #2 brings sizzling kisses and deadly vengeance.
Beatrice Alexander is still adjusting to life as a secret special agent, wiping out zombies and other supernatural threats. Now, a new case requires partnership with her annoying and gorgeous vampire co-worker Oliver. To infiltrate the goth vamp scene in Dallas, Texas, they must go undercover as a married couple and, Oliver’s convincing public affection has Bea swooning in her bustier and fishnets. Clubbing with the undead turns bloody when Oliver’s old enemy, the vampire lord of Dallas, turns up.
Beatrice has been working for F.R.E.A.K.S. for a few months and she’s enjoying learning investigation from her fellow agents…ok, she likes spending time with hot, sexy Team Leader/werewolf Will Price. But Will is on vacation spending time with the some werewolf alphas doing who know what: marking trees, killing deer…hmmm, let’s not think to much about that. Bea misses him and although he calls her to get updates, it’s just not the same.
When the boss, Dr. George Black, calls her into his office to tell her she’s being sent on a special assignment…just her and the annoyingly flirty, vampire pain-in-the-butt Oliver Montrose, Bea isn’t too certain she is ready for undercover work, especially being alone with Oliver. She is really starting to wonder when she is told they are going undercover as husband and wife and the bustier and fishnet stockings which make her look like an Elvira reject are part of her disguise. Not only is the hotel one that caters exclusively to vampires and their friends, and which is run by a gorgeous (of course) vampire Marianna, an old friend of Oliver’s, but she’s getting really suspicious of his motives and his need for Beatrice to be the one to accompany him when she sees the four poster bed they will have to share.
She agrees to stay on the mission because she wants to help find out if there really is a vampire cabal who are responsible for all the missing people, and put a stop to them. At least she thought the cabal was her biggest concern until she finds out Will knows she’s missing from the mansion and she’ll soon have to face an angry, jealous werewolf who thinks she snuck off for a vampire tryst with her co-worker. She’s just not sure who’s fangs she needs to be more concerned about: Marianna, the cabal, Oliver or Will’s.
And just when they think the danger is past, the local Lord is holding a centuries old grudge against Oliver and thinks Beatrice is the perfect lure for his trap.
These characters are so much fun. I love the fact that every time Beatrice calls the mansion with an update on the case, the others are saying odd things like “do us all a favor and be careful.” We find out this because Will has found out Beatrice was on a mission with Oliver and no one will tell him where they are and he is furious. He gives a dozen excuses for why he’s unhappy, but you know it boils down to jealousy since Will and Oliver don’t get along and both want Beatrice.
This is also the mission where Oliver and Beatrice eventually bond and Oliver goes from being an annoyance to Beatrice to their being best friends (which also annoys the hell out of Will).
It also shows that although Oliver is sexy and flirty with Beatrice, Beatrice does finally get a look at true vampire nature which is cold and brutal although Beatrice does hold her own.
I do so hope there will be a Book 4.
“What do you want, Freddy?”
“You seem a clever woman. I believe you already know the answer to that.”
I do. “He’s not that stupid. It’s obviously a trap. He won’t come.”
“You do not think he cares enough for you to risk his life?”
I don’t know. “He’ll know what you have planned. He’ll send someone else, most likely one of my fellow federal agents. If you let me go right now, maybe the men with guns won’t storm this place and shoot you on sight.”
“I am well aware of your affiliation with the F.R.E.A.K.S., Agent Alexander,” he says with another smile. “However, if you recall your vampiric law, by assaulting me last night during a legally sanctioned duel, I can by all accounts shoot you on sight and your organization could not lay a finger on me. I have no desire to harm you, mind you, but I will if your lover does not show his cowardly hide here this evening, Once again, I ask: Do you think he will?”
The exhaustion isn’t strong enough to mask the fear anymore. My heart rate doubles. “I really don’t know.”
He’s satisfied with the answer, giving me a half smile. “He was always selfish. Never gave any thought to others, your lover.”
“For the nine hundredth time, he isn’t my lover,” I say through gritted teeth. “We’ve never even really kissed, okay?”
Freddy pulls up a chair to sit beside me. He crosses his legs and holds his hand on his knee. “And yet he showed such devotion last night.”
“We’re friends. That’s what friends do for each other. You should get some.”
“I learned the heart-wrenching way what closeness with others brings,” he said coldly. “Misery. Contempt. Even those we hold above all others, whom we never thought could harm us, are not above betrayal. I choose mine carefully now. And as this current situation shows, you should have as well.”
“They really hurt you. Oliver and Jules.”
“Oh, yes,” he says, eyes haunted. “More than words can express.”
“Oliver told me a little about it. They ran off together?”
“Yes. He swanned in and seduced the love of my life in less than a fortnight. I thought I could trust them, my blood brother and lover.” He wrings his hands. “Jules paid for that betrayal at the hands of executioners, and now two hundred years later, so will Oliver.”
“It was forever ago,” I say. “How can you still be—“
“If you knew the first thing about true love, you would not make such an asinine statement. I ache for Jules every day. Part of my soul died when Jules did,” Freddy says, as if each word physically hurts.
“I’m sorry,” I say, meaning it.
“Thank you,” he says, patting my bound hand. “I would have understood if they were truly in love, but Oliver just used him as he does all. Poisoned him against me. He—“
Huh? What? Did he just… “Wait,” I say, holding up my hands as high as they would go, being tied down and all. “Whoa. Did you just say him? Who is him?”
If this were a cartoon, my head would spin around with steam coming out of my ears. “Jules is a dude?” I ask, flabbergasted. “Oliver stole your boyfriend? A man? With a…” Holy heck.
“You seem surprised,” Freddy says, puzzled.
“Um, yeah! He hits on anything with boobs! I’ve never seen him even look at another man that way Women, yeah, like…all the time. Non-stop. It’s just…huh.” Oliver’s bisexual. Didn’t see that one coming, and I’m from Southern California.
“He always favored women over men. That was why I thought nothing of a minor flirtation between them. The many times I have looked back on it, I suppose I should have suspected, especially after the night we were all in bed together. He and Jules–“
“Wait! Whoa. You two slept together? All three of you? At the same time? How does that even work? Where does everything go? Who—“
Freddy chuckles. “How innocent you are, Agent Alexander.”
“Stop laughing! I just found out one of my good friends is bi and into threesomes! It’s a lot to take in!”
Freddy continues chuckling. “You know, I finally do believe you and Oliver have not made love. Quite a shame. I will say one thing in his favor, he was quite a lover. Tender, yet rough all at once. I am sorry you will not have a change to experience it before I gut him.”
Freddy stops smiling, as do I. Vivisection is a terrific mood killer.