Karen Greco is a featured author in the March issue of Uncaged Book Reviews. To read an interview with Karen, and an excerpt from Steele City Blues – please see the issue. And until March 15, 2017 sign up for Karen’s newsletter and get the first book in the series, Hell’s Belle – FREE. See page 31 in the issue.
Half vampire, half human, Nina Martinez spent most of her life underground as part of an elite secret team of government agents that quietly take down rogue monsters, the human world none the wiser. She moves back to her hometown of Providence, RI to keep an eye on the recent uptick in supernatural activity, and to help run the bar she co-owns with her aunt.
Her attempt at a “regular” life, not to mention a budding relationship with smoking hot FBI agent Max, is cut short because of a string of ritual murders targeting the city’s community of witches.
But Nina’s investigation unearths deadly secrets from her long buried parents. Now the target of supernatural assassins, could Nina be the most dangerous vampire hybrid to ever exist? No wonder she can’t get a date.
Uncaged Review: This is a fast paced urban fantasy that doesn’t let up off the gas for long. Nina is half-vampire, half-human, and part of a covert team known as the Blood Ops. Along with her, is her full vampire partner, Frankie – who keep the supernatural crimes under wraps so the human world stays in the dark. Pretty typical urban fantasy background, but the characters are believable and interesting. There are some interesting twists to the plot and the characters, and to the storyline. Nina is definitely not perfect, and you wouldn’t want her to be. She fights the vampire urges, and most of the time she’s successful. It’s going to be interesting to watch her grow.
Going back to her hometown of Provence, R.I., to help her aunt run the bar they both own, soon the supernatural activity ramps up and the team is brought in. Along the way, she meets a cop, Max, who doesn’t seem to take no for an answer, and has no idea that the supernatural world exists.
The writing is in the first narrator format, and normally I’m not a huge fan of it, as I feel I miss information about the other characters, but I didn’t feel that way here at all. The middle slowed a bit with what I call information dumps, but it held on and kicked into high gear for the second half. Normally with the first book in a series, you have a lot of background to read, but the author kept it interesting with Nina’s sharp wit and Frankie’s humor. Reviewed by Cyrene
After surviving a vampire assassin (not to mention an awkward affair with a hot FBI agent that ended worse than she could have imagined), witch/vampire hybrid Nina Martinez is reunited with the full Blood Ops team in Providence, Rhode Island. Her Aunt Babe is tutoring her in all things witchcraft, and her vampire partner Frankie is enjoying the benefits of daywalking, courtesy of a demon spell.
When a segment of the Rhode Island vampire population is marked for death by a tainted blood supply, Nina and her team race to find Patient Zero before the local vampire population is wiped out. But when a demon infestation threatens to take control of the city, Nina must join forces with newly elected mayor—and closet demon— Ami Bertrand before the city falls into ruin.
Filled with fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action, Nina and her group of supernatural misfits battle a surprising new enemy that threatens their very existence.
No wonder she still can’t get a date.
Uncaged Review: I’m really enjoying this series. And the second book in the series ramps up the action and the pace. Our heroes are back from book one, and there are a few things going on all at once. We have the main arc running, and a couple minor arcs that are connected to the main storyline, so we have Nina and the gang putting out the smaller fires first. We start out with Beta Vamps getting sick. Beta Vamps are more or less minor vampires, they can’t bite and kill and don’t have many of the benefits of being vampires, but most of the downsides. They still need nourishment in the form of blood, but have to rely on blood bags. When Nina and Frankie run into a sick one, they need to track down who is giving them the tainted blood and killing them.
Then enter Bertrand, the demon-turned-mayor that wants Nina’s assistance, and makes it hard for her to reject. Hits keep coming.
This book never slowed down, and there are some good surprises along the way. There isn’t much in the line of romance in this series yet, a lot of hit and run, but there are possibilities looming. A fun and fast urban fantasy that’s a fun read. Reviewed by Cyrene
4 1/2 Stars
Blood Ops leader Dr. O is chained in the bowels of Steele City, the state’s maximum security prison, and the clock is ticking for Nina and Frankie to bust him out.
Now that supernatural creatures are out of the closet, Providence is descending into an apocalyptic wasteland. With the abrupt shut down Blood Ops, Nina and Frankie are forced to rely on questionable allies to battle Leila, a powerful witch/vampire hybrid hell bent on creating an indestructible supernatural army. She also happens to be Nina’s mom.
Alliances are tested and relationships fractured as Nina and her band of supernatural crime fighting misfits are pushed to the breaking point.
Uncaged Review: This has turned into a very fun series for me, and this book pushes the gas pedal on the action, the danger and all the characters. A lot of surprises and twists, characters are well flushed out and likeable. We start out where we left off in the last book, but with Dr. O kidnapped, and witches and werewolves going missing. Nina, Frankie and the gang know where they are, but now they have to find a way to rescue and break in to Steele City.
I’m not giving any more away, but this book wraps up the arcs satisfactory even though it leaves the series open for more – but it could even end here and it would be okay (and I hope not). There is a touch of romance in this, but it’s not overwhelming the story, it just enhances what’s already here. There isn’t much to dislike – it’s what urban fantasies should be. Reviewed by Cyrene