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4.3 out of 5 stars
Bad to the Bone
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Reading Wicked Game was definitely a highlight of my summer reading last year. It easily made my Best of 2008 list and I've been looking forward to the sequel ever since. And let me tell you--you want to get a hold of this book. And if you haven't read Wicked Game yet, now's the perfect time to do so as the mass market edition was recently released! That way you'll be primed and ready for this rockin' sequel.

Ciara's life has changed just a little bit since she first came to WVMP as a part-time marketing intern. She is now, for all intents and purposes, the station owner. What that means is she is on the clock 24/7 taking care of her little flock of vampire DJs, spinning PR as the vamps spin the tunes that are their lifeblood. She's working towards her degree, taking night classes at the local community college. She is also in an increasingly serious relationship with Shane McCallister--the station's resident 90's grunge rock expert. When a group of anti-undead religious fanatics comes to town determined to stop the signal, dismantle the station, and destroy the vamps for good, Ciara and the gang refuse to go gently into that good night.

This series is just so entertaining. I can honestly say I went in not knowing what to expect plotwise, and I finished it feeling like Ms. Smith-Ready took everything and everyone in exactly the direction they needed to go. I felt thoroughly satisfied and, more importantly, I cared about each of them more than before. Even Regina. Though Jim still scares the crap out of me and Shane should not let him anywhere near Ciara ever again no matter what kind of lousy shape he's in. I continue to be extremely fond of Ciara and so it was both heartbreaking and extremely gratifying to watch her deal with her manipulative, ne'er do well father, her growing feelings for Shane, a new undead pet, and finding herself suddenly homeless. And I do have to say that, within the larger UF world, it's nice to find one without a love triangle. I love reading about Ciara and Shane. They're flawed, messed up, in danger of going off the deep end in more ways than one. And despite all of this, they treat each other carefully. How often do you read about a human/vampire couple in which the vampire is the more vulnerable of the two? She takes care of him. She keeps him tethered to the here and now. It's freaking awesome. The good news? Pocket Books bought two more books in this series. The third one will be out sometime next year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wicked Game, the first book in the WVMP Vampires series, was one of my absolute favorite Urban Fantasy books of 2008. Waiting for Bad to the Bone to come out was torture! I needed more of these vampires (especially Shane) ASAP! The best part is that I didn't end up disappointed after all the waiting and hype I had built up for it. Each character, that Smith-Ready has created, has their own distinct personality with quirks, issues, and history. Making her vamps a taste of fresh blood in this genre where so many vampires are cookie cut outs from others.

One of the best parts of this series is the use of music to tie the whole story together. I love music because it's always been a huge part of my life, and it's great to see someone so knowledgeable in the subject use it to make each scene better. Shane still continues to be my favorite vamp with his grungy Kurt Cobain feel, although in BTTB we get to learn more about Regina, which is great since in Wicked Game she seemed so...uptight? mean? scary? Yeah, all those things. Plus, there is the way cool addition of a vampire dog. Ciara is still trying to figure out her relationship with Shane, and they definitely take some steps in a direction, I guess we'll see if that direction ends up being bad or good in the future! All I know is that it's great to have a heroine that's NOT a vampire slayer, monster hunter, idiot, or all of the above!

Bad to the Bone is a fantastic second book, and now sadly I must wait until 2010 for book three (no title yet). If you have not read Wicked Game and are a fan of the genre I don't know what you're waiting for! You are in luck as WG was just released in mass market paperback!

You can also visit Jeri on her website for short stories about the characters, play lists, quizzes, ways to get signed book plates for your books, and her always entertaining blog! She even has an a website for WVMP Radio with merchandise!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready
Urban Fantasy- May 16th, 2009
4 stars

Bad to the Bone will delight vampire readers as well as dark fantasy lovers. While many romance books glamorize the vampire, Jeri Smith-Ready characterizations are realistic and edgy. She explores the scarier and more serious aspects of being a vampire. In her world there is no black or white. As a result her series makes for exciting and fascinating reading that is unexpected as well as chilling.

Ciara works at a radio station where the big secret is that all the DJ are vampires. The radio station is under Control a secret agency aimed at integrating vampires into society safely. And this is important because these vampires are: volatile, compulsive and unpredictable. Because they are harder to control, which makes working around them very hazardous. These vampires are stuck in the period they are turned they are unable to evolve and grow emotionally or psychologically. And it gets worse as they get older. But having vampire DJs from each era musical era is the perfect `time warp' for listeners. And a `safe' haven for vampires who can't adapt to an every changing new world.

Ciara's life is difficult as she leads a double life, tries to market the radio station and protect the vampires and society from each other. Plus Ciara's relationship with the vampire Shane is a complication that only makes her life more confusing. When she gets pulled into a cult that reviles vampires things only get more perilous.

Jeri Smith-Ready's novels are always thought provoking and complex as I wondered how Ciara can navigate her life with so many difficulties. The main question in my upper most mind was how Ciara will end up long term in her rocky relationship with the enigmatic, yet earnest and charismatic Shane. He can't be `alive' and she doesn't want to become a vampire. It will be interesting to find out if or how the author resolves this dilemma. Jeri Smith-Ready also introduces the fascinating canine vampire which I hope will play a larger role in her next book as well as delving deeper into, David (my new favorite!) another fascinating character that I would love to read more about. This is a deep book that shows all points of view, not just the main characters. And that makes it more real and emotionally charged for the reader. If you haven't read her books before you must try this series, I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
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on September 22, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Now that Ciara is for all intents and purposes the station owner, its up to her and her innate abilities to keep the station going. Since she has gone straight, she is working practically around the clock to support her vampires by spinning PR left and right. Just when things are looking up, an anti-vampire religious group starts wreaking havoc. Their attacks start out small at first, but quickly turns into a tailspin of danger. With everything on the line, its up to Ciara and the gang to put a stop to the religious nuts before its too late.

Its amazing to see how far Ciara has come from her con-artist days. At the start of the first book, she never really let herself have any real ties, so she could make a break for it at a moments notice. Now, shes got a serious boyfriend and a group of really good friends that depend on her. Having anyone depend on her is an absolutely terrifying concept, but she really is trying to work through her fear and accept it. I loved how Ciara instantly fell for the dog, and was completely attached at once. It was nice to see that "weakness," considering she hasn't jumped to trust or care for anyone that quick before.

I love the dynamic between Ciara and Shane. Now that they are past that initial goo goo eyes stage, they start to have conflicts and struggle to figure out how to work together, just like a real couple. I love how her messiness drives him nuts, as his OCD and leaving her instruction notes makes her go a little "batty" as well. I didn't really care for the slight love triangle aspect with David, but I really do not think anything is going to come of it, so its not really something to worry about.

This series is progressing very well. I love the character development. Everything was very realistic and this book only made me care for the characters more. I look forward to seeing Ciara overcoming her struggles to recover from the con-artist business as well as her relationship with Shane. I cannot wait to read the next book and see how the station and DJs are making out. Very awesome second book in a great series!
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on July 25, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Con-artist-turned-radio-station-publicist Ciara Griffin broke the boundaries when she came up with the theme to disguise the station's vampire DJs as vampire DJs--out in the public. The audience loves their vampire personas, but Ciara works hard to make sure no one knows that they're really vampires.

With the holiday season looming, WVMP is attacked by a religious fanatic group illegally tapping into their frequency and broadcasting anti-vampire diatribes. With the aid of Shane, her beloved though definitely OCD vampire DJ boyfriend; David, her brooding but undeniably sexy coworker; and some old and new friends, including a lovable vampire dog, Ciara delves into the workings of a radical group determined to rid the world of vampires.

Author extraordinaire Jeri Smith-Ready set the urban fantasy bar high with the first book in her WVMP Radio series, Wicked Game. BAD TO THE BONE, however, continues right where Wicked Game's excellence left off, propelling me once more into a engrossing world of vampires, mystery, memorable characters and relationship troubles.

In my review of Wicked Game I talked about the appreciatively multidimensional protagonist and vampires. Now, I wish to talk about other characters and the plot. BAD TO THE BONE contains an enviably colorful cast of characters that stand out due to their eccentricities and wonderfully unique quirks. In this installment we also get to see a deeper and necessarily darker side to Shane and Ciara's relationship. A relationship between two such fundamentally different people--one a vampire, one a human; one neurotically methodical though determinedly devoted, the other more of a "think now do later" girl--is bound to have its problems. What will become of Shane and Ciara? I like that BAD TO THE BONE strews some doubts and insecurities into their relationship: this makes it much more realistic and beloved to me than a perfect relationship.

Jeri Smith-Ready has a way of constructing a world that's so expansive, yet so complete, that you can either miss it all from being completely absorbed in it, or be in awe of her writing talents. (Or you can be both. Just, you know, not at the same time.) It seems to me that the books in this series usually take a while before finally getting into the action and the meat; that is because the beginning of the book is usually setting up the unusual circumstances that will be the grounds of conflict. While the main plot arc may be oftentimes buried in other, more interesting, albeit side-plots, I never felt confused or frustrated. I always just wanted more, more, more!

WVMP Radio is, in my opinion, one of the best urban fantasy series out there. Endearingly complex characters, a fully realized world, and the potential for future stories make sure that I'll be glued to this series for hopefully years to come. Don't miss out if you think this might be your type of book!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed "Bad to the Bone" a little bit more than the first book "Wicked Game". The main reason is because I liked Ciera Griffin much more this time around. She was really thinking of other people and she's cleaned up her con artist act quite a bit. In this story, the radio station's shows got interrupted by a Christian talk radio show signal each time Vampire DJ Regina was on or a song by a female artist was played. This fanatical group, on its surface, is against women as well as the vampires or `vampire gimmick' the station employs. Of course there is more going on under the surface...much more. I really liked getting to know Shane's character better and there was a fun side story with his family that I enjoyed. We learn more about Ciera's back story and we watch the relationship between her and Shane change. All our favorite vampire DJ's are back though only Jim and Regina's characters get fleshed out more. The introduction of Dexter the vampire dog was a true highlight. Smith-Ready has proven to me that she can write a good story. She also has a way with writing realistic relationships and doesn't shy away from the bad sides of those. There was a very funny scene where Ciera meets up with an acquaintance in a store which had me laughing aloud. I have only two complaints. The first is that the other vampires don't seem to have much personality yet. We really only know what era they are from. I hope this can be remedied in future installments. The second is that I'm not sure that I like that Ciera's blood is special. I tend to like heroines more when they are average human women stuck in paranormal situations much more than those that are kick-butt and discover they have more and more special abilities. I found "Bad to the Bone" to be a real page turner and I can't wait for the next book to be released.
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VINE VOICEon August 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Plot Summary: Life, or unlife, is going pretty well for the vampire DJs at WVMP. Their fans are numerous, and their former nemesis, Gideon, is dead. One night their broadcast signal is cut by some misogynistic holy rant, and the ever opportunistic Ciara decides to spin this bad news to good publicity for the station. Meanwhile, Ciara and Shane's relationship goes through some serious growing pains when they try living together. The religious nuts on the radio are far from harmless, and Ciara's loyalty to the vampires is tested.

This book reinforces my maxim that it's never a good idea to judge a series by a single entry. I enjoyed "Bad to the Bone" far more than the intro book "Wicked Game," which had weak character development, and `too stupid to live' moments. I think "Bad to the Bone" goes a long way toward resolving those issues, and more importantly, made Ciara someone I want to care about.

I like how Jeri Smith-Ready is not afraid to face the ugly truths that are bound to come up in a human-vampire relationship. Most authors quietly sweep those dust bunnies under the bed and keep everything dreamy and happy, but Ms. Smith-Ready constantly stirs the pot just when things might settle down and get boring. Shane and Ciara are too much in love to walk away, but they're also too different to make it work.

If Ciara was like a block of ice in book one, she's now warm and nurturing like a pot belly stove. When it comes to protecting the vampires, no price is too high. Ciara sidles up to anti-vampire nuts for information, she gives the vamps her blood when they're injured, and she risks her own life to save them. As much as I like the new Ciara, I can't help pointing this out...I must say it. WHY does the model on the cover art keep sporting tattoos when Ciara is phobic about needles and pain? Would she really sit still for the elaborate designs on her belly and arm? Those kinds of discrepancies haunt me. I'll stop complaining now, because the dog on the cover IS in the story, and I fell in love with him.

The plot moves at an addictive pace, and I'm amazed looking back at how much stuff is crammed into this book. I think the reader gets their money's worth, no doubt about it. The hours passed in a pleasant blur, and I look forward to the next book.
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on August 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Its one of those series that just improves with each sequal. Jeri Smith Ready does it again as con artist turn station owner Ciara Griffin deals pre Halloween parties, fire bombs attacks and pirate radios made to knock them off the air. That's all in the first chapter of the book. WVMP Halloween will never be the same as Ciara learns of the existence of vampire dogs and loses her apartment allowing her and Shawn talk about moving in together. As in Wicked Games we have more dealing with Control and while visiting his father's grave Shawn runs into his mother and sister who hadn't seen him since he was turned. His plans to visit them for Christmas can cause nothing but problems for him and his family from Control's detachment group. To make things worst a reporter from Rolling Stones Magazine wants the real scoop on the vampire station. Finally all of Shane talk to Ciara about finding a middle ground between not becoming something he's not and staying current reminds me of Shaggy Rogers from Scooby Doo. While the rest of Mystery Inc has been update for 21st century Shaggy still dresses and uses slang from 1969 yet he can use a cell phone, microwave and stays current with other modern techology and activities. Its sure to be a New Year to remember.
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on September 23, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Bad to the Bone carries on where Wicked Game left off, introducing some new "baddies" and bringing back some old ones for a plot that has enough momentum to keep you frantically turning pages even when you're not getting your Shane and Ciara fix. Bad to the Bone is a chance to see your favourite conwoman-in-remission and grunge vamp roll with more punches as they face both internal and external threats to their relationship. And if they're not your favourites - why did you buy this book? Go back and get Wicked Game first!

Bad to the Bone is damn good fun. I found myself cheering for Shane and Ciara, and wincing at some of the funny-tragic moments. A laugh out loud moment for me was reading Shane's dishwasher instructions - but at the same time, Jeri Smith-Ready's depiction of OCD vampire behaviour is one of things that give her world building emotional impact. Some of the other vampires are fleshed out a little more in this book, highlighting both monstrous (Thanksgiving dinner!) and human elements.

My only criticism is these are never quite long enough... But that's me not wanting to leave the world Smith-Ready creates. I can't wait to read the next one.

~ Fiamme
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on October 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
In this installment someone starts taking over the WVMP broadcast. The radio station is being targeted by a group that want to destroy the station in more ways than one. Is it a religions group? Someone from Control? A cult? There are suspects a plenty, but if you read the first book you know that Ciara and the vampires won't stand for it.

Wicked Game was on my list of Top 20 Favorite books on 2008 so, I've been looking forward to reading the second one and was overjoyed to find the ARC in my mailbox. Ciara and her obsessive-compulsive vampire DJ's are back for a new adventure and it doesn't disappoint.

This story was action packed, with wit and loads of drama. Excellent writing that had me turning the page to see what would happen next. And just when you think the story has come to an end... the author brings you more action and mayhem. This book was both light and dark, but a very enjoyable read. I thought it was a brilliant ending and can't wait reading more stories set in this world.
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