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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2011
but I could not get into it. Heroine does not seem very bright so it is hard to empathize with her. Also hard to see why anyone would find her irresistible, especially when she goes blank and starts drooling every time she sees an attractive man. Too "romancie" for me.

But if you are into romance first, paranormal second, it may be for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 21, 2013
Cover: bears absolutely no relation to the story. Not a particular surprise in this genre, so, -.5

Characters: immature and unlikeable. -1

Writing: poor and jerky. -1

Plot: bog standard, but like most paranormal books, that's what I was expecting - even hoping for - so no points off for that. 0

Editing: not nearly enough to fix the writing flaws. -2

Price: vastly too much for the quality of what's sold. 0.99 would be more like it. -1

I've returned the book not for any of the first three, but because of the cost and editing. If there had been a single redeeming quality to it I probably would have kept it as an expensive lesson in what not to do. If a publishing house is going to put out a book, they should at least take the time to make it flow smoothly. I expect to see problems like this in self-published first works, not in something with a publishing house name on it.

If the writer gets a bit more practice and a proper editor, she'll do much better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2012
I would give this 3.5 stars. I read a lot of different genres of books. While the cover makes this look like an urban fantasy type book (think Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews or Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs), this book is NOT that. It does take place in a fantasy-type world (with vampires, shapeshifters, etc); however, it is more of a wise-cracking fantasy mystery novel. The heroine, Sophie, is an administrative assistant at a cross between the supernatural DMV/immigration office. Basically, she is a secretary who works for a bureaucrat. Even though it says that she works for the "Underworld Detection Agency", as far as I could figure out, there was no detecting. Instead, they cleared various supernatural beings to go live up in our world. There are a series of grisly murders and Sophie is paired with a human detective. The main plot of the book has her helping the detective (she is immune to magic and won't be fooled by glamours and such) and seeing her interact with her vampire roommate the the roommate's vampire nephew.

I did like the characters and found the story interesting. The "mystery" was a bit of a throwaway and I knew who the main bad guy was very early on in the story. Given the grisly series of murders, I did find it unrealistic that there was no media attention and it was just one lone detective investigating. The detective seemed to accept the supernatural WAY too easily (he supposedly just found out that vampires and werewolves are real). And they seemed to spend a lot of time meandering about given that they were trying to stop someone so evil. Also, the roommate really annoyed me....she came across as really self-involved and shallow. Sophie and her roommate, Nina, worked together, Nina was supposed to help out and their boss went messing. Given this, Nina seemed very uninterested in that aspect of the mystery. Nina was a vampire since the French revolution and wasn't more mature than that??? There were several aspects like this to the story that made me scratch my head a bit.

Despite those weaknesses, I did enjoy the book. It was a quick, fluffy read. I got this for free; I know there are more books in the series and am unsure whether I would spend more time with these characters (I do like Sophie; the roommate was a turnoff).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
As pointed out by other reviewers, there is a disconnect between the cover art and the story line. It might be helpful if the persons making the art decisions would read the book. This book starts out great with an interesting location, characters, and premise. However it bogs down in being repetitively cute with plot inconsistencies and mediocre editing. For example; the protagonist works in downtown San Francisco and lives 6 blocks away, has parking spots at both locations, and drives to work. O.K. I can get past that but would she really go to Richmond for a cup of coffee? She must chain her boss in his office every night but later, we learn he has a house in Marin, why? We know the cute guy upstairs has great abs and six-pack...over and over and over again. Her daydreaming, getting excited over a kiss on the cheek, and admiration of the great abs is more suitable for a younger audience so perhaps this book should be in the YA section even though Sophie is supposedly 33 years old. I was stunned by the use of the stereotypical phrase "sit like an Indian", which I have not seen in print for many years and certainly has no place in a contemporary novel. Therefore, I recommend this book ID be changed to YA, include cute new cover art, and do some editing and revision. This is not a book I would recommend to anyone who likes Briggs, Bishop, Bryant, Andrews...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2012
Okay, I have to admit about halfway through this book I was really tempted to put it down and move on. Sophie is funny, but there is a bit too much time spent on describing her "man obsessions". The Character of Vlad turned me off too, I had trouble seeing a teen aged vampire STILL acting like a teen after 100+ years; I can see where she was coming from, but it was a touch too silly. I am very glad that I didn't give up though! The final mystery reveal was well done, the humor only got better, and heck I even liked Vlad for his Buffy shirt! I had originally thought to rate this a 3, but the wrap up of the mystery was cute enough to push me over the edge to a 4 and I am actually looking forward to the next book in the series now! Yay Sophie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2013
I assume you've read the synopsis elsewhere. The ending is a minor cliff hanger that leads you to the next book, but this book comes close enough to full-circle to be considered stand-alone. If this were a movie, I'd rate it PG.

Hannah Jayne is the writer Gemma Halliday wants to be. Unlike the ditzy TSTL bimbo Ms. Halliday writes, Ms. Jayne's Sophie is funny because her sense of humor is sharp and she behaves in the manner someone with a brain would behave.

Our heroine, Sophie, is a bit of a klutz, but not beyond function. She's greatly distracted by handsome men, but not beyond reason. She lives in a world so bizarre, most people would crumple, but she deals with it. She's brave, not because she has no fear, but because when terrified, she takes a moment (or two or three of sheer panic) to get a grip and then she does what needs doing. She's a girly girl and does silly things but they are things you understand, given her personality. An example: she's forced to take a gun she REALLY doesn't want for protection. Rather than continuing to argue about it, she accepts the gun and when she gets home, tosses it into her freezer. Issue resolved. Not stupid or silly, just one way to go and adds to the fun down the road.

Her sense of humor is mostly self-deprecating and witty. The words chosen to describe the beings in her world cracked me up. Among others, I loved Mrs. Henderson, the fire breathing dragon with the pink lipstick and hot burps.

Sophie's personality is rooted in a childhood background of deep emotion and I felt great empathy for her and the admirable person she had become. I liked this girl. Not once did she make me groan for doing something so vapid as to not be believed. There were entertaining support characters (that's putting it mildly), but Sophie completely carried the book. This book was a silly, fun and entertaining romp through the supernatural and I'm hooked. I would recommend this book to my friends. Kudos Ms. Jayne.
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on November 21, 2013
Sophie Lawson is a human working for the Underworld Detection Agency as the assistant to Pete Samson, who just happens to be a super sexy werewolf. She is the daughter and granddaughter of seers but as of yet, Sophie hasn't even remotely begun to show any sort of ability other than the inabilty to be glamoured by anything magical. This immunity to glamour makes her a great asset to the UDA when having to deal with possible deceptions of the clients who request UDA services. Think of the UDA as a sort of a social services type agency.

When humans are being killed out in the open and it appears its being done by an underworld creature, Sophie is paired with Detective Parker Hayes to figure out who or what the predator is and stop them from killing anyone else. Only, the attractive Parker Hayes isn't who he says he is; her werewolf boss is kidnapped; and now Sophie has no idea who to trust as she investigates all the senseless murders. Little does she know that she is the central point to this entire case. Can she figure out what's going on before anyone winds up dead?

Under Wraps is a pretty good first novel in the Underworld Detection Agency series. Sophie is inexperienced in sleuthing but as the novel progresses she matures a bit. She has no choice but to buckle up and ride through the grisly scenes and help Parker try and piece together what is going on. Sophie, herself, is only able to see through glamour but in a case such as this, it's very beneficial. She's a very likable character with a bit of snark that lightens some of the scenes in the novel. Yes, she is whiny but it didn't really bother me to the extent that it apparently annoyed other readers.

Parker Hayes is a bit of a mystery. He's been brought in to assist the UDA in tracking the murderer. He claims to know very little about the creatures that inhabit the underworld. Yet, as he and Sophie do the investigating, those being investigated begin to drop little hints about him, raising red flags for Sophie.

The secondary characters are fantastic assets to the story lines, too. Sophie's roommate, Nina, is a vampire; a vampire who is also a fashionista. The author brings a very non-traditional vampire to the story and she does it well. Hannah Jayne also brings a more cliche version of a vampire in the form of Nina's nephew, Vlad. He has some great one liners but is the typical brooding bloodsucker. Sophie's enamored troll stalker brings a little bit of humor to the book. He's a small, stinky little guy but his heart's in the right place.

Under Wraps is full of mystery and intrigue; it's suspenseful and the reason for the murders is disguised cleverly so as not to give anything away. I will be moving on to book 2 shortly.

Review Copy Courtesy of: My Local Library.
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on November 23, 2014
I picked up this book and thought it would be a great read based on the picture and synopsis of the story on the cover. The ides for the story was original and could have been a great urban fantasy. Unfortunately the book reads more like it is written for and by a young adult.
Sex is mentioned a lot but other than kissing and holding hands was what I would expect to find in a book for young adults. I do buy and enjoy reading books written for young adults but this is a little too juvenile for my tastes.
The heroine behaved like a spoiled pampered preteen expecting everyone to take care of her not a 30 year old woman. The hero was a police detective but came off as a good looking slob with absolutely no skills in that area.
The book appears to have been written as a slam at urban fantasy with its kick ass heroines by providing one who was stupid and unprofessional.
For the hero the author dusted off the jokes of cops and donuts (hero goes into their first meeting with a greasy bag of donuts), men are slobs ( the hero eats the donuts then wipes his greasy fingers on case file folders), has cardboard boxes of crime scene evidence with no order, makes incorrect snap judgments about people and crimes with no logical basis.
The humor is all old cliches about women, men, cops, and paranormal (if its paranormal whether witch, seer, or werewolf it is a demon, repeated mention of her roommates ice cold hands because she is undead) nothing new and original so not really all that funny.
I will not waste my time and money on the rest of the series.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2013
When someone says do not judge a book by its cover, believe it!
Under Wraps shows a well-built female with weapon. And her expression is one of capability and purpose.
Well, I tried again and again to read the entire book, but was constantly thwarted by an unending litany of tears, suppressed sexual desire and inane, childish thought process.
If you like reading about girls, and I mean grown women who behave like little girls, by all means give this one a try.
If you are annoyed by impulsive behavior, weepy self-absorption, and adolescent sexual wiles, avoid this series at all costs.
These books should definitely be placed in the Teen Fantasy section of the book store. But even as a younger reader, Sophie Lawson would have seriously annoyed me.
I kept looking for some inner growth as she progressed through every experience. She never learns, she never matures, and she remains a snippy, weepy female who is definitely not on the book's cover. That must be a distant relative from some other series.
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on March 29, 2014
Sophie Lawson is a human who has seer blood in her immediate family tree. It just hasn't shown up in her yet. This blood though allows her to interact with the Others and impervious to magic.
She works for The Underworld Detection Agency below San Francisco Police HQ. Her boss Pete is a werewolf and her roommate and BFF Nina is a vampire.
Someone is killing humans in such a way that the SFPD are looking to the UDA for help and answers.
Enter Detective Parker Hayes. Who is not who he seems.
There is some great story and action I'm just not sure Sophie is the person that should have been handling it. I just couldn't take to her. I don't even know what it was about her that I didn't like.
I didn't like the way the book ended either.
Too many missing bits of story and unanswered questions.
I'm hoping that book 2 is a lot better.
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