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Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2009
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"Fast paced and fun ..." --Charlaine Harris, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Sookie Stackhouse series
"Despite the blistering pace and darkness of the plot, [Wells] neatly balances things with a deft smattering of humor. 4.5 Stars!" --Romantic Times Book Lovers Magazine
About the Author
Raised in Texas, USA Today bestseller Jaye Wells grew up reading everything she could get her hands on. Her penchant for daydreaming was often noted by frustrated teachers. She embarked on a series of random career paths, including stints working for a motivational speaker and at an art museum. Jaye eventually realized that while she loved writing, she found facts boring. So, she left all that behind to indulge her overactive imagination and make stuff up for a living. Besides writing, she enjoys travel, art, history, and researching weird and arcane subjects. She lives in Texas with her saintly husband and devilish son. Find out more about Jaye Wells at www.jayewells.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sabrina is the product of a forbidden union between a vamp and a mage. Her mother died not long after her birth and she was brought up by her Grandmother (note the captial G) who is the Head of the Dominae (vampires) and as cold as they come. Her Grandmother raised Sabrina in an almost-vacuum, while teaching her exactly what she wanted Sabrina to know--all other races are inferior, the Dominae is everything and as a halfbreed Sabrina owes her life and loyalty to those who raised her. And finally, she also raised Sabrina to be a stone-cold assassin who kills the 'targets' selected by the Dominae without question. Although Sabrina is frustrated by her inability to receive any kind of warm approval from her Grandmother, she still tries...until the day her target is her best friend and she's sent to become a spy in an enemy camp.
I admit to having some issues with Sabrina and her adamant refusal to open her eyes to the reality of what was going on around her. I understand WHY the author began the book the way she did...but that doesn't mean I have to like it. However, as the story unfolded I began to warm to Sabrina (in spite of her mulishness) and actually feel a bit sorry for her situation.
As first novels go, this one was pretty good. The action was fast-paced, the world is fairly complex without being confusing, and the heroine is certainly memorable. There were some weak spots where I felt the author was trying too hard to spell things out for me ad infinitum...but I'll still put the next book on my to buy list. If nothing else, I want to see where all that sexual tension goes!!
I now have another series to add to my "seriously-want-to-read-more" list. Since my appetite for all things paranormal knows no limit, I'm always pleased to find a new author who can feed my habit. Sabina satisfies all my favorite heroine criteria, which are probably becoming a tad clichéd with all the kick-butt heroine series floating around, but I can't help it. I love my heroines strong and sassy on the outside, and vulnerable on the inside.
As an assassin, Sabina has no problem being cold and objective until her grandmother orders her to kill one of her friends. Maybe `friend' is too strong a word, since Sabina is a consummate loner, but killing David creates the first crack in her blind devotion to the Dominae. Unfortunately, it takes her a long time to open her eyes, so by the time she realizes who her real friends are, she's already in danger of losing them.
The weakest link in this story is Adam Lazarus, a mage who intends to stalk Sabina until she agrees to his demands. Sabina and Adam don't share more than a make-out session and a couple of intense looks, but clearly this is going somewhere in the next book(s). Since we don't learn anything about him, it's hard to feel too excited about their potential romance. While I understand the importance of developing Sabina's character, I hope that Wells will rectify this issue in her sequel, and give us more on Adam beyond his blond hair and sexy smirk.
No clue right now when book two is coming. I'll add it to my Coming Soon page when I spot it.
Update 5/14/09: Since writing the above, I got an update on the second book (yeah, I emailed the author... I'm a total pest), and she kindly informed me that "Mage in Black" is coming out January 2010. Ms Wells also said that "there is a Sabina story coming out in the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance, vol. 2 this fall. It's a prequel to Red-Headed Stepchild that sets up some backstory for Mage in Black." Don't cha just love it when authors are willing to talk to their fans? I sure do.
Buy it at your own risk.