Devil’s Bargain  by Rachel Caine
(Red Letter Days #1)
Mira Books (Oct 2012)
Paperback, 331 pages

Paranormal Romance

Devil’s Bargain was a book that I was not keen to pick up, the problem for me is the title, give me vampires, werewolves or zombies any day, give me a devil and I go running for cover. I think, because I believe in God I also believe in a devil, so much so, that this is the creature of my nightmares and to make a bargain with one is just asking for trouble.

Maybe I should start more books with lower expectations, I connected quickly with the main protagonist Jazz, I loved her ability to just say what she thought and be unfazed by the consequences, Jazz is one feisty heroine as she kicks some beefy men’s butt in the opening chapter and guess what, no actual devil in sight!

Devil’s Bargain is more of a mystery suspense than a paranormal read, as Jazz seeks to prove her partner Ben’s innocence. Jazz is an ex-cop whose partner Ben, had been put into prison after being convicted of murder, Jazz maintains his innocence and wants to be able to prove his case.

Jazz, being extremely low on finance, in desperate need of a job and a stiff drink is sat in a seedy bar alone. In walks an interesting man that catches Jazz’s attention for the wrong reasons.

Her first thought was, trouble, but then it turned ridiculous, because this guy wasn’t trouble, he was about to be in trouble. Over six feet tall and a little on the thin side, all sharp angles, which would have been okay if he hadn’t come dressed in some self-consciously tough leather getup that would have looked ridiculous on a Hell’s Angel. He didn’t have the face for it – lean angular, yeah but with large, gentle brown eyes that scanned the bar skittishly and looked alarmed by what they saw.

His badass-biker leathers were so new they creaked.

This stranger takes a seat next to Jazz introducing himself as James and offers Jazz an unbelievable job proposal. This job offer comes in a special red envelope, Jazz has to decide whether the job offer is genuine and if she wants to be tied to doing PI work with a new and unknown partner Lucia, when she needs to work on Ben’s case.

With the introduction of the red envelope, Jazz and Lucia becomes a target and their lives are at risk. With their lives threatened and both women strong and independent, they take on the job. The only stipulation to the job is that, when a special red envelope arrives the job is done without hesitation or question. These assignments are odd and very simple, paying out large sums of money.

I would be happy if I received lots of money for very little effort but Jazz wants to understand the meaning of these special tasks, who is behind this set-up and why. Jazz finds herself tied up in a much bigger organisation than she realises and she needs to solve the mystery quickly before it becomes too late.

Although I enjoyed Devil’s BargainI found the review difficult to write, I think this is because there are several different lines of plot going on, you have the small paranormal element, which I didn’t fully understand, the flirty fun banter and sexual chemistry between Jazz and James, the investigation into Ben’s murder conviction and the overall red letter investigations. Devil’s Bargain left me with a few questions, which I expect will be answered in Devil’s Due.


Surprisingly I really liked Devil’s Bargain, it was not what I thought it would be, more kick-ass private detective than anything supernatural, although there is a supernatural influence, a bit of a rocky romance and a fantastic heroine who I really connected with. Rachel Caine is a new author for me and I loved her writing style, I will be looking out for more of her work and may finally pick up her Morganville Vampire series.


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  1. Devil’s Bargain
  2. Devil’s Due




A midnight book worm who loves dystopian and young adult fantasy and paranormal romances. As long as the leading man is dead sexy, she's happy. [Becs no longer reviews for the site.]


Rebecca December 16, 2012 at 7:07 am

Great review Becs! :) having read Morganville I don’t know if I’ll pick up this series by Caine, I don’t think it really appeals to me :)


Becs December 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Thank you Rebecca, did you not enjoy the Morganville series? Maybe I’ll skip them and stick to this series.


Rebecca December 18, 2012 at 8:01 am

No I do enjoy the Morganville series, I just don’t like how long the series has become! There are a few books that have a slightly less exciting plot than others but it’s the characters that keep me reading :)


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