To Catch A Vampire (F.R.E.A.K.S Squad Investigation #2) by Jennifer Harlow
Released: September 8, 2012
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “You are a stalking, creepy pervert who needs a hobby.“
Beatrice Alexander is now an official member of The F.R.E.A.K. Squad -Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. A top secret branch of the FBI who hunt the supernatural monsters of society. Taken into the group after she almost killed her brother, Bea has learned to control her gift and finally finds acceptance among others like herself.
Her second case requires her to get up close and personal with her very own resident stalker, the vampire, Oliver. They are headed to Dallas to investigate a series of disappearances involving a band of rogue vampires. Their cover? Oliver and Bea will pose as husband and wife. As Oliver’s attempts to make this a marriage with all the benefits and leaves Bea feeling a little heated in her bustier, an old enemy of Oliver’s will come calling and leave Bea with an important decision to make.
Jennifer Harlow’s second installment in her F.R.E.A.K.S. series continues with her hilarious characters and devilish antics. A ghoulish urban fantasy; ripe with mystery and dramatics, is a clever mix of humor and horror. This installment’s storyline revolves almost exclusively around Bea and Oliver. We get an intimate front row seat as Bea tries very hard to deal with her her conflicted feelings for Oliver and Will. Our heroine Bea is an interesting mixture of bravado and and self deprecation. While she fears her gifts and is not comfortable with all aspects of her job, she is more then willing to rise to the line to protect those in need. Her inner monologue is filled with delish snark as she laments over her weight, her love life, and the insane people she works with.
“One after the other, these impossibly beautiful creatures paid homage to us. And with over a thousand years between them, what did they talk about? The Black Death? The sixties? No, fashion and celebrities. I was surprised Oliver knew so much about The Real Housewives. “
Bea is still caught between broody werewolf detective Will and Lothario vampire Oliver. Each has something to offer her, but Bea isn’t sure if either are serious about her. Will is a very sexy detective who was bitten and turned into a werewolf when he and his wife were attacked. His wife died, while he survived the transformation. He blames himself for her death and has decided that strict control is the only way for him to keep everyone safe. His control always seems to be slip when it comes to Bea and she realizes that in his need to protect, he underestimates her at every turn.
Oliver is the team’s resident Lothario and vampire. Gorgeous, seductive and full of himself. He tried to seduce Bea when they first met but her unique gifts allow her a certain immunity to Oliver’s seductive powers. Bea and Oliver has become good friends since their last mission, getting to know one another and Bea is convinced of one thing. No matter what happens, Oliver will always be there for her. While the romance was very low key in the first installment, Harlow ups the sexual tension and chemistry to ELECTRIC in this installment as Oliver and Bea spend time alone together on their mission and certain feelings are acknowledged.
“I’d imagined this, those lips on me. I run my fingers through his soft hair, tugging it to bring his lips in tighter. His mouth moves to the other side with more soft kisses.“
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Oliver MORE than proved he is the man for Bea. We shall see though.
The main conflict is an intense, well plotted mystery/suspense and is used to mature Bea and develop her into the dangerous person we all know she can be. I enjoyed that she is able to work more independently, having to rely on her own skills to help Oliver solve the case. Will is not hovering, providing a safety net, and it is the best thing that could have happened to Bea. The rest of the team is not seen as much since as I stated earlier, this story revolves around Oliver and Bea’s mission. We see them enter towards the end and Harlow surprises me with the path she chooses to follow regarding some of them. Very climatic.
Smooth writing and fast pacing will have you racing to the end to see how Bea handles herself on her second mission with the FREAK squad. To Catch A Vampire is a wonderful addition to to the series and Ms. Harlows F.R.E.A.K. series is a must have for those readers who enjoy a well blended mixture of humor and horror in their urban fantasy. look forward to seeing what Ms. Harlow has in store for Bea and us next.