Rachel Morgan, an officer for the supernatural organization I.S. finds herself on the run after she quits her job and a hit is put out on her life. Rachel Morgan has not had the best of luck when it comes to getting good cases. As a witch and an officer for the IS (an organization the handles supernatural creatures and their crimes), Rachel is continuously stuck with the worst assignments imaginable. So Rachel is less than thrilled when her latest assignment is to tag and arrest a leprechaun for tax evasion. Rachel is also stuck with Jenks, a fiery male pixie who is the only other IS officer who would agree to work with her and he is none too pleased having to be her babysitter.
The unlikely pair track the leprechaun to a bar and discover she has charmed herself to look human and works as a bartender. Rachel asks Jenks to scout out the area so she can make her move at the best possible time, taking out her charmed handcuffs that will have the ability to prevent the leprechaun from escaping. As Rachel is about to make her move, a fellow IS officer and good friend Ivy Tamwood enters the bar. Ivy is a “living vampire” which means her mother was a vampire and her father was human. While she inherited the vampire gene and must drink blood to survive she is not undead. She will transform into a full-fledged undead vampire if she ever dies. However, she will be at risk of losing her humanity and soul. Thus, Ivy is conflicted hating herself for who she is.
Ivy is amused by Rachel and her lack of ability to get good cases and makes the decision to watch the situation unfold. Rachel is able to use the element of surprise on the leprechaun. As they take a taxi back to the IS Station the leprechaun strikes a deal with Rachel, offering her wishes in order for her freedom. Rachel asks to be let out of her IS contract, something that can only be done through magical circumstances. The leprechaun agrees and dashes off with Rachel announcing to her boss Denon she is quitting. Admiring her strong will and character, Ivy and Jenks follow suit with a furious Denon vowing to get back at Rachel for taking two of his best officers.
Unfortunately for Rachel, Denon is looking for a more permanent solution when it comes to revenge and puts her on a hit list which results in an explosion in her apartment complex and Rachel being evicted. With no idea where to go, Ivy contacts Rachel and asks her to meet her at an old church that she has purchased. Ivy proposes to Rachel they start their own business and become independent IS offers. Rachel agrees and moves into the church with Ivy and they create Vampiric Charms Inc. Knowing they could really use someone who is good in surveillance, Rachel seeks out Jenks who agrees to work with them and moves into the garden with his family.
Rachel knows her first order of business is to crack a really big case that could bring attention to the IS and get Denon to remove her from the hit list. Rachel sets her sights on billionaire entrepreneur Trent Kalamack, a sexy playboy who is also known for dealing in an illegal drug known as brimstone which causes people to get high and lose all their abilities to make sound choices. Knowing the truth will be within Trent's sprawling and multi-million dollar estate, Rachel makes a charm that will disguise her as a mink and allow her infiltrate the estate undetected. Jenks and Ivy both think this plan is a bad one but Rachel forces them to go along with it.
However, she should have listed to Ivy and Jenks as Rachel is immediately caught by Trent and put in a cage in his office. Trent knows the mink is Rachel having run into her several times in the past and threatens to keep her locked up until she shifts back and explains her reasons for sneaking in. Rachel refuses to do so or admit she is who he thinks she is and slowly starves herself, hoping if she gets close to death he will let her go. Realizing Rachel will not crack, Trent decides to enter her into a rat fight where is forced to go up against a huge and menacing rat nicknamed the Bloody Baron. Rachel is horrified, knowing she will easily lose but is relieved to discover that the Bloody Baron is actually a human forced into a rat form. She reaches his out to him and proposes a plan of escape, asking him to stage a double knock out so they can run free. He agrees and the plan goes off without a hitch with the help of Jenks who gets them to safety.
Back at the church, Rachel and the Bloody Baron are transformed back into their human-forms and the Bloody Baron is revealed to be a young man named Nick who is instantly attracted to Rachel. Rachel finds him charming in a geekish sort of way and the two begin to date leading to them sleeping together much sooner than Rachel would have liked. Meanwhile, Rachel continues to pursue taking down Trent, especially after spending a month in his office and overhearing his business relationships and just how underhanded he truly is. However, Rachel knows her current magic and charms are not up to his league and decides she must delve into black magic if she has any chance at stopping him.
Rachel knows the only place to find books on black magic is at the local universities library. Nick reveals he is able to hack into security systems and assists Rachel with the break in. As Rachel searches through the forbidden sections of the library, she comes upon a book she feels could be of great use. Unfortunately, a demon appears named Al who has been hired to kill Rachel by Denon. The demon transforms into a vampire, something he knows Rachel fears and bites her repeatedly, forcing vampire venom deep into her system. Near death, Rachel begs Nick for help. Using what little ability he has in magic, Nick is able to form a magic circle and take control of the demon. He forces the demon to transport them back to the church, however in striking a deal the demon marks them both as his. Rachel knows he will come for her again but passes out before she can scold Nick.
Back at the church, Rachel is slowly dying. Ivy is bereft with guilt, feeling she should have stopped Rachel from going to the university in the first place. Jenks calls upon his wife Matalina, a sweet and gentle pixie with a knack for medicine. With the help of a concoction from the garden and a stroke of luck, they are able to heal Rachel but she is still in for a long recovery. Rachel tells Ivy she needs to return to Trent's estate to gain proof of his dealing brimstone. Ivy sets her foot down, telling Rachel in no way will she let her return there and risk being killed. Instead, Ivy contacts the local police which is run by Captain Edden. Together with Jenks, Ivy explains to Edden that Trent is dealing in brimstone and has operations running throughout the city. Of course, Edden thinks they are full of it and says without proof it is their word against of the most powerful men in the city. However, Edden offers up a deal. In exchange for paying off Rachel's hit contract, Vampiric Charms must work with his unit when it comes to cases involving supernatural creatures. Edden believes this could give his group a competitive edge against the IS. The group agrees, though Rachel is against the entire situation, however her will to live is greater than her ego.
A few days later, Rachel sneaks back into Trent's mansion as she knows that as long as he is aware of her knowing his secrets he will attempt to kill her. Rachel makes her way through the offices and bypasses security and is able to locate files that would incriminate Trent in his underground drug dealings. However, with no one to collaborate her findings, Rachel knows she can do nothing with the information. Rachel makes it back to the church after narrowly escaping Trent's guard dogs and security. Ivy and Jenks are furious but when Rachel reveals the information she has uncovered, they both agree it was worth the risk.
Rachel contacts Trent filling him in on the information she is now privy to. He agrees to back off for now but warns her that their business is yet to be finished. With Trent now off her trail and her hit contract paid off, Rachel looks forward to a new future with her friends and business.
Best part of story, including ending:
The mixture of humor and suspense is spot on. I love that I can be gripping the pages for one moment and then laughing out loud the next. Jenks is a wonderful comic relief character.
Best scene in story:
I loved when Rachel caught the sassy leprechaun in the bar and she begs to be released. The moment is well-written and the dialogue and sharp and clever.
Opinion about the main character:
Rachel is flawed and that is why I like her. She is not picture perfect pretty and her personality is awkward which gets her into trouble most of the time. She is human, despite being a witch and it is nice to see her fail as well as have success.
Rachel Morgan is a government agent who deals with the magical felons of this world. She is harassed by her boss into quitting and finds two partners who are willing to quit the force with her (a pixie and a 'living' vampire) In order to stop the assassination attempts by her former employer, she decides to get information on councilman Kalamack, who is wanted by her former employers and a competing government agency for distributing illegal drugs.
The review of this Book prepared by Lloyd Thorndyke
Rachel Morgan of Inderland Security isn't a very good runner,(or a witch). She has mistaken a dog for a werewolf, been responsible for a fairy getting eaten by a frog, and now she gets to take in a tax-evading leprechaun. All she wants is to quit her job and start her own runner service, however, the last person who tried to quit the IS actually exploded.
She thinks she has it made because her boss, the jerk vampire, actually wants her gone, but nothing is as it seems and Rachel finds herself with a contract on her head and nasty spells on all her property. Moving into a church, (after being evicted from her apartment as an unsafe witch) with a former IS vampire runner and a pixie isn't all it is cracked up to be. The vampire doesn't drink blood, but wants to open a vein from Rachel, and a pixie with a bad attitude makes things difficult.
Rachel feels her only way to get the contract removed is by bringing in IS's most wanted, a drug manufacturer they have been chasing for years.
The review of this Book prepared by Manda