Review: Death Takes a Holiday by Jennifer Harlow

August 26, 2013 Reviews 0 Comments

Review: Death Takes a Holiday by Jennifer HarlowDeath Takes a Holiday by Jennifer Harlow
Series: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation #3
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Midnight Ink on 1 August 2013
Pages: 288
One StarOne StarOne Star


I was a big fan of the first two books and while I enjoyed a huge chunk of Death Takes a Holiday, the romance got me down. Beatrice “Bea” Alexander has the gift of telekinesis (moving objects with her mind) which makes her a valuable member of the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad (a secret government organisation). Not even chopping up supes with her machete Bette is enough to bring her out of the doldrums caused by Will and Oliver. She decides to go home for Christmas and spend time with her family. The supernatural world isn’t so easily forgotten however and she finds herself in a world of strife.

Bea has finally accepted her gift and is able to use it effectively in the field. When her emotions are in a state of flux however, her telekinesis becomes unstable. I enjoyed her interactions with her Nana and her best friend April – even though the latter veered into chick-lit territory. The fact she can have a civil conversation with her brother (the one she accidentally tried to kill a few years earlier) shows character growth. Her trademark snarky humour remains the same and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bea juggles her feelings for four men in this novel – yep, that’s right – and locks lips with three of them. There’s Will, the brooding werewolf who is more Byronic than Heathcliffe and Oliver,  the flirty vampire that Bea got close to after their experiences in To Catch a Vampire. Both men loathe each other and Bea is stuck in the middle of their petty squabbling until she heads home for the holidays. Typical love triangle except for the introduction of Bea’s ex boyfriend Steve who she goes on a date with and the Connor, the vampire who controls Bea’s home town. Love triangle? No problems. Love quadrangle? Getting implausible. Love pentagon? Stretching my incredulity to its limits. Even if all these hot guys had drunk Bea Kool-aid, my respect for her dropped a few notches as she couldn’t decide between them. It suggested she was more shallow than I thought.

Putting the romance to one side, we have an interesting side plot involving humans trying to appease a supernatural creature. I don’t want to say any more as I’m afraid I will spoil it. I wish Harlow had given it more attention as it was a great idea. A little more foreshadowing would also have helped as this plot line sprung seemingly out of nowhere.

I much prefer Bea in kick-ass mode and swinging Bette around rather than mooning over men. The opening scene was pure gold. If we could have more action and dial the romance back a bit, I’d be very satisfied. I recommend this for those who want a light urban fantasy with strong romance elements.

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