Don't Kill the Messenger by Eileen Rendahl
"The first in a fantastic new paranormal series about a messenger from the supernatural underworld.
Melina Markowitz is a Messenger, a go-between for paranormal forces and supernatural creatures. Problem is, when a girl's a go-between, it's hard not to get caught in the middle...
When ninjas steal an envelope from Melina, her search leads her to a Taoist temple in Old Sacramento, where the priests seem to practice Zen and the art of mayhem. Melina learns from the handsome ER doctor (and vampire) who gave her the envelope that it contained talismans created by the priests to control Chinese vampires, who are attacking gang members to spark a street war.
Although he may look more like a surfer than a cop, Ted Goodnight is dead serious about investigating the surge in gang violence. At every turn he runs into Melina, a very attractive-and very mysterious-young woman. Can Melina enlist his help to battle something he doesn't even believe in without blowing her cover? "
This is the first in a new series (I'm assuming) and according to the back of the book, the first paranormal romance from Eileen Rendahl. While the book itself does not mention a sequel, I'm going to assume there is one, otherwise all the secondary characters have no point and are left unfairly hanging. So assuming this is the beginning of a new series...
This series has real potential. The premise is that the main character is a messenger between various paranormal factions (vampires, werewolves, spirits, pixies, etc). Because they don't mix well there needs to be someone acting as a go-between and that person is Melina (and others like her, but they are a small group). Melina's not a big fan of this job, but she has no choice. She died and came back to life and this was the result.
In the beginning I didn't like Melina and found her almost painfully annoying, but she grew on me over the course of the book. The secondary characters were well written, and I look forward to learning more about them. While it's classified as a paranormal romance, there is no happily ever after or solid relationship resolution. The main love interest for Melina is a human cop named Ted Goodnight. Now, I must say, I think this is a crappy name for a love interest and there is no way I can support this romance if the series continues. I have an aversion to cutesy names like that. Now the alternative romance is Alex, the vampire doctor and my money is on him being the ultimate love interest. It's been the style lately for heroine's to switch love interest from the good guy to the bad guy (who may or may not have a good heart) and in human vs. vampire, Melina is clear she doesn't trust vamps. There seems to be a lot that Melina doesn't understand and I'm curious to see how it all plays out.
While I wasn't really into this book at the beginning, it built up a solid story, smoothly including a retirement home, street gangs, ninjas and tai chi and I'm curious what will happen next.
3.5 out of 5