Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Red-Headed Stepchild - Jaye Wells

Sabina is an outcast in her world. She doesn't belong to either side of her blood line, she's an unwanted woman with a special set of gifts that tends to get her into trouble. This girls a hardass with a heart, even though she likes to deny it. Her latest assignment might just be her undoing though. 

Red-Headed Stepchild is my go to Urban Fantasy read. This book is gritty with a female lead that really lives on the edge of her society. When people see Sabina Kane they either run, laugh or attack. She never gets that warm welcome but being a mixed heritage assassin tends to merit that type of reaction. Sabina was raised by her momma's mom, but never received the love or acceptance you'd think a grandmother would provide. Instead, she was trained to be an assassin, to become a usable tool that would carry out any and all orders the vampires needed done. 

Vampires in this book have their own set of rules and government system. It's actually led by three women known as the Dominae who occasionally take advice from a larger council. The fact this is a matriarchal society is pretty awesome. What sets these vampires apart is the unusual modern mixed with mythology feel, they have a foot firmly planted in todays world but still worship old gods. Vampires in this book also need to be born, there is no such thing as biting a human to turn them. 

Vampires happen to be at odds with mages and other magical creatures in this world which sets the stage for this series. There are a ton of different magical creatures mentioned throughout the book, but vampires and mages remain the big baddies. Also, humans aren't aware of these creatures that go bump in the night, and those that do, don't remain around very long. 

Here's the thing about this book, it's not flowery or delicate in it's phrasing. It's a very gritty and forward read, Sabina has a serious attitude and talks a bit like a guy. She doesn't try for tact but outright says things that some probably would view as crude. Normally, this type of heroine would probably annoy me, specially since this girls got some serious people issues, but I was instantly caught up in this world, so it just made sense to me. 

I always recommend this book to anyone looking for a darker Urban fantasy read.