This is the first book in the Hell's Belle Series by Karen Greco. The prologue of the story, Bloody Boulevard, is available in a free short story from Smashwords, Barnes & Nobles, Sony, and Kobo. So if you are interested, this is an excellent way to get a sneak peak at the author's writing style.
The story opens with Nina Martinez doing some mild flirting with a customer in her aunt Babe's bar. Nina is a half vampire, half human hybrid who has just recently come home. She has spent the last 30 odd years growing up and training on a secret military base in Nevada under the watchful eye of Dr. O'Malley. She is working as a bartender for her aunt and enjoying living in Rhode Island near what was left of her family for the first time since she was orphaned at 2 years old. Her mild flirtation is interrupted when a rogue vampire comes into Babe's and threatens Nina specifically.
During the fight, the rogue vamp uses a knife that is very much like the special one her father left her. The one that there is supposed to be a limited number of in the entire world. A magic knife that gives her a wound that doesn't seem to want to heal, even with her vamp healing powers. It's at this time she finds out that the customer she was busy flirting with is actually an FBI agent in town to investigate a series of murders. Murders that are suspected of being gang related, his specialty. Murders that she comes to suspect might be have something to do with the rogue vampire and the look-a-like knife.
Okay, yes, I admit that I am a cover snob and this cover seemed a bit amateurish to me. But this is one book you don't want to judge by its cover. Because the writing was anything but. The pacing was well done and information was revealed in such a way it felt natural. There were several times that I found myself placing my hand over my face, feeling the embarrassment of the character when something foolish happened. Or giggling to myself when she managed to pull off something witty or snarky. I was kept involved straight through to the end. This was a very enjoyable read and left me wanting to read a sequel. I am giving this book 4 stars on Goodreads.