The Anna Strong Chronicles by Jeanne C. Stein
The Becoming (Ace, 2006)
"Blood pounds in my ears. Adrenaline-laced fear propels me forward. It's the most exhilarating thing I've ever experienced. I've Never been much of a runner, but I feel like a gazelle, sure-footed and nimble and headed in the direction of the highway with nothing but instinct to guide me. Suddenly I'm not winded or afraid..."
These are the thoughts of Anna Strong bounty hunter recently turned vampire. The brutal attack that transformed her left few physical scars - vampires heal quickly. Psychological scars stay around longer. To help her in the various ways her life has changed is the handsome medical doctor Grant Avery. He treated her while she was in the hospital and followed up with home visits. Her boyfriend and DEA agent Max wasn't too happy when he noticed the good doctor hanging around. Besides being a vampire himself Avery is also a Watcher, one of several whose duty is to look out for new vampires and to go after rogue killers like Donaldson the man responsible for Anna's rape and her Becoming. Anna is a tough, smart, reluctant vampire-gal who, for the sake of survival, needs to quickly learn how to use her new found powers. On one thing she will not compromise - others of her kind tell she must not concern herself with the affairs of mortals. For Anna this would mean turning her back on Max, her parents, and her partner David something Anna's basic sense of decency will not allow her to do. The Becoming begins with a heart pounding build up and the adventure doesn't stop until the last page. Okay, there is some time taken for steamy love scenes but these are also heart-pounding.
The Anna Strong story continues in Blood Drive, (Ace, 2007) and it is here that Anna's devotion to family has such importance. The teenage daughter of her dead brother, one until recently unknown to the family, is missing. Worse, she may be involved in the murder of a classmate. Anna's strengths as a bounty hunter and vampire prove crucial in finding the unexpected truth. She also becomes aware that vampires are not the only paranormals who live hidden lives.
The Watcher (Ace, 2007) is the third book in the series. Anna now works closely with the San Diego chief of police who is himself a vampire. She is one of his Watchers. Her assignments often involve hunting down rogue vampires and dispatching them before they can do any more damage to the supernatural or human community. She is surprised to learn that her new job and old contacts will draw her into the hunt for her mortal boyfriend Max, a DEA undercover agent gone missing. Anna and Max have strong feelings for each other, but he does not know of her transformation and she wants to keep it that way. But by going to his aid she may need to show her true colors.
The next Anna Strong story will be found in Legacy (Ace, August 26, 2008).
Jeanne C. Stein has created a heady mixture or adventure, mystery, and the paranormal. Her characters and their stories are completely believable even in the extraordinary world of urban fantasy. Anna shows strong moral courage. She thinks about how her actions will affect those around her. Anna is an honorable person who wants to do the right thing although it's not always easy to figure out what that might be.