Turned (Belladonna Agency Series #1)

( 15 )

Overview

Perfect for fans of J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh, and Lara Adrian, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Virna DePaul’s new series of paranormal romances introduces readers to a thrilling world where vampires secretly co-exist with humans, seduction rules the night, and the stakes are nothing less than life and undeath.
 
Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans. This centuries-old species has its own rules, ...

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Turned: The Belladonna Agency Series

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Overview

Perfect for fans of J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh, and Lara Adrian, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Virna DePaul’s new series of paranormal romances introduces readers to a thrilling world where vampires secretly co-exist with humans, seduction rules the night, and the stakes are nothing less than life and undeath.
 
Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans. This centuries-old species has its own rules, code of conduct, and taboos. Only the FBI knows that vampires exist—and although the Bureau agrees to keep their secret, it also plots to give humans the upper hand.
 
Turning mortals into vampires is forbidden.
 
But there are creatures who refuse to play by the rules.
 
Ever since he was turned, FBI special agent Ty Duncan has had one mission: bring rogue vampires to justice. As a recruiter for Belladonna, a shadow agency formed to keep vampires in check, Ty must tap Ana Martin, a troubled ex–gang member and one of the few mortals who can infiltrate places that his kind and the law cannot. From their first encounter, Ty fights a hunger to make Ana his own.
 
When Ty claims to have information about Ana’s missing sister, Ana has no choice but to trust this captivating stranger who awakens her deepest desires. But as she and Ty climb the heights of pleasure and passion, an enemy is conspiring to destroy them both.
 
Can Ana help Ty find his humanity in a love that could heal them both, or will their passion lead them into a darkness impossible to escape?

Praise for Turned
 
“Plenty of action, an intriguing plot, a crisp narrative and stellar pacing pulls the reader into the story and keeps the pages turning.”RT Book Reviews

“DePaul’s first Belladonna Agency paranormal will appeal to readers who like their vampires sexy [and] their heroines spunky.”Publishers Weekly

“If you’re looking for a hot, sexy, emotional read, Virna DePaul delivers!”New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner

“A captivating start to a fascinating new series with a hero that’s to die for.”—Bestselling author Rhyannon Byrd
 
“Virna DePaul creates yummy alpha heroes.”New York Times bestselling author Tina Folsom

“With Turned, Virna DePaul delivers a sexy and exciting new take on the vampire novel, one that comes complete with a kick-ass heroine and a to-die-for hero. I can’t wait for the sequel!”—Tracy Wolff, bestselling author of Ruined

Turned is intense, intricate, and insomnia inducing (plan to stay up way too late!). Virna DePaul puts the awesome in the awesomesauce of paranormal romance.”—Joyce Lamb, curator, USA Today’s Happy Ever After

“The chemistry between the two was great and made for some very sexy scenes.”Fresh Fiction

“This book has everything you could want and so, so much more!”Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Turned is an intriguing story with flawed characters who I connected with immediately. Fans of paranormal romance rejoice, here’s a compelling new series to sink your teeth into.”—Harlequin Junkie

“Strong characters and great writing . . . Virna DePaul will have you coming back for more!”—Booked and Loaded

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Simplistic and fluffy, DePaul’s first Belladonna Agency paranormal will appeal to readers who like their vampires sexy, their heroines spunky and unaware of their own unending charms, and their narrative elementary. Former gang member Ana Martin (whose flavorful exclamations in Spanish were clearly written by someone who doesn’t speak Spanish) must join a Charlie’s Angels–style group of multitalented femmes fatales to infiltrate a cult and save her sister, all while resisting—and, of course, eventually indulging—her inexplicable sexual obsession with her vampiric FBI handler, Ty. Discriminating readers may find disbelief hard to suspend, as Ty and Ana form an instant and meaningful bond, and DePaul skips character development in favor of caricature, but readers looking only for fangs and sex scenes will find plenty of them here. Agent: Holly Root, Scott Waxman Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
Advance praise for Turned
 
“If you’re looking for a hot, sexy, emotional read, Virna DePaul delivers!”New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner

“A captivating start to a fascinating new series with a hero that’s to die for.”—Bestselling author Rhyannon Byrd
 
“Virna DePaul creates yummy alpha heroes.”New York Times bestselling author Tina Folsom

“With Turned, Virna DePaul delivers a sexy and exciting new take on the vampire novel, one that comes complete with a kick-ass heroine and a to-die-for hero. I can’t wait for the sequel!”—Tracy Wolff, bestselling author of Ruined

Turned is intense, intricate, and insomnia inducing (plan to stay up way too late!). Virna DePaul puts the awesome in the awesomesauce of paranormal romance.”—Joyce Lamb, curator, USA Today’s Happy Ever After

“The chemistry between the two was great and made for some very sexy scenes.”Fresh Fiction

“This book has everything you could want and so, so much more!”Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Turned is an intriguing story with flawed characters who I connected with immediately. Fans of paranormal romance rejoice, here’s a compelling new series to sink your teeth into.”Harlequin Junkie

“I loved Ana and Ty. . . . The attraction for both is instant.”From the TBR Pile

From the Publisher
"If you're looking for a hot, sexy, emotional read, Virna DePaul delivers!" —-J. Kenner, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345542458
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Series: Belladonna Agency Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 119,388
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor and bestselling author of steamy, suspenseful fiction. Whether featuring vampires, a Para-Ops team, hot cops, or swoon-worthy identical twin brothers, her stories center on complex individuals willing to overcome incredible odds for love.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Seattle, Washington

A few weeks later . . .

Back in the Bronx, Eliana Maria Garcia’s weapons of choice had been a smart mouth, the occasional threat of a knife, and her fists. Now, standing with her back pressed against the brick wall behind Monk’s Cafe, Ana Martin had something even better—a gun. One she was hoping she wouldn’t have to use.

Confronting the man who’d been following her, however, was unavoidable. She’d noticed him at the bank yesterday, then the market. But last night she’d seen him outside her house. And moments before? Across the street.

That was one coincidence too many. She’d left Primos Sangre over seven years ago, but if there was one thing the gang had taught her, it was that survival meant confronting danger head-on rather than running from it. Since she didn’t trust the cops—didn’t trust anyone—her only choice was to handle this herself. Her way.

If only she wasn’t so scared. But she’d put her old life behind her, and even though she wasn’t happy—could never be happy without her sister—she was often content. Sometimes when she looked in the mirror she even managed to like the person she saw looking back at her. The thought of losing that scared her more than any threat of physical harm ever could. And it scared her enough that she was willing to fight to make sure it didn’t happen.

The sun had set long ago. Now and then a stab of light from a passing car pierced the shadows of the alley where Ana was hiding, forcing her to dodge back. Invisible, shrouded in darkness, she waited. When she heard footsteps, she knew it was him.

Forcing her near-numb fingers to tighten their grip on the gun, she watched as he walked past her, then made her move, coming at him from behind, pressing the barrel of her gun against the back of his head.

He didn’t even jerk.

From the back, he looked big. Broad. Muscles rippling. Dangerous.

But from the front? Even from a distance, he’d looked more than dangerous. He’d looked deadly. Beyond handsome. Midnight hair and eyes just as dark. Savage and sophisticated at the same time. She’d never seen his equal. Certainly never met anyone that came close.

Part of her knew she’d gotten the drop on him a bit too easily. That perhaps she was doing exactly what he’d been expecting. Hoping.

But it was too late to go back now.

“Hands where I can see them,” she managed to get out.

Slowly, he raised his hands in surrender. Only she still wasn’t buying it. Her nerves screamed at her to run, but logic kept her feet planted firmly on the ground. Somehow, she knew if she ran, he’d only come after her.

“Why are you following me?”

No answer. No surprise.

With her free hand, she patted him down, the way she’d learned to do in the gang. By the time she’d frisked him from the back, she was the one who was sweating. And not from exertion.

Nothing about him was small. He was tall and buff, more than big enough to overpower her slight frame. Sangre-style paranoia set in, and it occurred to her that this guy might be undercover. She instantly recalled the run-ins she’d had with cops as a teenager. The way they’d often pulled her long dark ponytail, hard enough to make her back arch and breasts lift. The way they’d sometimes copped a feel or implied they’d leave her in peace if she made it worth their while. She’d never given them that satisfaction.

But no, she decided. This guy’s vibe was just too different. Not so much cop as outlaw.

His entire body was contoured with interesting ridges and bulges and planes. This close she could smell him, a subtle spicy scent that managed to convey unabashed maleness and warmth despite what seemed to be a rather low body temperature. The man held himself in control. Unlike her. Gritting her teeth, she ignored the rush of heat to her cheeks and moved faster to disguise the telltale trembling of her hands.

“Turn around,” she commanded.

Slowly, he did.

Despite the heat in his gaze, his mouth was tipped into a mocking smile, as if he knew how affected she was by touching him. What he didn’t know—couldn’t know—was how confused she was by her reaction. He made her feel . . . restless. Edgy. Vulnerable.

She hated it.

As such, she hated him.

Methodically, she frisked him from the front, delving between his denim-clad legs to make sure he wasn’t packing more than nature had provided.

He grunted slightly and said, “Keep that up and you might find more than you want, princess.”

His accent was clipped and tidy—upper-crust British. Despite herself, her gaze shot to his.

“Don’t call me that,” she said automatically, just before she found the gun tucked into a sleek holster concealed inside his waistband.

She pulled it out, and the sight of the Luger didn’t surprise her. The well-made weapon suited him. Swiftly, she slipped it out of his holster and into the front of her own waistband.

The only other time she’d seen a Luger was when she’d delivered a package to Pablo, the leader of Devil’s Crew, another street gang, and he’d insisted on inspecting the contents before he paid. He’d told her the guns had been stolen from some Richie Rich who liked fancy cars as well as fancy guns. When he’d asked her what kind of car she drove, she’d told him the truth. None. She’d only been fourteen at the time.

Even so, her youth hadn’t stopped her from fighting the gang leader when he’d decided to inspect more than the package she’d delivered. All she’d gotten for her trouble was a beating and the ugly scar on her face.

To her, big and male was synonymous with power and violence.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” the man in front of her said softly, as if he’d read her mind. “If you’ll listen to me, I can help you, Ana.”

The fact he knew her name shocked her . . . and scared her even more. “Fuck you,” she snapped without meaning to. Swearing was an old habit, one she’d fought hard to break, but sometimes it came out. When she was angry . . . when she felt threatened . . . the tough girl inside her lost control, cursing and spitting and speaking Spanish in an effort to protect herself despite the fact it merely revealed how vulnerable she really was.

How weak.

She bit her lip, furious that he’d sensed her fear. Furious that his offer of help made her easily long for things she couldn’t possibly have.

She’d gotten soft. Too soft. And once again she was paying the price. The only question was how high the price would be this time.

“Move.” She gestured with her gun. “Face the wall.” He had her so rattled she was second-guessing herself. She needed to frisk him again. Make sure she hadn’t missed anything the first time.

He merely stared silently at her, and she forced herself to snap, “Now.”

Unbelievably, he practically rolled his eyes just before he obeyed, cursing when she suddenly shoved him face-first against the brick; Eliana Garcia, gang member, was quickly chipping away at the civilized, respectable woman Ana had been trying to become.

But instead of retaliating, he waited while she frisked him yet again. When she was done, when he failed to make a move on her, she relaxed slightly. “Face me.”

As he did, she saw the slight trickle of blood now dripping from a cut on his forehead. She felt a momentary pang of guilt. Along with it came the strange temptation to wipe the blood away and kiss the wound better. To kiss all his hurt away. Hurt she somehow sensed was there.

Which was beyond ridiculous. Like one of those tearjerker movies where the love of a good woman saved some useless son of a bitch.

He didn’t need her to wash his freakin’ pain away. He needed to know who was boss. Besides, she didn’t take care of anyone but herself anymore. It was better that way. Safer.

Instinctively, she gripped her gun tighter while he leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms over his chest, no longer smiling but watching her with an intensity that made her shiver.

“You’ve been trailing me since yesterday,” she said, “and not just because you like my coffee. ¿Porque?”

At her lapse into Spanish and the thickening of her accent, Ana clenched her teeth, then deliberately modulated her voice so it was once again white-bread Americana. “Why are you following me?”

He smiled again, as if her speaking Spanish had amused him.

Embarrassment washed over her and she wavered, accidentally lowering the gun. “Answer me, bastardo—”

In a blur of movement, he grabbed her wrist, wrenched the gun from her hand, flipped her to the ground, and covered her body with his much larger one.

Reflexively, she struck out, striking him in the face before he pinned her arms and his body simply weighed her down. Damn it, she’d known it had been too easy. He’d set her up. And the way he’d moved . . . Faster than anything she’d ever seen before.

But oddly enough, he had his body braced so his full weight wasn’t on her. As if he wanted her pinned but not hurt.

As if he was taking care of her.

Breathing hard, she stared into his mesmerizing face. His scent would be all over her, she thought absently. When he shifted, rubbing his lower body against her, she blinked at the unexpected warmth that flooded her. He was cold, yet he made her feel so good. So hot. Literally. For another crazy second, she wanted to grab either side of his face, pull him closer, and kiss him.

Ah Dios. She was losing it.

He tsked. “It was your f-bomb that finally got to me, you know. Normally, you hold back. You don’t have to. Your cursing. Your use of Spanish. I like it. I more than like it. I just had to see if you felt as good as you look. As you sound.”

Again, that dazzling smile. The British perfection in the way he modulated his words. Those cold eyes. Danger emanated from him like a flashing red light, while charm oozed from him like honey.

He leaned closer and whispered. “Lucky me. You feel even better than I’d anticipated.” When she failed to respond, he raised a brow. “What? I’ve rendered you speechless? Or are you just holding back again? I told you I’m here to help. That starts with offering you a job.”

Now that she hadn’t been expecting. She snorted and shifted underneath him, working to twist her way out from under his weight. The intoxicating feel of her limbs rubbing against his made her want to move slower. To relish the contact.

Instantly, she ceased her attempts to get away from him.

“I’m not stupid or gullible—” she began.

“No. In fact, Tea believes you’re extremely smart. One of the smartest she’s ever worked with.”

Ana went rigid with hurt. Tea—a woman she’d thought was the closest thing she had to a friend—had sent him here with no warning? “Please get off me,” she whispered when what she really wanted to do was scream. Cuss. In Spanish and English.

He kept his gaze locked on hers for several seconds, then said, “As you wish.” Pushing himself to standing, he held out a hand to help her up.

She ignored him and scrambled to her feet, immediately backing several steps away. “How do you know Tea? Why did she—”

“Ana!”

Ana jerked when she heard Paul, one of her employees at the coffee shop, call her name, but she didn’t take her eyes off the man. “I’ll be right there,” she shouted back.

The man in front of her didn’t bat an eye.

She shook her head. “Tea misled you. I don’t want anything from you.”

“Not even information about your sister?”

Her heart stopped beating and for a moment the world around her blurred. She fought against the wooziness, focusing on the man’s face. Excitement tickled the back of her throat and sent a buzzing up her spine.

Ana hadn’t seen her sister, Gloria, for seven years, not since Ana had tried to jump them both out of Primos Sangre. Gloria had only joined the gang after returning from living with her grandparents. Ana had barely recognized her. Gloria had been angry. Distant. Wanting her sister’s company one minute and hating it the next. After the shooting, she’d written Ana in prison, making it abundantly clear she blamed Ana for her injury and never wanted to see her again.

Had Gloria changed her mind? Had she sent this man to tell her that? A wash of excitement shot through her. Buoyed her. Maybe the stranger that had returned from living with her grandparents had finally turned back into the loving sister Ana remembered. Without even realizing what she was doing, she stepped closer. “You know Gloria?”

“I know about her.”

“But did Gloria send you to find me?” she asked, hope reducing her voice to a whisper.

“No.”

Disappointment. Suspicion. Dismissal. All cut through the excitement and hope, scattering them to the wind.

Nothing had changed. As such, this man had nothing she needed.

As if he could read her mind he said, “I told you, I’m here to offer you a job.”

“I’m not interested in anything you’re offering.” Slowly, her eyes never leaving him, she retrieved her gun, tucked it into her waistband right next to his, covered them with her sweater, and started walking backward toward the cafe entrance.

“I’m quite fond of my gun, you know,” he called out.

“It’s mine now.”

“It’s also a violation of your parole for you to carry a firearm.”

That made her freeze, but only for a second. She turned and walked to the coffeehouse door, her steps slow and lethargic. Over her shoulder, she muttered, “So tell my parole officer. Tea always knows where to find me.”

Ty sighed as Ana walked back into her coffeehouse. She moved fast and loose, as if tackling a guy in an alley and pointing a gun at him was par for the course. He supposed given her background, it was like riding a bike—you never forgot how, not when your very survival was at stake. But that didn’t mean she hadn’t been shaken up by their encounter.

She seemed to fit in well with the college crowd she served. In fact, in her uniform of short tees and tight jeans, she could have been a student herself. She worked. She went home. She kept to herself.

But she wasn’t happy with her life. Far from it. She’d simply convinced herself she couldn’t have more. Sometimes, however, her true nature came through despite her best attempts to hide it.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

4 Star

(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    ONE OF THE BEST VAMPIRE BOOKS I'VE EVER READ!

    A very sensual, and romantic book. If your crazy for vampire romance i would absolutely reccomend you to read this book it gives the perfect amount without overdoing it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Good concept.

    For the most part, I enjoyed the main characters, their back stories and the interactions between them. I like the idea of a covert branch of the FBI that deals with vampire human relations.
    My main problem with the writing was the spanish passages. They read as if the author used an english to spanish translator. The passages were translated in literal fashion and not in context with what the character was trying to convey.
    It was just annoying enough to break the flow of the story for me.
    I will be reading the second book in the series as I did like the basic idea.

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  • Posted April 30, 2014

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Ty Duncan is a FBI special agent that was turned into a vampire by the very vampires the FBI was making. The FBI knows about the secretive race of vampires, the public doesn’t. They’ve decided to secretly make vampires of their own in anticipation of a war with vampires. Ana Martin is a former gang member that did anything and everything to try to protect her sister, Gloria. Ana is trying desperately to find her sister when Ty waltzes into her life. Ty now works for a secret agency called the Belladonna Agency. He was sent to recruit Ana by any means possible. The lure of finding Gloria is too strong for Ana. She agrees to join the agency. Will Ana find her sister? Will Ty and Ana act on the chemistry simmering between them? 

    I loved this book. I love the Belladonna Agency. A covert agency using women as operatives, I absolutely love the concept. I also love that each book seems to be about another member of the agency. I loved Ty and Ana. My heart broke for all that they’d been through. I did want to knock some sense into Ty at times. The way he felt sorry for himself was quite depressing. I loved that Ana was loyal to her sister. I also loved that she was willing to make the most of the circumstances she found herself in. I also loved that it had a HEA ending, those are my favorites. I can’t wait for more of this series. It’s definitely on my list of must reads.

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  • Posted April 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Turned is not your every day dark paranormal romance.  The F

    Turned is not your every day dark paranormal romance. 




    The FBI has tried their hand at creating vampires and it has literally come back to bite them. The same rogue faction the FBI allied themselves with is now forcibly changing and torturing agents, using illegal immigrants as blood slaves and murdering without discretion. Trying to take back control, FBI agent now turned vampire, Ty Duncan must enlist the help of Ana Martin to infiltrate this rogue band. Ana is the key because her sister and her ex-best friend are intimately connected to this rogue group.




    I found Turned to be an enjoyable read. The story is fast paced and action filled. There were quite a few unexpected twists and some extremely strong sexual chemistry...providing hot and steamy scenes. The story did not provide me with any kind of character connection, keeping me from becoming completely invested in the character's outcome. What it lacked in connection, it gained in raw chemistry and explosive attraction between Ty and Ana.




    For a highly enjoyable, dark, steaming hot, paranormal vampire read, check out Turned.

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  • Posted April 19, 2014

    4.5 STARS Turned: The Belladonna Agency Book 1 I thoroughly en

    4.5 STARS Turned: The Belladonna Agency Book 1


    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Turned. If you love your paranormal with added suspense you must read Turned you are sure to be engrossed within its pages until the very end.

    Ty Duncan was an FBI Agent now he works for the Belladonna Agency a special unit put together to track rogue vampires who the FBI were using to turn agents until they started turning whoever they wanted including Ty and his friend Peter.

    Eliana Garcia or Ana Martin as she is now known has lived a hard life. Spending time in a gang and then in prison she has finally started to get herself together she has her own coffee shop and she works hard to make ends meet.

    The Belladonna Agency's mission is to find the rogues' leader and bring an end to the turnings. Carly their boss decides to bring in some new recruits to help get the job done. Feeling she needs to make thing right the women Carly has chosen were all affected by a shootout that happened seven years ago. Ty is still struggling with what he has become and the intense loss he has suffered but he is also determined to end the rogues' even if it cost him his life. Ty mission is to recruit Ana to the agency she has something they need, a way in. Ana intimately knows the man who leads the organisation they need to infiltrate and they know she won't be able to refuse because that it is also where she will find the sister she has been desperately looking for. As the plan starts to come together and everyone begins to know their role thing change, Ana makes Ty feel and gives him a reason to live and he doesn't know if he can keep his distance or he can let her put herself in danger, but Ana won't give him a choice on either. Ana is set on completing the mission and proving them wrong about her sister. When they finally gain access to the compound where Ana's sister is thing start to unravel and everything is not as it seem. How solid is the information the Belladonna Agency received? Are Ana and Ty about to become the next causalities of the rogues' brutal game before they even realised what has happened.

    Great start to a new series and I look forward to reading the next instalment.

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  • Posted April 16, 2014

    Turned, this first book in The Belladonna Agency series by Virna

    Turned, this first book in The Belladonna Agency series by Virna DePaul is certainly my kind of book. It’s filled with action and suspense, great solid characters, romance and of course my absolutely favorite PN creature. Offering a unique perspective of vampires, this page turner grabbed me from the beginning and had me reading until the wee hours of the morning. 




    Ty, Ty, Ty. Yes you were turned against your will but it’s time to get over it and move forward. Ana’s life was much worse than yours was. Let me add, I thoroughly appreciated how her backstory wasn’t a complete info dump at the beginning of the book. It was more like (To quote Donkey) peeling layers off on onion. Each layer of her past as well as each layer of the story was revealed bit by bit so I was able to absorb everything as I went along. As for character wise, I like them. You could feel the hesitant chemistry between them. As for the hotness of the book, yes it’s there. Very interesting how it doesn’t quite start out as physical as one expects. I Actually, I enjoyed all the characters, good, bad and the ones that I’m still not sure what side of the fence they straddle. That keeps things interesting enough for me to want to come back and see how they ultimately turn out. There are definitely I hope to see get their own stories. 




    I totally give props to Ms. DePaul for coming up with the most interesting way I have ever read for creating a new vampire. Not the born ones, although I would love to find out more about their origins, but the ones turned. I’m not giving details so you can be equal surprised but let me just say, it most certainly was NOT what I expected. Actually, while there were a few things I had anticipated occurring I was equally surprised some of the unexpected twists. I like it when an author keeps me on my toes.




    Author Virna DePaul has been on my author bucket list to read for quite some time so when the opportunity came up to FINALLY read her works, I jumped. Thankfully, Turned was a great book and a good start to The Belladonna Agency series. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to read the next in the series.








    I received this book from JeepDiva for the express purposes of an honest review. The opinions and rating of this review are solely mine and in no way was I compensated.




    Stars– 4, Flames – 3

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  • Posted April 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This is a cool story!  Virna did a great job putting some twists

    This is a cool story!  Virna did a great job putting some twists into the lore of her vampires. She switched it up so well it took a bit to get into the story. But when I got it I couldn't put it down. Ty works for Belladonna, a hidden group in the FBI. He is very upset as he has been turned into a vampire. He is working to find out who is turning all the humans. Ana was in a gang and started a gunfight with trying to get out. The leader Miguel loved her and was letting her go. Now she owns a coffee shop and is hiding. Ty is sent to recruit her to find who is responsible. She and Ty go into a cult and meet her former love and her sister she thought was dead. To see how it all ends you have to read this book. 

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  • Posted April 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ~Reviewed by ANGELA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    ~Reviewed by ANGELA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    I’ve read Ms. Depaul’s Special Investigations Group aka SIG series and enjoyed it. Just like her SIG series, Ms. Depaul executed the mystery and suspense in this book with precision. The FBI, police, and gang involvement were quite realistic. Certainly, the vampire sides of things are not practical but the connection between the vamps and FBI was interesting. As usual, the FBI is trying to keep the existence of vampires a secret, but not so shy in using them to their advantage. Unfortunately, some secrets come back to bite them in the ass. Now, they bring in the Belladonna agency to fix their problem.

    FBI agent Ty is a newly turned vampire. Though still a baby, in vampire terms, his next mission is to catch rogue vampires responsible for human trafficking. But before that, he will need to build a team that can withstand the dangers of dealing with rogue vamps. That’s when he meets Anna, an ex-gang member also the ex-girlfriend of their first targeted perpetrator.

    Though, it started out on false pretenses, Ty and Anna had cute beginning. I thought they were sweet and definitely hot together. I love that Ty trained Anna to be a better fighter. Not that she can’t kick ass; after all, being in a gang requires some fighting and survival skills. It was just a matter of honing those skills.

    Turned had a fascinating plot. The rogue vamps had started a nonprofit organization recognized by the government to help Hispanic immigrants. Of course, that is all just in the surface and that is what the Belladonna agency is trying to uncover. The idea of rogue vamps starting a nonprofit organization to use immigrants and gangs intrigued me. The conspiracy and the drama were all very entertaining. The only thing I noticed is that the world building, as far as the vampires were not clear cut. I felt that the book was more focused on the rom/sus part of the book. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it but I would have like to know more details of the vampire society. I’m betting there will be more revealing of their world on the next installment.

    Turned is a great start to a new series. If you like PNR with a strong romantic suspense element, I recommend giving Turned a try.

    *Review copy provided by publisher.

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  • Posted April 7, 2014

    I enjoyed greatly the idea for this book, it's very original and

    I enjoyed greatly the idea for this book, it's very original and being me a fan of thrillers/police and other authorities investigations as well as a vampire lover, this was a very welcome book.

    My favorite part was the last one, it was such an adrenaline. And it presented a character that interested me a lot and I hope he'll appear again later.

    I'm very curious to know what will happen in the next book.

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  • Posted April 6, 2014

    Turned. The Belladonna Agency Series. Virna DePaul Review from J

    Turned. The Belladonna Agency Series. Virna DePaul
    Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.

    I love to find a new series starting so was pleased to get this one for review. The first book in a new series can be problematic, sometimes its so good that the next just can't live up to the promise, and sometimes – as I found with this one, there's so much information to give that the actual novel is quite slow starting. I enjoyed this book, but the first half did go very slowly for me. To be honest though Virna is creating something different, a world much like ours where supernatural creatures exist (and who knows – they may ?) but are hidden from most of the population. The FBI have persuaded vampires to Turn some of their staff, clearly the thought of super-strong, almost immortal staff appeals to them. There's been problems though, the Vampire Queen and Laws forbid Turning, so those who work for FBI are deemed Rogues, and of course like any section outside rules of convention they've become anarchic and are a problem for the FBI that's got out of control.
    Belladonna is a shadow agency formed to keep vampires in check, and Ty is one of its members. Like a few others he's a vampire – Turned unwillingly he sees himself as a monster, and fights his desire for new member Ana. He's working close to her though, training her for an assignment they'll be taking together, and the attraction between them is intense. Ana sees him as someone far above her, she's from a Hispanic poor background and he's clearly from a wealthy white one, and she thinks there's no way he'd want her. They're both wrong though and a simmering, steamy, erotic romance develops. I had issues with the training – the time scales, she becomes a proficient knife-thrower in just a few days? While she's aching from injuries gained in her other hand-to-hand combat training...and she learned to ride – to canter no less – in just one day? As a horse rider I can tell you that’s just not possible especially when she's aching from the other training.....I'd have understood more if it had been a month – two for preference.
    Along side all this is the story about the new agency, and we're introduced to other members, and the rules of the world they're working in. That's what slowed down the first half for me, but was necessary and in the long run the series will be stronger for it.
    I'm looking forward to reading more from Belladonna Agency and its members.
    Stars: four, a great solid beginning to a new series
    NB: ARC supplied via Netgalley.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2014

    NUMBER OF HEARTS: 2 1/2 REVIEW:  Really on the fence about this

    NUMBER OF HEARTS: 2 1/2
    REVIEW: 
    Really on the fence about this book. I liked the world, liked the idea behind the story liked the beginning. But I just never really connected with the main two characters. I really can’t explain why. I just didn’t feel the love that I would have liked to. 

    Even with that it was a good story and I am going to give the next book in this series a shot. 

    Disclaimer: 
    I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley & in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    This thrilling read is a great beginning for an intriguing new v

    This thrilling read is a great beginning for an intriguing new vampire series.  FBI agent Ty Duncan was recently turned and now has one mission: to bring rogue vampires to justice.  As a recruiter for the Belladonna shadow agency, he must tap Ana Martin, but from their first encounter, Ty fights a hunger to make her his own.  When Ty claims to have information regarding her missing sister, Ana has no choice but to trust this captivating stranger who awakens her deepest desires. But as they climb to the heights of pleasure and passion and enemy is conspiring to destroy them both.
    This steady to fast paced plot keeps readers on their toes with suspense, drama, action, and romance.  The author brings this intriguing new secret vampire world that exists alongside humans to life with vivid imagery and details that capture that imagination and makes the reader feel as if they are part of the story.  The characters are strong, compelling, easily related to and grab the reader’s attention from the very beginning.
    The attraction between Ty and Ana radiates extreme heat from every page and the sex scenes scorch the reader with their vibrant intensity, but the relationship has a few obstacles to overcome.  Ty hasn’t fully accepted his new vampire status which the reader certainly empathizes with as he tries to do his job and do right by Ana and stay away.  Ana has trust issues due to her past and of course she doesn’t really understand what’s going on with this agency and the reader can understand why she has problems with what they tell her.
    The author has created a fascinating vampire world with some refreshingly different traits that keep things interesting also to spice the story up even more there are quite few surprising twists that the reader doesn’t see coming. Although there were a couple of small instances where the story seemed to drag slightly, I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read the next book with these captivating characters and learn more about their stories.

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The story started off well, and it didn't take long for the hero

    The story started off well, and it didn't take long for the hero and heroine to have their first contact. I liked that Ana was a blend of hard and soft. She was a survivor, a fighter, and determined to hold on to her independence. Her only weakness was her sister and her desire to find her. Had Ty been human, I might have said they were an equal match. Her appeal began to wear off the more she repeated how much she missed her sister and began making excuses for the two people that Belladonna was after. She was also one of those heroines who just had to defy the hero and insist on confronting vampires armed only with a bit of defiance and hope.

    My first impression of Ty was definitely a good one. He was one of the good guys, he was gorgeous, he was a bad a** when he had to be and he had a British accent. The stronger his feelings got for Ana, and the more she waffled, the more emo he got. At six months “reborn” he was bound to fall off the wagon. Then came the self-loathing. When it seemed like Ana wasn't going to express a desire to become like him or at least discuss their options, he would say it wouldn't be a bad thing if he died. As a hero, an FBI agent with special abilities, I would have wanted him to be a little bit more...manly, I suppose.

    I struggled with this story. I liked the plot, but there was quite an info dump at the beginning. The information was later repeated for Ana's benefit when she was told about Belladonna, its purpose and what role she would be asked to play. Speaking of repetitiveness, Ana kept mentioning how much she missed her sister and bemoaned that burned bridge at least every other page. Whenever the story was starting to take hold and roll along, I got pulled out of it because Gloria was mentioned yet again.

    I didn't buy their chemistry because the majority of it developed during the two weeks he was training her in combat, and the first few sex scenes were in their dreams. They never talked about themselves, so I never saw them trying to learn about one another. Granted he knew a lot from his dossier on her, but she never reciprocated. Some of the story space could have been better spent on building more of a connection between Ana and Ty instead of them making assumptions on each other's behalf. By the end of the book, I was still a little unclear as to why Gloria's hatred ran so deep. Perhaps she was brainwashed, but we'll never know.

    The Bottom Line

    This was an interesting introduction to a new series, but I think the execution could have been better. Certain parts of the story dragged, and like the protagonists, I didn't know if the attraction was because they were (fated) mates or just a normal attraction between a man and a woman. That part of vampirism wasn't explored in this book. I found some of the supporting characters more interesting than the protagonists. At this point, I'm undecided on whether or not I want to continue with this series. I have read a contemporary erotic romance by this author and enjoyed that one more. This was just okay in comparison to the other works mentioned in the tagline.

    FD: Complementary copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans.

    Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans. This centuries-old species has its own rules, code of conduct, and taboos. Only the FBI knows that vampires exist—and although the Bureau agrees to keep their secret, it also plots to give humans the upper hand.




    Turning mortals into vampires is forbidden.




    But there are creatures who refuse to play by the rules.




    Ever since he was turned, FBI special agent Ty Duncan has had one mission: bring rogue vampires to justice. As a recruiter for Belladonna, a shadow agency formed to keep vampires in check, Ty must tap Ana Martin, a troubled ex–gang member and one of the few mortals who can infiltrate places that his kind and the law cannot. From their first encounter, Ty fights a hunger to make Ana his own.




    When Ty claims to have information about Ana’s missing sister, Ana has no choice but to trust this captivating stranger who awakens her deepest desires. But as she and Ty climb the heights of pleasure and passion, an enemy is conspiring to destroy them both.




    Can Ana help Ty find his humanity in a love that could heal them both, or will their passion lead them into a darkness impossible to escape?




    Review:




    What a fresh and interesting twist on vampires.




    I had never read this Authors work before and definitely enjoyed her writing style.  




    In this world only a select few know that vampires exist and born vampires are still very much an enigma.  Basically, there is a special unit of the FBI that knows about them and that is about it except for a select few others.  The Belladonna team has been assembled to put a stop to rogue vampires who are changing humans into vampires.  Ty and Pete have been turned into vampires against their will and are now helping to set up the Belladonna Agency.  Their first 




    The book was slow going in parts due to the world building and the people they recruit for Belladonna and others get told about the vampires and rogues.  Was a little tedious in that respect but I still enjoyed the story and think it will be better in the books to come in the series.  There was lots of intrigue and machinations going on that in a couple instances I did not figure out who was doing what until the very end of the book.  I really thought the scenes between the vampire queen and Mahone were very enticing and hope we get to see more of these two in later books.  And for those lovers of the sexy, there is plenty of that between Ana and Ty and it is Hot!




    A really good start to a new series!




    3.5 Stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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