Cazadora (Dakota del Toro – 1) by Julia DeBarrioz
Bounty hunter Dakota del Toro always gets her werewolf. When she’s almost fired from the Preternatural Control Team for bringing in a mark who tests to be human she knows something is rotten in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her 1965 Beetle is stolen, and a werewolf ransacks her house looking for drugs she doesn’t have. Determined to get to the bottom of it, Dakota enlists the help of Diego de Gama, all-too-handsome gallery owner and vampire revolutionary.
Somehow, the disappearance of a teenage mafia princess seems to tie in to it all. Hot on the trail, Dakota is led into the mysterious world of Changelings, a counterculture who likes to pretend they are were-creatures. It’s all fun and games, until someone loses their heart—pulled still beating from their chest. It all leads to a Halloween masquerade at Kama Luna, a nightclub for the things that go bump in the night. Ready to face a wicked witch of the Amazon and her whip-wielding consort, Dakota ties on her mask and straps on her guns. She’ll show these beasties how she earned the name Cazadora, or die trying.
Julia DeBarrioz lives in the countryside near Saint Louis with her beloved husband and an ever growing zoo of winged and furred wards, including two conures, a large flock of fancy chickens, and a pair of giant French Lop bunnies.
She holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Art. When she’s not writing she loves to draw, paint, and sling clay. When applying for university most of her portfolio consisted of portraits of her book characters. The universe of Dakota del Toro has been long in the making, and she is very excited to finally share this part of her imagination with the public.
Julia has traveled the world extensively, and her wander lust has taken her to Europe, Asia, Latin America, and all over the United States. For all her travels, Santa Fe, New Mexico retains the crown as her favorite dot on the map.
Dakota del Toro is a bounty hunter with the Preternatural Control Team and likes nothing more than hunting down werewolves and is trying to find a cure for them. Dakota seems to be a preternatural magnet and no matter what she is doing, she finds herself in the middle of a war between vampires and werewolves and between the vampires themselves. She decides to work with Diego de Gama, a 400 year old vampire to try to bring peace to the two races. Sadly they are not the only preternatural creatures out there. But they are not as dangerous as the attraction between Dakota and Diego.
This is an amazing first novel from Julia DeBarrioz. It has a great story that sucks you in from the first page and Dakota tranquilizing a werewolf to the end. This world is beautifully described and I love all the other paranormal creatures we find besides the vampires and werewolves. But I especially love Dakota, she is a kick-ass heroine. And if trying to cure the lycanthrope disease is not enough, how about teaming up with a secret army of vampires to try and overthrow the current Don? I loved reading about both her and Deigo dancing around each other’s feelings yet trying to keep a distance between them.
This is a fresh twist on the vampire vs. werewolf war but it is one that you HAVE to read. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series, The Fiercest Star.
I received Cazadora from Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in my way influenced my opinion of this book.