Sharp Shooter (Tara Sharp #1) by Marianne Delacourt

Introducing Tara Sharp, a fun, feisty, kick-arse crime fighter for fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum.

Tara Sharp should be just another unemployable, twenty-something, ex-private schoolgirl . . . but she has the gift - or curse as she sees it - of reading people's auras. The trouble is, auras sometimes tell you things about people they don't want you to know.

When a family friend recommends Mr Hara's Paralanguage School, Tara decides to give it a whirl - and graduates with flying colours. So when Mr Hara picks up passes on a job for a hot-shot lawyer she jumps at the chance despite some of his less-than-salubrious clients.

Tara should know better than to get involved when she learns the job involves mob boss Johnny Vogue. But she's broke and the magic words 'retainer' and 'bonus' have been mentioned. Soon Tara finds herself sucked into an underworld 'situation' that has her running for her life.

Marianne Delacourt is the pseudonym of a successful Australian sf-fantasy author who is sold throughout the world.
  Paperback, 313 pages Published September 2009 by Allen & Unwin 

Tara Sharp is a completely likeable character, somebody you'd want on your side and would be amazing to hang out with. She's young, living in her parents garage, still trying to figure out what to do with her life. Using her Aura-reading ability to her advantage she gets some odd jobs around town, and some that turn into detective work and finds herself in some dangerous and funny situations.

I was very pleasantly surprised that this novel did not contain a lot of romance. Sure, Tara has a date or two and sure she has some attraction to them. But it's a time in her life that she is focusing on her, and getting through her current assignments. My favorite part of the story is focus on getting yourself straight before messing around with a love interest.

Tara is the type of girl that cannot sit still, she loves her car and keeping healthy. Her parents opinions matter a lot to her (even though she's not always up front with them). She ends up getting into some pretty sticky situations and there is humor throughout the book. I especially love the quirky-ness of the pet birds and how much they play a part in the story.

There is a lot going on in this story. She is trying to handle her at home business, but she gets involved an job offer through Mr Hara that she can't pass up. This leads to several different adventures and more trouble than she knows what to do with. But she's a pretty smart cookie and knows when to ask for help. 



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