She’s the new head of the Underworld Detection Agency’s strangest division.
What a nightmare…
Being a human immune to magic helped Sophie Lawson get promoted. It’s also made her a major, very reluctant player in a game that stretches beyond even the Underworld. Having handsome buttoned-down Englishman Will as her new guardian is one tempting blessing, especially since sexy fallen angel Alex is mysteriously MIA lately. But as a frightening number of demons start disappearing around the city, Sophie suspects that an Armageddon-level prophecy is about to become everyone’s nightmare. And her investigation is testing her bravery—and Will’s unexpected vulnerability—in ways neither could predict. Now Sophie and Will are fast running out of time as an unstoppable evil prepares to lay waste to demons and humans alike…
Praise for Hannah Jayne’s Under Attack
“This urban fantasy tale smartly balances riveting action with wonderful light touches...New readers and returning fans will find it entirely accessible and enjoyable.” --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
You’d think by the time a guy had gained immortality,
he’d tire of copying his butt on the office copy machine.
I was pulling out the third paper jamof themorning—
and tossing fistfuls of copies of a weird combination of
butt cheek and hoof—when Nina poked her head in,
scanning the room, and asked, “Is she gone?”
I flopped backward and blew a few strands of my hair
(done up in Clairol’s Red Hot) out of my eye. “Who?”
Nina shimmied into the copy room and straightened
her vintage boat-necked Balenciaga dress. She had
paired this little number with black-and-purple lace
tights and those peekaboo booties that make me look
like a poor lumberjack while it made supermodels (and
vampires) look amazingly chic.
I guess living through two world wars and umpteen
clothing revolutions would pique your fashion sense.
“What do you mean, who? Mrs. Henderson. This
dress”—Nina did an elegant twirl—“is not only vintage,
it’s irreplaceable. I wore it when I nabbed a bite of John
Lennon.” Nina batted her lashes and grinned, her small
fangs pressing against her red lips.
I cocked an eyebrow and Nina blew out an exasperated
“Fine. It was Ringo. So, is she gone?”
Mrs. Henderson—the Underworld Detection Agency’s
busybody dragon and all-around most obnoxious
client—and Nina have a bit of a history together. It’s
one that most often leaves Nina naked and hairless, with
Mrs. Henderson hiccupping smoke rings and not-so genuine
I looked down at my watch. “Oh my gosh, I’m totally
late. Thanks for reminding me.”
I thrust the last of the hoof-and-butt Xeroxes into
Nina’s hands and headed to my desk—hopping over the
burnt-hole remains of a wizard, who had blown himself
up, and looking away from Lorraine, UDA’s resident
witch and finance whiz. She tried to stop me by waving
in front of my face a folder full of invoices, but I was
able to dodge her, thanks in part to the seminar that HR
held on “Respecting Your Coworker’s Personal Space.”
I flopped into my ergonomically questionable chair
and blew out a deep, comforting breath, then laced my
fingers over Mrs. Henderson’s files. In addition to being
a fire-breathing, St. John Knit–wearing dragon, Mrs.
Henderson was a divorcée hell-bent on squeezing her
cheating ex-husband for every last dime. As our agency
detected all supernatural movement within our region,
Mrs. Henderson dropped in monthly for updates and especially
liked it when we were prepared for her with Mr.
H’s paycheck stubs and warm, fuzzy stories about his
current financial woes.
Fifteen minutes later, Mr. H’s statements were still
undisturbed in my file folder, and Mrs. Henderson was
nowhere to be found.
I buzzed the reception desk and Kale answered—I
could hear the murmur of the iBud she kept continually
tucked in her left ear. “Reception,” she said, “what can I
do you for?”
“Hey, Kale, it’s Sophie. Did Mrs. Henderson call in?
She’s almost twenty minutes late for her appointment.”
I heard Kale muss some papers on the other end of
the phone and then the snap of her gum. “No, nothing.
Are you sure she was scheduled today?”
“Positive. It’s the fifteenth.”
“Ooh, alimony pickup day. She’s usually a half hour
“That’s what I was thinking. I’ll try and ring her
I rapped my fingers on my desk, suddenly impatient.
“Um,” Kale started to stutter and drift off, and I
could almost see her biting her lower lip, curling the
telephone cord around her finger.
“What about Vlad?” I asked.
Vlad was Nina’s nephew—and he was a current
UDA employee, leader of the San Francisco chapter of
the Vampire Empowerment and Restoration Movement
(VERM for short, and for annoying Vlad incessantly),
and a permanent fixture on Nina’s and my couch. He
had the bright eyes, video game fetish, and disdain for
folding clothes that most sixteen-year-olds had.
Except that he was 112.
“Do you know if he is seeing anyone?”
Kale had been in lovewithVlad since he first blewinto
the city—moody, restless, and dressed like Count Chocula.
The Vampire Empowerment and Restoration Movement
required that its adherents stick to the “classic” dress
code of the fearsome vampires of yesteryear (more Bela
Lugosi, less Edward Cullen) and also preached a
staunch code against vampire/nonvampire mixing. That
left Kale—a Gestalt witch of the green order—to pine relentlessly
and callme on numerous occasions to ask about
Vlad’s dating status.
“No, Kale, I don’t think so.”
She let out a loud whoosh of relief. “That’s what his
Facebook status said. I just wanted to make sure. Bye,
The hangup sounded in my ear as I pulled up Mrs.
Henderson’s phone number. I was in the middle of dialing
when Nina stalked in, slamming the door behind
her. “So what did the big lizard have to say today? She
needs more money for crickets?”
I hung up the phone and rubbed my temples. “She’s
a dragon, not a lizard, and she still hasn’t shown up.That’s
not like her.”
Nina whipped out a nail file and gave her perfectly
manicured nails the once-over. “Maybe she lit herself
on fire. One can only hope. “She snorted, her smile lingering.
“I want to go shopping. What do you think?
Boutique in the Haight or mainstream on Market?”
I frowned. “I’m kind of worried about Mrs. Henderson.”
“So send her an edible arrangement. Don’t they have
one with staked mice or something? Anyway, boutique
or mainstream? I need your financial prowess to point
me in the right retail direction.”
I pulled out my calendar and flipped back a few
pages. “Last week I had two missed appointments.”
Nina pouted. “Are you doubting your popularity at
UDA now?You know everyone here adores you and we
don’t even consider your . . . issue.”
I felt a blush rise to my cheeks.
My “issue” was my breath. Not that it was bad (at
least I don’t think it is); it is that I have some. The Underworld
DetectionAgency not only caters to the demon
community—providing transfer papers, tracking paranormal
activity in the city, detecting demon activity, and
protecting from demonic or human threats—it is also
staffed by demons.
Except for me.