Friday, February 10, 2012

Review: Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (Jolie Wilkins, #1) by H.P. Mallory

Published: July 2010
Format: eBook
Genre: Adult, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Series: Jolie Wilkins
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

A self-deprecating witch with the unique ability to reanimate the dead. A dangerously handsome warlock torn between being her boss and her would-be lover. A six hundred year old English vampire with his own agenda; one that includes an appetite for witches. The Underworld in a state of chaos. Let the games begin.

Life isn’t bad for psychic Jolie Wilkins. True, she doesn’t have a love life to speak of, but she has a cute house in the suburbs of Los Angeles, a cat and a quirky best friend.

Enter Rand Balfour, a sinfully attractive warlock who insists she’s a witch and who just might turn her life upside down. Rand hires her to help him solve a mystery regarding the death of his client who also happens to be a ghost. Jolie not only uncovers the cause of the ghost’s demise but, in the process, she brings him back to life!

Word of Jolie’s incredible ability to bring back the dead spreads like wildfire, putting her at the top of the Underworld’s most wanted list. Consequently, she finds herself at the center of a custody battle between a villainous witch, a dangerous but oh-so-sexy vampire, and her warlock boss, Rand.

This is the first book in the Jolie Wilkins series, and I must admit that when I first picked it up I wasn't expecting a whole lot from it. I truly thought that this would be just a fun and fluffy sort of story that would satisfy my easily amused nature. However, as soon as I jumped into the world of Jolie Wilkins, I knew I was wrong about this book. This book/series has a lot more going for it than I could have ever imagined; and it's far from a humdrum, fluffy read! There is true depth and emotion within the plot and characters; as well as a heck of a lot of humor and well-written romance.

Jolie Wilkins is a woman whose life changes drastically after a very attractive and mesmerizing man named Rand walks into her tarot reading shop. He soon drops a bomb on her that she's a witch, and that he requires her assistance on a job he was hired to do by another witch. To make a long story short, Jolie agrees to help Rand, and in the process she discovers just how unique and powerful she really is--which then catapults her into the world and politics of the Underworld. Jolie is then exposed to all sorts of different Underworld creatures she never new existed, such as: Vampires, Werewolves, Fae and Demons.

Jolie is hilarious, and I just adore her! I loved reading this book through her point of view. Her character really develops throughout this first book, but she was actually pretty strong and sassy to begin with, which I liked. She makes it clear that she won't take crap from anyone. Jolie's character is the type where it's hard not to like her, and the more I read, the more sure I became that she would be added to my list of favorite protagonists of all time! As strong as she is, the fact that she stutters when she's angry and gets easily distracted by hot guys makes her all the more relatable. Her best friend, Christa, is also quite a riot; and the things that come out of Christa's mouth are both unpredictable and amusing. Their bond as best friends is incredible.

I love all things supernatural, so I really liked that there were so many different supernaturals being introduced in this book. Jolie gets to interact with several of them along the way--some good and some very bad. She also has some really intense and frightening things happen to her, and she learns the hard way who she can trust and who she can't. This book was filled with these crazy and intense moments, and I just couldn't tear myself away from it all!

Another thing I really enjoyed in this book was the romance. Holy cow, was there a lot of sexual tension in this book! Jolie is one of those women who has game, but doesn't know she has it or what to do with it. To her surprise, she finds herself being the object of the affections of a warlock, a werewolf and a vampire. This may seem excessive, but it was worked into the story well, and wasn't as skeevy as it sounds (I promise!). Also, I have such an appreciation for the way the author wrote about Jolie's romantic encounters. Usually, I tend to steer clear of adult novels because I always feel like the steamy scenes are too cheesy and worded wrong--which makes me laugh and roll my eyes in a mocking manner. But H.P. Mallory made these sexy moments real, believable and totally romantic!

My two favorite men in this book are Rand and Sinjin. Rand is a very handsome warlock who is extremely noble and tough. It's very clear that he cares deeply for Jolie, and he is very sincere in every way. There's never a doubt that he always has Jolie's best interest at heart. Sinjin, a vampire, is completely the opposite of Rand. He seems to just ooze charm and sex appeal, and is incredibly seductive; but it's hard to tell whether his intentions are really pure sometimes. It's clear that Jolie is more to him than just a potential conquest, though--and I just love how he always calls her "poppet"! The interactions that Jolie has with both of these men had me fanning myself, and I can't wait to see how things progress with them. These men are truly drool-worthy!

I'd like to wrap up this review by saying that this was such an enjoyable book with immense substance, fantastic characters, and out-of-this-world experiences and places. H.P. Mallory has me hooked and most definitely coming back for more!


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