Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: Fire Burn & Cauldron Bubble by HP Mallory

Book: Fire Burn & Cauldron Bubble (HP Mallory)
Stand-Alone or Series: Series -Jolie Wilkins #1

Word Count: Approx. 116,261
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Format: E-book (in a number of different E-book/E-Reader formats)
Purchase Price: $2.99
How did I get this book: From the author for review
Read Chapter 1
Description (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. 
I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting myself into when I began reading Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble. I had heard a lot of great things about the book - but I still wasn't entirely convinced I would like it. Let me just say that this book officially knocked my socks off.

I would have to say that my favorite aspect of this book is the characters. Jolie, the protagonist, is an up-and-coming witch. The problem is, that she doesn't know she is a witch. She struggles with self confidence and simply cannot believe that she is a powerful witch that people are actually fighting over. She likes to think of herself as a psychic - and a mediocre one at that. Jolie's narrative is incredibly witty and her personality makes her easy to love. She is an absolute hoot and not afraid to call it like it is. I love the fact that she doesn't exactly understand her power yet, or fully understand her effect on people, because it creates so wonderful moments. 

Along for the ride is Jolie's partner in crime and lifelong BFF, Christa. Christa is everything Jolie is not - confident, collected and comfortable in her sexuality. She is fully aware of herself as a woman and often uses her charms to get what she wants. I don't want to make her out as a bad person or a bad friend, because she isn't. She would never hurt Jolie, she just likes to use her feminine charms on men. She is the kind of friend everyone wants - someone who balances you out and would drop everything in a heartbeat for you. 

This book is also chock-full of supernatural cuties. Jolie's definitely got her hands full in the love department; which is an entirely new situation for her. The first of her potential love interests is Rand. Rand is a super powerful Warlock who discovers Jolie's abilities. He is really what pulls her into her new life and acts sort of as a mentor. These two have some mad chemistry, but Rand has conflicting emotions about dating in new employee. There are some absolutely amazing scenes between these two, because they are constantly pushing each other to their limits.
However, like I said before Jolie certainly has options. There is also a werewolf vying for her attentions as well as a Faerie King and the occasional vampire. While this book does have a lot of romantic subplots, the characters and overall plot do not suffer. A lot of times, I find that books center on the love triangles too much and everything else suffers. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble certainly does not have this problem. The plot is fast paced, action packed, exciting and unique. Mallory does an amazing job recreating and redefining types of characters (like werewolves, witches and faeries) that we have seen time and time again.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good urban fantasy or paranormal romance. While the tone wasn't as dark as your typical urban fantasy, the change in pace is definitely refreshing. This book was entertaining, hilarious and an overall great time. I am eagerly waiting for book 2 in the Jolie Wilkins series, I cannot wait to see what happens next!
*If you don't have a nook or kindle, fear not. You can download the book in a number of different formats, including online reading, epub, pdf and rtf. For a complete list of formats go to HP Mallory's website. If you click on ebook, a list of formats (with previews) will pop up. Oh and just an FYI - you can read epub documents on iphones and itouches now with the Bluefire Reader App.

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