79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next book
This was a great story! It contains everything a reader wants romance, suspense, action, adventure, a variety of solid characters and humor. While the story would make me laugh there were times when I would have unshed tears. The variety of characters make it really exciting since you will see witches, warlocks, werewolfs, vampires, fairies and even ghosts...
Published on July 30, 2010 by Yasamin
65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but not what I expected
I enjoyed reading this book, and plan on reading the sequel, but I must say that it was NOT what I expected. Looking at the cover art, I was expecting a very light, frivolous paranormal humor/romance/fantasy story, the kind that would make me chuckle or even laugh out loud. This wasn't that way at all. The storyline was very good, and the characters were well-rounded,...
Published on August 7, 2010 by North Polar Bear
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79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next book,
This review is from: Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble, A Paranormal Romance (Jolie Wilkins) (Kindle Edition)This was a great story! It contains everything a reader wants romance, suspense, action, adventure, a variety of solid characters and humor. While the story would make me laugh there were times when I would have unshed tears. The variety of characters make it really exciting since you will see witches, warlocks, werewolfs, vampires, fairies and even ghosts.
Jolie starts out as a normal everyday girl who realizes she is a witch when she is hired by Rand, a very handsome Warlock; to discover the murder of a now ghost. Jolie did not realize how much her life would change once she met Rand. Jolie's character evolves into a more mature powerful person or in this case witch. Throughout her journey Jolie has to leave family and her country behind, have a small fling with a handsome and dark werewolf only to realize that she has very strong feelings for Rand, that could even be love. However Jolie is not the only one struggling with their feelings, Rand has to fight against his for fear or ruining anything and in this process they both make mistakes.
There is much more to this story than Rand and Jolie's relationship which is what makes it the perfect blend between PNR and Urban Fantasy. If you like Lynsay Sands, Gena Showalker, Jeaniene Frost, Jennifer Armintrout then you will definitely love H.P. Mallory and the adventures of Jolie.
65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but not what I expected,
This review is from: Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble, A Paranormal Romance (Jolie Wilkins) (Kindle Edition)I enjoyed reading this book, and plan on reading the sequel, but I must say that it was NOT what I expected. Looking at the cover art, I was expecting a very light, frivolous paranormal humor/romance/fantasy story, the kind that would make me chuckle or even laugh out loud. This wasn't that way at all. The storyline was very good, and the characters were well-rounded, but there really wasn't a lot of 'funny' in it. There was some humor, and a few places where the situations the characters got themselves into were humorous. It's probably just me, and the old adage to not judge a book by its cover should have come into play. As I said, an enjoyable story, but don't look for it to be the type of story to make you laugh right out loud. The subtitle, A Paranormal Romance' is really true - the book was a light romance with a good dose of paranormal thrown in.
121 of 143 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Burned and Bubbled my Patience,
This review is from: Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble, A Paranormal Romance (Jolie Wilkins) (Kindle Edition)Jolie Wilkins had been content with her little life, running a shop in L.A. with her best friend Christa and using her abilities to read auras and glimpse futures to provide the business that supported them both. Then she saw the ghost - her first, actually, and soon after her life didn't resemble anything she recognized.
That wasn't the ghost's fault, at least not directly. It was more the influence of one ultra-sexy warlock Rand Balfour, who sent the ghost to Jolie as a test of her powers. And then told her she was a witch. A powerful one. She didn't believe it, of course, but when she brought the ghost back from the dead - purely by accident, really - she knew her life was forever changed. And she had Rand to thank, so to speak, for it.
Unfortunately, Jolie's gift paints a big target on her back and soon a power hungry witch of age and skill tries to coerce Jolie into her service as she gathers forces to lead a charge to become Queen of the Underworld, and only Rand stands between the powerful Bella and the timid Jolie. She has to rely on the warlock to teach her, employ her to keep her safe, and to move her from Bella's territory to his own in England. And while her previously neat little life spins wildly out of control and her attraction to Rand grows into heated intensity, Jolie struggles to get a handle on the use of her powers, as they may be the only thing that will save her from the myriad of things that go bump in the night...creatures all who seem to be out to use her as a pawn in a deadly game of war and supremacy.
Despite my appreciation for the concept of this story and the many positive reviews on several different sites, I was horribly disappointed in this book. It plucked at so many of my reading anathemas that I could have danced to the cacophony of dislikes. The heroine - and I use the term loosely - is an insipid, immature, shallow chit who cares more about how hot a guy is...even as he's holding her prisoner after she's vein-raped by a monster...than about character. She's got zero self esteem and her backbone is roughly the consistency of cold porridge. And she consistently puts herself into dangerous situations out of ignorance, pride, vanity, or idiocy. Then wonders how she could have been so stupid. Ugh.
The hero, Rand, wasn't as offensive, but his constant waffling over the boundaries he needs to maintain because he's Jolie's employer was the cornerstone of his character development and that got old even before he explained them. He wants her so very much but he won't take her - yadda, yadda, yadda. Of course, his moral fortitude doesn't preclude him acting like a jealous wanker when Jolie dates a werewolf. Still, at least he maintained an appearance of maturity.
Unlike Jolie, who while dating Trent (the werewolf), practically has a nervous breakdown and gets jealous to the point of hyperventilation of her own best friend during a double date because her BFF is SO gorgeous and Trent is nice to her, so of course that means he's more into Christa than he is Jolie. Um...yeah...on the second date. And I feel compelled to mention that nearly all the male characters, including the warlock, the werewolf, a vampire, and a fairy King kept telling Jolie what a gorgeous creature she was and how they all wanted to bed her - even the ones who wanted to eat her afterward. This was not only extremely annoying in its own right, but it kept me wondering why Jolie kept comparing herself so unfavorably with Christa throughout the book.
Then again, why her BFF is included as a secondary character to begin with boggled my mind, as rarely have I read as vapid and useless a character appendage as Christa. So no, with maybe the exception of Sinjin, the characters didn't work for me at all.
Neither, unfortunately, did the plot. It would have, I think, had the subplot about the brewing conflict between Bella and Rand and the growing alliances of both been a larger part of the story. But it remained a subplot, and instead over sixty percent of the book focused on Jolie's emotionally immature actions and reactions to the changes in her life while not actually expounding on those changes.
Even after she moves to England and starts to train her magic we see her life through chapter-long vignettes of social dates and angsty confrontations between her and Rand; the same angsty confrontations again and again about whether they will or won't have sex and what it would or wouldn't mean. And the transitions between those vignettes are choppy and lack explanation and definition. One chapter she dates Trent. Another she double dates with him and Christa and another werewolf. There's a chapter in which she meets other werewolves who've fled Bella and moved to England. Then Trent dumps her - which we're told of after the fact while Jolie and Christa are getting ready for girls night to tie one on. It was all so disjointed and segmented it didn't read like a smoothly developing narrative building towards a satisfying conclusion at all.
There's more than one reason for that, too. It didn't actually HAVE a conclusion. No, it just cut off after a conflict that was ancillary to the main conflict of the impending war subplot. I would call it a cliffhanger...but the preceding action hadn't climbed nearly so high as to warrant an actual cliff. Perhaps a hill-hanger. Ant hill. And normally I loathe cliffhangers. This one didn't bother me so much (I was sorta just glad it was over), though it did further cap my disappointment.
To be honest, I did find the last third of the book more palatable than the first two-thirds. The narrative smoothed out quite a bit and the story started to delve a little more deeply into the characters actions as they were happening instead of that choppy vignette style. And the plot threads were more centrally focused around Bella's antics and nastiness instead of Jolie's romance angst. There were even some relatively pleasant surprises sprinkled here and there. It was too little too late for me, and Jolie wasn't redeemed nearly enough for my tastes to really improve my overall opinion, despite her evidence-bereft proclamation to the contrary, but at least I stopped wanting to shatter my Kindle against a wall.
I know this book has achieved quite a lot of popularity and garnered much praise, but there were just too many of my personal dislikes running rampant in this one. These things happen. I wish H.P. Mallory all the luck in the world with her series and hope future books continue to entertain. For me, though, there was too little payoff for the investment of time and money and too little about the story that was even tolerable. I also want to caution those who are expecting a paranormal romance, as it claims to be on the cover, because that is not the impression I got as I was reading, nor was it how it seemed upon completion. There may be a romantic resolution for Jolie and Rand one day, but that day was not seen in this book.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a joy to read,
This review is from: Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble: The Jolie Wilkins Series, Book 1 (Paperback)"I want you too, Rand." It seemed like a simple math problem-if Jolie wants Rand and Rand wants Jolie, then, logically, that should equal sex.
One of my many favorite lines from this book. HP Mallory is a joy to read. Not only for her wonderful characters, but her ability to tell a story and convey emotions with her words. When it comes to writing romantic and sexy characters this author could write the book on it <G>. Wonderful read, not only this book, but her other series as well (To Kill A Warlock). You will not be disappointed with this author.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining,
A very entertaining story. I enjoyed reading about the characters and about the complex world of magic the author created.
Jolie Wilkins leads a pretty normal life. That is right until the day sexy warlock Rand Balfour (a male witch) comes into her life. He needs her help to solve a crime and seems to know more about Jolie and her abilities than she does. She is attracted to him and he also seems to feel something for her. Jolie agrees to help Rand but doesn't know that this decision will change her life completly.
It turns out that Jolie is a witch herself with the unique talent to bring back the dead. Because of her skill many people are interested in Jolie. Rand wants a normal life for her but when the witch Bella decides that she wants Jolie he sees no other chance but to take under his protection.
What started as an exciting discovery for Jolie develops into a serious fight for her life. In the end Jolie needs to trust in her own power if she wants to survive.
I don't know if this book is Urban Fantasy ot Paranormal Romance but what I know is that I enjoyed reading it. The story is very entertaining and at the beginning light-hearted. I enjoyed the change to a more darker story throughout the book and liked that the characters got time to develop. Jolie is a great heroine and how she handled being a witch was believable. I enjoyed seeing how she got stronger and stronger. Her relationship with Rand is complicated and I want to know how it will continue. I guess Rand still has still some secrets to share with her.
The world of witches, vampires, werewolfes and faires is a fascinating and complex one. It's not so easy to say who's on who's side and I hope to learn more about the magical world in the next book of the series.
Besides Jolie and Rand I especially enjoyed reading about the mysterious vampire Sinjin. I want to know if he really is one of the good guys and how Jolie will deal with him.
The cover is fun and cool however I don't think that it fits the book perfectly.
I had a lot of fun while reading "Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble" and enjoyed that the book was easy to read, that the characters were great and that the story never bored me. The book made me excited to read what happens next in Jolie and Rand's life and the fight against Bella.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most infuriating leading lady award goes to...Jolie,
The author did nothing to make Jolie appealing...at all. I understand that as an author, you have to give your characters flaws so that your audience can relate to them. But honestly H.P. went overboard on Jolie. And perhaps its just me, but having a weak character constantly admit how dumb, unattractive, and weak they are only makes the character that much more annoying. Especially when every other character is blue in the face trying to convince them otherwise. Jolie's thoughts and emotions are so ridiculous it becomes painful to read, more so because the story is told from Jolie's perspective so you never are given a reprieve from her immature musings.
My head's still buzzing trying to make sense of this novel. It was exhausting trying to keep up with Jolie. One second she's lusting after Rand...and then Trent...or was it Sinjin? Technically she thought Sinjin was hot before she met Trent...but didn't really start lusting after him until Trent dumped her...but all the while she's really sweating for Rand...but when Rand finally decides he wants to be with her she puts the breaks on...because she's just not ready...because she's only had sex once with some foreign exchange student...and she wants to be with somebody she loves (or was that the argument she had with herself when Trent the werewolf tried to seduce her?)...and then comes the fairy king. ARGH!!!
It was all so juvenile it again leads me to wonder what age group finds this book appealing. I understand attraction, and the fact that you can be attracted to more than one person at a time...but for Pete's sake! The only thing that mattered to Jolie was how "hot" these men were. To a young, horny, immature teenager that makes sense. But as Jolie is a 28 year old woman, the author made her leading lady come across as an immature, vain, nit-wit.
I wanted to like this novel, I really did. But riding shotgun in Jolie's mind made this such a mind-numbing roller coaster I felt like I needed to...as Jolie often put it...vo-mit.
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut!,
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story!,
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good money spent!,
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book,
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Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble: The Jolie Wilkins Series, Book 1 by H.P. Mallory (Paperback - September 2, 2010)
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