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Follow the Author
Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble: A Paranormal Romance Series (Jolie Wilkins Book 1) Kindle Edition
About the Author
- ASIN : B003UNL8OG
- Publication date : July 2, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 1310 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 468 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1798742411
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #834,600 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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I picked this up because I read "To Kill a Warlock" and liked the writing style but had issues with the story itself. And the reviews on that book had a lot of people saying that this series was better, so I wanted to see if I would like a different book by the same author better. Honestly though, same reaction. More bad than good, but just enough good to be worthwhile.
To begin, the author has a talent for clever catchy book titles which promise much but ultimately have little to do with the content (kinda like my title above). But I was prepared for that before I went in so it didn't affect me.
In this book the main char, Jolie, was born a witch but didn't know it. So she never used her powers in their true capacity, but she had occasional accidental visions and ran a fortune telling business. Even though witches can recognize each other on sight (seeing auras), she somehow managed not to be noticed by the thriving witch community until Randy, a "hot" English warlock, decided to use her as an assistant for a job he was doing on behalf of (his supposed enemy) the leader of the local coven. Let's not question why he needs to call a complete stranger instead of using coven members. But we do wonder if he was lying to say that the spell he shows her requires two people (later in the book she is kidnapped and forced to do the same spell, but with no help - and oddly, while under a charm to suppress her ability to use magic).
Anyhow, in all this, she inadvertently does the impossible - bringing a guy back who's been dead for 90 years. Nobody else has ever done this, although there is apparently a prophecy about it. Of course, "hot" Randy immediately tells her this, right? Umm, actually, no. He lets her think she can go back to being inconspicuously ignored, even though he's planning to tell the evil witch (his enemy) who leads the local coven all about it. Possibly in retaliation, since during the job Hot Randy made a pass at Jolie and she spurned him. Of course he claims it was the dead guy that spilled the beans, but it all happened in Chicago and there's no reason that guy should even know where she lives. Oh, and he's gonna be dead again in a few pages so don't bother asking him. Supposedly the evil witch kills him but nobody actually cares enough to follow up on that. Not like he mattered anyway, he wasn't even "hot".
So naturally, the evil witch tries to kidnap her. And naturally, Hot Randy intervenes. Probably just a coincidence that he was there. He couldn't have possibly planned any of this. But now poor Jolie is left with the choice to be either kidnapped and held hostage by the (local ruler) evil witch, or the be kidnapped and forced to leave the country by Hot Randy. And of course she chooses Hot Randy. Yeah, there's a moment of doubt because the "very hot" vampire, Sin-Sin, almost wins her over (name slightly altered, more fun this way). And now we know Sin-Sin is important, because he's hot.
The evil witch, by the way, is named Bella. This is Italian for "good". I don't know if that matters but I've been told that names are important in fiction, so there it is.
Jolie, of course, is never described as hot. In fact, she seems to believe she is ugly. She is described as tall, thin, and blonde, with long legs and huge boobs. Doesn't sound ugly, but... <shrug>. Apparently though, she's really just about the sexiest thing on the planet, because almost every guy in the book instantly falls for her as soon as she sees them. Maybe that's one of her powers. So her complete lack of self-esteem was annoying, but would have been forgivable if she managed to grow out of it later in the book. That's called a character arc and can be a helpful addition to many books. Not this one though; oh well.
Did I mention that when she moves to England she's allowed to bring her pets with her? She has two. A small dog of unspecified breed (but probably of the pocketbook variety), and a pet human of the BFF variety. Not actually referred to as a pet, but she and the dog have the same personality so that's how I choose to interpret it. The BFF is Christa, by the way. Hmm... like a female Christ? Funny, but she didn't seem religious.
So... she's in England and she totally falls for Hot Randy, but now he won't have her. I think he's just playing hard-to-get to make her fall harder, but it kinda backfires at first, because she cheats on him. First with his best friend - but that doesn't count because he's just a ghost so he can't actually do anything. But she can let him watch while she masturbates (seriously - not making that up). She gets upset about it afterward, but it's obvious she's only concerned he might tell Hot Randy. (C'mon, like any guy who would fool around with his best friend's girl is gonna brag about it. Only in high school). Later on, she accepts that he'll be discreet so she does a striptease for him. She's probably not very good at it though because he never asks again.
Next she decides to cheat on her one true love more openly. I dunno, maybe she had been secretly hoping that Hot Randy _would_ find out, because this time she just flat out tells him. She's decided to go out with the local dog... er, wolf... er, werewolf - yeah, that's the ticket. A "Hot" werewolf, of course. But that kinda goes without saying at this point. She brought him back from the dead herself, so maybe she's afraid he's got corpse-cooties, because she decides that she just can't bring herself to sleep with him. Her fear of commitment surprises me a little actually. Because I really didn't think she even knew how to say no. Not like anything that came earlier in the book would have intimated as much.
NOTE: By the way, I think I just used the word "intimated" correctly. You can look it up if you like. This is relevant because you might see it in the book used differently, which could lead to embarrassment if you attempt to misuse it later. Personally, I find the author's penchant for misliteration to be endearing, because it's done in a way that's believable, as if it were a new kind of slang. But I can see that it might be annoying to others.
FURTHER NOTE: "misliteration" isn't an actual word. I made it up. But it fits, co just go with it.
Where was I? Oh yeah, she was toying with the dog. Because that's all it ever was. Just playing around and leading him on but never intending it to go anywhere. So when she finally tells him that she doesn't love him and isn't ever gonna sleep with him, he leaves. Made sense to me. If a woman dumps you, you pack up and move on. But of course she insists on believing that HE dumped HER. And she gets all miserable about it too. Then, to make herself feel better, this is where the striptease I mentioned earlier actually happens.
OK, I've described about halfway through the book now. Did you notice that I haven't described much actual plot yet? There is one - I think. It's just hard to notice it sometimes. It gets buried under all the rest of this. But then, you don't want me to spoil the actual plot do you? I mean, just in case you were really gonna read it for yourself. Because honestly, even though this makes it sound like I didn't like the book, it wasn't all bad either. It's just way easier to criticize than to praise. That is true of most things I suppose. And what I'm revealing here is only more of a "reinterpretation". A behind-the-scenes look at some of the less believable aspects. I just happen to think that my version makes more sense than the original. (Some names have been changed to protect the oblivious).
I might read it again...someday. It didn't suck (vampire pun not intended). BUT...except for one part. The absolutely ludicrous attempt to write a Scottish accent for the fairies. That part was just painful and I would erase it from my memory if I could. It didn't sound Scottish at all. Alien maybe, not even a human dialect. Maybe fairies aren't Scottish after all, they just put on a fake accent so you don't realize you've really been transported to Nigeria. I dunno. Sounds as reasonable as any other excuse.
The main character is Jolie Wilkins, who just happens to find out that not only is she a witch, but also a very unique one and possibly a part of some sort of prophecy. She is "discovered" by the very sexy warlock Rand, and she has the serious hots for him throughout the story. It is just a little frustrating that they don't actually ever get to together - not just for Jolie, but for the reader as well. You have Jolie's BFF and sidekick Christa, a roguish vampire named Sinjin, and a fairy king named Odran. Of course, all of these various incredibly sexy other-worldly guys are vying for Jolie's affection. I have to mention that the "bad guy" in this story is actually an evil witch named Bella. (I got a few giggles out that name for a couple of reasons - first I thought of Bellatrix of the Harry Potter series, also an evil witch, and then I thought of Bella of Twilight fame, also attracted to a vampire hunk.)
Of course, the story has its share of the various creatures of the Underworld, as it is termed in this series. You have werewolves, vampires, goblins and fairies too. Don't get me wrong - I am a sucker for paranormal stories. Truly, I adore getting swept up into the realm of fantasy where such creatures co-exist. But, if truth be told, as I went along reading the story, it reminded me a awful lot of the Sookie Stackhouse stories - the various characters all after Sookie to bed her and use her special abilities to suit their own purposes. I am not really complaining about it, but it did make the story seem somewhat familiar and comfortable to me rather than being anything new or surprising.
Still, this was a good, fun read. I am definitely going to read the rest of the books in the series, and I am very glad to have "found" this author.
Top reviews from other countries
And of course these magical powers she's gone 28 years without noticing are ultra powerful and she can defeat well trained, long experienced people without even knowing how. And if that wasn't enough, she's attracted to every man she meets and they all just have to have her too. But of course, she's never noticed she's pretty before.
What's worse, this is a fairly long book, but almost nothing of significant note happens. Then, it ends on a cliffhanger. The whole thing bounces between rushed scenes and long stretches of 'training' or descriptions of what people are wearing.
Nope. I wasn't impressed with this one.
The lead female reminded me of those idiot females that used to be in the old movies where the woman kept screaming and always had to rely on the men - in her case any available male, along with leading them on but then backing off tease is what such females are usually called, and its not nice.
She's supposed to be a powerful witch for heavens sake not a simpering idiot, added to that of someone writing as though they know the U.K. and how we talk etc, should have stuck with being American, might work for Americans dosn't work in UK
From this example I doubt I'll be reading any more of H.P.Mallory
How many times can an author use 'really hot' to describe a character and get away with it? according to this book, quite a few.
75% through it, I was reading 2 lines out of every page and still cursing the slow pace.
I honestly could not believe all the great reviews this book got. Sometimes you have to wonder whether the publisher hasn't got a few Amazon accounts created just to bump up the rating of their products. That, or the author has got some really supportive friends.
But don't take my word for it. If you like a trashy read with a lot of horniness but no sex, are quite allergic to long words (i.e. more than 7 letters) and enjoy a book that ends before the story has made any satisfactory progress, then this is for you!
Thank goodness it was free.
Got vibes of True Blood which was very enjoyable and I'm chuffed it was mostly set in the UK - very refreshing!
I'm already three books into H.P. Mallory's other series about Dulcie O'Neil, a Faerie law enforcement agent, so I came to this expecting a similar style of writing and world-building, and that's just what I got. I don't believe they are actually set in exactly the same 'world' (although I could be mistaken about that) because there do appear to be some discrepancies, particularly regarding the Fae race, but it has that similar feel to it. So basically, if you enjoy one series, you'll probably enjoy the other one, too.
It's written from Jolie's POV in first person, and I found her to be endearing and likeable, if sometimes a little naive and clueless. I can't help but compare her to Dulcie, who is a lot tougher and more sure of herself, particularly about her skills at her job as a sort of supernatural cop. Jolie is much softer, much less kick-ass, but no less enjoyable to read about. Her whole life has just been turned upside-down, and because everything is so new to her, she's naturally a lot less confident at the start of her journey.
I also really liked Rand, the warlock I mentioned earlier. He's Jolie's first connection to this new supernatural world and I enjoyed reading about the relationship that's slowly developing there. He's a Brit, a bit of a loner, his dimples sound adorable and I just hope to see much more of him as the series progresses.
At first, I found the scene jumps a little bit jarring. There are lots of transitions between settings, time lapses, skipping over any travelling or long journeys, and it can feel a bit jumpy at first. But by the end of the novel, when I thought back on all the different scenes that were still flying around in my head, it actually served to make it feel as though I'd read a story much longer than only 300ish pages. I felt like Jolie had come so far, seen so much, been so many places. It gave it a feeling of scale and scope.
As I said earlier, if anyone's read the Dulcie O'Neil series and were wondering about this one, you should like it just fine. And as with her other series, which also has these cutsie cartoon covers, you always get a lot more substantial plot than you're probably expecting. They're not just silly, ditzy mysteries. There are credible bad guys, a couple of hot guys, some heartache, a steep learning curve. And if this is still free on Amazon, which it was last I checked, you should absolutely, positively, definitely snap it up ASAP.
4 Stars ★★★★