When I was asked to read and review this book, I was hesitant, because it was in digital format and I don't own an ereader. I really didn't want to sit, at my desk for hours reading, as it is hard on the ass and straining on the eyes. But, when I read the blurb, it just appealed to me. It was exactly the type of book, I would have bought had it been in print. So, I was like...what he hell?
Jolie Wilkins is a psychic, who had accepted her life for what it was. Yes, at times she was lonely, but hey, she still had her cat, Plum and BFF, Christa. Her life changed when tall, dark, and handsome, Rand Balfour walked into her place of business asking for a reading. The hunk of burning love, with an incrediable aura and a commanding presence came back every week, for what she thought were readings. It turned out, he had been testing her. Rand informed her, he needed her help, to solve the murder of his client. When he told her, he was a warlock, his client was a ghost, and she was a powerful witch, she thought he had lost his fricken mind. When he proved it to her with a little hocus pocus, she believed him and agreed to help him. Jolie did solve the case and in doing so, did something that no one thought would have been possible. With the mystery solved and the job completed, and unresolved sexual tension between them, Rand and Jolie said thier "Good byes".
Jolie's miraculous deed spreaded like wildfire throughout the supernatural community, making her most wanted. Everyone wanted to possess her, including a powerful witch named Bella, who entered Jolie's business with an invitation to a party. At the party, Jolie is reunited with Rand, who informed her that Bella was no friend, and invited Jolie for her own nefarious reasons. While Jolie insisted that no one was going to make her do something she didn't want to, Rand informed her, she didn't have a choice. He explained, the supernatural community worked a little differently than what she was used to. Because of it, she was forced to abandoned her her former life and become dependent on Rand as his employee...She did what she had to, to survive, but she takes her cat and her BFF with her. With her former life behind her, Jolie embarks on a new journey, one that is filled with hot warlocks, sexy vampires, hunky werewolves, flirting ghost, and lustful fairy kings. Throw in a prophecy, and you have the makings of a good time...but, it isn't going to be that easy for Jolie...the big bad bitch witch wants her and will do anything to get her...including threatening her, kidnapping her and if she has to, killing her. If she can't control her, no one will. Yep, Jolie's life was no longer humdrum.
I loved Jolie's character. She was straight forward, blunt and had a fantastic bullshit meter. She wasn't going to sit idley by, while people were trying to completely run her life. She was honest, tried to do the right thing, and wasn't afraid to admit her feelings. I enjoyed the sexual tension between Rand and Jolie. Poor Rand, struggling with his attraction to Jolie. He was her protector, so he in his mind, he needed to protect her, not mate her. He wanted to, but was afraid it would put her in danger. Yes,....he was a dumb ass, the only excuse I can give for him, is that he was an Alpha male...that should be explanation enough...*rolls eyes* Making his decision final, Jolie seeked companionship elsewhere. You can imagine how well that went over. I didn't care for Trent, he was pretty much a dog...possessive and lived by his libido. I did find Sinjin intriguing. I wish, I had learned more about him, and perhaps the reason why he and Rand did not get along. Bella was definately the Big Bad Bitchy Villian. I can't help but wonder, what modivated her. Why did she think bringing people back from the dead, that they would automatically follow her? Did she know about the prophecy? *sighs* So many unanswered questions.
The world the author created was crediable. I like how the hierarchy in the supernatural community was set up. The concept of new talents being unionized with a protector or champion was compelling. Sort of like a preternatural sponsor. I didn't care for the whole job aspect of the sponsorship though. I didn't like the idea of Jolie being told, what job she would have. If it was me, I wouldn't be so accepting.
Overall, this was a great debut for H.P. Mallory. I really enjoyed reading this book and it was definately worth the pain in my ass. I thought the characters were quirky, interesting, engaging and most of all memorable. The plot was simplistic in design, but effective in capturing my imagination and allowing me to join in the adventure. While this felt more like a paranormal romance versus an urban fantasy, I did feel elements of both. I hope that there will be another book to follow, as there were too many unanswered questions. If you are in the mood for a light hearted, fast paced, paranormal romance, that is listed as an urban fantasy, and is filled with charming wit, magic, intrigue, romance, and adventure, then this book is for you. Hmmph, Ebooks can rock...who knew?
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)