Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, A Paranormal Romance: Jolie Wilkins Book 1

1 star1 star1 star1 star Adult
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. More

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About HP Mallory

I started my writing career as a self-published author and was lucky enough to hit both the Amazon and the Barnes and Noble bestseller’s lists with my two series, the Jolie Wilkins series and the Dulcie O’Neil series.

After hitting both lists, I thought life couldn’t really get much better so you can imagine my surprise when Random House (Bantam imprint) signed me to write three books in the Jolie Wilkins series (Witchful Thinking, The Witch is Back and Something Witchy This Way Comes). Now I love the fact that I’m both a traditionally published author as well as a self-published one (with my Dulcie O’Neil series).

And even more cool news? The books in both series are currently being made into audio books! Stay tuned for more information…

When people ask me what I’m like, it’s sort of hard to answer but here goes… I’m a huge fan of anything paranormal and I always have been. I get super excited whenever they have those Twilight Zone Marathon days and anything ghost or vampire related will always attract my attention.

My interests are varied but aside from writing, I’m most excited about traveling. Uncovering new places and learning about different cultures is pretty incredible. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to live abroad in England and Scotland, both places really having a profound effect on my books.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: hrhsophia on Nov. 25, 2012 : star star star star
I am not quite sure I like Jolie much. Like Bella from Twilight she just cannot seem to commit to one guy and does not seem to have much of a backbone.
(review of free book)

Review by: Kevin A. Lyons on Aug. 26, 2012 : star star star star
This is my first "urban fantasy/paranormal romance." It was interesting -- I'll probably be reading more.

The first third of this book had a "cozy mystery" feel to it. Jolie and Rand had a very "Stephanie Plum/Ranger" vibe going on. The second third was more weighted toward romance, and the final third was more "damsel in distress." The characters were three-dimensional and the story was very well told. Most importantly, the author can write -- I didn't find myself stumbling over awkward phrases or grammar mistakes.

At times, however, it seemed like the characters made illogical decisions that really only seemed to further the plot. Especially at the end of the book, which seemed a bit abrupt.

Anyway, highly recommended.
(review of free book)

Review by: tina huynh on May 27, 2012 : star star star star
Courtesy of Happy Endings Reviews

Jolie Wilkins Series is written with a psychic heroine that is naïve about her inner powers of being a witch. Jolie owns her own psychic shop, it seems strange for single women to own this type of store, but yet it fits her. She is after all a psychic herself. She reads aura But then the strangest thing happens, this guy, Rand, comes out of nowhere and purchases her “Psychic Services” for three weeks. It’s a job she cannot refuse. Jolie is unaware of this mystery guy’s reasoning for hiring her, but hey – it’s her job and she finds him attracted, so why not. His aura is like nothing else she has ever seen.

Rand is handsome, mysterious, and protective. Rand approaches Jolie with some psychic tests to see what the strength of power really is. After Jolie accomplishes the task Rand has set for her is when things start to change. Certain situations occur, things she was never aware of, the political vampire / witch rules.

I think in the novel Rand should have pressed the issue to Jolie about the political rules of their world if she did the job or was found by the council. The repercussions of “stepping out” into the supernatural world.

Also there is Rand’s number one enemy and the second love interest Sinjin Sinclair a very sexy vampire who brings the jealousy out of Rand. This brings a new enjoyable twist in the novel. You cannot hate to love Sinjin. I think this series is splendid because of the favors of both Rand and Sinjin.

In most books you have this favorable opinion to the first interest in the story line, but HP Mallory has given a lot of lovable traits to both male love interests. Jolie Wilkins is a common heroine that is naïve and has irrational instincts, but I think she has a strong will to fight and to keep her control to her own life and that’s why she’s such a great character. This plot is original and the writing style is common but overall is such a great series because of the different storylines and the uniqueness of the endings. The controversy and love interests in this tale are impeccably great. I hope you enjoy it! Cheers!

This is book one of six
1) Fire Burn & Cauldron Bubble
2) Toil & Trouble
3) Be Witched - Novella
4) Witchful Thinking
5) The Witch is Back
6) Something Witchy This Way Comes

Discussion Questions:

- What is your overall favor / thought of Jolie Wilkins?
- Do you think Rand approached Jolie correctly without telling her all the fine print of the job if she was found out by other other-world creatures?
-If you loved Rand first, do you still love him now? If you did not love Rand first or you changed your love why / why not?
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jess R. on Oct. 05, 2011 : star star star star star
What Worked For Me:

* I loved how quickly it read. With the word count clocking in at over 100K, I was afraid that it would take forever to read. Instead, it turned out that the pacing was perfect, with humor, romance, and action spilling from every page and I quickly found that I literally couldn't put it down.

* I had a love-hate relationship with Jolie, though I admit, it leaned much further into "love" than "hate". Graced (or cursed) with girl-next-door looks, she was vaguely insecure, incredibly skeptical, occasionally so naive you wanted to shake her, but had a wicked sense of humor and an impressive temper. While there were a few moments where I felt that she could have benefited from a good smack upside the head, in general, I loved her.

* I also loved all of Jolie's love interests. Rand was delicious (and holy hell the sexual tension between the two was panty-dropping hot), Terry was great in his own right, and Sinjin... Well, let's just say I'm happy Sinjin features in future books ;) Om nom nom.

* Another thing that was great about this was the the action. While Jolie isn't some supah tough warrior woman like many other UF heroines, she is slowly learning to hold her own, and I can't wait to see where her newfound powers are going to take her.

* I really enjoyed Jolie's powers with necromancy (for lack of a better term), as well as the hint at future story developments to come surrounding the prophet Bella is trying to resurrect.

What Didn't Work For Me:

* I was a little put off by how quickly Jolie chose to trust certain people when they insisted they were there to help her. Talk about naive! One would think that after having been betrayed by someone she trusted, she wouldn't have been so quick to just believe whatever the next badass told her.

* Despite being so sexually inexperienced, Jolie really seemed as though she wanted to hump pretty much anything with a penis. While I understand that a lot of it stemmed from the fact that all otherworldly creatures are attracted to other... otherworldly creatures, it still seemed like every time you turned around, she was drooling over someone else.
* There was a most definite TSTL moment there towards the end, and I really wanted to pimp-slap Jolie for it.

While this is an Urban Fantasy, and therefore sadly lacking in the HEA department, I actually didn't care, because instead of frustrating me, it simply made me want to read more of the series.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. While it was a bit on the long side (over 100k words), it passed very quickly, without a lot of heavy drama to pull the reader down. There were plenty of fantastical elements, ranging from various species, Jolie's developing powers, and even a visit to the fairy realm, but there was also quite a bit of action to keep both the characters and the readers on their toes.

I think the thing I liked the most about this book was how much fun it was. Instead of bogging the story down with heavy drama and gory action, the humor, sexual tension, and whirlwind pacing left me closing the book with a smile on my face.

I personally recommend it for any fan of lighthearted, fast-paced urban fantasy.

A cheerfully solid 4.5/5 Stars
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Book Savvy Babe on Aug. 22, 2011 : star star star star
*4.5 of 5 stars*
This series is about Jolie Wilkins, a young woman who owns and works as a psychic in LA, until a handsome stranger walks into her shop and completely changes her life. Rand (the handsome stranger), needs Jolie's help to find answers from a ghost. During the process, they find that Jolie's powers and strength are more than either could have thought. Not only does Jolie discover that her powers are strong, but she finds that she is not just psychic, she is a new and powerful witch, and so is Rand. Jolie is suddenly caught in the middle of a war in the underworld, a war where a powerful witch wants to use Jolie's powers to gain total control over all supernatural beings. Rand must keep Jolie out of harm while she learns and trains in magic, and prepare for war...

So, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble is a very good book. This book introduces a whole new setting and paranormal underworld, full of vampires, shifters, fairies, and witches. Their powers are diverse and interesting, and there is quite a bit of sexual tension, romance, and angst. This book is very well developed and so much goes on, it is hard to review without giving away spoilers. This book is the foundation of the series, setting up story lines and various backgrounds for the different characters. It is never dull, I was very much captivated and into the story, I did not want to put it down.

I will say that Rand was kind of annoying at times. He is a more guarded character, and he is the one with a lot of the angst problems. He is attracted to Jolie, but for various reasons, he keeps his distance. I really love Jolie, her character is cute, smart, and she adapts very well to her major life changes. Jolie does have her hang ups as well though, she does not expect much of herself, and has a fairly low self-image. Throughout the book, her character does grow and develop, which is part of why I truly enjoyed this book.

As for the ending, it is NOT a cliff-hanger. However, I was so caught up in the story that I just HAD to see what happened next. So, I immediately cracked open book 2.....
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Julie Smeltzer on July 11, 2011 : star star star
This was a cute urban fantasy tale with really likeable characters where the main character finds out she's really a witch and comes into her powers.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: tina huynh on April 08, 2011 : star star star star
This book seemed interesting right off the back, and when I read Jolie's series I was correct. Mallory's story line is very interesting and a lovable with the male role of "Rand" in the story. Unfortunately the ending of the book could have been better and not felt so cut off. I love the books and wished they had a better ending and not so abrupt. Other then that a good read!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Melissa Freeman on March 05, 2011 : (no rating)
It has taken me a little while to get to this book and I am kicking myself for taking so long.

Jolie works with her best friend Christa running a psychic business. Things are pretty normal until Jolie sees her first ghost. From there she meets the oh-so-handsome Rand who comes in for a reading. Though Jolie doesn't see much, Rand keeps coming back the exact same time each week until he reveals his ulterior motive. He's a male witch. Obviously Jolie scoffs at the idea until he proves otherwise, and it's there she takes on the job to help him.

I really enjoyed reading from Jolie's point of view. She's smart, modest and frankly a little stubborn. Her best friend Christa, is quite the opposite. Christa is care free, flirtatious and stunning in Jolie's eye'; Everything she's not. Rand is a hunk of ultimate proportions (my opinion) and definitely strengthens the story with his personality. These characters in combination make for an interesting read.

Things get quite complicated between Jolie and Rand, with their work relationship putting a dampener on any action that could possibly happen. I like how H.P Mallory lets the tension between them grow, and it's good to see the way things pan out with them both. No more comment on that one :)

While this was a quick read, it was also quite entertaining. I look forward to reading Toil and Trouble, the second book in this series!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: A.M. Harte on Dec. 26, 2010 : star star star
The eternal pitfall of judging a book by its cover — I have to say, had I not read an excerpt, I might have refused the review copy. I am after all one of those closet romance readers who prefers to deny any interest in the genre and only reads such novels late at night in the hidden corners of my bedroom (of which there are many).

But the excerpt convinced me to give it a try. I sat down with the review copy and before I knew it, I had finished the novel and it was past 2 o’clock in the morning.

Fire Burn is what I term popcorn reading — that guilty pleasure read that you can’t help but crave after a long day at work. The story follows Jolie Wilkins, an LA-based psychic who runs a small fortune-telling business with the help of her best friend. Enter her latest client, Rand Balfour, who is not only stunningly attractive but a powerful warlock to boot. It is thanks to Rand that Jolie discovers the true extent of her powers, but this discovery comes with unpleasant consequences: she becomes a hot commodity for everyone in the Underworld. Will Jolie survive the custody battle between Rand, a 600-year-old vampire, and an evil witch bent on world domination?

Warlocks, witches, vampires, werewolves and fairies — every kind of supernatural creature has its chance to shine in Fire Burn. Mallory has put thought into the Underworld hierarchy, creating a compelling supernatural world. As a matter of fact, the world-building is among the strongest aspects of this book, not only in terms of the paranormal but also in terms of the physical location—considerable effort is dedicated to giving readers a sense of place.

The plot is fast-paced and involves a lot of supernatural political machinations—in that respect, Fire Burn feels very much like the introduction to a series, because much is left unanswered. Perhaps overly so: while I did enjoy the taster Mallory has given of her world, I longed for something more substantial. A contributing factor was that this novel is more of a paranormal romance than an urban fantasy—while there is a larger plot at play here, the focus is more on relationships.

Speaking of relationships, I must admit to being intrigued by the male love interests, particularly by Sinjin the vampire. Mallory’s male characters captured my imagination the most—while I didn’t like all of them, I could understand their motivations. I was less convinced by the female characters. Jolie, the lead, wasn’t always credible in her decisions, and her best friend came off as a stereotypical girly-girl. However, Jolie does develop throughout the novel, and I expect will become more likeable as the series progresses and she acquires some much-needed confidence.

The writing is reminiscent of many current bestsellers; the informal first person voice seems to be meeting a lot of success lately, and it certainly adds to the engaging tone of this novel. My only nitpick would be with the choice of some descriptions and phrases: occasionally the prose was repetitive, and I wasn’t convinced by the Briticisms which (as a long-term UK resident) did not sound native to me.

In sum, Fire Burn is a solid introduction to what promises to be an engaging, light-hearted series – there is much left unanswered and a definite promise of more heat to come. If you like your urban fantasy with a large dollop of romance, then this might be the book for you.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Amethyst Daydreams on Nov. 29, 2010 : star star star star
This book was a delightful read!! I read it straight through in one sitting because the story sucked me in so fully. I loved the world that HP Mallory created for the characters. The love story between the two main characters has not had its happily ever after moment as yet but there is more story to come and I can not wait to read the sequel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Chasity on Nov. 12, 2010 : star star star star
Wow. Fire Burn & Cauldron Bubble is an adventurous read. This paranormal romance does indeed deliver but that's not all. The hunt is on. The main characters dance the "I want you but...." tango. Any romance fan will tell you that it's the hunt, the journey that's the fun part to read.

I just read To Kill a Warlock (Dulcie O'Neil, #1) and so drawing character parallels and picking up on HP's style came naturally. I am very pleased with HP Mallory. Reading Fire Burn, I was engrossed from start to finish and very happy to see that book two in the Jolie Wilkins series is due out soon (Jan 2011).

Jolie is a simple gal through and through. Her bff Christa would accuse her of being too simple and in need of a confident boast or jolt. HP dies a fantastic job with Jolie because when you start off with little the only way you can go it up. I found a connection with Jolie while reading her becoming her own woman. Sensual, confident and strong.

♫♪"It's raining men......" The Weather Girls may originally sing this tune but HP utilizes the popular line. Rand and Sinjinn, Trent, Odane (Fairy King- did I recall his name correct?). Of course, Rand is the one for our gal Jolie, or so I say. Rand is a Warlock with immense magic. He is the one who discovers Jolie and helps her hone her own magic. Jolie proves to possess power that has ever been seen but now that the creatures of the night learn of her abilities she is a wanted woman in more ways then one. Rand is fun to read- he personifies sexiness, power, confidence and boy is it fun to read his jealousy tantrums.

The Paranormal elements in Fire Burn is another thumbs up. Witches, Warlocks, Vamps, Fairies, pixies and were all have a spotlight in this series and it's one wicked time to have.

What I am most eager to learn in book two is how much more power does Jolie possess? Is she more then a witch? What is her purpose? Ohh and I want to read more Rand.... but that's a given, right?
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Anna (Bite Club) on Nov. 09, 2010 : star star star
Jolie begins this book being very insecure but remained a likeable heroine throughout. I did find her struggle to accept being a witch a bit irritating, but only because one would think being a psychic might foster a more open mind to things paranormal, and she seemed very opposed to the idea. Her opposition fit her character though, and centered more on the idea that someone as unremarkable as herself could never be something as fantastic as a witch. However, it was a bit off that she seemed to vehemently oppose being a witch but didn't hesitate long when forced to give up her life and move to England with Rand, the hot warlock that turned her life upside down to begin with!


Rand, the previously mentioned hottie warlock, is a classic well-intentioned good guy with a dash of mystery. And did I mention that he is good looking? I would love some more history on him, although we are treated to some of his past via the friendly house ghost that was once a childhood friend. Rand introduces Jolie to the world of vampires and witches but doesn't really want her to be involved, and he fights his growing feelings every step of the way. So, maybe I should add stubborn to my assessment!


Bella, the bitchy-witchy antagonist, and her ideas to unite the paranormal community, was just the right ingredient to move the story along and create even more tension between Rand and Jolie, as Rand is forced to deal with Jolie on a much more permanent basis. Bella wants to be the evil queen and she can't let Jolie's amazing talent get in her way.


Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble is an excellent debut and I look forward to more in the series. Especially if we get to know more about Sinjin, the insanely hot and charismatic vampire that may or may not be on their side in the fight against Bella and her evil minions. The characters are definitely the strongest element: genuine and easy to like. I found myself really caring about them which surprised me on some level. Very well done!

This review can also be found at http://vampchixreadbooks.blogspot.com/
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sarah Snyder on Oct. 24, 2010 : star star star star star
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!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: The Bookish Snob on Oct. 23, 2010 : star star star star star
One of the greatest things I loved about this book was that just when you thought you'd seen it all, the author introduces a new twist that just totally blows you away. When I first started reading, I was expecting a quick read about a girl with supernatural powers who has an adventure, falls in love and saves the day. End of story and so not what I got. This story was smart, funny and INCREDIBLY sexy in both plot and characters. Each idea flowed right into the next one and I was excited as each scene unfolded because I could never tell what was going to happen next. I'd think the story was heading in a certain direction and BAM, here comes a characters and the story takes on a totally new meaning. I just have to say, HP Mallory writes one hell of a story and this is by far my favorite.

I LOVED Jolie. Yep, LOVED her. She starts of this kind of insecure girl who has these abilities and is trying to make the best out of life. When a sexy stranger enters the picture, she takes a risk and accepts his job offer to go back in time and find out how a client of his died. From there she explodes into this amazing character with powers that have the supernatural world falling over themselves to have her. She puts up with so much drama and I love how she refuses to put up with it. From the insecure girl in the beginning, you would think she'd be a complete push over and I was so excited to see that she wasn't. There came a point where she didn't allow her heart to be given the run around anymore even though it broke her heart. She wouldn't allow others to steamroll over her with all their demands. She didn't allow herself to be taken advantage of by people and she did what she felt needed to be done. Now did this happen all at once? No and sometimes it took a few attempts but the thing I loved is she grew into her strength. The character she was in the end wasn't who I saw in the beginning and I LOVED watching the journey.

The men in this book were to die for. The ones that had me panting were Sinjin, a sexy master vampire and Rand, her infuriatingly hot Warlock boss. No surprise really that one of the guys I'd fall for would be a vampire but Sinjin was just so smooth and had a way of talking that had me wanting to reach into the book and stroke him. He was such an incredible flirt and so seductive and I don't know how Jolie didn't just jump all over and attack him. Then there was Rand. From the very second you're introduced to him, he has this mysterious feel to him and when you realize just how powerful he is you become addicted. Jolie and him are such an amazing team but he drove me nuts with his bouncing around. He is a prime example of how much it sucks to have to deny yourself because you want to do the right thing, and of how difficult it is to try to control a burning passion for someone without going crazy. There were scenes with Rand that SIZZLED and fogged my glasses up and I'm REALLY looking forward to future scenes where he can totally unleash himself. My gosh that man was amazing.

I hope this review does the book justice because it really is an amazing read. It's the first book in a series that I know lovers of romance and the paranormal will easily become addicted to. HP Mallory is definitely an author to watch out for. I've read both her books now and haven't stopped raving about them since I finished them. A must must must read. Enjoy!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Bella @BeguileThySorrow on Oct. 21, 2010 : star star star star
I loved this book, it was the perfect Halloween treat! So if you're in the mood for witches, warlocks, and some sexy things that go bump in the night, get it! more.. http://bit.ly/a0A3tl
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Black Disaster Fairy on Oct. 20, 2010 : star star star star
First Line: It's not every day you see a ghost.

Review: Jolie finds out that she simply is not what she thought she was. How do you go from being a fortune teller to a person with the ability to see ghosts? Ok, perhaps that would be fun for a little while. I mean so many of us HUMANS want to be something other then what we are now. Crazy. But for Jolie things get a bit crazier, not only does she see ghosts but she is able to make the dead come back to life! Wow! Now those are some crazy super powers. Someone needs to call Batman and tell him to hang up his cape. Seriously, I love Batman! Don't really do that.

Soon a tall dark handsome man comes to her psychic shop to sweep her off her feet hire her to help find out the who killed the ghost. Rand is a warlock who helps show Jolie that she is truly a witch, and boy, a powerful grandmommy of them to boot! He also shows her that she can never go back to being a plain ol' human. I mean who would want to? Not I, said the Fairy! However, Rand has this one rule that makes you grin because you know there will be some rule breaking somewhere, it is a paranormal romance after all! Rand does not think that a boss should not mix business with pleasure with his employee.

Well, I'll be darn... let the rule breaking begin! Ok, I will spare you from all of the lusting yummy hotness because I know you want to read that for yourself. (Which I recommend you do!) Another witch tries to claim Jolie for herself. Which I did not see coming but was a great plot twist because our handsome stud, Rand, battle for his right to keep Jolie as an employee. Wait! He just wants to keep his employee? There must be some magical labor laws. Hmm... There is more! He is also battling his growing feelings for Jolie. *Ahh* I told you there would be some rule breaking!

I did have a problem getting into the book. Although, I must admit that I was hoping for a bit more of a clean ending. Perhaps, just something a bit more. Fear not! This is just the first in the series and we will learn more later on. Even with the wanting more at the end I was never bored throughout the book. Actually, it was highly addictive. Like the Dark Chocolate the Fairy loves so much! I hope HP Mallory keeps wit coming and interesting characters. This story was just as fun to read as HP Mallory's other book. It is just hard to compare because they were both fun to read.

-- Black Disaster Fairy
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Robyn Sadler on Oct. 17, 2010 : (no rating)
What would you do if you found out you weren't a simple human anymore? That you could see the dead and better yet, make the dead come back alive? Well Jolie finds out in Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by HP Mallory. Here she is thinking she is just a fortune teller but soon finds out she is a witch. Thanks to Rand, a warlock coming into her life she now learns that she can't just be a human anymore.

She thinks she is going to help Rand with one simple job and that's to help find out who murdered his client. Well, word gets out she has a lot more power than solving a crime. Soon everyone wants a piece of Jolie and some might just do whatever it takes to get her.

At first I wasn't sure I was going to like where her love relationship was going but I soon realized where it was and I was happy with the decision. I'm definitely curious to see where the next book goes.

I have to admit that it took me awhile to get into it but once it started to move along, I enjoyed it more. I did feel like it ended too soon. I know it will have a sequel but I feel like there should have been another chapter or something. I don't know, maybe it's me. Either way I did like it and definitely think you should check it out.

Also posted over at The Bookoholic Zone (http://robsad79.blogspot.com/2010/10/fire-burn-cauldron-bubble.html)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: romfanreviews on Oct. 04, 2010 : star star star
Jolie is minding her own business in her shop when she sees her first ghost. Unknown to Jolie is that the ghost is just the beginning of the changes about to take place in her life when a handsome man arrives and wants to hire her to discover who killed the ghost.

Rand is a warlock and knows what Jolie is and that she has the ability to travel back to discover who killed his friend as well as the potential for even more powers. And he has one rule bosses and employees cannot mix business with pleasure.

When another witch tries to lay claim to Jolie Rand must battle for his right to keep her in his employee while at the same time he also needs to battle his growing feelings for her. Jolie on the other hand is more than willing to take their relationship to the next level.

Fire Burn and Caldron Bubble took me a little to get into the story but once I got going it kept my attention until the end where I was disappointed in how it ended it left me feeling like “that’s it” I know that the story is to continue but I still would have liked to have had something a little more final. I enjoyed the humor and the variety of characters that HP Mallory has written into the story. I will admit that I will be ready to read book two and maybe it will give me the answers that I did not find in this one.

Original link to review: http://www.romfanreviews.com/2010/10/review-fire-burn-and-cauldron-bubble-by.html
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: misha mathew on Sep. 30, 2010 : star star star star
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble was a very enjoyable book. I had lots of fun reading it! I did not get bored even once! It hooked me in right from the first page and I couldn't stop reading it.I actually haven't slept properly last night because of this book....

Urban Fantasy is a relatively new genre for me. But I have discovered so many great books in this genre. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble was one of them.

This book was a highly addictive and entertaining read. I have always loved reading about witches and this book was a more lighthearted take on that.

Jolie was a great heroine. Her relationship with Rand was interesting.... I hope to see the relationship develop more in the upcoming books in the series.

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble was a very enchanting and a fun read. HP Mallory has created a fascinating world and I can't wait for the next book in the series.

Character Development was great. Plot was engrossing. Great Writing too! A perfect book for a fun read!


Overall:
Witty and Original!


Recommended?
Yes! To all lovers of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Mama Kitty on Sep. 28, 2010 : star star star star
In Fire Burn & Cauldron Bubble, Jolie is just now coming into/learning about her powers, so she was very unsure of herself throughout the book. While she does gain some semblance of confidence throughout the book, she’s constantly questioning her looks and her powers and that got to be kind of annoying. I did like the fact that she didn’t take any crap from anyone – she was blunt and told it like it is. I liked the fact that she had a big heart and tried to help others out, even if it ended up biting her in the butt in the end.

Rand was sexy and I wanted to take a bite out of him from the moment he stepped onto the scene. Even though I love Alpha males, I don’t like when the heroine is told she has to change every little thing about her life and is expected to go along with it without protest.

I absolutely loved the sexual tension between Jolie and Rand, but the fact that Rand was so standoffish irritated me. Sure, they have to maintain a working relationship, but why start something you’re not going to finish? That’s a tease, and I’m not a fan of being teased. I loved the fact that Jolie went ahead and moved on when Rand made it clear that there couldn’t be anything between them – I hate when one character is stuck pining after the other and is expected to just be stagnant until the other character pulls their head out of their butt and realizes that yes, they can be together.

I wasn’t really sure what Christa’s point in being there was other than to provide support to Jolie when she needed some girl time. Christa kind of annoyed me, but I was happy that Jolie had a friend there for her while her entire life was being forcibly changed.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I couldn’t put it down! But the ending was kind of a letdown in that it left too many plot threads hanging. I know that this is a set up for the next book, but really… there were a LOT of questions left unanswered. When I got to the last page, I looked over at PK and went “That’s IT?? Are you serious?!” (To which he promptly replied “Absolutely…. what are we talking about?” — gotta love my PK)

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble combines Paranormal Romance with Urban Fantasy and gives us a light-hearted look into a world filled with magic, romance, and a little bit of suspense.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Monica Jones on Sep. 26, 2010 : star star star
When we first meet Jolie, she has abilities but doesn’t believe in herself. It takes a “chance encounter” with a ghost to change her perspective of the world, and of herself. A lot of ground is covered in this first book in Jolie’s series. There is so much information that some of the action could have easily been taken out and expanded upon in another book. In that same vein, I wish that there was more character development, or more indications as to why certain things turn out the way they do. Of course, the book is full of fantasy, so the world in which they live will hopefully become clearer as the series continues.
Jolie’s choice of love interests becomes more involved as well as the story continues, which is something that she definitely needs given her low sense of self. And each man that shows up is hotter than the one before. She has a lot of give and take with Rand, which reminds me of the show Moonlighting where the eternal question of “will they or won’t they” kept you coming back for more. But then she’s got a werewolf, a vampire and even a fairy king wanting to keep her company. Unfortunately, they seem to be more interested in her abilities than in the woman herself (seems to be an oft-heard quandary of women of all shapes and sizes).
I’m interested to see what happens next to Jolie and her band of merry men.

--Monica, www.ireadromance.com
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Stephanie Gradel on Sep. 20, 2010 : star star star
Jolie Wilkins is your everyday run of the mill fortune teller until the day hunky warlock Rand Balfour enters her shop. Rand convinces Jolie to take a job with him to help solve a murder that occurred almost 100 years ago. Needing the funds she takes the job not thinking much of it. That is until she enters a trance and goes back in time to not only find out who murdered Rand's client but also bring said man alive into the future. News of her power spreads quickly among the Underworld and with it a witch who will do anything to get her evil hands on Jolie.

Jolie had no idea what she was until Rand came into the picture. She knew she could see auras and have unreliable visions but she had no idea what her true power was. I liked reading how Jolie trained to become a stronger witch and in the in she was definitely a formidable opponent but my big issue with her was her self confidence issues. She has a big problem questioning her looks and her powers and the constant 'I'm not pretty' and 'I can't do it' attitude she had almost made me not like her character. Do I like reading books with nothing but perfect characters? No way, most of my favorite characters have serious flaws but once it starts to sound whinny, I begin to lose interest. What saved her in my eyes was her ability to deal with whatever life gave her and not just give up.

Rand is a 150+ year old warlock who brings Jolie in as an employee of his. Bella is the evil witch who wants Jolie to work for her but Rand feels responsible that Jolie was even brought to her attention so he takes it upon himself to protect and see to Jolie's training. Rand is the typical tall dark and handsome character most love. His feeling towards Jolie are more than just professional and he struggles not to take their relationship to far. He toys with Jolie I think without really realizing it and I liked when Jolie went on a date with a werewolf and refuse to cancel it when Rand suddenly throws himself at her after he rejected her. There are a few men who have their eye on the new witch and while I'm not generally a fan of love triangles, I found the one in this book to be entertaining.

Fire Burn & Cauldron Bubble sets up what is to be a war between Bella and her paranormal allies and Rand/Jolie and theirs. There is a steady pace set to this book that while not rippling with action and edge of your seat excitement, keeps you entertained and interested. I think UF fans would enjoy this and I'll be keeping my eye out for the next book in the series.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Stephanie on Sep. 15, 2010 : star star star
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble is a light and funny read. Jolie is a fun and spunky heroine. She has a sarcastic sense of humor so we got along. Rand is a proper kind of hero who would never do anything out of line or inappropriate.

For the most part I enjoyed this book but there were a few problems that had me stumbling a little. Once everyone finds out about Jolie's powers, every male character wants a piece of the Jolie pie. While this would happen in real life, I find the efforts of the amorous males distracting from the plot line. Then there's the relationship between Rand and Jolie. Rand acknowledges his feelings for Jolie but insists on keeping a proper working relationship. When Rand is ready to take their relationship to the next level, Jolie isn't. There's this back-and-forth relationship through the book that, while creating conflict, also gets frustrating.

With that being said, I like this book enough that I look forward to reading the next chapter in Mallory's Jolie Wilkins series. I can't wait to see how it plays out!

Check out www.onceuponachapter.com for the full review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Amanda Toth on Sep. 07, 2010 : star star star star star
When browsing both of this author's pieces, I was instantly drawn to "Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble." This book follows the tale of Jolie, who isn't supermodel gorgeous, just a normal girl who occasionally gets visions. And then on a job for a client, she discovers she's able to bring back the dead - not as zombies, but as their former selves. It's quite the talent to have, and in today's war-fearing Underworld, it's much in demand. I love stories where our hero or heroine is tossed into a situation that is totally new and frightening for them, and they have to fight their way through it. This new world is something Jolie just can't hide away from, but she learns to deal with it. Of course, she has a little help from her friends...

Speaking of friends, we'll start with one of the secondary characters, Christa. She was definitely good for some laughs, but she had some genuine good-friend moments, which was good to see. When in a situation as tough as the one Jolie was in, a good friend like Christa will come in handy. And then there's Rand. So stubborn, so delicious, argh! Rand was so frustrating and reliable at the same time. There were scenes I wanted to strangle him, others I wanted snuggle him... and then there were a few times I wanted to do both at once.

One thing that really struck me about H.P. Mallory was how human her characters seemed. Well.. maybe that's not the correct term. She described the flaws and traits of each main and secondary character so well, you felt like you knew them. The author added little motions a character might make when aggravated, or sounds they might make when annoyed and amused. Just little things that could just as well be easily over-looked, and in the grand scheme of things might not even be important, but I loved getting that little glimpse of each character's life.

There are plenty of twists and turns in "Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble." Jolie has a lot to deal with, and a lot to learn. I was so engrossed in the main characters journey that I read the entire book in one day - I just couldn't put it down. Good thing this book is a series, Jolie's trials are far from over, and there's an even rougher road ahead.

I'm going to give "Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble" by H.P. Mallory a FIVE out of FIVE (5/5). It was a great read, and it left me wanting.. or rather NEEDING more. I can't wait to see how this great war that has been building throughout this first novel turns out, as well as how Jolie deals with all the different players in her life. Make sure you all check out this book, as well as her other release (as of right now) "To Kill A Warlock."
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cid Tyer on Sep. 06, 2010 : star star star
The Setting — begins in LA, harmlessly enough one night with a young woman minding her own business. As Jolie gets dragged into a secret world of wickedly sexy witches, sultry vampires, and playboy werewolves she’s forced to flee across the pond and is taken on a whirlwind adventure to places normal humans never see. I thought that the setting was well done; a lot of paranormal authors don’t give much thought to the setting because it’s just as your or I are sitting in now, but I liked the authors sense of surrounding. It wasn’t long paragraphs of detail, but simple comments and details that clued me into where we were.

The Characters — were hysterical. Mallory has a great talent for wit, and Jolie just seems to attract trouble. I liked Jolie’s character arc; she started out as a sort of mousy, quiet, insecure kind of woman and through the story blossomed. I thought there was a lack of tension at times, and I would have liked to see more internal processing of events before she jumped into action. There was a lot of flirtation going on, between Jolie and Rand and Trent and the list goes on! It was a little bit of a stretch, but it worked and you kept biting your nails the whole time either screaming, “NOOOOO!” or “YESSSS!”, so I can’t say I mind too much.

The Plot — of this book is setting up for a much more large scale battle to come. I was disappointed that the whole book was what felt like a prequel to the real action to come. This is my ax and this is me grinding; I’ve said it before and I hate doing this to such a fun book, but I had to cut a star for what I felt was an ending that just…. ended. There was a great emotional wrap up that leads us into what could be, and there’s a lot of great story that happens, but the story didn’t come across to me as finished enough to close the book.

I want to read the next one, in fact I absolutely must because I frakking need to know what happens!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Evelyn Amaro on Sep. 05, 2010 : star star star star star
This book in three words: Amazing, Witty, Unique. This is the debut novel by HP Mallory, and already she has proven to be one of the best urban fantasy authors out there right now! This book is about a Jolie. She was just a person trying to live a somewhat normal life, other than the fact that she can see auras, ghosts, and runs a tarot/psychic reading shop, she was succeeding. All that changes when Rand walks through the door. The hot warlock quickly shows Jolie that she in not your average girl - she's a witch with unbelievable abilities, one of which is to reanimate the dead. All of a sudden Jolie is thrown into the hidden and divided world of the underworld where a war is brewing, and the one person who can tilt the balance in the war is Jolie. Hold on tight as Jolie takes you for the ride of your life! This book has it all! A likable and strong heroine, an array of interesting characters ranging from her human bff to a sexy and potentially dangerous vampire; powerful fairies and hot werewolves; witches and warlocks - just to name a few. Mystery, sexual tension, powers beyond belief, and fantastic writing will have you flying through the pages and dying for the release of the next installment! Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble is a must read!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lauralynn Elliott on Aug. 20, 2010 : star star star star star
I loved this book. It was fun and well written; very entertaining. I loved the characters and really enjoyed the humor. And the romance...wow. Well done, H.P.!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Escape Between The Pages on Aug. 15, 2010 : star star star star
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 within a month of purchase)

Review by: mish on Aug. 08, 2010 : star star star star
Jolie Wilkins is just your average ghost whispering, sometimes psychic, tarot card reading girl next door with a lackluster love life, a quirky BFF, and unbeknownst to her... some latent witchy powers! Rand Balfour, the hunky warlock who comes by for a reading, knows Jolie has powers and needs her ghost whispering talents to help him discover who killed his client.

What neither Jolie nor Rand expected was not only could she talk to ghosts, but she could reanimate the dead as well! Word spreads fast about Jolie's ability as a necromancer and now there are factions of the underworld who want to use Jolie for their own agenda.

Jolie's world is turned upside down. Not only is she suddenly thrown into a world of vampires, witches, fairies, and werewolves, but she has to try and prevent an underworld coup while maneuvering around the advances of an amorous werewolf, a sexy vampire, a rake of a ghost and a randy fairy king. And then there is Rand, her gorgeous warlock who waffles between wannabe lover and distant employer.

Though the author labels this book an Urban Fantasy, I personally view it more as a light Paranormal Romance. Regardless of what you want to call it, it was a fun and absorbing read that kept me turning the pages. The romantic tension between Jolie and Rand is carried throughout the book. Rand is constantly struggling between his attraction to Jolie and his position as her employer (or at least that is the excuse he is using, eh?). Much to Jolie's chagrin, he is kissing her one minute and keeping his distance the next. This is an ongoing struggle throughout the book that will likely continue into the next book if the cliffhanger ending is any indication.

I like that the story did not take itself too seriously, but neither was it overly silly. The characters were likeable, quirky, and fun with plenty of alpha male sexiness to go around.

This was a great debut from an author that I will definitely be keeping an eye on. If you like the lighter side of Urban Fantasy with a dash of romance and a plethora of paranormal characters then give this one a try!

Cross posted from http://indieparanormalbooksreviews.blogspot.com/2010/08/review-fire-burn-cauldron-bubble-by-hp.html
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: LISA on July 17, 2010 : star star star star star
I am enjoying this author's work at the mo,worth a read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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