Stephanie Gradel


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Smashwords book reviews by Stephanie Gradel

  • Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble on Sep. 20, 2010

    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.