Friday 26 November 2010

Guest Review: Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble - HP Mallory

Jolie Wilkins, book 1

Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Pages: E-book, 206
Published: 2010
Review by Lis

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.

Life isn’t bad for psychic Jolie Wilkins. True, she doesn’t have a love life to speak of, but she has a cute house in the suburbs of Los Angeles, a cat and a quirky best friend.

Enter Rand Balfour, a sinfully attractive warlock who insists she’s a witch and who just might turn her life upside down. Rand hires her to help him solve a mystery regarding the death of his client who also happens to be a ghost. Jolie not only uncovers the cause of the ghost’s demise but, in the process, she brings him back to life!

Word of Jolie’s incredible ability to bring back the dead spreads like wildfire, putting her at the top of the Underworld’s most wanted list. Consequently, she finds herself at the center of a custody battle between a villainous witch, a dangerous but oh-so-sexy vampire, and her warlock boss, Rand.


Remember how a while back I reviewed How to Kill a Warlock? That was H.P. Mallory's second book. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble is the first. I got both books at the same time, but decided to wait a bit for the second review. After reading the book I wonder how I managed to wait this long!

The set-up for this book is much the same, though unlike in the other book, Jolie has no idea who she is. When the book starts she is just one of the many women out there trying to make a living. In her case as a fortune-teller, because she is aware she can do things others can't. This all changes when Jolie meets tall, dark & extremely hot (and 150+ years old) warlock Rand. Rand quite literally turns her whole world upside down when he tells Jolie she is a witch. Of course, the meeting is not just that random, Rand wants her help with a dead and see-through client.

The stories might be different, but there are elements between the stories that are the same. Without trying to make this a compare feast, the biggest was the host of (male)characters that meet the main character and have an interest or two in her. Don't get me wrong, I loved the characters. H.P.  Mallory certainly has quite the talent for writing funny, witty and likeable character. Even the evil queen b(w)itch  Bella was likeable, even though she is evil with a capital e. Again the strength an weakness of the book was in its characters. If you want to know who they are...well you're just going to have to read the book, now don't ya? Suffice to say, there are enough (hot ones) to keep you interested!

What I especially liked about this book, apart from the story, was the world building. Many authors take the (paranormal)setting for granted. This author doesn't. As a result you have a vivid picture of the world the characters live in and how it functions. While the subs or paranormals in the book are nothing new, basically your average witches, warlocks, vampires, ghosts and werewolves, the author manages to write them in an entertaining manner.

What I liked less was Jolie's constant doubting of herself. Get over yourself woman! Sorry, sometimes that really annoys me in women. Yes, everyone has their doubts, but the reader is constantly reminded of her shortcomings and her struggle to accept that she is a witch. Though I did like that she grows throughout the story and that she is the one to make a move on Rand, while Rand is the one trying to be a gentleman and restrain himself. Hehehe, beware modern women, old man!

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble  is a witchy wicked read. It might be chick lit (or not, depending on how you look at genres), but it's quite an entertaining and funny read that will have you thirsting for more. Did I mention yet that Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble is basically a set-up for an epic battle lurking just out of view, beyond the horizon? No? Well it is. And you'll definitely want more!

 Lis is back with one of her fun reviews!


  1. This one sounds light and funny. I like that for change. Nice review.

  2. Great review, Bloduedd, especially citing how the author built up the world of vampires and witches. I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much. Happy reading!

  3. FV
    I would like some of that right about nwo too :)

    That honour goes to my fab guest reviewer Lis :)

  4. I've seen this on Amazon and wondered about it. I thought it sounded good. I may have to be bad and download it.

  5. Now this sounds like a good one. I will definitely add this to my list. Thanks Linda!
    Plus I love the title and cover too :)

  6. ooo, i'm glad i read the lis review. i received how to kill a warlock awhile ago and haven't had a chance to read it yet. but i should read this one first. for the proper setup of the story that is. thanks.

  7. Hey honey! I have seen this one around and seeing your review, it really does sound fun and enjoyable! Wanted to pop over to see how you were doing!! Hope all is well honey! I hope you have a great weekend!

  8. OMGosh,

    This sounds like a really cute book! I'm getting this one!

    Thanks for the review!


  9. Never trust a man with red eyes! Just look at that cover...

  10. This one sounds funny and not a bad way to spend a few hours!

  11. I stopped reading about halfway through this book because I've read a review somewhere that this book has a cliffhanger ending. I really, really don't like cliffhagner endings! So what can you say about the ending Blodeuedd?

  12. Dar
    Being bad can be good :)

    Isn't the cover too cute :)

    I hope you like it!

    Ho hon, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, filled with yummy food and that tribe of hunky men nearby ;)

    Aye it does sound cute

    Lol, what was she thinking

    The best way to spend an hour :)

    Gotta leave that question for Lis

  13. sounds cute and I like the cover!
    good to know its well written.

  14. Like the cover and the title!

  15. That does look like a cute one!

  16. Naida
    Cute covers are the best :)

    Me too

    so fun that everyone agrees :)

  17. Hey guys! Just a quick note, since I'm off to work (again, whoever said six days working was a good idea is an idiot, oh wait that's me). I saw the questions and I will answer them tonight! :-)

  18. Oh what a new funny series - thanks for featuring that one Lis and Blodeuedd! Could you compare it to the Sookie Stackhouse series (very shortly of course?)

    a six-day working week sucks seriously !

  19. I had a really hard time with this one-it was almost a dnf for me. I liked her writing style, but Jolie just annoyed the crap out me. I'll have to give the second one a chance.

  20. Oh I do have this one on my tbr. I SO need to get to this one. Thanks for the review.

  21. Here goes. Bewarned, I have a caffeine high!

    Fixtion Vixen: It is and a good read too! Thanks! :-)

    Kaye: Thanks Kaye.

    Darlene: Go get it! Now! Run! Fast!

    jenny Girl: You should, it is a good read. I love the play on titles authors have going on these days!

    vvb32 reads: Thanks! :-) You can read the books independently! It's what I did ;-)

    Cecile Smutty Hussy: It does! Go get it! :-)

    Houston A.W. Knight: Thanks! And you're welcome! You should, I tell you! Go get it! Right now!

    Chris: hehehe don't I know! But this one is worth it, I tell you!

    Staci: No it doesn't! It is well worth the time spent to read it!

    Cherry: yes it is. It was my hang-up too. I really do not like cliffhangers. There is one thing worse though and that is unfinished books! You should finish it! Despite the cliffhanger it is well worth it!

    Naida: the cover is pretty cute ineed! :-)

    Mystica: yes, they are definitely cute! Well worth the read! And thanks!

    bermudaonion: Yes it does! Go get it :D

    anachronist: personally I don't think it is anything like the Sookie Stackhouse books. Not only are the characters way different, so is the writing style! The vampires in this book or the paranormal world is the same. But the books are just as good!

    A Buckeye Girl Reads: I feel you. Sometimes there is jus tno click with the main character. Been there and done that! But that's okay. That's why we all have different tastes! :-) Though maybe you'll like it better second time around!!

    Melissa (Books and Things): *waves hand* you will get this book right now! ;-)



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