By H.P. Mallory
First published: 2010
Series: Jolie Wilkins #1
Read: 15 - 25 May 2011
Challenges: 1st in a Series Challenge #6
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.
Witches and warlocks and werewolves, oh my!
This will be short and sweet, because I really don't have much to say about Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble. In short, it was a cute read. I chose it to read on my Scotland trip because I figured it would be light reading, and it turned out to be a perfect holiday companion. The book is teeming with creatures of the night; a hot warlock, a hot werewolf, a hot vampire, a hot ghost, a hot fairy... Oh yeah, and there's a war brewing in the Underworld.
I had a little trouble connecting to Jolie, the main caracter and narrator. Her constant self-doubting and insecurity, despite having all sorts of sexy creatures wanting to "bed her", started to get old after a while. I quite liked Rand the warlock (he's British, what's not to like?), and I would have liked to see him doing something else than telling Jolie why they couldn't sleep together.
The concept of the book is interesting and it was fun meeting all the different species of the Underworld and see them interact. The book doesn't exactly end in a cliffhanger because there is not enough suspense for that (someone on Goodreads called it a hill-hanger, which I thought was a pretty good word), but there is no conclusion to the story. Presumably the next book Toil and Trouble picks up where Fire Burn left off. I'm sure I will pick it up at some point, because I would like to know how this whole thing ends.
Bottom line: Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble lacks the charm to make it a top read, but an abundance of sexy Underworld creatures and the suspense of a coming war make it a great read for the summer holidays.
The Jolie Wilkins series
- Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (2010)
- Toil and Trouble (2010)