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Friday, October 10, 2008

Hex Appeal



Hex Appeal by Linda Wisdom
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Length
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by Poppy

Feisty witch Jasmine Tremaine and drop-dead gorgeous vampire cop Nikolai Gregorovich have a hot thing going, but it’s tough to keep it together when nightmare visions turn their passion into bickering, and it’s tearing them apart.

With a little help from their friends – a motley bunch of ghosts with attitude, rule-breaking witches, supernatural hotties and sinister elves – Jazz and Nick are in a race against time to uncover whoever it is that’s poising their dreams, and their relationship…

Jazz and Nick are back and hotter (and funnier) than ever! Even more exciting, I had some of my questions from the first book answered (especially re: Fluff and Puff) and got to know all the secondary cast better than ever.

The story starts with a hot, HOT love scene that turns out to be a nightmare -- but felt so real, Jazz is furious with Nick's behavior and storms out of his apartment, only to find herself waylaid by an angry carnival manager who accuses her bunny slippers, Fluff and Puff of eating one of the were-folk who works for him. It takes Jazz and Nick awhile to realize that each of them are having intense, realistic and frightening dreams, partly because Jazz has a murder investigation on her hands (and has had to put irate bunnies, Fluff and Puff, into a magical cage to keep them safe from the impending death sentence) and Nick has some pretty intense cases at his private investigation firm.

Ms. Wisdom's style of writing took me a while to get my teeth into -- the first book seemed to have so many plot threads, I wasn't sure which to hold on to and it was a little frustrating for my "likes-to-focus" brain. Once I realized (in that book, and again in this one) that she throws everything but the kitchen sink into each book -- and very skillfully, I should add--I just held on for the ride. As with the first, I also felt like I had missed some backstory (Why did Jazz initially steal Fluff and Puff? What did she do that was so horrible she and her classmates were banished and constantly in trouble with the witch's council?) and that's a bit frustrating, but Ms. Wisdom did fill it in a bit more this book, and I imagine that we'll learn more as the series progresses.

I love her skill with secondary characters. As much as I enjoy Jazz and love (and lust after the oh-so hot) Nick, the strong cast really drives this book. We have Krebs and Irma from the first book, but Coby (a werewolf) figures much more prominently in this book, and just as I did with Krebs in book one, I fell for Coby in this book. I hope to see him again! Irma is a hoot, as always, and Dweezil is a little less present this time (thankfully... I really didn't care much for him). I could go on, as there are even more folks who took a turn running through this book.

Linda Wisdom artfully combines hot romance, chick-lit (did I mention Jazz has a thing for designer handbags, bath products and Starbucks coffee?), paranormal (with a twist) and mystery, and smooshes it all together in one book. You'd think it would be confusing, but it's not. There is never a dull moment, even if Jazz and Nick leap from nightmares, to bunny problems, to P.I. work, to difficulties with Krebs love life and Irma's wardrobe issues. It's smooth and fun and oh-so well written.

Although I highly recommend this story, I must also highly recommend that you read the first one first. Don't worry... it won't be a chore! If you love your paranormal/mystery/chick-lit romance hot and funny, get to a bookstore and grab both books. Then settle in for a utterly enjoyable read.