Tuesday, August 19, 2008

JINX by Jennifer Estep

Jinx (Amazon UK, Canada) is the third novel in the Bigtime superhero series by Jennifer Estep. It releases two weeks from today.

JINX focuses on Bella Bulluci, who was Fiona Fine's fashion designer rival in Hot Mama. Bella comes from a family of superheroes--both superpowered and otherwise--and she's quite frankly tired of the whole gig. She's had superheroes out the wazoo, especially since her family became closely affiliated to the Fearless Five in the previous novel. She has a power that is more of a curse, and it causes her endless embarrassment when the strangest things happen around her.

Bella isn't thrilled with a lot of aspects about her life. If she even looks at chocolate she gains about ten pounds, which she is forever trying to work off with brutal exercise routines. She hardly dares to eat in public for fear of her power rearing its weird head. And she's not really satisfied with the whole fashion designer gig, either. She has a secret ambition to be a museum quality artist. Therefore, she is quite the patroness of the arts.

In that capacity, she has brought together a clutch of society dames to plan the opening of a new wing over at the Bigtime Museum of Modern Art. High-society types from all over the city had been pressed into donating pricey items, plus there's going to be a bachelorette auction. (And of course, Bella is going to be one of those auctioned off.)

If you've already read Karma Girl and Hot Mama, you can probably skim much of the backstory that is incorporated into the first two chapters. If not, it should be fun to read, and will set you up perfectly to understand the rest of the novel. Reading the previous books is not required, but they are every bit as fun as this one (Karma Girl being the funnest, in my opinion). The story really kicks off when Bella meets Debonair, one of the sexiest superthieves in Bigtime, whose fans include rabid members of the Slaves for Superhero Sex group. Debonair himself has this to say about SSS: "They're hardly an appropriate judge of character. They'll do anyone in spandex."

Anyway, Bella meets Debonair when he catches him in the act of a theft. He's an art thief with an interesting twist. As a superhero, he has a twist as well. And Debonair's Lair of Seduction is not all it seems.

More superheroes get unmasked here, including Granny Cane and of course, Debonair. Other ubervillains aren't as easy to guess as they were in previous novels, but neither are they difficult. That has never been a minus in my opinion. It sort of helps the wink, wink, nudge, nudge humor of the series. Also, Bella has the most uncanny ability of catching people in the . . . uh, act. Is it a superpower? I'm not sure.

These novels are paranormal romance, so the romance takes up a good portion of the plot. So do outlandish shemes, narrow escapes and outrageous luck, both good and bad. The heat level is quite scorching hot--about on par with Hot Mama, and much hotter than Karma Girl, where the sex scenes were mostly humorous.

Estep does a great job coming up with a theme for each novel. Karma Girl was an origin story. Hot Mama was about an established superhero. JINX is neither. And that's all I'm going to say about that. The series is beginning to develop its own formula, so by the third book you know what to expect; the surprise is in the way the plot plays out. Like the previous two novels, JINX stands on its own.

JINX is a delightful morsel of a novel that you can probably devour in a night or two. It doesn't take itself seriously and because of that, it's downright entertaining. If you liked the previous two novels, you'll probably enjoy this one as well. If you haven't read the others and you like hot, funny romance with your fantasy, then these novels should be right up your alley.


Jennifer Estep said...

Thanks for the review! So glad you enjoyed the book. And thanks for the spotlight post a few days ago. I appreciate it! :-)

Tia Nevitt said...

You're welcome, Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by!