Wednesday, April 23

Review: 50 Ways to Hex your Lover by Linda Wisdom

So, guess who my buddy reviewer today? Come on, take a guess...

Can't guess? Need a clue? It's her first appearance here on Breezing Through :P

So everyone, please welcome Brie from Cupid’s Chokehold!

50 Ways to Hex your Lover by Linda Wisdom
published by Sourcebooks Casablanca in March 2008

Jasmine Tremaine, a witch who can't stay out of trouble

Nikolai Gregorivich, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire cop on the trail of a serial killer.

The sizzling love affair between Jazz and Nick has been off-again, on-again-for about 300 years. Mostly off, lately. But now Nick needs Jazz's help, and while Jazz and Nick try to figure out their own hearts and resist their ever-increasing attraction, they must steer clear of a maniacal killer with super-supernatural powers. They are surrounded by a hilarious cast of oddball paranormal characters, including Irma, the chain-smoking ghost who haunts Jazz's sports car, Dweezil, her ghoul of a boss, and Fluff and Puff, a pair of bunny slippers with sharp teeth and short tempers (watch your ankles)

Genre: paranormal romance
Series: book #1

The Story: Meet Jazz Tremaine, witch and limo-driver. When Jazz was young, she, along with her 12 witch schoolmates, was expelled from the witch academy for 100 years. 700 years later, she still hasn't returned, as any selfish or inappropriate uses of magic add on on her banishment. Not that it matters much, since Jazz has created a life for herself.

Nikolai Gregorivich, aka Nick Gregory, is Jazz' on and off (mostly off) vampire boyfriend. Nowadays, he's a PI investigating vampires disappearance. Rumors have it that a cure to vampirism has been discovered; however, Nick knows better. He has a suspect for the case, but to uncover it, he'll need Jazz' help as the suspect is actually a nightmare from the past.

Nath: So Brie, what did you think of the book? I have to admit, I had a little difficulty getting through the book. It wasn because the book started slow or anything it just couldn hold my attention.

Brie: I'm glad I wasn't the only one that found it hard to get through the book. Normally a light read, which I would consider this book to be, is easy for me to breeze through, but not this time. I had to force myself to concentrate on the book, instead of being engrossed in the story like I would have liked to have been.

Nath: Same thing with me. I almost never start a new book while reading one since I read so fast. However, I think I put 50 Ways to Hex your Lover aside to start and finish 2 other books. That almost unheard of for me.

One of the let-down’s is that the book wasn as funny as I expected. The characters are all quirky and almost designed to be funny, especially Irma and the bunny slippers, Puff and Fluff, and same thing with many scenes However, I felt like the author was trying to hard and in the end, it fell flat.

Brie: I agree. It did seem to me that the author was "trying to hard to be funny." I don't think I laughed once and I'm really easy to please. I think that if the comedic elements were more subtle, as opposed to "in your face" then it would have come off funnier to me.

For me, part of the problem was that the world building deterred from the actual story. Much of the goings on in the book seemed random and served very little purpose, and bored me. I guess that there was a greater purpose served (world building) but this was the type of expanding of worlds that I could have done without.

Nath: See, I only agree partially with you on this one. Yes, there were many random scenes; however, I don’t think they contribute to the world building. I actually felt that the world building was somewhat neglected. We're given some bits and pieces here, but nothing complete. I wonder how all the supernatural beings co-habit with the humans. We know that they know about vampires, but what is the level of acceptance? What is the level of tolerance towards witches? And all those weird creatures, are they really accepted? Or is everything ifferent because the story is set in Los Angeles?

Brie: True. It think that the human world know’s about the paranormal world to a point. Their opinions of different species of paranormal beings seem to be a bit distorted. Like the detective who didn't believe that Jazz was a witch because she wasn't wrinkled and covered in warts. But at the same time, Jazz didn't seem all that sure of all of the species' around her either. Remember, she wasn't completely sure what Dweezil was...

How did you all like Jazz and Nick's romance? I could appreciate the push and pull, but I never really got why Jazz was so upset with him. Even after they reconciled she still found a reason to walk away from him. Was it that she thought they were too different to make it as a couple? Because I thought they were way past the Witch/Vamp thing at that point.

Nath: That was another let-down. Jazz and Nick’s relationship was a bit like the world building. Ms Wisdom put a lot of thoughts and efforts into building this complicated relationship; however, I feel like we were missing something important in order to fully understand their relationship. If only there been more details on their past, I think it would have helped.

What annoyed me the most was Jazz resentment towards Nick. I would have like for Ms Wisdom to tell us what really happened during that incident, instead of bits and pieces from Jazz and Nick. Not having every pieces of the puzzle made it really hard for me to accept Jazz resentment and attitude towards Nick. On the plus side, it made me really like Nick character. I like that he didn't care that Jazz was mad at him. He just kept taking what he wanted. I like for my heroes to take what the want first and ask if it's okay later.

Brie: I thought that the incident between them would be explained more, but it really did to take a backseat to Jazz's resentment of Nick. It would have been nice to have some background to what exactly happened with them.

Nath: In my opinion, it would have been better if Ms Wisdom re-visited their relationship instead of the sorority house scene or Mindy wanting to take over Dweezil's business. I also wished we could have seen more of Jazz witch sisters one of my favorite scenes of the book was when the three witches sat and passed the binoculars around to oogle at the man working on the roof. That was cute :P

Brie: I forgot about the binocular scene. That was cute. A highlight in the book, for sure.

Nath: Are you planning to read the next book? I probably will, but I hope that Jazz won't be angry at Nick anymore.

Brie: I'm not sure if I'll read the next book. It depends on if it will be a continuation of Nick and Jazz's story or another pairing. If it's a new couple then I might give it a go.

I wish that there had been more emphasis on Nick and Jazz. I would have liked if their relationship had been more fleshed out. Their past was a bit ambiguous, and like you, Nath, I think that a few unnecessary scenes could have been left out to make the romance and overall story better. That said, I'm giving the book a C.

Nath: I read somewhere that this is an unconventional romance while I agree with that statement, I don think it justifies all the unanswered questions that I have about world building and Jazz and Nick past. I wished these elements would have been the focus of this book however, I can still hope I l get some answers in the next book. As it is, I giving this a C as well.


Katie(babs) said...

The thought of Jazz throwing fireballs at Nick cracked me up. Handy trick to have if your man makes you made :D

Carolyn Jean said...

Thanks for the review. I really liked it, and I agree that even in a humorous book, I want to fully 'get' the world, and I want to get why characters are mad, not mad, etc.

That binoculars scene does sound cute.

nath said...

Katie(babs) - Yeah, that was funny... until the day she's going to grow so powerful that a fireball is going to burst him up.

CJ - You're welcomed :D I hope it was helpful :D and the scene with the binoculars was indeed very cute :D

ElaineCharton said...

The reasons there are so many books is that everyone has different taste. What one person likes, the other may find annoying.
Personally, I LOVED 50 Ways and can not wait for the next book in the series.

Kris said...

I am still debating over this book. Though I honestly doubt I will get to it. Half of the reviews that i have read have not been wonderful and with so many mixed reviews I will probably keep putting it off.

Brie said...

You are right, Elaine, romance tastes vary. I'm glad you loved 50 Ways, I know you are not the only one. :)

Kris, you might want to give it a try, it might turn out to be a great read for you.

Ana said...

Thanks for the review. Very enlightning. I have this book on my TBR....

nath said...

Elaine - People definitively have different tastes and I'm glad you enjoyed the book :) For me, it just wasn't enough. But I'm still planning to pick up the second book... although I'm more interested in the third :P

Kris - give it a try Kris :) Maybe you'll enjoy it :)

Ana - Welcome Ana :) Hope you enjoy!

Jill D. said...

Hi Ladies! Nice review; very complete and as you know I agree with much of what you said. I believe that Jazz and Nick will appear in another story. I think that might answer a few of your questions. Nath, you might be interested. Brie, maybe not so much...

Brie said...

Thanks for the info, Jill.