Jolie thinks she’s seen it all, but life continues to spring surprises. The latest shocker? She’s just been crowned queen of the underworld. Jolie may possess a rare gift for reanimating the dead, but she doesn’t know the first thing about governing disparate factions of supernatural creatures. She can barely maintain order in her own chaotic personal life, which is heading into a romantic tailspin.
First there’s sexy warlock Rand, the love of her life, from whom Jolie is hiding a devastating secret. Then there’s Sinjin, a darkly seductive vampire and Jolie’s sworn protector—though others suspect he harbors ulterior motives. As the two polar opposite yet magnetic men vie for Jolie’s affection, she must keep her wits about her to balance affairs of state and affairs of her heart. Overwhelmed, under pressure, and longing for love, Jolie decides it’s time to take charge—and show everyone that this queen won’t take jack.
Type: Paranormal Romance, Witches, Vampires, Shifters
Heat: 2.5 out of 5
Rating: 2 out of 5
This was my first time reading H.P.Mallory. I can't say I'd actively seek out another one of her books if this is a good example of her style. This is the 3rd installment in her Jolie Wilkin's series. Usually I wouldn't jump in mid series but I won this from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway and figured I'd give it a go. It was easy to join midway through the series mainly because the first 100 pages of the book were a recap of everything that's happened to this point, as far as I could tell. A recap that keeps repeating itself over and over again. In Jolie's journal entries then again with conversations with Rand the main male lead, then again with Jolie's best friend, then again, and again.... I'm all for a series recap and many authors include them in a new book but this just seemed over the top and got to the point where I was seriously questioning if anything was every going to happen in this book at all. The answer to that? No, not really. It took 150 some pages before we had anything new happen in the current time and still with more than 300 pages total nothing ever really happened that made an impact or advanced the story line.
The book itself was fairly easy to read but there were some abrupt changes from the end of one chapter and the start of the next that made things awkward from time to time as well as some random scenes/chapters that didn't seem to relate to anything or add to the story. The main themes of the book were 1) Jolie coming to terms with being named Queen of the Underworld and learning her new role 2) a love triangle between Jolie, Rand the Warlock and Sinjin the vampire and 3) a threat to the paranormal community from Lurkers and what to do about them. You would think with all of this things would be exciting and draw you in, things would progress and be resolved in a satisfactory way. That wasn't the case unfortunately. Everything just went round and round in circles and got nowhere.
Jolie didn't want to be Queen and was bothered when others treated her differently because of it. That is, until someone did something she didn't personally like or spoke to her in a less than polite way then she would demand respect from them because she was the Queen. How dare they talk to her that way? Make up your mind! The huge treat from the Lurkers went absolutely nowhere. No big confrontations, no plans made other than Jolie reanimating their dead from the previous books to build their army. Just some information gathering and reporting. As for the love triangle. I didn't find any spark at all between any of the three. The steamy bits were mediocre at best and the emotional connections just didn't come through. And once again with the round and round. Jolie was done with men and going to concentrate on her position as Queen then a chapter later she was determined to figure things out with Rand, then having a moment with Sinjin then once again done with men. Things finally look like they had worked themselves out at the end in regards to the men and then we get a cliffhanger or sorts that throws it right back to the beginning. I can only imagine the next book in the series will be much the same as this one.
I like things to happen with the characters and to feel connected and invested in the individuals. I just wasn't finding that with this group. I wasn't left with an urge to know how things end up for them or wanting desperately for them to have their happily ever after. They obviously appeal to some so maybe it's just me. I wouldn't be against reading another from Mallory just to see if this was a fluke and her other books offer a bit more. The others in the series do seem to receive good reviews. If I stumble upon one I'll pick it up but I won't be making a huge effort to seek them out.
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