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 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’s caught stealing. 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 negative in my opinion; It contributes to 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 scorching hot—about on par with Hot Mama, and much hotter than Karma Girl, where the sex scenes were mostly humorous.
Each of Jennifer Estep’s novels has a theme. 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.
FanLit thanks Tia Nevitt from Debuts & Reviews for contributing this guest review.
Bigtime — (2007-2015) Paranormal romance. Publisher: Someone has to pay for what happened to Carmen Cole… Bigtime, New York is not big enough for both Carmen Cole and the superheroes and ubervillains who walk its streets. An intrepid reporter, Carmen’s dedicated her life to unmasking the spandex wearers, all because her fiancé turned out to be a superhero, and a cheating one at that — sleeping with none other than his nubile nemesis. Exposing the true identities of the nation’s caped crusaders and their archenemies has catapulted Carmen from her sleep southern hometown to the front pages of one of the country’s biggest newspapers, The Exposé. Hobnobbing with modelizing millionaires and famished fashionistas is all in a day’s work for the woman hot on the trail of the Fearless Five and Terrible Triad. But when Carmen gets the scoop of her career, her life comes crashing down around her. And even Bigtime’s sexiest superhero, Striker, may not be able to save her …