Willow Tate is a moderately successful comic book author and illustrator living in Manhattan - just far enough away from her domineering and eccentric family.
One day she has a great idea for a new story and starts sketching. Imagine her horror when the hero of her story - an enormous red troll - starts smashing cars and fire hydrants outside of her window. Everyone can see the destruction, but no one but Willow can see the troll. That's why she keeps mum when a sexy cop knocks on her door asking for her statement. Soon the red troll starts following Willow around, causing mayhem wherever he pops up. What does he want and how can she get rid of him?
Because of the official synopsis and the cover I expected more humor, more action and less romantic entanglements from this story.
The story is mildly funny, but doesn't invite real laughter.
Willow is portrayed as an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances - action scenes are not her forte. She witnesses a few of them (destruction caused by the troll), but doesn't get involved. She is a passive type of character, who tends to react instead of taking matters into her own hands. Unfortunately this character trait results in a lack of tension - near the end things get more interesting, though.
I was surprised by the amount of attention paid to Willow's love life. First there is her boring, but safe (ex)boyfriend, then the sexy cop, who shows her, what her relationship is lacking. Finally sparks fly when she meets the sexy british agent, but she doesn't know whether she should trust him. I'm not a romance reader, though I enjoy romantic subplots. This was too much for me. The yes-no-yes-no-I-can't-trust-you game and the constantly wet panties drove me crazy. If I had known that Celia Jerome is the pseudonym of Barbara Metzger, an elderly (maybe sixty-something) romance author, I would have known what to expect.
There are things I enjoyed in TROLLS IN THE HAMPTONS.
Willow Tate might not be an exciting protagonist, but Jerome portrays her as sympathetic and believable. Her abilities are not well explained in this novel, but there's potential for further development.
I liked Willow's eccentric family. Everyone has small magical gifts, that Willow is used to rationalizing.
The setting - Manhattan and the Hamptons - is very vivid. Things are mentioned that only natives would know - something that I miss in other paranormal series, where the authors know their cities on a superficial level only.
Picking up this book I had certain expectations and they weren't met. Of course I was disappointed, but that doesn't mean that TROLLS IN THE HAMPTONS is a bad book. Should I choose to read the next instalments in the series, I'd be better prepared and I'd probably enjoy them more.
Willow Tate Novels: Trolls in the Hamptons, Night Mares in the Hamptons, Fire Works in the Hamptons, Life Guards in the Hamptons, Sand Witches in the Hamptons, ...