Jinx Mass Market Paperback – Sep 2 2008
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About the Author
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Jennifer is the author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals—Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. Jennifer is also the author of the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more. Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series. The books feature sexy superheroes, evil ubervillains, and smart, sassy gals looking for love. For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit her at http://www.JenniferEstep.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter—@Jennifer_Estep. Happy reading, everyone! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Debonair is a hero, if not a superhero, who has a secret. He has wanted Bella for a long time. Debonair is nothing like his real self when the mask and costume goes on; he can be the playboy as Debonair. During the gala, he will have the chance to show Bella his stuff when an ubervillian crashes the party to steal a gemstone.
Bella has not changed her mind about being involved with any of the above, but there is something about Debonair that makes her wonder if maybe he could change her mind. But danger follows anyone who protects the innocents and Bella has already lost a loved one that way. Debonair and Bella come together again to defeat the ubervillains who stole the gemstone and threatened her. When the smoke disappears and the dust settles, can Debonair show Bella that not all superheroes are a bad choice or is this romance going to go "poof" and disappear?
Fair warning; do not drink while reading Jinx as you will spend a good portion of the time laughing. Bigtime is full of superheroes and ubervillains and their alter egos, Bella is surrounded by them but would like to just live a nice normal life - yeah right like that is going to happen. Debonair is well known by Bigtime as his other self. As Debonair he is thought of as a playboy and a hero that may or may not be good. Flames and sparks came every time Bella and Debonair come in contact together. I loved both Bella and Debonair and just how they fit together. I also loved that the plot was fast paced and kicking. After my exposure to Bigtime, I will never forget all that a superhero and ubervillan go through the next time I see a superhero cartoon. The humor, passion, outrageous costumes and super gadgets let Jinx be fun loving and perfect for escaping the real world for a few hours.
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
JINX had the misfortune of running afoul of one of my personal pet peeves, a negative heroine. Despite all of the color and flash of Bigtime, Bella Belluci is trapped in her own little world of resentment and anxiety. Even her delightful beta hero, Debonair, wasn't enough to salvage my opinion. If nothing else, by book's end I was ready to steal Debonair for myself and leave Bella to her own devices.
There was no one straw that broke the relationship's back but rather the same straw over and over. Debonair would declare his love, Bella would tell him why they couldn't be together. Debonair would offer a compromise, Bella would tell him why they couldn't be together. It won't come as a spoiler to know that the two eventually find a happily-ever-after, but it seemed arbitrary when Bella finally changed her mind (considering all the other reasonable alternatives she's snubbed). Bella's superpower is fun, both when it works and when it spectacularly fails, but those cinematic, slapstick moments couldn't keep me going after awhile. Despite an action filled plot of heroes and ubervillains, the only thing keeping Bella from happiness is herself. Even worse, the only thing keeping the utterly charming Debonair from happiness is the heroine that keeps stringing him along.
Though I was excited to return to Bigtime for some more over the top, superhero silliness, I couldn't get around Bella enough to enjoy the book. If you like Bigtime and don't mind heroines with lots of neurosis (for example, Carolyn Crane's Justine Jones in MIND GAMES), you'll probably enjoy JINX more than I did. There's certainly some neat technology, a unique super power, and lots of that Bigtime goofiness in ready supply.
Sexual Content: Several sex scenes and public displays of affection.
What Bella does love is the arts, which is why she'd been elected as chairperson of the Friends of the Bigtime Museum for Modern Art. She and the fundraising committee are in the final stages of planning their annual fall-benefit. Their meeting takes place at the estate of Brighton Berkley, whiskey billionaire and richest man in town, and his new wife Joanna James. During the course of the planning session Bella is reminded that the other members of the committee had outvoted her and decided to have a masquerade ball as the main event. More spandex, ugh. Just the thought of it sends a warning signal through her body. Her luck is about to act up again, sending her to the powder room to clean up the mess she'd created. For once her bad luck is a blessing. When she hears a peculiar popping sound in the next room, she discovers Bigtime's master thief and major heartthrob, Debonair, lifting a priceless Pandora painting from her host. Of course the incorrigible playboy can't resist making a play for her, distracting Bella long enough to teleport away before she remembers to pull the fire alarm.
Naturally the robbery is all over the news the next day. Bella hated superheroes, so why couldn't she stop thinking about this one -- his black hair, blue eyes and so sexy smirk. The one thing she would never do is date a superhero or whatever the leather clad lothario was. And how was this going to affect her benefit since most of the town's wealthy, including Berkley, had promised to lend priceless pieces to the museum for a special exhibition? Bad publicity, just the thought of it put her capricious luck on the fritz. In one week she'd had enough bad luck to last a year and to top it off she had a sneaking suspicion that the handsome thief in question was following her. Pop!
Bella didn't want to be a superhero, or to design fashion really. What she wanted to be was a museum quality artist. Yes, Bella loved art - which is how she finds herself the first bachelorette up for bid as part of the gala benefit auction. Much to her surprise Devin Dash bids an exorbitant sum to win a date with her. Devin was different from the other folks in Bigtime, neither a superhero or ubervillain and not even much like the other wealthy normal citizens. She'd had dinner with him once, right before her father was killed by ubervillians. Between the grief and all the other chaotic events that followed, she'd forgotten all about him. Devlin was sweet, if a bit awkward, and painfully shy. He was just the kind of man she'd convinced herself she wanted. Their dinner together had been pleasant enough, so why couldn't she stop thinking about Debonair, who was exactly the kind of womanizing, bad boy superhero type she wanted nothing to do with. Oh well, at least the Museum was getting a hefty donation.
Debonair could have any woman he wanted, but he wanted Bella Balucci. In fact he'd been in love with her for some time now, and in spite of her protests and professed hatred for superheroes, he could tell she was interested too. So why did that make him feel so melancholy? If she or anyone else in town knew his true identity, they would no doubt laugh in his face, that's why. If only he could make her fall in love with the man he really was....
Bella is definitely due for some good luck and maybe, just maybe if she plays her cards right, there's a chance she could have it all. That is of course if all of Bigtime's superheroes and ubervillains could just stay out of her way for a few days. But then what's a Bigtime romance without a little mayhem?
I have to admit when I started reading the Bigtime series I was skeptical about how long it could last without becoming formulaic. Kudo's to Ms. Estep, in a very comic book world she has kept it real through her characters each of which is on a singular journey of self discovery. Written in the first person, the reader walks the entire distance in Bella's shoes, experiencing her angst, her insecurity, her love for her hero and the tough decision she must make about what's best for her -- him or her peace of mind. I know everyone will be able to relate to Debonair. Who among us hasn't resorted to role playing in moments where we feel inadequate?
If you think Superhero novels are just for kids, silly rabbit, let me set the record straight. Jinx is a ride that everyone can enjoy. For a fun, action packed tale that speaks to the heart, I recommend that you give Jinx a try.
Note: Romance readers should not be put off by the first person narration. Ms. Estep skillfully manages to put the reader inside the hero's head through clever characterization without directly tapping into his point of view.
Bella feels like she jinxed herself and the exhibit when someone tries to steal the show-stopping piece, the magnificent star sapphire. Soon after that the teleporting art thief Debonair kidnaps Bella. As they become acquainted she believes her luck has turned good as they begin to fall in love and she persuades him to help her prevent the supervillains from succeeding when they attempt to steal the star sapphire again.
The latest satirical superhero romantic fantasy (see KARMA GIRL and HOT MAMA) is an amusing tale that will remind readers of the movies Pure Luck and Just My Luck. The story line is fast-paced with a strong cast especially the cynical lead female who laments her life as being bad luck to have such a lame power that can go in either direction. Fans who appreciate a lighthearted whimsical spoof will enjoy being jinxed by Jennifer Estep.