Series: Mojo #1
Published by Lyrical Press on 2nd May 2011
Hoodoo and high magic are on a collision course.
Roxanne Mathis isn't like everyone else. Not only can she see auras and spectral entities, she can mix herbs and roots for spells to do good or ill. She can even light a candle without the benefit of a match. But when she’s hired to exorcise a demon from a young girl, she discovers the limits of her powers.
With her vampire cousin at her side and a sexy sorcerer chasing her on the rebound, Roxie sets out to send that evil entity back to where she came from.
Nothing is as it seems and Roxie’s in over her head. It’s not going to be enough for her to just be a paranormal investigator and old school root worker – to defeat this demon, she’s going to have to be the Mojo Queen.
When I offered to review this book, the author told me it might not be my type of thing. I’d read the blurb, seen it was PNR and told her I’d give it a go. I’m really glad I did because I enjoyed the hell out of this book. It’s dark, sexy and a little bit twisted – I recommend it wholeheartedly.
This book tells the story of Roxanne Mathis, a witch with unusual powers. She can read aura’s of the living, see ghosts and spirits, mix roots and herbs to make some powerful spells and has been known to do the occasional exorcism. Roxie isn’t daft; she also uses her powers to make money as a Paranormal Investigator along with her handy side-kick, and vampire relative, Daniel. In the main story, Roxie is hired to exorcise a Demon from the body of a young girl by a college student called Gabe. Seems that a local friendly sorcerer had persuaded Gabe and his friends into doing a little black magic, and the result of this had been both tragic and dangerous.
Upon meeting the Demon, Roxie can tell that this will take more power than she is used to using. This isn’t a case of a simple demonic possession; the demon is seemingly resistance to all of Roxie’s current knowledge. To vanquish this being, Roxie has to tap into powers that she isn’t used to using, but this Demon cannot be allowed to stay on the mortal plane. After further digging, it seems that the Demon has to kill all the members of the summoning Pentagram to become a permanent, homicidal member of the American community. She killed one after entry, so Roxie and Daniel have three more to find, including the instigator of the whole situation, a sorcerer by the name of Blake. After a chance meeting at an underground leads to him breaking into her office, Blake turns out to be even more of a problem than she originally thought. Instantly attracted to the very dangerous sorcerer, Roxie finds herself unable to say no when he hires her to track down his “demon lover”. She has to find her anyway to exorcise her from Gabe’s girlfriend, so it isn’t a problem working for him….right?
This book is written entirely in first person but I liked the character of Roxie, so it wasn’t a problem having her voice in my head. Roxie is a woman who is used to being different. She’s sensible, strong willed and quite funny in parts. I really enjoyed reading about her discovery and subsequent development of her powers. I enjoyed that she was a strong woman who didn’t border on the massive bitch subset of character. Her relationship with Daniel, her ancestor, is lovely to read. She doesn’t have many friends, but he has always been there for her and so she classes him at the top of her list. The banter between them is comfortable and fun to read. However, I was a little disappointed with Daniels involvement in the book. He had the potential to being brilliant character; an ancient vampire paranormal investigator who loves making blood cocktails and can be always found protecting Roxie from harm, what’s not to love? Unfortunately, I felt that he was underused in this book. I hope he features in the second book, and that we get to know him better, as I really was intrigued with him. Roxie and Daniels relationship was put onto the backburner because of the authors focus on the one between Roxie and Blake; I didn’t mind this, but need more Daniel! I did enjoy the way he was used when the demon started to fight back, and attacked all of our good guys at once. The vampire mythology is often romanticised, but I felt that, although Daniel was definitely a “good” vampire, the author did a good job of showing that some things would simply be nature, not choice.
Now, onto the contentious point. Blake is hot. Blake is out of this world sexy with a bad boy charm that will draw me from a mile away. I love books where the love interest is a bad boy. However, my lust for Blake never turned into love, because I’m not sure he’s a redeemable bad-boy. When we meet Blake, it’s obvious he is up shit creek without a paddle. He has allowed a demon to convince him to get her a body, without ever realising the consequence of said actions. As a direct consequence of his actions, people are dead and others are in danger. Behind the bad-boy attitude, we do see glimpses of vulnerability, glimpses of regret for his actions. Nevertheless, the majority the time what we do see is an unapologetic cocky git. He doesn’t practice black magic or white magic; he practices magic that serves his purpose. He enjoys doing bad things, relishes them even, just because this one went a little OTT does not mean that he wants to change his ways; it just means he wants to clean up this mess so he can get back to business as usual. This is my major problem with him; he has no intention of reforming and I can’t fully accept a hero like that.
Roxie and Blake are attracted to each other from the second they lay eyes on each other. Neither want to be nor do they want to give into it. She sees just what a selfish and irresponsible man he is. He allowed himself to be seduced by a female demon and, after she got a body and killed people, found himself sleeping with said demon. He doesn’t want the complication of being attracted to a woman as powerful as Roxie, especially as the potential of the power they would share would be immense. I do love them together though. They are a simmering mess of sexual tension, complicated feelings and immense power. They both have a common goal in defeating the demon, even if it is for different reasons, and this makes for some very entertaining reading. I love them as a couple; it’s just Blake as a person with which I have the problem.
This book is dark and sexy. The sexual tension between the leads simmers throughout the book, and I had a real love/hate relationship with Blake. The action really rockets when the Demon decides to start fighting back, and this has some very dark consequences for all the characters involved. I did feel some of the scenes were a lot of “telling” rather than “showing” but it wasn’t a massive issue and didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this tale. Well worth a read