Hocus Pocus by Teresa Roblin

Just because you’re a shy and mousey assistant doesn’t mean you can’t have numerous sexual fantasies about your boss, featuring copious amounts of massage oil and rubbing. Remember that.

What’s it About? 

hocus pocus

Trying to outwit the spell only makes matters worse. Shy and quiet Amanda Santorelli is unhappy watching the world go by around her. When her well-meaning but wacky aunt casts an assertive spell on her, Amanda’s orderly world is turned upside-down. Unable to control herself, Amanda blurts out whatever is on her mind every time someone asks her a question. With no control over her own mouth, it’s only a matter of time before her boss discovers her secret. Mark Abbott is happy with the way his unassuming assistant runs his office. But all of a sudden she’s become a new person—both in attitude and appearance—and he’s not sure he likes the effect on his orderly work routine. With each passing day, he finds himself waiting to see what will come out of her mouth next. Before long, he can no longer deny the truth—the new Amanda is seriously making him reconsider his vow never to mix business with pleasure. Mark doesn’t know if it’s love—or if he’s just a victim of Hocus Pocus.

First Impressions

Yes, it’s a cheesy premise, but just sit back and have some fun with it! If anything, I think it wasn’t taken quite far enough in its execution. When I read the synopsis describing how this spell forces Amanda to speak the honest truth to any question asked of her, I was expecting her boss to catch on and use the spell to his advantage. You know, “What do you want me to do to you?” “Does this feel good?” et cetera. Although Mark does find out about the influence of the spell, as well as Amanda’s true feelings for him, it made them pull away from each other rather than start pulling each other’s clothes off.

Another Commitment-Phobe

Whereas I was hoping the discovery of the spell would bring Amanda and Mark closer together, it does the opposite. Amanda is so intent on keeping her deepest sexual fantasies a secret, and Mark doesn’t want to admit that he’s suddenly intrigued by his assistant’s outlandish behaviour, that they don’t spend as much time together as I would’ve liked. This results in a lack of a deep connection between the two once they did finally listen to the cries of their burning loins.

burning loins

Mark is adamant that he doesn’t want to mix business with pleasure (ha, good luck with that one buddy), and he really doesn’t want to get involved in a committed relationship. Amanda, on the other hand, wants it all. Not an uncommon theme for a romance novel, by any means, but these two unsuspecting lovebirds rehash the same argument over and over and over again! After a while they’d both expressed their hesitancies in every way possible, so they just started repeating their previous arguments word for word. Come on people, move on and jump in bed together already. Under the Amazon description online it says Warning: Alpha Male, but I can’t really agree with that assessment. If Mark really was an alpha male, he wouldn’t have pulled away from Amanda as many times as he did.

Getting to the Good Stuff

After the halfway point I seriously started to question whether or not these two would ever act on their feelings for one another, or if the book would simply end with a chaste kiss. FYI: I hate when books end like that. Thankfully, we finally get to the good stuff around 80%, and oh my Grey Goose martini was it surprisingly delectable. Here I was wondering if we’d get to see anything steamy, and we are privy to a scene involving chocolate body paint! You’ve really got to question though if that stuff tastes anything like chocolate. I wonder if Godiva makes any?

body paint

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: It’s heavily implied that there will be a sequel involving Amanda’s sister Sarah, but I haven’t seen anything definite.

Should you read it? You have to be prepared for a rather silly story line, and one that doesn’t quite reach its full potential. That being said, Amanda’s Aunt Lily elicits a few giggles with her crazy antics and, you know, spell casting.

Smut Level: We are only offered glimpses of some slightly steamy sexual fantasies for the majority of the book, but it pays off in the end.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Publisher: Teresa Grenieri. 294 Pages.

That Voodoo That You Do by Lorelei Delille

voodooYou just know that when a book has a balls joke within the first ten pages you’re in for something special. Theodore is a straight-laced goody goody who just moved to New Orleans, and he needs to find an apartment. After looking at several duds, he finally comes across a voodoo shop that has an affordable apartment for rent upstairs. The sultry owner of the shop, Delphine, will be his new landlady, and they are about as opposite as they come. Like bacon and cupcakes. Oh wait, that’s a thing now isn’t it? Well anyway, after getting off to a bit of a rough start, Delphine decides to cook up a spell for unsuspecting Theodore which will help him loosen up. Ha! Loosen up? More like get hornier than all get out. Once the spell is cast, Delphine realizes she might have the warm and fuzzies for her nerdy tenant, but wonders if the attention he’s started paying her reflects his true feelings, or is merely the voodoo influencing his actions. Looks like things are getting spicy in the Big Easy!

When I first started reading this book I realized I’d been a tad naive when it came to the summary. With all the voodoo talk I just thought, “Yeah, sure, whatever. Delphine thinks she can do voodoo, but let’s be realistic. She’ll just mix some herbs together and think that a spell was cast when in reality Theodore had feelings for her all along.” Oh no no no. I couldn’t have been more wrong. We’ve got real magic happening in this section of the French Quarter. There are spells, talking paintings, shape-shifters, and a lot of potions which make people insanely randy. Delphine might want to look into making her potions less concentrated because those things are damn potent.

This book was pretty cheesy overall, but in an entertaining way I guess. I did giggle at times, such as with the balls joke mentioned above, but it was usually more of a light chuckle than a down and out belly laugh. There were also some delightfully intriguing side-plots going on. One of the partners at the company Theodore works for embezzled practically all of their money, so he has to try and figure out how to get more clients at the annual Mardi Gras party, while at the same time refusing the advances of one of the firm’s most important clients. Talk about a quandary! Delphine is dealing with some unwanted advances of her own in the form of her ex-boyfriend, who sounds like the ultimate king of sleaze balls. Gotta say, I kind of judge Delphine for getting involved with him in the first place. Come on chica! I must say it was kind of concerning how many sexually lascivious characters there were throughout this book. People need to think of some good hobbies to partake in when sex isn’t available to them. Why not look into scrapbooking? Or learn how to juggle? Something!

Call me crazy, but my favorite character in the book was someone who only said about two sentences, and wasn’t even alive. That would be Grand Paw Paw. He’s actually a supernatural painting of Delphine’s dead relative, and would change his facial expressions and body language based on the situation at hand. For example, when Theodore was acting particularly stuck-up Grand Paw Paw could give him some serious side-eye, and when Theo and Delphine finally did the dirty he gave an encouraging thumbs-up to the couple. Although, the old man did have his limits. When the two lovebirds got particularly hands on towards the end of the book, poor old Grand Paw Paw had to implore them to take their rambunctious activities elsewhere. I couldn’t help it. I thought he was hilarious.

Theodore copes extremely well with learning that his new girlfriend put a spell on him, and that her cousin is a shape-shifter, which was kind of strange. You have to admit though that there is no better name for a pretentious man than Theodore. I mean, his full name was Theodore Prudcomb! Doesn’t get much snootier than that. Theo and Delphine’s relationship itself was kind of ridiculous considering they fell in love in about a week, give or take a day, and the foundation of their attraction for one another was based on a love spell. I’m also kind of worried for Theo. I mean, the first time Delphine got mad at him she concocted a potion which she put in his wine (aka drugged him!), and broke into his apartment to enact a love spell. Can you imagine what she’d do to him later on in their relationship if she was really mad? Advice for Theo: don’t forget to put the toilet seat down. She might turn you into a wombat or something.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: A Crescent City Magic Book

Should you read it? It’d be a good book to read around Mardi Gras. All the talk about tasty gumbo and Cafe du Monde beignets actually gave me the urge to go back to New Orleans! But then I remembered all of the passed out drunk people and smell of vomit on the streets, and sort of decided to rethink that idea.

Smut Level: The act itself was never described in much detail, although there is a pretty fair amount of sex happening in this book. We also had what can be considered a border-line orgy happen at a work party.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here