Title: Hot Mama
Author: Jennifer Estep
Copyright: 2007 (Berkley); 356 pgs.
Series: Bigtime #2
Sensuality: Hot (ha!)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Spoiler: If you haven’t read the first book, and planned to, then it might be a good idea to stop reading and turn back now! There’s no way to talk about this book without revealing the true identities of the superheros.
From the Back: By day, Fiona Fine is a successful couture designer, catering to the high-society players of Bigtime, New York. By night, she’s Fiera, a superstrong superhero who can create and manipulate fire with her bare hands. Fiera, along with the other members of the heroic Fearless Five, makes life miserable for the ubervillians who want to take over the city.
1. Reason for choosing this book:
I read and enjoyed the first book in this trilogy. I’d been meaning to read the other two books in the series for awhile. I picked this book because it fit the requirements for a reading challenge: the main character is involved in fashion industry. I also read it as part of a game of bookshelf bingo. The remarks below are cross-posted from my comments about the book during the game, with some minor editing.
2. Reasons for liking/disliking this book:
Hot Mama was written in first person. I felt it worked better as an urban fantasy than a paranormal romance. In fact, I would have rated higher had it been an UF.
What I liked:
Fiona’s dedication to her duty as she sees it: protect the innocent and stop the uber-villains, preferably without killing them. She doesn’t see herself as a vigilante, exacting her own justice as she sees fit. If at all possible, villains are captured and turned over to the police. Death sometimes happens — for instance, failing to heed warnings to flee when things about are about to explode, self-destruct, or backfire is an occupational hazard faced by both superheros and uber-villains. Killing them for revenge is a no-no in Fiona’s book.
Fiona isn’t in it for the glamor or notoriety. She would be the first to admit that being a superhero is a lot of hard work. It’s dirty, rough, painful. She may have super strength and be immune to flames, but she can still get hurt. And as for notoriety, it’s no picnic having the press constantly in your face, prying, and asking inane questions. She already puts up with it as a successful fashion designer. However, Fiona also knows that fame has it’s uses, and she uses her popularity to further worthy causes important to her.
The Fearless Five is her family and she’d do anything for them. Chief Newman is her father, but the rest of them are just as important to her. Fiona may have gotten off on the wrong foot with Carmen, but she’s grown to accept her for Sam’s sake. She’s even gotten to the point of confiding in Carmen, and see her as a friend and confidant. The same goes for Lulu Lo — Carmen’s hacker friend and Henry’s honey — to a lesser extant.
I also liked that the superhero aspect of the story was over-the-top and intentionally corny. It was fun!
What didn’t work:
The romance. I had no problem with Fiona’s issue regarding whether she was ready to move on after her fiancés death — I thought it was realistic to still have her doubts. I also liked that she was willing to sacrifice her own chance at happiness if Johnny continued his vigilante ways. The romance just felt flat to me. I think it was a combination of the first person narrative and the quantity of Johnny’s page-time in the book.
I liked the first book, a lot of the second book (including Fiona), and the author’s writing style in general, so I plan to read the last book.
3. Reasons for recommending this book:
It’s fun and over-the-top.
Started: 12 April 2011
Finished: 15 April 2011