Review: Toil and Trouble by HP Mallory

Posted 24 May, 2011 by Amanda / 2 Comments

Toil and Trouble by HP Mallory (Jolie Wilkins, #2)
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Finished Reading: 5/17/2010
In six words: Can’t wait for more Jolie adventures

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Book Order:

1) Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble
2) Toil and Trouble


The Underworld in civil war.
The cause? A witch who can reanimate the dead.
A sexy as sin vampire determined to claim her.
An infuriatingly handsome warlock torn between duty and love.
Who says blonds have more fun?

After defending herself against fairy magic, Jolie Wilkins wakes to find her world turned upside down—the creatures of the Underworld on the precipice of war.

The Underworld is polarized in a battle of witch against witch, creature against creature, led by the villainous Bella, who would be Queen.

While Jolie has one goal in mind, to stake the vampire, Ryder, who nearly killed her, she also must choose between the affections of her warlock employer, Rand, and the mysteriously sexy vampire, Sinjin.

And as if that weren’t enough to ruin a girl’s day, everything Jolie knows will be turned inside out when she’s thrust into the shock of a lifetime.
-from Goodreads

Why I Read This Book and General Thoughts

After reading the first book in the series, I couldn’t wait to jump into the second.  I think the reading gods were against me, however, and I had to abandon this book for a day and detour to read something else before I could come back and appreciate this book for what it is worth.  My emotions were highly manipulated in this book – in a good way – that left me frustrated and impatient when reading, then bereft and sad when it was over.

A More In-Depth Look

There is a definite love triangle going on here between Jolie, Rand, and Sinjin.  I hate love triangles because I’m a one-man woman, and I always know exactly who I want.  And I want Jolie to hook up with Rand.  It was this dislike of love triangles that made me frustrated and caused me to set down the book for a while, because Sinjin plays quite a prominent role.  It is a necessary role, I suppose, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  We also got to learn a little bit more about why Rand and Sinjin hate each other so much, and it’s not just because of Jolie.  There is something more there, and I can almost bet that there is more to be resolved in future books.

Once I picked the book back up, I promptly got sucked back in again – sometimes you just have to be in a certain mood, I suppose – and I was back to choosing reading over watching TV even though a few hours earlier I couldn’t wait to watch TV over reading.  Gosh, am I fickle.  So, Jolie is very determined to kill Ryder, and does everything she can to ensure that she makes it to battle to do so.  What she doesn’t anticipate is getting knocked out of her time period.  I didn’t anticipate this either, but all the pieces of the puzzle started falling into place for me here.  I had a guess what everything might mean (is this vague enough so I don’t give anything away?) and I had to race ahead to figure out if I was right.  I was, but it only made me like the book even more.  The realization that Jolie hits upon while visiting the past has ramifications for everything we have previously thought about some of our characters.  HP Mallory is a far better story teller than it may first appear (and honestly, pretty darn awesome was my first impression).

I warily watched the progress bar at the bottom of my Kindle toward the end.  There was a lot that needed to happen before it ended, and I was raring to get through it.  I may have unwittingly sped through a few scenes…  But like the first book, I didn’t want this to end, and there’s quite a bomb at the end.  A fun one.  I am not looking forward to waiting to read the next installment, though.  I want it now.

You Might Enjoy This Series If…

This is a little on the lighter side of the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres (near as I can tell, anyway, I’m still a newbie, I guess) with great characters, humor, and fantastic world building.

Other Reviews

The Unread Reader
25 Hour Books
Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog

Filed under: ESR: 8, Paranormal Romance, Review: Amanda, Urban Fantasy, ,


2 Responses to “Review: Toil and Trouble by HP Mallory”

  1. I totally wasn’t expecting the time travel thing either. But then it all made perfect sense and I was so happy that, for Rand at least, it was always her.

    *le sigh*