50 Ways to Hex Your Lover

Linda Wisdom
2008, Paranormal Romance (Vampire, Witch, Ghost )
Sourcebooks, $6.99, 374 pages, Amazon ASIN 140221085X
Part of a series

Grade: B-
Sensuality: Hot

Vampires and witches and ghosts, oh my! 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover by Linda Wisdom has them all.

The vampire is Nick Gregory, a private investigator on the trail of missing vampires. He believes that the vampires are being lured by the promise of a return to humanity but then they are never seen again. He has traced them to the mansion of Clive Reeve, a film star in the early days of Hollywood. The trouble is, Nick and Jazz killed Reeve in 1932. Reeve, Nick believes, found a way to transfer his dying soul into that of his young son. Now Nick needs Jazz’s help to prove his suspicions are true.

The witch is Jazz Tremaine, one of 13 witches who were cast out of the Academy of Witches back in 1313 for the misuse of "magick." Seven hundred years later, Jazz is living in Los Angeles, making a living as a curse breaker and part time limo driver for the paranormal denizens of LA. Nick and Jazz have had an on-again-off-again love affair since the Renaissance. The last time they got together was in the 1970s and it ended so badly that when Nick shows up, she greets him with fireballs. Eventually she agrees to help him, because she believes she was the one who killed Clive Reeve and has been living with pain of taking life ever since (even if Reeve deserved to die).

Jazz is a thoroughly modern witch. She has cell-phone that plays “Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead,” drives a classic Thunderbird, and has a pair of voracious bunny slippers. She generally enjoys her work as a limo driver, with the exception of the obnoxiously odorous Tyge Foulshadow. Some the funniest bits in the book show Jazz in her curse breaking mold.

Vampires and witches generally do not get along with one another. Nick and Jazz are the exception and cannot seem to keep away from each other. The attraction between them is strong and believable. Their passion, having the taste of the forbidden, is quite intense.

The ghost is Irma, who resides in Jazz’s prized 1956 Thunderbird. She is always complaining and harping. She is the one curse that Jazz cannot break. She appears to be a rather annoying sidekick.

Wisdom leaves out a lot of the backstory. What was dire deed that banished Jazz and her fellow witches into the real world? Why did Jazz and Nick try to kill Clive Reeve in the 1930s? What evil deeds did he perpetrate back then? Why did Nick leave Jazz in prison during their last on-again phase? I suppose we will have to wait for the sequel to find out.

Also, I was unable to decide if her characters live in a world where paranormal beings are a given, and have always been so, or if they had recently come of the mythological closet, and are treated like a new and rather bizarre minority.

Linda Wisdom is an author that I have always relied upon to deliver a good read and she did not disappoint with this novel. I found the story fun and laughed out loud several times. But I did feel cheated that unanswered questions remained when I ended the book.

-- Carolyn Esau

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