In Deep Voodoo – Stephanie Bond

If well-plotted, American, fast-paced, whodunnit froth is your thing then you’ll love this one. Penny Francisco certainly didn’t enjoy watching ‘the other woman’ paint her former beautiful Victorian house bright pink, but it wasn’t enough to make her bludgeon her ex-husband’s head and stab him repeatedly in the chest. Unfortunately that’s exactly the fate he met that night, not long after Penny jokingly did the same to a voodoo doll in his image at her divorce party, witnessed by many.

Penny runs her own health food store in Mojo, Louisiana, which is a little town that gets pretty crowded during the annual Voodoo Festival when the aficionados come to town, with dolls, snakes and sacrificial chickens. Another thing hotting up Penny’s hometown is private investigator BJ, who believes Penny didn’t do it and tries to help- of course this being a Stephanie Bond, they are often distracted my their smoking chemistry.

Kooks for your Kindle?– What makes this a good whodunnit is that there are many tertiary characters, all of whom have suspicion cast upon them at some point, even if it’s just a hint. I was glad not to have guessed the answer. The end result left most of these characters still with a little mystery, and as there is already a sequel, we know why. Highlights include the aforementioned other woman, tarty Sheena, a walking advertisement for her own tanning shop; Guy, Penny’s sexually confused shop assistant; and Mona, Penny’s vindictive former mother-in-law and town Mayor, which gives her ample opportunities to mess with Penny’s business.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Penny’s no pushover, and not above a bit of vindictiveness herself when the urge takes her, but on the whole she’s trying to move on after a painful betrayal and get her life back on track. Thankfully she doesn’t rely on man alone (BJ) to rescue her, and does her own digging to help clear her name.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– It’s surprisingly atmospheric, the claustrophobic nature of the small town with everything in sight or at least in walking distance, and especially the voodoo festival. The sounds and smells of the nightly events are brought to life vividly and the Instruments of Death and Voodoo Museum next to Penny’s shop is suitably eerie. Despite the quintessential readable frothiness of the book, there are dark forces at work, and some disturbing bits. Let’s just say it did nothing to quell my fear of snakes…

Nookie for your Nook?– But of course!

Evaluation of your eBook?– It’s a quickie; it only took me three or four hours to devour it (but I do read horribly fast, it gets expensive…). If it wasn’t for the snake thing, it would make me want to head for the steamy cajun south and have some yummy fried food. All in all it’s an absorbing, light, fun, spooky read with lots of intriguing, possibly murderous characters. Not too pricey either.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: £1.92 on Amazon.

US: $2.99 from Amazon

Stop the Wedding! – Stephanie Bond

In this romantic comedy, Annabelle Coakley receives some disturbing news- her widowed mother is marrying a penniless old movie star. Meanwhile Clay Castleberry also receives disturbing news- his old movie star father is marrying for the umpteenth time. Both converge on Atlanta to stop the wedding. Annabelle is concerned for her naive mother, who was married for all her adult life until being recently widowed, and may be at risk of being conned out of her valuable home. Clay just wants to pay off the latest gold-digging bimbo that he’s expecting, like he normally does. Both Annabelle and Clay are in for a surprise when they see just how in love the betrothed couple are, Clay is especially surprised at both the age-appropriateness of the parents’ match, and his attraction to her daughter.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Both the parents are very sweet, and a good match for each other. Belle especially is written with some depth as a patient mother very understanding of her daughter’s bitterness. Clay is slightly exaggerated as the male lead, rather obnoxious at the start, but of course even though he’s a high flying investment manager he secretly drives a pick up truck and does manly things in the woods. The only other character is Michaela, Annabelle’s assistant and friend, also known as Mike- you can imagine the misunderstandings this leads to.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Annabelle is a busy divorce attorney, and I imagine handling a hundred cases a month might jade someone on the subject of marriage, but she goes a little overboard with her mother. On the other hand, I found her to be a little too much of a passenger in her romantic dealings with Clay, but it was pretty hilarious when he found out how much he’d misjudged her situation.

Nookie for your Nook?– The author manages to make it steamy, but clean. Like a good launderette, but more fun.

Evaluation of your eBook?– If you’re looking for a cheap, light, quick, fun read, this is your book. The outcome is a little predictable, but so are most truly frothy reads. Oddly, I was thinking this would make a good TV movie, and at the end the author mentioned something along the same lines. I’m thinking I’ve covered a few books with an prickly attorney for a female lead lately, coincidence I’m sure, but I’ll aim for another career field in the next one!

Frothy Ranking: 3/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

US: From Amazon for 99c

UK: Amazon for only 77p

Three Wishes- Stephanie Bond

I found this author while searching for cheap eBooks, and uncovered a goldmine by a very prolific lady. Ladden the antiques dealer acquires a mysterious carpet along with a lamp. Not long after this a strange man seems to make things happen for Ladden and his favourite customer Jasmine. Unfortunately Jasmine is already involved with a prominent local figure up for re-election. Three Wishes is one of her shorter books and has a light-hearted supernatural element, which together give the impression of a vacation read. A little suspension of belief never did anyone any harm and it’s a sweet story.

Nookie for your Nook?– Yes, it’s fair to say your sunglasses will steam up by the end of the book.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Other than the two leads and the crack-pot bestower of the titular wishes, there are few other characters, but all with their part to play.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– The male and female leads share the book equally, and while our heroine Jasmine is a little bit timid and similar to the leading lady in Almost a Family, her male counterpart has more to do and is more thoroughly depicted.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– The main theme explored is family, he has a large close one and she has none.

Evaluation of your eBook?– Places firmly at the frothy end of the scale, not overly memorable, but a pleasant, fun read. Short and sweet! Recommended for summer holidays.

Frothy Ranking: 3/5 cocktails.

Only 77p on Amazon UK, or 99c at Amazon US.