I just finished the second book in the Jolie Wilkins series by H.P. Mallory, “Toil and Trouble ”  on the Kindle. Like the first one, “Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble,” which I also reviewed, it didn’t disappoint.  This installment picks up right where the last one left off- with a pending war and a seemingly unrequited love. I was a little concerned at first because the beginning was moving just a little too slow for me. But within the first few pages, Mallory picks up the pace and doesn’t let up until the end.

Blurb from Amazon:

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.

“Toil and Trouble” was just a little heavier on the romance (and somewhat graphic sex scenes, which don’t bother me but I thought I should provide fair warning for those easily bothered by that sort of thing) than the first book, but again she worked it into the storyline flawlessly, never making me feel like I was reading a romance novel. Mallory writes in such a fun, easygoing voice. While the books are in first person, she doesn’t force her reader to sit through page after page of annoying, angst-ridden inner monologues. The dialogue is natural and witty and  the characters are well-developed early on.

I just read on Twitter that there is going to be a third book in the series. Yay! This one ended in a way that suggested a sequel, but also tied up a few of the major loose ends. I’m also looking forward to “To Kill a Warlock,” her first book in another series. If you enjoy Urban Fantasy with a a little more than a twist of romance, I really think you’ll enjoy H.P. Mallory.