Release Date: September 2010
Series: #1 in That Old Black Magic
More Info: Amazon The Book Depository
Book Blurb (from Goodreads):
For ten long years Griffin Trudeau has managed to keep his paws off Jemma Finnegan, best friend and leading star of his kinkiest fantasies. As her appointed cat familiar, indulging those fantasies with the delectable witch is strictly forbidden. But when Jemma shows up at his door with seduction in mind, control goes right out the window.
Too late he realizes making love to Jemma is the trigger that launches a zombie apocalypse.
Jemma-s been dealt a double whammy: she's just discovered she's a witch. And Griff has been hiding whiskers and a tail. Oh, and if her life wasn't crazy enough, a dead voodoo queen needs her blood to raise a legion of zombies.
There's one plan that might work to increase Jemma's powers so she can put an end to the looming holocaust. A sexy threesome with Griff and Logan Scott, a werewolf familiar with a history of rubbing Griff's fur the wrong way. A cat and a wolf playing nice, much less sharing? It'll take a miracle.
Warning: A witch, tiger and wolf doing naughty things. A dead voodoo queen doing evil things. And zombies doing zombie things. Get your shovels ready.
"Too late he realizes making love to Jemma is the trigger that launches a zombie apocalypse." - Oops! Now there's a buzz kill for sure. Just imagine if they'd known beforehand, talk about performance pressure! On the other hand, if they had known, they could have planned better, been prepared. "That Voodoo You Do" starts off fast and maintains the pace right up until the last few pages of the book.
The story sucked me from the first line and kept me hooked until those last few pages mentioned above. Redford writes hot sex scenes, sharp dialogue, humorous moments, and all at a brisk pace. I really enjoyed the flirting between Jemma and Griff, and between Jemma and Logan. The action with the three of them was hot and I'd have liked to see them make it work as a committed threesome. That doesn't happen but not to worry, Logan's story is in book two.
The overall plot holds up and makes sense. Jemma gets a lot thrown at her in a short time and she tries to keep up and not got overwhelmed. I do think that some of the revelations that she encounters could have been introduced at earlier points, but the time line for the upcoming zombie apocalypse is tight. That tight timeline, however, allows Redford to make Jemma more vulnerable by having to cope with so much all at once and keeping her off balance. Redford has taken the traditional trope of the hero who doesn't know anything about his powers or true parental lineage and given it a modern, urban fantasy spin in Jemma. (The writing team of Ilona Andrews has also done this with their female lead, Kate Daniels. It's a trend I like.)
Both Jemma and Griffin are likable, their romance and passion easy to believe. In addition to the forthcoming zombie apocalypse, there's another consequence to their having sex. Griffin chooses not to tell Jemma about it until there's nothing she can do about it. Personally, I'd have preferred to be told and given the chance to deal with it. Griff sees his actions as protecting her emotionally; I disagree but it's clear that he means well. Clarissa starts out as a hard-assed, tough, unfeeling witch (no really, she's a witch, and the coven leader) but by the end we see that there is more to her than that. Ms Peach, Gloria and Logan feel less well-developed to me and I was never entirely clear on the cause of the animosity between Griff and Logan, or if there even was a cause.
I mentioned that the story worked, and held my interest, until the very end. The ending felt flat and not entirely believable to me. In the book, five to six weeks have passed. In that time, Jemma has not been to work at all; the only mention of her work is near the beginning when she and Griff flee the initial zombie attack. She calls and says she's going out of town on a family emergency. That's the only reference we ever get. I was left wondering if Jemma still had a job, who paid her rent and bills while she was gone, if anyone, did she still have a job, what was she doing for money, etc. Also, after the final battle, Redford employs one of my least favorite tropes and I found myself rolling my eyes, it was so cliched. There is a HEA, this is a romance after all. How we get there didn't really work for me, it felt very anti-climactic.
Despite the ending, I really enjoyed this book. It's a good start to the series and it left me ready for the next book. But that's tomorrow's review. :)
I received this Kindle book from the author for review.