"Catch the Buzz! A larger than life town - "super" characters you can relate to"
Bigtime, NY fashion designer Bella Belucci doesn't much care
for the superheroes and ubervillains that run rampant in her
town. All that spandex, ugh -- and who would want to take
over the world anyway? All that responsibility! It wasn't
bad enough that she'd been born into a family of heroes, her
brother's engagement to her fashion rival, Fiona Fine,
a.k.a. The Fearless Five's "Hot Mama" Fiera, had added
another handful to the dinner table. She definitely had no
intention of becoming one herself. Her own powers were
mercurial at best. And what kind of lame power was "Luck"
anyway? Her power was a jinx, and worse yet she couldn't
even control when it would assert itself especially if she
was angry or upset. Having supercharged telekinesis was like
living in a ball of static electricity and more often than
not her luck was bad. Even when it was good, it was more
often than not followed up by an equal and opposite reaction.
What Bella does love is the arts, which is why she'd been
elected as chairperson of the Friends of the Bigtime Museum
for Modern Art. She and the fundraising committee are in
the final stages of planning their annual fall-benefit.
Their meeting takes place at the estate of Brighton Berkley,
whiskey billionaire and richest man in town, and his new
wife Joanna James. During the course of the planning session
Bella is reminded that the other members of the committee
had outvoted her and decided to have a masquerade ball as
the main event. More spandex, ugh. Just the thought of it
sends a warning signal through her body. Her luck is about to
act up again, sending her to the powder room to clean up the
mess she'd created. For once her bad luck is a blessing.
When she hears a peculiar popping sound in the next room,
she discovers Bigtime's master thief and major heartthrob,
Debonair, lifting a priceless Pandora painting from her
host. Of course the incorrigible playboy can't resist making
a play for her, distracting Bella long enough to teleport
away before she remembers to pull the fire alarm.
Naturally the robbery is all over the news the next day.
Bella hated superheroes, so why couldn't she stop thinking
about this one -- his black hair, blue eyes and so sexy
smirk. The one thing she would never do is date a superhero
or whatever the leather clad lothario was. And how was this
going to affect her benefit since most of the town's
wealthy, including Berkley, had promised to lend priceless
pieces to the museum for a special exhibition? Bad
publicity, just the thought of it put her capricious luck on
the fritz. In one week she'd had enough bad luck to last a
year and to top it off she had a sneaking suspicion that the
handsome thief in question was following her. Pop!
Bella didn't want to be a superhero, or to design fashion
What she wanted to be was a museum quality artist. Yes,
Bella loved art - which is how she finds herself the first
bachelorette up for bid as part of the gala benefit auction.
Much to her surprise Devin Dash bids an exorbitant sum to
win a date with her. Devin was different from the other
folks in Bigtime, neither a superhero or ubervillain and not
even much like the other wealthy normal citizens. She'd had
dinner with him once, right before her father was killed
by ubervillians. Between the grief and all the other chaotic
events that followed, she'd forgotten all about him. Devlin
was sweet, if a bit awkward, and painfully shy. He was just
the kind of man she'd convinced herself she wanted. Their
dinner together had been pleasant enough, so
why couldn't she stop thinking about Debonair, who was
exactly the kind of womanizing, bad boy superhero type she
wanted nothing to do with. Oh well, at least the Museum was
getting a hefty donation.
Debonair could have any woman he wanted, but he wanted Bella
Balucci. In fact he'd been in love with her for some time
now, and in spite of her protests and professed hatred for
superheroes, he could tell she was interested too. So why
did that make him feel so melancholy? If she or anyone else
in town knew his true identity, they would no doubt laugh in
his face, that's why. If only he could make her fall in love
with the man he really was....
Bella is definitely due for some good luck and maybe, just
maybe if she plays her cards right, there's a chance she
could have it all. That is of course if all of Bigtime's
superheroes and ubervillains could just stay out of her way
for a few days. But then what's a Bigtime romance without a
I have to admit when I started reading the Bigtime series I
was skeptical about how long it could last without becoming
formulaic. Kudo's to Ms. Estep, in a very comic book world
she has kept it real through her characters each of which is
on a singular journey of self discovery. Written in the
first person, the reader walks the entire distance in
Bella's shoes, experiencing her angst, her insecurity, her
love for her hero and the tough decision she must make about
what's best for her -- him or her peace of mind. I know
everyone will be able to relate to Debonair. Who among us
hasn't resorted to role playing in moments where we feel
If you think Superhero novels are just for kids, silly
rabbit, let me set the record straight. Jinx is a ride that
everyone can enjoy. For a fun, action packed tale that
speaks to the heart, I recommend that you give Jinx a try.
Note: Romance readers should not be put off by the first
person narration. Ms. Estep skillfully manages to put the
reader inside the hero's head through clever
characterization without directly tapping into
his point of view.
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 1, 2008
**A PNR Staff Recommended Read**
She never wanted to be a superhero. Too much danger. Too much spandex ...
Bella Bulluci's big passion is the arts. Her big pain is being born into a family of superheroes. Of course, Bella might feel differently if her own superpower was one she could control - or at least get some use out of. Instead, her power is one of capricious luck - supercharged telekinesis. In other words, static electricity. Bella knows that's not a power - just a jinx.
During a gala fundraiser for the local art museum, Bella comes upon two things no Bigtime supergirl should be without: an ubervillain of her very own who plans to steal a priceless gem; and a dashing - if slightly shady - stranger named Debonair. He may have a reputation as a notorious playboy, but the real sparks are going to come from Bella, who's finally going to learn just how well love and danger can go together...