"A Superhero tale that packs a 2 for 1 punch - hot romance and signature humor"

The wedding was absolutely perfect in every way. And why not, she'd planned it herself down to the last detail. The only flaw was that it wasn't hers. It would have been had her fiance Travis Teague a.k.a. Tornado of Big Time's elite superhero squad, the Fearless Five, not been murdered by their arch nemesises the Terrible Triad. A year later, she still missed him terribly.

She is Fiona Fine, one of Big Time's finest high fashion designers. Well, that's her day job, at night she's the Fearless Five's Fiera. Her powers include super strength and the ability to control and throw fire. Being a superhero himself Travis had understood her and accepted her exactly as she was. With him she hadn't had to keep her double life a secret and he hadn't been remotely embarrassed by her super appetite that was necessary to sustain her powers. Still she knew that Travis had loved her so much that he wouldn't have wanted her to morn him forever. Her big appetite isn't restricted to just food after all. She wasn't ready to find love again but she wasn't averse to finding a nice anonymous rebound guy to help take the edge off for the night. What better place to find one than at a wedding?

Oh btw the wedding is Carmen Cole's. Carmen is the newest member of the F5 also known as Karma Girl. She is marrying F5 superhero Striker, whose alter-ego is billionaire Sam Sloane. While the pair is on their honeymoon, the three remaining heroes will be doing double duty.

It looks like its Fiona's lucky day. She's captured the eye of the model-gorgeous new guy in town Johnny Bulluci, older brother of Fiona's biggest rival, designer Bella Bulluci. The wealthy playboy doesn't waste any time putting the moves on her either. Unfortunately before Fiona has decided whether she wants to take him home or not they're interrupted by his sister and then the event is crashed by the newest ubervillain duo, Siren and Intelligal, who have come to cash in on all the jewels and other goodies worn by Carmen and Sam's wealthy guests.

Fiona takes advantage of the chaos to change into her Fiera duds but she isn't the only one inclined to tangle with the nasties. Johnny Bulluci enters the mix but his interference blows Fiera's opportunity to apprehend the pair. She's more than a little miffed about it and tells him so. Of course not knowing she's Fiona he pretty much tells her, "you're not the boss of me."

Fiona doesn't know it yet but Bulluci is also the new Johnny Angel in town, an occupation he inherited when his father was murdered by Siren and Intelligal. Of course he's not exactly willing to share his secret identity with Fiona or vice versa for that matter and although she's aware that Bulluci had also lost someone near and dear, she doesn't make the connection between the handsome hunk and the motorcycle riding, superhero vigilante.

Bulluci is charm himself on their first date sending Fiona a zillion flowers, wining and dining her at Quicke's and rounding the night off with a romantic Ferris wheel ride at the Big Time amusement park, a place that brings back happy childhood memories of times spent with his late father. Unfortunately nightly interruptions come with the superhero territory so of course just as things a starting to get steamy both of their cell phones go off. Coincidence? What do you think?

Each time the Fearless 5 goes after Siren and Intelligal, Johnny Angel seems to show up and get in the way. Unlike the members of the F5, Angel doesn't intend to take the collar and turn the villains over to the police. He wants revenge. He tells Fiera he doesn't trust the police after what happened to his predecessor. That makes Fiona like Angel even less since her father is the Chief of Big Time's police force and also a member of the F5. On the other hand as she gets to know Johnny Bulluci better with each successive date, the deeper her feelings for him grow.

Interestingly, Siren and Intelligal make a really unlikely team. They are basically polar opposites. Siren as the name indicates got all the beauty, while Intelligal of course got all the brains not unlike the civilian Songe sisters, Erica Songe, the pushy SNN reporter with the fake lips and boobs who Fiona suspects is getting plumb assignments by sleeping around and buttoned up Irene the frumpy uptight Scientist. Hm. Fiona despises Erica. Okay she pretty much despises all reporters, though she tolerates Carmen for Sam's sake. But Erica is shameless and won't stop hitting on Johnny when it's clear he's with her. Can you say brazen hussy? Fortunately Johnny only has eyes for Fiona.

Like Carmen Cole a.k.a Karma Girl is fond of saying, Big Time's superheroes and ubervillians aren't exactly good at hiding their secret identities. I myself have suspected Kyle Quicke of being Swifte for some time now. Perhaps someday we'll find out for sure. So naturally little clues will lead all the major players to know who's who by the end of the story. The question is, what will this mean for Fiona and Johnny's relationship if she can't convince the him to help bring down the ubervillian's in a law abiding manner? I will admit that it was great fun finding out. And as just about anything seems possible in Big Time, Lulu Lo, and Henry Harris a.k.a. Hermit get a delightful surprise as well.

As with all of the Big Time tales, this story is written in first person from Fiona's perspective, and let's just say the bitchy (her words) top fashion designer is far from modest in either persona. Watching her try to control her fiery temper and keep her gigantic appetite under wraps is just a hoot. HOT MAMA like its super-strong heroine packs a fantastic two for one punch, giving the reader a hot romance along with Ms. Estep's signature super humor. We'll see more of Fiona and Johnny in the third Big Time book JINX featuring Bella Bulluci, Johnny's little sister and Fiona's biggest rival in the fashion industry. Sparks are sure to fly! In the meantime, enjoy HOT MAMA and try not to burn your fingers turning the pages.

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 25, 2008


**A PNR Staff Recommended Read**

She can melt steel - and men's hearts ...

By day, Fiona Fine is a successful couture designer, catering to the high society players of Bigtime, New York. By night, she's Fiera, a superstrong superhero who can create and manipulate fire with her bare hands. Fiera, along with the other members of the heroic Fearless Five, make life miserable for the ubervillains who want to take over the city.

But Fiona's personal life isn't so fine. She still misses her fiance, who was killed by ubervillains a year ago. But men admire Fiona's smoking assets, and she decides to get back in the dating game especially after she meets Johnny Bulluci. But this notorious playboy has plenty of secrets to go along with his sexy smile. And, with two new ubervillains in town who are intent on raising hell, Fiona's love life might just crash and burn ...

Read an Excerpt


Hot Mama
(Big Time: Book 2)
by Jennifer Estep

Berkley Pub Group
August 1, 2008
Available: August 5, 2008
ISBN #0425223000
EAN #9780425223000
384 pages
Paperback (reprint)
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Other Books by
Jennifer Estep

Spider's Revenge
Touch of Frost
Tangled Threads
Web of Lies
Spider's Bite
Karma Girl

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