Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book #Review: Hocus Pocus by Teresa Roblin

Book Title: Hocus Pocus
Author:  Teresa Roblin |WebsiteTwitter| Facebook|
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Paranormal Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 1
Format: ebook 
Cost: $2.99
Pages: 288
How I got it: Word Slinger Publicity
Purchase: Amazon | ARE | iBooks
Publication Date:
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Trying to outwit the spell only makes matters worse. Shy and quiet Amanda Santorelli is unhappy watching the world go by around her. When her well-meaning but wacky aunt casts an assertive spell on her, Amanda’s orderly world is turned upside-down. Unable to control herself, Amanda blurts out whatever is on her mind every time someone asks her a question. With no control over her own mouth, it’s only a matter of time before her boss discovers her secret. Mark Abbott is happy with the way his unassuming assistant runs his office. But all of a sudden she’s become a new person—both in attitude and appearance—and he’s not sure he likes the effect on his orderly work routine. With each passing day, he finds himself waiting to see what will come out of her mouth next. Before long, he can no longer deny the truth—the new Amanda is seriously making him reconsider his vow never to mix business with pleasure. Mark doesn’t know if it’s love—or if he’s just a victim of Hocus Pocus. Hocus Pocus was originally published in 2004 with Ellora's Cave. Scenes have been added and the novel has been professionally edited. 
I received a copy via the publicity company in exchange for an honest review.  This clearly didn't influence my review.

This started out great, it was going to be a romantic comedy with drama, and quirky characters and a spell thrown in that would bring the main characters together,  sounds awesome gimmie that book. No really gimmie that book, because what I read had nothing to do with that premise. I'm not a fan of books where the main characters fight like cats and dogs then end up together in the end.  It's not even the fun Mr & Mrs. Smith fighting either, it's the hurt people' feelings deeply then turn around and tell them you love them. Nah I'm not here for it, and for a while neither was the female protagonist  if in the end she hadn't ended up with him, I would have believed that more, because really for the life of me I couldn't see them together.

Over 90 percent of the book goes by before we see the 'attraction' most of the book they spend trying to figure out what is wrong with the other and why each person has changed.  I was looking forward the romantic comedy and at moments it was fun and quirky but then those moments would be followed by some seriously down moments each scene negating what happened before.  They had a few kisses, but then Mark went back and skewed those as well, so nope not even then.

Amanda, our female protagonist is in desperate need of a make over and gets one because her sister and her aunt want her to move on from a past relationship that hurt her deeply.  It was an verbally abusive relationship and at times no matter how much she wants to change she doesn't because she's afraid that what her ex said is the truth, so instead she hides and keeps her true thoughts to herself, she becomes a shadow of a human being and then doesn't understand why people are shocked when they see the changes from her.  The spell works to make Amanda see herself as more than she has before by helping to build her confidence when things she says are seen as valid and taken into account, because normally she wouldn't speak up at all and has earned a well deserved nickname of the company mouse. Her boss Mark is shocked by the changes in his normally quite and unassuming assistant, now she's been replaced by this woman who speaks her mind, wears amazing clothes and actually does something to her hair, and Mark isn't sure what the hell happened to his orderly work life.

I really like Amanda at first, because she was a fun, funny, witty and quirky character who just had bad tastes in clothes. She just needed a confidence boost, which in her initial fantasy was what she wanted then came the man.  Somewhere along the way the spell worked on Amanda's confidence, because people saw her as more than the company mouse, she shared valid opinions and was given a few opportunities she wouldn't have if she didn't share her thoughts.  As she grew in her career standing she grew in confidence.  Which I absolutely loved, it was awesome to see her take charge and bust the gonads of those who needed it.  I liked the relationship she had with her sister and her funny Aunt, they seemed like they would have been funny characters to get to know.  Amanda and her sister seemed to have been raised by their Aunt and we never get the back story there, we just know that they and their Aunt are really close, which is good to see, as Amanda has almost no relationships with anyone else in the book.

What I didn't like was as we went on she kept saying she wanted to remain this new confident woman then whine about being the old woman from before, I get that sharing your feelings and emotions makes us vulnerable, however she can't have it both ways, either you're the mouse or you're a confident woman. The whining about Mark not loving her started to get on my nerves, I would have liked it better that he was the man she crushed on but another man was her real love interest.  I think that would have worked better, because there really didn't seem to be any real attraction between the two. Amanda hated the way he dated and would judge him and the women, in reality, he was honest about his standards and women were happy so why is she getting to judge because it doesn't work in her favor??

As the story builds we coming back to the spell and it's effects, seriously I'm not even sure why Amanda is freaking out, her candidness helps her become noticed by the people in charge and helps her career, if you're wanting to be someone at the firm shouldn't being noticed be a part of the plan to move up?? Yeah I get that it means she can't really help it, but plenty of people are candid in their everyday life, she kept acting as if it was a mortal sin to speak the truth and that got old really quickly.  The fight between her and a clients' wife was so unnecessary to the story because Amanda still didn't learn anything from it, and before long I began to get frustrated, this story was starting to drag because really how many more ways does someone have to say they aren't interested before you realize you might have just had a crush because he was unattainable before??  Nothing Mark did beyond a few moments really came off as someone interested in the Amanda at all.

The story came to an end but I kinda felt let down, this wasn't what was being written in the beginning and as it went along it kind of meandered before coming back to the point. Apparently there is going to be a second story for the sister, but I'm not sure I'm going to be reading it, because this one really let me down.  What really cinched it for me that this wasn't a book for me?? A line in the book where the character's best friend (the love interest in the second book) makes the comment that "girlfriend he's so done" or something such and in it he is described as using a 'high urban voice'. Buzzfeed's article on coded words for "black people".

Yeah I didn't need the article, but I thought people would understand more why this irked me if you see it for yourselves. Yeah as a black woman I wasn't amused,  I don't think the author wrote to offend, but I'm still not amused, it was just one more reason why this book wasn't for me.  I ended up rating between 21/2 stars to 3 stars, because it wasn't horrible, it just wasn't for me. And I accept that.
Have you read it?? Share your comments down below.  

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