• Jolly Jinxes

  • Winter Witches of Holiday Haven Series, Book 8
  • By: J.L. Collins
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Time for some fun under the North Pole sun!

Star Clearwater has everything she's always wanted. Her business is soaring, her relationship with her mother is on the mend, and she and her cute, bookish boyfriend Everett are gearing up to attend the big Summer Solstice celebration that promises to be a party like no other.

But instead of throwing on the sunscreen and relaxing with her toes in the sand, Star's off to hunt down two powerful chaos magic spell books that have been stolen from Everett's bookstore. Not only is this magic dangerous in the wrong hands, but Everett's in danger of losing his bookstore if they don't hurry to find the books in time . . .

This mystery contains Christmas magic, hot cocoa, some romance, and plenty of mischievous puppy-sitting!

©2021 J.L. Collins (P)2022 Tantor

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Uneven Storytelling, Tricksters, Chaos, & Puppies

This is the 8th volume of Winter Witches of Holiday Haven (WWOHH) series and the second volume done by JL Collins. Their first was volume 3 Holiday Hexes which I enjoyed. Actually after listening to that one I decided to check JL out and began the Witch Hazel Lane Mysteries Series which I recommend. This story was not as good as Holiday Hexes but better than the worst story in this series. It is short and as always excellently narrated by Amanda who does a fantastic job infusing characters with emotional depth and fleshing them out. This story does a good job of keeping a very tight cast of characters so you don't get lost. The story is pretty obvious and predictable but the romance dynamic felt awkward and forced and some of the interactions feel super cringe. Many of the moments that were rough seemed to be awkward attempts to inject humanness into characters by showing their idiosyncratic behaviors but they felt clunky. For instance there seemed an awkward amount of time in the early section of the book of Star helping Everett to brainstorm how to organize a reading event for kids--and I do mean like listening to Star talk about details step by step of how to plan such an event and Everett being mystified that town wide store events require planning. Or a moment later in the story where Everett is panicking and in attempt to console him Star just begins to unintentionally name insults about Everett exclaiming she just isn't good at comforting people. It just felt odd. These details didn't make these characters more relatable but made me feel less interested in them. There is also a demon character who initially feels like a riff on a Beetlejuice style trickster but without any of the Michael Keaton charm or comedic timing, so just annoying and childish. There are also action sequences that feel like they could rival any Marvel movie, and then amidst town destroying action and panic attack fears about career futures 180 turns to take a break and skate and get hot cocoa. Definitely confusing moments of emotional yo-yoing and difficulty for the audience to take the emotions of the characters seriously when they can change so quickly. The end of the story wraps up as all these do with happy endings and all crises resolved. The bumpy ride in the early part of the story felt smoother by the end but this was definitely not as good as JL's first in this series and definitely not as well done as her other series I have listened to. This was a quick listen and what one expects from a Hallmark level fluff story, though I will say this would be a Hallmark I tick off that I watched but will not return to again.