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Hot Mama    by Jennifer Estep order for
Hot Mama
by Jennifer Estep
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Jennifer Estep's newest Bigtime novel, Hot Mama, picks up shortly after Karma Girl left off. This time, instead of focusing on Carmen Cole, aka Karma Girl, Estep tells the story of Fiona Fine, aka Fiera, Carmen's old rival and new friend.

Over a year after the death of her fiancé at the hands of Malefica, and inadvertently because of Carmen's reporting, Fiona decides that maybe it is finally time to start looking again. What better place to begin than Carmen and Sam Spade's wedding where she meets the handsome, suave, just-came-back-from-living-abroad Johnny Belluci, the brother of rival designer, Bella Belluci. Things start heating up between the two, but things also begin heating up in the ubervillian crime world. Two new ubervillians have shown up in Bigtime, and they are determined to rule the world.

Siren has a voice that hypnotizes both men and women, and Intelligal zooms around shooting explodium out of her flying chair. The Fearless Five need to stop them, but they are two members short since Carmen and Sam are on their honeymoon. However, there is another superpowered anti-hero in town who is out for vengeance. A new, rock-hard version of vigilante Johnny Angel has arrived after the death of his predecessor. He is after Siren and Intelligal too – but he wants to kill them, not bring them to justice. As the race gets going to beat the ubervillians before Johnny Angel exacts his revenge, Fiona struggles with her conflicting feelings over her dead fiancé and the new man in her life.

Once again, Estep has delivered a super fun read. As the title suggests, Hot Mama is a little steamier than Karma Girl, but it still has the crazy names, the outrageous fights between superheroes and ubervillians, and the witty dialogue that makes the Bigtime books so enjoyable. It is always nice to read novels where the heroine is glamorous and strong (in this case, physically), but still suffers the same problems as the rest of us.

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