cover image Hot Mama

Hot Mama

Jennifer Estep, . . Berkley, $14 (356pp) ISBN 978-0-425-21734-4

The superhero du jour in this smokin' sequel to Estep's debut (2006's Karma Girl ) is flame-wielding Fiera, a member of the souped-up supergroup the Fearless Five, based in Bigtime, N.Y. As Fiona Fine, Fiera has a day job as a successful fashion designer, and in either incarnation, she is still grieving over the loss of her murdered fiancé Travis (aka “Tornado”). There's romantic promise in the form of hunky Johnny Bulluci, the brother of a rival designer, but soon another “Johnny” surfaces, a crime fighter who's assumed the identity of the previously murdered crimefighter Johnny Angel and is bent on avenging Johnny's murder by villain Intelligal. Fiera & Co. are made plenty busy by Intelligal's plans for taking over Bigtime via Intelligal's infernal Vamp Machine, which supersizes villain Siren's hypnotic, people-controlling voice. Feverishly clever plotting fuels Estep's over-the-top romance. (Nov.)