Posts Tagged romantic fantasy

Wickedly Charming – Kristine Grayson

A treat for your sweet-tooth.

Stars: Three-and-a-half of five.

Review format: Note plus links.
Wickedly Charming – Kristine Grayson. SummaryHe’s given up on happily-ever-after…Cinderella’s Prince Charming is divorced and at a dead end. The new owner of a bookstore, Charming has given up on women, royalty, and anything that smacks of a future.
That is, until he meets up with Mellie…
But she may be the key to happily-right-now…
Mellie is sick and tired of stepmothers being misunderstood. Vampires have redeemed their reputation, why shouldn’t stepmothers do the same? Then she runs into the handsomest, most charming man she’s ever met and discovers she’s going about her mission all wrong…
It’s only natural that sparks fly and magic ensues when these two fairy tale refugees put their heads—and vulnerable hearts—together… (Author’s site)
Provenance: Purchased online in Kindle format.  Felt like reading some junk food….

Wickedly Charming was published in 2011 – Kris Rusch’s most recent fantasy romance. It combines a wicked stepmother with a prince charming – get the name?

This is a twinkie – light romance with a fluffy fantasy filling.   Both protagonists are thoroughly likeable, and it’s fun to cheer for both of them as they find their way together.

This is a vacation book to read in electronic form, so no one can see the title or stereotype cover.

Ware Spoilers below

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Absolutely Captivated – Kristine Grayson

Absolutely Captivated
Absolutely Captivated by Kristine Grayson.
Stars: 4 out of 5 *.
Summary from Amazon: CPA Travers Kineally lives an ordinary life, thank you very much. But life gets extraordinary when his sister gets him to drive three daffy women halfway across the country to look for Zoe Sinclair, who couldn’t possibly still be alive, and certainly cannot be the beautiful woman they finally locate. Then he learns he isn’t just a magician with math: he’s a mage. But what really makes him nervous is that he can’t get Zoe out of his mind. (reached from Kris writes)

Oh, my this is pure fluff… but it’s so confidently spun out that you grin and settle back in your armchair.

There are two point-of-view characters, who are also the romantic leads.   Travers the CPA and reluctant mage; and Zoe, the 150-year-old mage turned hard-boiled-Vegas-magic-PI.  Both are well described, though I do regret that I did not track down Simply Irresistable yet, because that immediately preceded this book.

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Kat among the Pigeons – Lazette Gifford

 Kat among the Pigeons by Lazette Gifford.
Stars: 3.5 of five.
Author’s summary:  Katlyn is a fae whose job is to stand the line between human and magical lands, a secret she has trouble hiding from her new human boyfriend even before she unexpectedly finds the fate of the world in her hands. 
     She isn’t strong magically, and unlike other fae who understand all animals, she only speaks with birds and cats — not a good combination.  However, when she isn’t able to reach other fae for help, Kat and her boyfriend frantically fight the enemy with the aid of a lazy tom cat, an African gray parrot who only speaks in verse, and a wise-cracking cockatiel with a bad attitude.  
    She’s trying very hard not to think the world is doomed.   From the author’s site Read a free excerpt – but beware, you too may buy it  once you are hooked.

In poking around fantasy-writing blogs, the name Lazette Gifford comes up.  She has a reputation for being a great teacher/explainer of the writing process…  I followed along a couple links and the next thing I knew, I was reading the first several chapters of this novel. I had to know how it ended, so I bought it from smashwords.com.  Very unlike my usual M.O. of library-requesting.

So, Kat among the Pigeons.  What I absolutely enjoyed the most was the very strong sense of place in this book – the feel of hiking through those mountains, the peace in the forest.  Exactly the kinds of places I would like to be, and this story took me there.  The town itself is also well realized.  Kat herself was a good companion through the story – likable and believably explaining her magic without heavy exposition.

It reminds me a little of Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff, if you’re looking for parallels.  I would happily read more about Kat!

What was wrong with it?  Nothing much wrong… I would have liked more of … I am not sure what was missing.  More characters, perhaps? 

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The Pretender’s Crown – C.E. Murphy

C.E. Murphy's 'The Queen's Bastard'

Image by duncatra via Flickr

The Pretender’s Crown by C.E. Murphy is the sequel to The Queen’s Bastard: book 2 of The Inheritors’ Cycle.  All the important characters (of those left alive at the end of the first book) are here to carry on with the excitement. Belinda Primrose, Javier de Castille as king of ‘France’, Lorraine Walter as queen of ‘England’, and Drake as the queen’s lover and father to Belinda.

The magic-from-aliens angle is key to the story – succinctly described as an OMGWTFBBQ moment by another reader.  Setting aside the clunkiness of aliens and genetic engineering in this alternate-history that’s healthily powered by ample political intrigue; the spectre of alien domination becomes Belinda’s secret nemesis. 

This book is better than the first, IMO: the plot cranks things along at high speed the entire time.  Read the rest of this entry »

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