Archive for the 'Chick-Lit' Category

28
May
07

Candace Havens: Charmed & Dangerous

Monday, 11 P.M.

Sweet, Texas

Spells: 2

Dead Guys: 0

Cute guys I want to sleep with: 1

I know my purpose: To rid the world of evil, one bad guy at a time.

When I turned twenty, I took the oath to protect, and for the last five years I’ve kept that promise. Currently, I’ve got a gig as a kind of one-witch secret service to the British Prime Minister–using a combination of potions, spells, explosions, mind-reading, and general butt-kicking skills, I’ve saved him from so many assassins we’ve quit counting. Umm, did I mention explosions? Yeah, well, we all have our talents, and mine’s combustion.

After that recent incident when those stupid warlocks tried to sacrifice me, I’ve decided I’m going to write everything down. That way if some creep knocks me off, someone will know what happened. But hopefully this diary won’t be all about maiming and killing. I’d like to write some sexy bits, too. Especially about Dr. Sam, who’s smart, funny, adorable, everything I’d want in a man–except he’s a warlock. Sorry, that’s a big no-no in Bronwyn’s book of dating material. I might as well face it: witches don’t do so well in the boyfriend department. Somehow, men find me a tad intimidating. I can’t imagine why…

Are there no British witches to guard the British PM? I just can’t get past this. And letting her listen in on political stuff? Um… Maybe I’ve read too many spy books, but doesn’t the PM ever worry about Bronwyn spilling to the CIA or something? Since she’s an American?

The diary format doesn’t quite work for me in Charmed & Dangerous, though it has before.

The last third of the book sucks. Suddenly, dozens of things happen…you know, it’s a series. It’s not even being sold as a romance. We don’t need a HEA in this book, so why is it being rushed?

This rates 2 out of 5.

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07
May
07

Shanna Swendson: Damsel Under Stress

To-do: Stop the bad guys. Rescue the wizard. Find the perfect outfit for New Year’s Eve.

At last, Owen Palmer, the dreamboat wizard at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., has conjured up the courage to get Katie Chandler under the mistletoe at the office holiday party. But just when it looks like Katie has found her prince, in pops her inept fairy godmother, Ethelinda, to throw a wand into the works. Ethelinda’s timing couldn’t be worse. A plot hatched by MSI’s rogue ex-employees, Idris and his evil fairy gal pal Ari, threatens to expose the company’s secrets–and the very existence of magic itself. Even worse, it could also mean the end of Katie’s happily-ever-after.

Now Katie and Owen must work side by side (but alas, not cheek to cheek) to thwart the villains’ plans. Braving black-magic-wielding sorceresses, subway-dwelling dragons, lovelorn frog princes, and even the dreaded trip to meet Owen’s parents at Christmas, Katie and her beau are in a battle to beat Idris at his own sinister game. All mischief and matters of the heart will come to a head at a big New Year’s Eve gala, when the crystal ball will drop, champagne will pour, and Katie will find herself truly spellbound.

As much as I was looking forward to Damsel Under Stress, I was also afraid that it would suffer what I call Third Book Syndrome and be a rehashing of books one and two.

It’s anything but.

On sheer impact alone, this books tops books one and two, and not just because of the ending (peek at the last page first and I’ll come after you). Shanna Swendson‘s upped the stakes and she’s written a book worthy of those stakes.

It’s not the kind of book I’ve come to expect from her. I reread the first two Enchanted, Inc books because Katie feels like a friend. I didn’t tear open the envelope (Shanna sent me an ARC) expecting a book that took risks.

But boy, have those risks paid off!

This rates 5 out of 5.

15
Mar
07

Shanna Swendson: Once Upon Stilettos

Click your heels three times and say, “There’s no place like Bloomies!”Katie Chandler’s life is pure magic–literally. As an executive assistant at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., she’s seen more than her share of fantastical occurrences. A mere Manhattan mortal, Katie is no wizard, but she’s a wiz at exposing “hokum” pocus, cloaked lies, and deceptive enchantments. And she’s fallen under the all-too-human spell of attraction to Owen, a hunky wizard and coworker. Owen, however, is preoccupied. Someone has broken into his office and disrupted top-secret files, and it reeks of an inside job. CEO Merlin (yes, the Merlin) and taps Katie and her special ability to uncover the magical mole.

Keeping her feelings in check while sleuthing alongside Owen, Katie is shocked to discover that her immunity to magic is waning, putting her in grave danger. Soon she’s surrendering to the charms and enchantments of everyone and everything around her, including a killer pair of red stilettos. Katie must now conjure up her natural instincts to get to the bottom of the break-in, regain her power, and win the wizard of her dreams.

Once Upon Stilettos has joined the previous book in the series, Enchanted Inc., on my rereads pile. So frankly speaking, I don’t think I can be objective about this book, and not because I have any personal connection to Shanna Swendson.

I’m not inclined to dissect it, and well, if I’ve read it several times in the week since I first finished it, and still love it (remember, I almost don’t reread at all), then it must be a really good book, right?

I guess I’m really writing this just to ask you to go pick this book up, or Enchanted Inc. if you have to read series in order, because I adore this series, and I hope you will too.

This rates 5 out of 5.

11
Oct
06

Julie Leto: Dirty Little Lies

Sigh. I was an idiot. First I refuse an ARC of this book, then I forget to reserve a copy at the bookstore!

I think I liked the previous book in the series, Dirty Little Secrets, better. I think Dirty Little Lies has lost a bit of the sparkle that made me await this book so eagerly. IOW, mild sequelitis.

That said, I think the mystery was better executed than in Dirty Little Secrets.

Also, this is realllllllly late, but you should go buy this book because we won’t get the sequel otherwise and I want that sequel! (Julie’s publishers, are you listening?)

This rates 7.5 out of 10.

20
Jul
06

Kathleen O’ Reilly: The Diva’s Guide To Selling Your Soul

V is a good girl gone bad–she sold her soul to Lucy and helps other people sell their souls to Lucy–who finds out that she still has a core of good.

I suggest reading this book for Lucy the Devil’s columns. Hilarious!

The ending does leave me scratching my head — Suzy Wong? –but for most part it was an okay read.

09
Apr
06

Alesia Holliday: Blondes Have More Felons

Full Disclosure: I won this from Alesia. 🙂

Alesia is a Literary Chick (they have the coolest guest bloggers and great contests every month) and a Mystery Chick, which tells you what her new series is about rather well. And it comes through on both points.
First of all, I liked this book. It’s not my usual kind of book (Berkley Prime Crime isn’t an imprint that I pick up), but it is certainly good enough to consider getting the next book in the series.

December is a bit too emotional for my regular reading, but I liked her. She did what she had to do to get what she wants in her new life, such as time to do pro bono work etc. I’m terribly curious about one specific thing: Why was she named December?
Plot-wise, it all came together. I do think that the one about December’s furniture getting lost was over-the-top, and frankly, pointless, but it didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the book. Just left me scratching my head.

I’m going to assume that we will learn more about Max and Mr. Ellison and Aunt Celia and Uncle Nathan in future books. I am especially curious about Max–December’s office manager–and that little subplot that has to do with her and a guy named Wrench. 😉

Oh and Jake Brody? *drool* Alesia, I want to see more of him!