Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wickedly Charming by Kristine Grayson

Review by Sheila R. Lamb
Wickedly Charming offers a new twist on historical fantasy. Set in the present day, Charming and Mellie are torn between their contemporary lives and the world they left behind, hundreds of years in the past. Through various portals, fairy tale characters are able to travel back and forth between the mythical Kingdom and the present day Greater World.
Charming doesn’t really go by Charming. Not now. In modern Los Angeles, he’s known as bookseller Dave Econto. He rarely returns back to the fairy tale world of the Third Kingdon, not since Ella (aka CinderElla) divorced him, taking their two daughters with her.
Mellie is angry and for good reason. Her step-daughter, a Miss White, told the world that Mellie tried to murder her. And now Mellie is trying to overcome the untrue accusations, by organizing the activist group, PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Archetypes. When Mellie bumps into Dave at an LA bookfair, sparks fly. Literally. The recognize each other from their past lives in the Kingdom world. 
As Charming figures out and I met at a party ... a century or two ago when someone decided we should clear up the Charming mess and the stepmother gossip and see if we could take care of those Brothers Grimm.
First, the two modern day fairy tale misfits have to overcome some stereotypes of their own. She knows he is one of family of Charming’s. He knows she is a Stepmother. They dance around their attraction to each other until Charming’s jealousy of one of Mellie’s supposed dates, Bourke, causes a humorous scene in an L.A. coffeeshop.

‘I think you should stop talking now,’ Mellie said to Bourke. 
Charming recognized that tone. It was a warning tone, one that the magical used in the Kingdoms as fair notice that magic was about to occur. 
‘Don’t Mellie,’ Charming said softly.
She ignored him.
‘You think I should stop talking, do you, your highness?’ Bourke asked.
It took Charming a second to realize that Bourke was using the phrase sarcastically.

As the two forge a rocky friendship, Charming tries to help Mellie tell her side of the story by offering to be her ghostwriter. In the meantime, Ella gives him full custody of their two daughters, and Charming finds himself  with his hands full a single father. He must protect his girls from school bullies and try to explain why their mother has disappeared. 
Mellie is reluctant to help, given her bad standing as a stepmother already.  Slowly, she begins to make overtures to Charming’s daughters, and a tenuous relationship between the three women in Charming’s life begins to develop. Soon, Charming and Mellie can no longer deny their wickedly magical attraction to each other.
A fun and delightful story, read Wickedly Charming and find out what really happens to “happily ever after!”

Wickedly Charming will be published by Sourcebooks in April 2011.

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