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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Charmed & Dangerous (Bronwyn the Witch, Book 1) by Candace Havens

I should start this by saying that his book is paranormal chick lit. It's a fun and easy read with likable characters. It makes you smile, it makes you laugh. It's easy to get into, and there are no parts that make you want to put it down and do something else for a while.

Sometimes you want dark and serious. Sometimes you want lighthearted and easy. Both have their place on my bookshelf. That's not to say that there is no plot, or that the main character's life isn't in danger, or that she doesn't kick some serious ass when necessary. Because there is depth, there is good plot, and the weaving of the supernatural elements works well in the story.

So, it's not just a fluffy read, there is substance amongst the lighter stuff. But it's still chik lit.

And I have no idea of what genre to put this one into. It's not really urban fantasy, though it's got some elements of it. It's not exactly a paranormal romance, though again there are some elements. It could even loosely fit into mystery and crime drama. It looks like the libraries out there are calling it some variation of Occult Fiction or Paranormal Fiction. Maybe I should create a genre here and call it Paranormal Chik Lit. Works for me.

Here is the blurb from the author's website:
When Bronwyn turned twenty she took the oath to protect, and for the last five years she's kept that promise, working as a kind of one-witch secret service to the British Prime Minister. Her arsenal includes a combination of potions, spells, explosions, mind-reading tricks, and general butt-kicking skills. But Bronwyn has a soft side, too-especially when it comes to Dr. Sam, the favorite physician of her new hometown, Sweet, Texas. He's smart, funny, adorable, everything she could want in a man. Except he's also a warlock-a big no-no in Bronwyn's book of dating. Being a witch is definitely getting in the way of her sex life. If zapping evil jerks is easy, why is finding a boyfriend so hard?

This book is written in diary form. And it works. The book is funny and engaging, with a likable main characters and likable secondary and supporting characters.

Bronwyn isn't a normal witch, she's a High Witch. Which apparently means she's way more powerful than most witches. And apparently there are only a handful or two alive on the planet, so witches of this power are pretty rare. We all know how power can corrupt, but Bronwyn isn't the sort of person to be corrupted by the power she wields. I got the impression that she's the type of person to use her powers for good, no matter what might be offered to her. She is not flighty or airheaded. She is responsible and organized and thoughtful and a very good friend to the people in her life.

If I were to meet Bronwyn in real life then we'd get along with each other just fine. I mean, how can you not like someone who starts her diary entries with how many spells she's cast and how many dead bodies there are since the last entry? And sometimes even how many of those bodies she's responsible for.

There are also two hunks in this book that have a serious interest in Bronwyn.. There is the new doctor in town as well as a shiek she's supposed to be keeping alive. Since the sheik is a client and she has this personal rule against dating clients, and since the good doctor is a warlock and she's got a personal rule against dating those, too... you can see her dilemma here. Having the power she has is a big turn off to most men, so she's gone a while without a boyfriend, and now suddenly there are two very very eligible bachelors interested in her and if she follows her own rules then she really should say no to both.

And the town she lives in is great. I mean, every small town has their odd but lovable characters, right? And Sweet is no different. It's a great little town, and a perfect place for Bronwyn to call home.

I also liked the mixture of job and home life. When she's working there are lots of bad guys and she's pretty much constantly on her toes. But at home she gets to work on her gardening, and on remodeling her house. We get to see her as a regular person as well as a kind of superhero. Of course, even in her superhero role she's pretty laid back about it, but some of the things she can do are nothing short of superhero status for those she saves.

This doesn't really fall into the same category of books I normally like, but I loved this book. Adored it.

Book Rating: 10 of 10

1) Charmed & Dangerous (Bronwyn)
2) Charmed & Ready (Bronwyn)
3) Charmed & Deadly (Bronwyn)
4) Like a Charm (Kira)

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