by Lisa Kleypas
from the TBR – book 2/50 Embarrassment of Riches
Overview – Yay, the youngest brother found his lady. 🙂 I love the magical stuff Kleypas added in two of the three books. Romances are usually a little like fairy tales, why not add magic?
Alex Nolan is bitter, cynical and drinking too much. He is a fixer-upper. But the characters in these novels have never shied away from some hard work. Alex is a jerk, his parents were alcoholic messes and he is following in their footsteps. Once he realizes this, he works on fixing himself. Yay!
The paranormal element – there is a ghost that has attached himself to Alex that only he can see. So not only is he haunted by his childhood, he is personally haunted by a man that needs some help as well. Also, Zoe, the love interest has a magical way with food. She is also a wonderful chef and baker.
Magical realism – The magic really isn’t treated like anything special. They are small magics that are daily parts of these people’s lives. The ghost is a stretch for magical realism…but I love that type of stuff, so I roll with it easily.
The romance is nice. They are dumbstruck when they meet, touch for the first time. So there is insta-lust, insta-interest etc. but they fight it and exclaim how bad they are for each other and all that good delaying tactic stuff. The ghost is there for a reason, which made me cry, but I cry easily. Alex claims to be rough and mean and horrible, but then has sweet lovin time with Zoe…so, either he doesn’t know himself very well or the “L” word changed him more than he expected. Whatevs… It was nice.
It was sweet and the characters were great. The POV switches between them so you get to know them and know why they act the way they do. You feel their hurt and anger and fear. Both of them were pretty short changed in a lot of ways, but somehow became good people.
Also, this is the third book set in Friday Harbor, and I thought it was the last of the trilogy because there are three brothers and that is how it usually goes, but I got to the end and it said that the third book in the trilogy will be released in Feb 2013? So, I guess Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor was considered a prequel or something, otherwise Kleypas is going the way of Douglas Adams and just adding more books to her “trilogy”. Whatever. Zoe’s sister is the lucky love interest in Crystal Cove, so I guess her cynical butt is going to find true love. Aw.
Anyway, these books are cute contemporary romances with magical and impossible stuff happening and there are paranormal elements too. (I find myself so funny) The romancees are nice, yes there are some inconsistencies to who these folks say they are and how they follow through. Things are probably easier than they would be in real life, but it is pretty close. I wish there was magic food to help with the DTs, but it is written well and the characters are totally fleshed out and I was happy to see the Nolan boys in love. I give the series 3.5 happy stars. But I need a dark paranormal now…