Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Review: Over Hexed
Over Hexed by Vicki Lewis Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am not, generally, a fan of romance novels. This author was recommended as one who doesn't use the tropes that so turn me off most romance reads. I'm glad for the recommendation, because I really enjoyed it.
The story is about Sean Madigan, a small-town hottie who's sick of the attention. He can't go out in public without being groped and propositioned. He enjoyed the attention when he was young, but now he just wants to go about his days without worrying about who he'll bump into.
Then into his life come two magic practitioners who have been exiled to this odd little town, and who are bored. They take on his case, dampening his appeal and summoning his soul mate, pitting the two against one another.
I liked that the story is about taking down the alpha male a peg, ultimately. He's stripped of his good looks and made helpless by the number of crises the witch and wizard's meddling churn up. He's well out of his element, and completely befuddled. Stories about women having the upper hand in a romance tale are evidently what I've been missing.
The characters are a definite strength of the novel. Maggie, the love interest, is strong and independent and smart. Ambrose and Dorcas, the aforementioned witch and wizard, are mischievous and fun and they play off each other well. The weakest character, the dragon George, is more of a prop than a character, unfortunately. I thought George had a lot of potential. Maybe in later books. With the rest of the supporting cast, I had the feeling they all had their own back stories and their own things going on that had nothing to do with Sean and Maggie.
The weakest points of the story were the aforementioned dragon, which was more of a prop than a character or major plot point, and the dialogue. I've been watching a lot of the classic Dark Shadows, with its maid-and-butler exchanges, expositionary monologues, and overly insightful remarks, and I thought this book sounded similar enough that I imagined the writer taking notes on dialogue while watching soap operas.
Obviously the dialogue and silly use of the dragon wasn't enough to kill my enjoyment of the book. It detracted a bit, but not enough to make me quit reading. Overall, this book was an enjoyable page-turner, and I would recommend it to others who shy away from romance novels because the usual tropes are a turnoff.
If anyone wants to drop a comment recommending more trope-busting romance novels, I'll happily add them to my to-read list.
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