Release Date: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Charming Series Book 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
Mysterious, handsome wizard Aethelstan Blackstone hires beautiful, hardworking attorney Nora Barr to get a restraining order to protect Sleeping Beauty from her evil stepmother. But if Sleeping Beauty is supposed to be his soul mate, then how come he’s becoming bewitched by Nora?
And when Nora finds herself baby-sitting a clueless maiden from the middle ages, avoiding a very wicked witch, and falling hard for a man whose magic she doesn’t believe in, she begins to think that love itself is only a fairy tale…
Welcome to the fractious fairy tale world of Kristine Grayson, where the bumpy road to happily ever after is paved with surprises…
Ten years ago Nora Barr was a twenty-five year old attorney with dreams of making her one-woman practice in Portland, Oregon a success. Well…she’d dreamed of keeping her doors open and being able to pay her bills regularly, at least. But, all that changed the day she met Aethelstan Blackstone and his friend, Sancho Panza. Now, she is the head of an extremely successful law firm, is in the middle of a nasty divorce, and is the unlikely guardian of a fairly princess—who’s been trapped in a glass coffin for 1,000 years.
Alex Blackstone has learned a lot since he first came into his wizard powers many centuries ago, and he’s finally discovered a way to beat the evil witch Ealhswith at the tug-of-war they’ve been engaged in all that time. The prize is the woman he’s always believed to be his true love and his destiny. Of course, now that he’s nearly gotten what he thought he’s always wanted, he can’t stop thinking about the pretty, blonde lawyer he’s enlisted to help him. Can The Fates be wrong?
One of my favorite things about Utterly Charming is Grayson’s apparent delight in skewering literary cornerstones, as well as inflicting some serious damage to the image of the perfect fairy princess. In this second in the Charming Series, she targets Shakespeare, Chaucer, Cervantes, and more. Even Norse and Greek mythology are on the list of references, although neither is particularly safe in Grayson’s capable hands.
Nora and Alex aren’t your typical romantic couple, and their stops and starts can be a little exhausting every now and then. They make a great team, though, whether presenting their case to the Fates, or fighting for Sleeping Beauty (who’s real name happens to be Emma). As with the first novel in this series, Wickedly Charming, Grayson gives her princess plenty of issues, and Emma’s got a thousand years of women’s rights evolution to come to terms with. By the time the china starts flying towards the end, however, I think she’s well on her way.
While it never aims to challenge too much, Utterly Charming has some truly winning moments, including every scene that includes Sancho. He’s easily my favorite character in the novel, though they all made me laugh at least once or twice. If you’re looking for an entertaining twist on all those familiar, tired tales, then Utterly Charming is a light, easy read that embraces its own irreverence in all the right places.
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)
Books in the Series:
Wickedly Charming (book 1)
Utterly Charming (book 2)