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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wicked By Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom

Wicked by Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by Snapdragon

Feisty witch Stasi Romanov was one of 13 classmates at the Witches Academy who was expelled seven hundred years ago for bad behavior. Stasi has since then settled down a bit, owning a lingerie boutique while dabbling in a brisk side business of love charms.

Sparks fly, however, when one of those charms goes awry, and Stasi finds herself in a preternatural lawsuit matching wits with devastatingly handsome wizard attorney Trevor Barnes. Then mysterious magic from an unknown enemy threatens to turn Stasi's quiet town into a modern day Salem, and Stasi's witchy friends from long ago gather for the fight. They need Trevor's powerful help. But every witch knows you can't trust a wizard, and soon Stasi is fighting for her life and her heart.

Wisdom’s latest, “Wicked by Any Other Name,” threatens to kick off with a “major witchy hissy fit.”

Snappy Stasi is innocently doing her job, making the best of several centuries worth of banishment by dabbling in a bit of witchy entrepreneurship. Her romantic heart is taxed by witnessing a just-plain-wrong relationship though… and she is accused of letting a love charm go wrong. Of all things: Stasi is called before the Wizards Court! It feels like a witch hunt, for sure.

An eclipse is coming, mercury is in retrograde and when witches start to sense things are not as they should be… they sit down and eat lemon squares--a lot of lemon squares!

In Wisdom’s charming tourist town, a flock of witches live among the mortals, and a few other preternatural folk. There are a cauldron’s worth of great, original characters; like the infuriating Carrie, and just plain busybody, Agnes, who are both mortal. Among the more magical are thoughtful friend, Blair and visiting spirits like Fergus, not to mention the gargoyle Horace, who spends his days endlessly peeking up skirts … and then, of course there’s Trevor. He may be a magical attorney, and most definitely on the wrong side, but he is also gorgeous with a capital G! Still, he can’t be trusted. First off, he’s a wizard, and then, didn’t he take the case because business had been a bit bland? Linda Wisdom’s characters are so lively they seem alive and entirely plausible.

Trevor, bad guy though he is, engenders reader sympathy at once--although you do hope he’ll bury the hatchet with Stasi. Stasi just knows him as the attorney who's never lost a case. Still, things don’t go entirely Trevor’s way either. It doesn't take him long to figure out his client is infuriating … but he can't turn her down once he's agreed to represent her. And then he’s puzzled by things like shimmering red hearts dancing above the defendant, Stasi. Distracted from the case, he sets about setting up some sort of casual meeting; but lovely Stasi makes every effort to avoid him!

Within the whole community something doesn’t feel quite right, and it's more than creepy Poppy’s baking efforts. True-love or no, the little community by Moonstone Lake will have to band together if everyone is going to make it… and it takes more than hot lingerie to solve the big issues.

Wisdom weaves a wonderful magic here, from characters to descriptions, dialogue to detail, all are quick and glib and completely spellbinding. The zippy plot and unpredictable turns of events will keep you turning the pages!

Wicked by Any Other Name is wicked fun… and earns 4.5 books from this reviewer!