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Monday, July 6, 2009

Barbie and the Beast by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

Barbie and the Beast by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Co.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (307 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Barbie Bradley was swept off her feet—literally. One moment the twenty-something was traversing Forest Lawn Cemetery in the dead of night with her best friend, the next she was thrown like a sack of potatoes over a man’s shoulder. True, she and Angie had come to this odd locale for a singles party, but this wasn’t quite how she’d planned to get picked up.

Darin Russell found “Ms. Right” at work, which was surprising because girls in the cemetery were usually a tad, in a word, stiff. Not that this one couldn’t stand to loosen up. She seemed particularly sensitive about being named after the Mattel toy, and before he popped the question he had to know how she’d react to his furry little secret. You see, though he had a tuxedo and a Porsche, he had more in common with the residents of the Miami Zoo than Ken. And if things went according to plan, Barbie was going to see his animal side.

Barbie & The Beast is one long seduction with hilarious gaffes and goofs tripping up the intentions of an ardent suitor with a secret. As if the secret wasn’t issue enough.

Barbie ends up being a loveable waffle. It calls to mind the image of the angel on one shoulder and the imp on the other. Barbie’s angel is practically beating her over the head at the most inopportune times, which for an angel would be considered doing its job. Thing is, that imp is persistent. It’s that push-pull internal relationship with her conscience that provides the conflict and impetus for the story. Add in the fact that Barbie resents the ramifications of being named after the Barbie doll yet has moments where she verges on almost being a ditz, like Barbie. No offense to Barbie. But, I swear she has impulse control issues. However, if she didn’t then this book wouldn’t have been half as much fun. She’s her own worst enemy. I couldn’t help but snicker, roll my eyes and keep turning the pages. That girl needs a keeper and I was really curious as to the guy who’d get the job.

Darin Russell is the most fun, adorable and endearing cutie ever. There is no internal angst over his curse; no melodrama and ‘woe is me’ mentality. He’s pretty pragmatic over the whole thing--that is until he has to try to figure out how to tell Barbie and still keep her in his life. How do you be truthful about something you’ve never dared tell? Anyone-ever? How can a guy keep his sanity when he has to balance his needs, fears and desires with the fact that his intended mate goes mach speed into situations normal women would have run from, not to? I think his special talents are just what are needed to get the job done. I love a man who growls with panache. I just wish he bit more. LOL

I must mention Walter and Bachelor Number One. I’m extremely curious about those two guys. The author puts just enough tease to get you to want more and I think Walter is a good candidate for a sequel. Also, Barbie’s good friend Angie sounds like a woman in need of an HEA too. I’m game. I hope the author is too.

I think Barbie & The Beast will appeal to readers who enjoy madcap romance where the male/female dynamic is its own vehicle for conflict and where the HEA leaves you in a gooey good mood.