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Friday, April 20, 2012

Kane and Mabel by Sharon deVita

Kane and Mabel by Sharon deVita
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (128 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Fennel

When a new business partner appears in Kati’s diner, it’s not just the broccoli that’s steamed.

Kati Rose Ryan lives in the small town of Libertyville, Missouri, taking care of the diner her irresponsible brother left her to run. When a “friend” of her brother shows up at the diner, Kati is immediately suspicious. Her brother Patrick’s friends are nothing but thieves and freeloaders and she’s had her fill of them.

She fully intends to throw no-good Lucas Kane out on his ear. Until Lucas tells her that her brother lost his half of the diner to him in a poker game, and Lucas is her new partner.

Furious that her brother could be so reckless and irresponsible to gamble his half of the diner away, Kati does everything in her power to get rid of Lucas. But, Lucas isn’t budging. In fact, he intends to stay in Libertyville until he can prove to Kati that he doesn’t just want to be her partner in the diner, but in life, as well.

Kane and Mabel – the play on words in the title snagged my attention at once and I was eager to discover how the author would work the twist.

The plot is not a new one, still I was convinced Ms. deVita would come up with something as catchy and original as the treatment she gave the title.

While the writing is smooth and the descriptions vivid, the characterization was a little disappointing. To begin with as the plot unfolded I could empathize with Mable’s stubbornness to accept help. After all once bitten twice shy and her wastrel of a brother’s friends had done nothing so far to endear Mable to them. But from the get-go Kane showed his worth and his commitment so that in time Mabel’s constant bickering and sniping stubbornness became an irritation.

When Kane goes hunting for the man who swindled him he finds the sister instead. Against all reason, instead of demanding retribution, Kane goes out of his way to rescue Mabel, and believe me, I fell big-time for Kane. He is one amazing hero.

Ms. deVita’s secondary characters had their own private war going on. The author goes to town with them. They are cantankerous feuding ‘wrinklies’ who are either ripping each other up or ganging up on anyone else who criticizes the other.

I enjoyed their feuding as it made for a light relief between them and the parallel angst going on between Kane and Mabel. I’m glad I read this story.