Review of ENCHANTED, INC. by Shanna Swendson (see her website)
Ballantine, June 2005
New York is strange. People wander around in fairy costumes, with elf-ears, or pretend to be able to summon the subway and other New Yorkers pretend not to notice. Being from a small town in Texas, Katie Chandler tries to fit in, pretends to share that nonchalance, but it's an act--and an act that she's not very good at. Still, when the gargoyle starts appearing, erratically, near her apartment, she wonders if she might be losing it. Which would be unfortunate because with a horrible job and no boyfriend in sight, Katie's life isn't exactly what she'd dreamed of when she'd moved to New York, anyway.
When she starts getting e-mail job offers, Katie knows what to do with them. She's been in New York long enough to recognize a scam when she sees one. But when her horrible boss pulls out one too many demands, Katie decides to take a chance--and ends up at an interview with a guy who thinks he's incredibly attractive but isn't, and another guy who doesn't seem to think he's attractive at all--but is. That's strange enough for New York, but what's really strange is that they do have a job offer--working for a company that does magic. It doesn't do magic tricks, it does real magic. And it needs people like Katie--people blessed or cursed with so little magic talent that they can't even be fooled by magical spells.
Things start out rough for Katie--and get worse when she learns that a former employee is trying to introduce evil magic and possibly start a wizard-war. When the CEO decides she's a key part of their defense, and her total skills come from having run a Texas feed store and served as admin to a marketing manager, she realizes how much worse things have gotten. Still, if she could only get the sexy head of magical research to notice her, things wouldn't be so rough. But getting Owen to pay attention is a bigger challenge than kissing frogs.
Author Shanna Swendson definitely charms with this paranormal chick-lit story. Katie is a fun and spunky heroine coping with the 'single girl in the big city' while the big city gets crazier and crazier around her. Swendson's writing engages the reader, making the book feel like a particularly interesting conversation. Light humor, a bit of magic, a dash of danger and adventure, and an engaging heroine add up to a recipe for a really enjoyable novel.
Readers who caught Swendson years ago when she wrote as Samantha Carter have wondered what happened to this charming writer. Great news--she's back and better than ever.
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