Do you make a wish when you blow out your birthday cake candles? When you see a falling star? I love wishing, although I can’t say I quite believe in it anymore. Imagine if you had the power to make children’s wishes come true. That would be a pretty awesome job. The heroine of this novel would agree. If only being a fairy godmother and granting wishes didn’t come with the strong possibility of a life time in prison – or death.
Tapestry artist Stormy Jones-Smythe grew up in an Arcani family. After all, her two dads are powerful wizards as well as great artists. But she never had an ounce of magic herself till after her 27th birthday. Then she received the most powerful magic of her kind – the gift of being a fairy godmother. Which would be totally awesome if the other two current fairy godmothers (The Wish List, As You Wish) weren’t wanted by the Arcani Council for treason. And if the three former fairy godmothers hadn’t been caught trying to take over the world. Now her gift just means she becomes a prized possession (read prisoner) of her people, guarded night and day.
Hunter Merrick didn’t take the Oath of Allegiance just so he could watch some babe weave cloth and learn baby magic. Even if said babe is really, really hot and has a tendency to walk around in short shorts and tank tops. But his assignment quickly becomes more interesting as renegades try to contact his charge, people keep geting blown up around her, and she gets involved with some powerful Arcani with very dangerous sounding political views. He’s a by the book kind of guy who has no desire to play rebel. She’s a play it by the seat of your pants kind of girl who seems determined to align herself with revolutionaries. Can the two of them find any common ground?
This is meant to be a fun, sexy read and it partially succeeds at achieving that goal. But it gets dragged down by the fact that Stormy is fighting to save the world and has very few happy moments. None of the other characters enliven it either. Where the first two novels in this series had some terrific secondary characters, the secondaries here are a bit lame and are serious rather than fun (with the possible exception of Tank). Stormy’s dads are members of an artist community, but we don’t really know anything about them other than that they are gay and one of them sculpts and speaks loudly. Boot-licker/conniving social and political climber Ian is very one dimensional. We know he’s evil in a wormy way but we don’t know why. We never really learn much about the villain’s man servant Dmitri and why he is so faithful. Little was done to build any of the secondary characters into anything more than cardboard props.
That would have been fine if only Stormy and Hunter weren’t a bit cardboard themselves – especially Hunter. If we received information about his family, I blinked and missed it. What we do know is that he’s got awesome body guard skills and thinks Stormy is hot and sort of brave. I didn’t buy the romance between them because I didn’t understand them well enough as characters to really know much about their love lives. They were clearly attracted to each other, but other than that, how do they connect? No answer.
Hunter initially thought of Stormy as a bit ditzy, but I never did. She took her art seriously, sold it, and was establishing a good reputation. She’s a good daughter. She’s resourceful. She dealt very well without having magic and once she acquired it, she worked hard to learn it. I didn’t think that there was anything flighty or incompetent about her. While I would have liked to have known more about her inner workings, what I saw of her through her actions was a person I liked and admired.
Another positive was seeing how the character of Stormy fit with the other two fairy godmothers. The three of them were the kind of people who could understand each other and who complimented one another right off the bat. I also felt that the plot line moved along well. If it was a bit predictable, it was still solidly written. I appreciated the continuity the author showed in her writing – no sudden character changes or bending of the rules of her realm to defeat the villain. I liked the world the author has created and who she has peopled it with. What made things tough was that this book totally lacked the spark and personality that the second book had. The technical points were all hit perfectly, the magic added a bit of extra spice – but the story just didn’t have zing.
This is the conclusion to the fairy godmother trilogy. If you have been reading the books, I would recommend this one as the finish. It’s a good novel on its own, but as a conclusion it is all that much sweeter. If you haven’t read the series and enjoy fairy tale or magical romance, I would recommend starting with the first book and reading all three. They are fun and light hearted and a nice change from the usual paranormal fare.