"Wild & Hexy," Vicki Lewis Thompson

Pros: Entertaining; silly; fun
Cons: Ending too pat, quick, and clean
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group.
Visit Vicki’s site.

 

Annie dreads going home again to Big Knob, Indiana, for her sister’s wedding. She’s gained 20 pounds and divorced her popular football-playing jerk of a husband, going from Miss Dairy Queen to Miss Insecurity. She’s more than a little guy-shy, and just wants to help her sister out, do her series of newspaper articles on small-town life, and get out of town. Of course, things aren’t that easy.

Since she left, magical matchmakers Dorcas and Ambrose have moved to town, and even before Annie arrives they’ve set their sites on Annie… and Jeremy, the class geek and computer nerd who now runs the coffee shop and internet cafe. He’s had a crush on Annie since they were teenagers, but he doesn’t have the self-confidence to pursue her. If only someone could help him out there…

Add in a lonely lake monster, a rebellious teenage dragon, and a slutty visiting witch, and you’ve got a surefire recipe for disaster!

 

Dorcas and Ambrose are, by far, the highlight of this book. They’re New Age-style witches, but with quite the real powers, and hundreds of years old to boot. They’re quirky and entertaining, from Ambrose with his scooter addiction to Dorcas with her sympathy for lonely lake monsters. And just to give them a license to meddle, it’s Dorcas’s life work to unite people with their soulmates.

Annie is also an interesting heroine, struggling with her weight and her self-image issues after her grinding divorce from her controlling husband. Her career as a journalist makes for entertaining plotlines and moments. My one complaint is that the waffling over whether it’s okay for her to have a casual relationship gets to be a bit much after a while.

Jeremy is a great hero, particularly for about the first 2/3 or 3/4 of the book. He’s a nerd, but he’s grown up, and isn’t the total geek he was in high school—he just can never quite remember that when Annie’s around. He loves Annie for herself, whether she’s overweight or insecure or whatever. My two reservations with him are that he becomes too distant too quickly when he becomes skeptical over something strange she saw, and the question of how much the witchy ‘boost’ altered his personality is never satisfactorily addressed.

Basically, the personality trait that annoyed me with each character was the one that got exaggerated a bit too much in the need to keep the characters apart until the climax of the romance. It ended up feeling a bit forced. I’d rather see plot-related reasons to keep characters apart. Especially since the use of exaggerated personality traits also led to an ending that felt a bit too quick, pat, and clean—it was difficult to believe that the characters so easily resolved their differences after so much tension.

The side-plot with the lonely lake monster was one of my favorite parts of the book, particularly its resolution. However, again, the climax of the plot with the visiting witch felt pat and easy.

The vivid personalities, wacky situations and sparkling humor are definitely Vicky Lewis Thompson’s strong points in Wild & Hexy. If her endings were stronger I’d find her books to be perfect pick-me-up reading.

[Usual adult material warning: explicit, enthusiastic, non-kinky sex.]

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