Pros: Poignant, funny, and sensitive
Cons: Climax came a little fast
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review book (uncorrected proof) courtesy of Penguin Group.
Expected publication date: 3/3/2009.
This is the third in a series of reviews of particularly good Spring releases.
Sadly I haven’t read the first two installments in this series of books, Accidentally Dead and The Accidental Werewolf. I say sadly, because I highly enjoyed every moment of Dakota Cassidy’s The Accidental Human. In previous novels, Wanda Schwartz’s two best friends, Nina and Marty, found themselves accidentally swept into the worlds of vampires and werewolves, respectively—and very much in love. Wanda, however, is still absolutely, 100% human and single.
She’s a saleswoman for Bobbie-Sue Cosmetics—the best—and a whiz at recruiting new saleswomen. When a man comes to her looking for training and a shot at a new career in selling “goop,” however, she can’t believe her ears (or her eyes, when she sees how handsome Heath is!). Even better, once he’s talked her into helping him, she can’t believe just how successful he is. It would be a true coup for her as a Bobbie-Sue devotee to have recruited the first male rep—if only there weren’t the small matter that she’s dying, something that she’s managed to hide from everyone around her.
Even worse, she thinks she might be falling for handsome Heath, despite not knowing where he lives, where he’s from, or really much of anything about him except that he always wears the same suit, speaks as though he has an education, and seems to be broke. Just as she’s struggling to keep her feelings for Heath restricted to good old-fashioned lust, he seems determined to turn things into something more. And with every day that Wanda keeps her fatal secret, she only gets herself in deeper trouble…
Wanda is dying of cancer. I don’t think I ever expected to find a book that could take such a sensitive, difficult subject and treat it with such humor, grace, dignity, silliness, and love—all at the same time. The Accidental Human is a paranormal romance with a strong dose of humor, an unlikely vehicle for such a topic, and yet it’s perfect. I alternately laughed and cried as I read along.
Bobbie-Sue Cosmetics was so hysterical, with its codes of conduct, ways of life, cult-like fanaticism, color wheels, and color crises, that I was whooping with laughter and repeating details to my husband over dinner. That alone would have made the book worth reading even without all the other lovely details.
The characters are fun as hell—particularly Heath’s snarky “manservant”; Wanda with her obsessive-compulsive desire to be perfectly organized and appropriate; and Nina with her foul mouth and overbearing demeanor. The sex is fun and enjoyable (usual adult material warning).
My only mild complaint is that the ending seemed a bit rushed compared to the rest of the book, and piled on the supernatural aspects in a way that seemed a bit surprising compared to the rest of the book (at least if you haven’t read the rest of the series—I expect that background would have alleviated that somewhat).
However, I’m seriously impressed with the author’s ability to treat cancer in such a sensitive and poignant manner, within the framework of both a paranormal romance and so much humor.