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Wickedly Charming    by Kristine Grayson Amazon.com order for
Wickedly Charming
by Kristine Grayson
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2011 (2011)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Here's a real charmer that puts a thoroughly modern spin on what might have happened if Prince Charming was divorced from the not-so-pure-as-the-driven-snow Ella (aka Cinderella) after she pointed out that he's suddenly not so charming any more. Charming, or, Dave Encanto, the name he prefers to go by these days, moves out of their perfect fairy tale Kingdom and to the human realm where he spends his days searching out books to bring back for his beloved bookstore - and raising his daughters.

Meanwhile, Snow White's wicked stepmother (yes that one) is having a mid-life crisis of her own. She's more than a little annoyed over her own bad rep. Is it Mellie's fault that those darned Grimm brothers grossly misrepresented her in their silly books? Determined to redeem her evil reputation, she heads to the Book Fair with her banner to promote People for the Ethical Treatment of Archetypes.

Where she bumps into Charming, errr, rather Dave. He might be a little paunchy, have a bald spot, and be something of a nerd, and she might not be as svelte as she once was, but their attraction is immediate and mutual. Can these middle-aged fairy tale characters find the happiness that's always eluded them? Or will Charming's wary daughters, not to mention the rest of the fairy tale community, poo poo their happily ever after before Dave and Mellie even have a chance to give true love a try?

Grayson definitely puts a fun, new twist on fairy tales and many of the beloved characters we grew up with. Mellie and Dave's romance is sweet and believable, despite Mellie's sometimes overblown angst and bitterness. There are plenty of fairy tale digs that are laugh out loud hilarious. Wickedly Charming is also a poignant and very human story about two middle aged people who stumble across love when they least expect it.

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