Reviewed: February 18, 2012
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Series: Be-Wished, Book 3
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 151 Pages
Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided to me by the author for an honest review.
This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
If she knew then what she knows now, freelance illustrator Olivia Hammond may not be feeling quite so left behind by her two crazy-in-love friends. That's sort of the bitch about hindsight, though, isn't it? And really, who could blame her for scoffing at the possibility of a wish-granting fairy when Davina first showed up to grant her wish back when her wish bracelet had fallen off. She'd thought the little woman was touched in the head, dipping into the fairy dust or something, not an actual fairy.
In truth, Livvy was resigned to it by now. She missed out. It sucks, but so be it. Her best friends Mariah and Paige, both poster women for Happily Ever After, were of different minds on the subject. When they found out that Livvy had missed her shot, they confronted Davina.
It's not that the romance-loving Davina needs convincing, but she's already on shaky ground with the United Wish Federation (a seemingly perpetual condition). She doesn't have enough of her own magic, she can't use UWF's magic. She wishes she could, but she can't help Livvy.
Though...technically there is one other option. It's sometimes a wee bit risky but...it's for a good cause. The best cause. Love.
Famous last words.
Soon Livvy's house is turning into gingerbread, golden eggs are showing up on her property every morning (she's not too upset about that one), and her next door neighbor, an ex-military war veteran who took a bullet in his spine for our country and is now confined to a wheelchair, mysteriously appears - naked and asleep - in a glass coffin in her front yard. Which, coincidentally, is all manner of creepy and more than a little freaky, no matter how good looking he is. Plus he won't wake up until she kisses him.
Getting woken up by the sweet lips of a fine-looking woman is Joe Kimball's idea of a good time. It's been so long he's almost forgotten how much fun a kiss could be. Even one he's, apparently, having in the rain...while he's stretched out in a glass coffin...naked. Uh...okay, well, that's a little psych-eval worthy, for sure. The fact that he can feel the rain on his legs and the cold glass against his skin...and certain parts of his body were giving their own personal salute at the wake up, well...that was a whole other level of holy-shit. He was whole again. And naked. And his neighbor obviously wanted a piece of him.
Hell, if he was dreaming, he'd ride that dream...and his neighbor...all the way to the psych ward. If he wasn't, well...he'd blow up that bridge when he gets to it.
As much as it looks like Livvy is finally getting her chance at her own HEA, and as fabulous it is for Joe to be walking again...and...uh...not walking...it's clear that not all is well with the magic Davina used to grant her wish. Too many fairy tale curiosities are popping up and going a little haywire. And if Livvy remembers correctly - however belatedly - not all fairy tales ended happily...at all.
I am such a rabid fan of this series, it's almost embarrassing. I love Willoughby's writing style, and the creativity and originality of the series premise has just been awesome. It takes a special sort of talent to put forth erotic novellas/short novels with a paranormal/fantasy bent and not only find the right balance between the sex, the romance, and the story, but to execute it well enough to be felt throughout each tale. With this third installment of her Be-Wished series, Willoughby once again proves she has such a talent in spades!
The plot of this book was a little meatier than the previous two, and Davina and the UWF fairies had a slightly larger role, facts I consider nothing but awesome. Joe's character had a pretty traumatic history, and while it didn't traipse too far down the road to Angst-ville, some of the insecurities and psychological issues born from his past and his condition were very realistically represented in the book. That was a particularly nice touch.
The fairy-tales-run-amok elements in the story also added a new dimension to the tale. It was considerably more comedic than Joe's issues with his paraplegia, which is a good thing. The humorous elements inherent in a house that is suddenly gingerbread or a clutch of golden eggs hidden in the pantry balanced out the more depressing elements of Joe's recounting of his injury and recovery.
There are so many elements of this story and the series overall that Willoughby does so well. The flawless continuity and seemingly effortless flow of world building and exposition is impressive. Character reaction is at least relatively realistic in the face of some pretty wild and fantastical paradigm shifts. Even Joe's moments of being a jerk, and he does have his moments, are believable.
I can't say I was quite as fond of Livvy and Joe as I was of Paige and Adam or Mariah and Tucker. Not really sure why, but while I liked them well enough as characters, especially Livvy, they didn't thrill me as a couple quite like the others did. I also didn't feel their romance was quite as emotionally satisfying as those in the previous stories, but that might be nothing more than the lesser connection I felt for them.
The story, though, was more complex, with some legitimate threat coming from Davina's meddling. That thread of external conflict was resolved a little quickly, but its existence added to the depth of the tale. And by now I'm sure I don't need to mention that Willoughby writes some pretty smokin' hot sex scenes that are positively titillating. Yum!
Three touching, emotional, and fabulously sexual erotic novellas/short novels into the Be-Wished series, and Willoughby is still going strong. Frankly, I just can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
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