Monday, November 12, 2012

Mr. Real (Code of Shadows #1) by Carolyn Crane

Release Date: October 30, 2012 
Source: Provided by Netgalley
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He finds the girl of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares.
Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sexy TV ad spy . . . who looks exactly like Paul Reinhardt, the super-sexy martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class three years ago.
Fighter Paul Reinhardt has good reason to hate Sir Kendall, the character he brought to life to land a part in a TV ad; he’d do anything to forget him. A cross country road trip seems just the thing . . . until Paul finds himself inexplicably drawn to Minnesota and is shocked to discover Sir Kendall - in the flesh - with the girl he’d once loved from afar. He barges into Alix and Sir Kendall’s love nest, determined to stop the madness - somehow.
But is superspy Sir Kendall transforming into something more dangerous anyone can imagine? And what will Sir Kendall do when Paul and Alix finally give into their mad lust for each other?

Mr. Real is exactly what I would expect from a Carolyn Crane novel. It's unique, fun, and sexy with an imperfect protagonist, a damaged hero, and eccentric secondary characters. 

The story revolves around Alix, a character full of flaws and known for her poor decision making skills. It's apparent that she has become resentful of her role as the carefree, irresponsible friend/sibling/daughter and we're shown that many of her actions are a mask for her insecurities.

I love this type of broken, complex character. If Alix had been a more practical, capable protagonist, then she wouldn't have made most of the decisions that created such a crazy and exciting story line.

When Alix discovers that she's able to bring computer images to life, thanks to her late aunt's interests in dark magic, she brings Sir Kendall Nicholas III to her doorstep, the sexy spy from the Denali liqueur ads.

I immensely enjoyed experiencing the story from Sir Kendall's point of view. His thoughts and interactions with others were interesting simply because of how clueless he was to the entire situation. He was pulled from his reality into another and believes that Alix is a double agent working for his enemy. As a result, he's suspicious of every move Alix makes, every facial expression, every phone call, and every word that she says. It became quite comical at times.

And then there is Paul Reinhardt, the sexy fighter that was formally Alix's martial arts teacher. He's also the man that plays the part of Sir Kendall on TV, a regrettable decision that is negatively affecting his life. 

When he discovers that Alix is staying with a man that believes himself to be Sir Kendall, he tries to warn her that he could be dangerous and is determined to keep her safe. But that proves difficult for him to do when he's fighting his own demons and simply hearing Sir Kendall's voice unravels him, provokes his temper, and stirs up painful memories from his past.

Overall, I thought Crane did a fantastic job of creating an imaginative, well-paced story in a series that I very much look forward to continuing. And if you haven't already, I suggest you check out her Disillusionists Trilogy, starting with Mind Games.


Julie H. said...

Great review! Sounds different which is always nice. Thanks for sharing.

Crystal B. said...

Awesome review!! Looks like I need to check this out :D

Braine TS said...

I couldn't stop laughing over Sir Kendall! Do you think we'll see him again? I know we'll see Hyko from the title of Book 3 but I want MORE SIR KENDALL! LOL I like him better than Paul & I think he should end up with Alix's BFF

Addicted2Heroines said...

Julie & Crystal - Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the review =) I hope you two decide to read this. Thanks for stopping by!

Braine - I would love to know who is in the next story. Unless I'm missing a clue somewhere, I don't know who Friar Jack could be about. I agree, more Sir Kendall would be great =)

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