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Love Spell by Karen Williams
(Rising Tide, $9.95, 156 pages, paperback; first published May 1993; new edition forthcoming Summer 2001.)

The town cover scanof Broome's recently arrived vet, Kate Gallagher, is adjusting well to her new locale but is romantically lonely, despite the presence nearby of best friend GiGi. One Halloween she encounters a green-skinned woman, Allegra, dressed as a witch on her way to a children's reading, and the attraction between them is immediate and overpowering. That night they attend a Halloween party, then go back to Kate's home and make love. The following morning when Kate wakes Allegra is gone, and over ensuing days and weeks all that Kate has of what she assumed would be a lifelong love is bittersweet memories and the occasional delivered gift.

At length GiGi spurs her to track down Allegra. Kate is at first revolted to discover that what she assumed was a cosmetic effect is genuinely green skin -- that Allegra is truly a being of supernatural origin, one of a whole community of them living in and around Broome. But in due course love conquers all...

This is an enjoyable enough romantic comedy (with an extremely explicit four-page sex scene in the middle seeming somewhat incongruous), and the fantasy elements -- of which there are many more than noted here -- are well blended into the rest of the froth. One does tire a little of the innuendo-ridden badinage not just between the two lovers but in virtually every conversation between the women of Broome, an astonishingly high proportion of whom appear to be gay; weak double entendres can be fun in real-life conversation but are not so much fun to read. Otherwise this deliberately lightweight novel is readable and really quite jolly.


Review by John Grant.
Find out about Rising Tide Press at www.risingtidepress.com


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© John Grant 26 May 2001