I trotted around the house as fast as I could and rang the doorbell before I realized I had forgotten an extremely important fact. The most important fact of all. When one morphs in to human form and they aren’t wearing any clothes, then they aren’t wearing any clothes. That’s right folks. Standing buck naked at the front door with Penelope three feet from swinging the door open and Amelia hot on her heels. I was just going to have to go with it. Just as Penelope flipped the dead bolt, I noticed the American flag flying proudly on the front porch.
George Washington and all our founding fathers, please forgive a desperate cat for what he’s about to do.
I ripped the flag down and off its wooden pole just in time to wrap it around my waste so Penelope wouldn’t see my, er … assets. I’d seen them before and they were spectacular. Poor Dr. Luke couldn’t possibly be as well-endowed as I was. It had to be at least five inches.
“Ami,” she said as she swung the door wide. “There’s a present on the doorstep and it’s not even Christmas.”
Ami skidded up behind her and then peered at me through the space between Pen’s arm and rib cage.
“Hmm …,” she said as her brown eyes got as wide as saucers. “It’s a great present and its wrapping is so unique, so … patriotic.”
Pen motioned for me to step over the threshold and in to the foyer as she spoke, “I think it’s time I know your name, mystery man. Also, what do you want with me and why do you keep appearing at the strangest times. Almost like you know when I need you.”
Shoot. I didn’t have an answer to that question. Because, I didn’t have an answer to anything. I blew by both of them, not only because I didn’t have the gift of speech to make small talk but because I was on a time constraint. I’d already wasted five minutes getting clad in my USA team gear and using the front door.
As I trotted in to the living room and picked up the book of love spells, I hitched the flag up around my flanks and made sure it was secure. I didn’t want to flash them a glimpse of my perfectly round behind. That view would ruin Penelope for anyone else.
I opened the book and slapped it down on the engraved coffee table. The one that Pen adored because it had been handed down for generations. Her grandma had just presented it to her for her twenty-fifth birthday. As I shuffled through the pages to find the one I wanted, the one at the beginning, Ami reached me and peered around me.
I pointed, hard until my finger was white from the effort of pressing against the page. She read it over a few times and then looked at me in confusion.
“Hot guy,” she said. “I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me.”
GENRE: Sweet Paranormal Romance
Just one kiss to break the spell…
That’s all she needs.
Cursed by a jealous witch, Penelope DeLacroix’s spells are all going wrong and backfiring, creating havoc in town. The vengeful witch won’t quit until she has all of Penelope’s powers. And all it will take is one perfect, heartfelt kiss from Penelope’s one true love to put an end to all this turmoil.
The only problem? Penelope has no idea that Dr. Lucas Collier, the compassionate local veterinarian, is in love with her. Nor does he know that she’s in love with him. They’re both too stupid to figure it out.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a paranormal comedy with a very refreshing characteristic – the animals are sentient and communicate among themselves; plus, the narrator is a cat. Talisman is a familiar who has been in the DeLacroix’s family of witches for over three hundred years. In the present generation, he watches over Penelope and lately he’s been trying to find out why her powers have been so unpredictable. At the same time, Talisman worries about her inability to see that a certain cute vet has a humongous crash on her and he wants to help Pen with that too. However, the plot thickens as new characters are introduced and old and new mysteries unfold during the investigation Taliman and his fellow pet PIs start.
Being the introductory book in a series of four very short reads (around 70 pages each), Talisman establishes the foundations for the story. Therefore, I didn’t expect to get any solutions for possible questions or problems in this installment. The huge cliffhanger was also a given. In my opinion, the basic elements for a promising story are all in this book. They make you want to know more about the characters, who are well-developed and as realistic as one would expect them to be in a story about witches. The plot is engaging enough and the book is short enough that I finished reading it in under one hour. Finally, having a supernatural cat narrate the story is a clever way to vary point of view and one I really enjoyed.
At this point, you must be wondering why I rated it as a three-star book if it sounds so great, right? It seems contradictory. I know. I did it on purpose so you know the book is NOT bad and it’s worth your time. It’s just that I’m too picky. Also, I had hoped that by now many of you have already been convinced to get a copy and won’t bother reading the rest of my review. LOL Nevertheless, I’ll tell you why I shaved off the two stars to avoid sounding like a lunatic.
This isn’t the first book by Colleen Charles that I read and I had loved Baked (which belongs to a different series) so much I had high expectations for this one. I know what she’s capable of and I’m sure this is part of my frustration with Talisman. On the one hand, I had laughed out loud in many scenes in Baked which didn’t happen in Talisman. On the other hand, some editing issues annoyed and distracted me. For example, in chapter two, Jessie and Harry are at Penelope’s house when Elias arrives and tells them he had had an informative conversation with Bianca about her family and Pen’s. Then Amelia storms in babbling about something that had happened in the library. The characters have a long interaction, about which I won’t go into detail here. When Elias is leaving, Ami reminds him he’d never finished telling them what Bianca had said. She couldn’t have known Elias had said anything before she entered the house.
A pet peeve of mine is redundant information in stories and Talisman has that problem in a few situations. Another editing flaw that annoyed me was a scene that felt like there was some continuation issue. Tali’s human form – a naked, mute and gorgeous man – shows up at Pen’s door in the middle of the night. She lets him in, he tries to tell her and Ami something by pointing at a passage in a book. They don’t get it. End of scene. Next scene, he’s running through a forest as a cat and talking to his furry/feathered buddies. WTF? Finally, when the narrator male cat meets a gorgeous female cat the attraction is natural and understandable. So far so good for me. But when he calls her a “beautiful woman” and talks about her “feminine scent”, it gets weird and confusing.
All in all, and as I’ve mentioned before, Talisman is a fun and promising first installment, which I recommend for a quick read and to put your mind off problems and hardships. Just relax and enjoy the ride.
Colleen Charles is the pen name of Tami Stark, #1 Bestselling Author on Amazon.
After 26 years in Corporate leadership at a Fortune 500, I discovered people within the organization lacked integrity. I’d always known deep in my soul that I was trying to fit a square peg in to a round hole since I’m the typical creative type. I miss my staff but I don’t miss the corporate world. It’s been said that the Universe will let you know if something isn’t right for you. The first time, it will hit you with a pebble. Then a brick. Then a boulder. Let’s just say that I got flattened. When my fifteen pound toy dog, Nigel, was threatened, I knew it was time to say goodbye.
It’s sad but true.
Here’s what I found within the first thirty days of being free. Writing stories from my heart that readers love means more to me than working myself in to an early grave for people who only care about their bottom line.
My heart has never been more full and my soul has never been more satisfied.
I’ve never worked so hard in my life but it doesn’t even feel like work. It’s worth it. All of it. Because it’s about the joy that’s found within the journey. The highs and the lows because I get to write stories for all of you.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading, enjoying and recommending the stories that I write. When you share my work with others, nothing is more rewarding. Your word of mouth is my very best friend … that, and your reviews. There is nothing more important to me than all of you.
I love to hear from my readers and answer all communications personally. You can find me at:
USAToday bestselling author Liz Gavin’s books have made to #1 in countries as diverse as Japan, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and her home country Brazil, collecting 5 and 4-star reviews. Nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award in 2016, and again in 2017, this RWA member constantly seeks new opportunities to improve her craft.
This thirst for knowledge propelled Liz to leave the comforts of family and friends in Brazil and move to California to pursue a Master’s degree in late 2015. She lives in sunny SoCal, where she’s researching the writing process, for her thesis, in hopes to figure out why she creates in English instead of her native Portuguese.
Liz Gavin writes in contemporary, paranormal, and historical genres. In her sexy stories, one finds smart, independent women, who don’t need rescuing by knights in shining armor, but indulge in steamy action with swoony Alpha males with big hearts. She also writes about women discovering their sexuality and finding happiness in unconventional setups.
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