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Wicked by Any Other Name    by Linda Wisdom order for
Wicked by Any Other Name
by Linda Wisdom
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2009 (2009)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Lingerie shop owner Stasi Romanov can't believe she's being sued, and by a human no less. Not once have Stasi's love charms failed, making it even more difficult for her to fathom why chronic divorcée Carrie Anderson thinks she has a legitimate case. But when a high-ranking representative of the Wizard's Court pays Stasi a business call with the recommendation that she retain legal council, the reality of the ridiculous claim hits home. That the annoying creature's lawyer just happens to be wizard Trevor Barnes, one of the most powerful attorneys within the Court, makes the normally sweet and even-tempered Stasi see red. And her reaction has absolutely nothing to do with the circlet of hearts she sees floating above Barnes' head each time they meet - which she initially dismisses as a gag perpetuated by her friend Cupid.

To make matters worse, someone or something seems intent on destroying the upcoming Samhain celebration. The town's resident ghosts (as well as many of their otherworldly counterparts) are beginning to fade and no one seems to know why. Not only that, Moonstone's generally even-tempered locals are out for Stasi's blood once they hear about Carrie's silly lawsuit. Girl friends and fellow witches Jazz and Blair (who'd also been kicked out of the Witch's Academy centuries before for questionable spell casting) naturally rally round to help. But when the oddly love struck Trevor does the same, Stasi can't believe it. Is her jokester pal Cupid trying to pull a fast one? Or is Stasi and Trevor's attraction the real thing?

Wisdom's sassy witches are back in this 3rd instalment of her comedic paranormal series where quirky characters are the norm and their offbeat situations - as well as their slightly demonic pets - leave readers chuckling. This time around, Stasi's lascivious gargoyle Horace all but steals the show as he trash talks anyone brave enough to venture too close to his rocky roost. The danger quotient surrounding the Samhain celebration seemed a bit thin at times, but it's clear that the focus of the story is once again on the characters: spunky Stasi and smooth talking Trevor certainly shine as they try their best to ignore their attraction, with or without Cupid's interference. Wicked by Any Other Name is another well-written, witty and wonderfully wacky read that will leave fans eagerly anticipating the next chapter in this light and engaging series.

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