Book ReviewDon't Hex with Texas

Reviewer's Rating: 
This book was so good I'm going to throw a brick through the bookstore window so I can have my own hardcover copy RIGHT NOW!
Balantine Books, 2008

BOOK FOUR: KATIE CHANDLER SERIES. Katie Chandler has fled fast-paced Manhattan and returned home to a simpler life, working at her family's feed-and-seed store in Cobb, Texas.  In a painfully selfless gesture, Katie had left the sexy wizard Owen Palmer to battle his demons in the magical realm.  After all, Katie just seemed to attract evil, which only made Owen's job a lot harder.  But now it seems that trouble has followed her home: Despite the fact that Merlin, Katie's old boss at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., has assured her that Cobb is free of enchantment Katie beings to notice curious phenomena.

Cobb is being plagued by a series of inexplicable petty crimes and other devilish mischief, and after her experiences in Manhattan, Katie knows "unauthorized magic" when she sees it.  As this new darkness strikes deep in the heart of Texas, Owen appears (literally) to investigate.  Now Katie's friends and family must show the bad guys why it's bad luck to hex with Texas, while Katie and Owen combine their strengths like never before to uncover a sinister plot before evil takes root in the Lone Star State.

Wowza am I loving this series!  Don't Hex with Texas is my favourite so far due in large part to the setting of Cobb, Texas.  Being a small town girl myself this was all quite familiar and it was a nice change of scenery from big, bustling New York.

It has been such a delight to walk the path of Katie and Owen's relationship.  Even at the end of book four, it is a lightly treaded dance of shyness versus blurted truths about deep feelings they harbour for one another.  Their progress has been sweetly stilting and very romantic as a whole.
As to the magic component, it remains a major plot theme but is woven in lightly.  I'm honestly not sure how Shanna does it, but if this series was a cake, the magic is the icing, the bulk of this treat is the character development and romance between Katie and Owen.  I never feel overwhelmed by the magic which is key in walking that fine line of "just left of believable" fiction.  Any more and it would not be an enjoyable read for me.
Something wonderfully new in this book is some stepped up comedy.  There have been quirky characters and bits of smiles here and there as you read, but Don't Hex with Texas made me burst out laughing and I'm so pleased whenever that happens in a book.  If you like to laugh when you read, there's gold in these pages, folks.
Of all the magical fiction I've read lately, this series is top notch fun you won't want to miss.

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