This Spells Trouble
by Shelli Stevens, fantasy (2006)
Cobblestone Press, $3.99, ISBN 978-1-60088-050-6


Shelli Stevens' This Spells Trouble, Sara Dennis' Stacking The Deck, and Loribelle Hunt's Gone With Wolf make up the Vegas Magic series. It is Halloween and three witches head out to the Crypt, a Vegas casino popular among the non-human denizens, for a girls' night out. It isn't long before they find themselves separated, caught in unexpected adventures of the paranormal kind, and, of course, finding hot boyfriends in the process. The festive carnival backdrop of Las Vegas provides the series with a very nice colorful setting rife with all kinds of exciting and mysterious possibilities.

In This Spells Trouble, Arianna Belford is the good gal and therefore the designated killjoy of the three witches. She comes out to play in the Crypt because she wants to be the latest in the long line of frigid heroines with the bright idea to shed all inhibitions and go wild for just one night. Now, if Ari does this by kicking off her Jimmy Choos and start dancing on the tables while screeching "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?" at the top of her voice, I'd cheer her on. However, Ari ends up instead behaving like a complete prude shocked that people actually socialize in a club that she comes off like a complete twit. Not to mention, she tells someone off for being so rude as to come on her even as - hold on, let me quote Ms Stevens - "her pussy was wet and throbbing, her pulse racing". Ari is quite a charming hypocrite, isn't she?

Jake, the bartender who makes Ari's nether region channel the Niagara, is a vampire with an agenda that doesn't include Ari at first. Now that she's on his sight, can he convince her to stop complaining about how she can't get any respect in a club filled with drunken werewolves?

There are dangerous people about at night but the most dangerous to my blood pressure is Ari, who embodies every disgusting trait I can come up with when it comes to Stupid Frigid Heroines. Moaning about having to use magic, how people disrespect her by looking at her breasts in a club (she's in club, oh my goodness, what does she expect?), how violence is bad, how annoying that man is even as he gives her some kind of vaginal incontinence - Ari is full of annoying contradictions, she is so obviously wrong and is bratty while she's being wrong, and more. Everything else about this story is overshadowed by a too-stupid heroine who at the end of day needs all kinds of rescuing by the hero.

This Spells Trouble indeed.

Rating: 47


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