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Everything?s bigger in Texas?including romance, magic, and danger!
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...
Everything’s bigger in Texas–including romance, magic, and danger!
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 enchantmen, (magically speaking), Katie begins 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.
“Enchanting . . . Trying to start a romance with the world hanging in the balance is not optimal, but it sure is funny.”
–Romantic Times, on Shanna Swendson’s Damsel Under Stress
“Winning . . . [a] smart, snappy novel.”
–Booklist, on Shanna Swendson’s Once Upon Stilettos
It had been months since I'd needed rescuing from anything—no dragons, hideous monsters from hell, evil wizards, not even a really bad blind date. That was one small benefit I'd gained in moving away from New York City. No matter what else I might say about my hometown of Cobb, Texas (population 2,500), I definitely had fewer threats to my life here than I'd faced recently in Manhattan.
On the other hand, these days I seemed to be doing a lot more of the rescuing, myself.
"Katie!" a voice screeched from the other side of the office door. I took a deep breath and counted to ten as I waited for the inevitable. As I expected, a badly bleached head appeared in my office doorway. It was my sister-in-law, Sherri, otherwise known as The Evil Bitch Queen of the Universe. (And the fact that it was my other sister-in-law, Beth, the one who loves all mankind, who dubbed her that says a lot about Sherri.)
Luckily, I'd dealt with worse than Sherri during my time in New York. When you've fended off not only harpies but also my ex-boss Mimi, Sherri is in the minor leagues of evil. "What is it, Sherri?" I asked with exaggerated patience.
"You'd better go rescue a customer from your brother. I noticed his eyes were starting to glaze."
I wasn't sure what special skill I had that enabled me to take care of this when she couldn't. Considering the way she was dressed—a blouse dipping dangerously low and a pair of jeans that would probably cut her in two if she tried to do something crazy like sit down or bend over—she was well-equipped to create a good diversion so the customer could escape. But that might almost be work, so Sherri had to delegate it to me.
With a deep sigh, I got out of my desk chair and headed out into the store. "I'll take care of it." I didn't have to ask which brother it was, even though I had three of them. Frank, the eldest, didn't usually string together words in groups larger than five, which meant he couldn't trap a customer for long, and Dean, Sherri's husband, was as allergic to work as his wife was, so him tending to customers was highly unlikely.
That left Teddy, the youngest of the boys. Teddy took the feed and seed business very, very seriously. He was always conducting experiments to determine the absolute best fertilizer for each soil type or crop or to figure out which seed got the best results in various conditions. The problem was that he loved to share his knowledge in excruciating detail with anyone who had the bad luck to ask even the slightest question.
Sure enough, he had an elderly man cornered, and the poor man was most definitely in need of rescue from a classic Teddy dissertation on plant nutrition. "Teddy!" I called out as I approached them. I smiled as I took my brother's arm. "Sorry to interrupt, but have you got the network connection up and running again?"
Teddy blinked at me. "Oh, I guess I got sidetracked." He turned back as though to excuse himself from his victim, but the customer had already grabbed some plant food and was headed to the checkout and a put-upon-looking Sherri. I had a feeling she'd soon have to take a half-hour break to recover from the strain of serving a customer.
That was the kind of rescue work I'd been doing lately. Instead of spotting magical threats so my wizard friends could deal with them, I was rescuing customers from my overeager brother, rescuing the cash drawer from my evil sister-in-law, rescuing my brothers from my mother, rescuing my mother from her mother, and generally keeping things relatively sane at home and at our family farm-and-ranch supply store. A few months back here in Texas had made me realize why I'd been so good at juggling all the magical wackiness in my old job: it was downright calm compared to what I had to deal with back home.
"I should have this connection back up and running in no time," Teddy announced as he slid under my desk.
"Great. I have to do orders this afternoon, so I'll need Internet access." That was true, but what I was really desperate for was the lifeline to the world I'd left behind. I got antsy when I had to go too long without news from my friends in New York, especially news about a certain person in New York.
He was the main reason I'd come back home. Not because he'd broken my heart or jilted me or any of the other things that usually send women running for the comfort of home and hearth. No, Owen Palmer had proved his devotion to me to an extent that most men never have the chance to. He'd had to choose between stopping the bad guys and saving me, and he'd chosen me.
While I'm totally in favor of not being burned by magical flames, him choosing me was not a great move for our cause. Not only did it mean that the bad guys got away, but it also meant that they knew for sure what his greatest weakness was. Me. Being the hero's greatest weakness might sound wonderful in a romance novel, but in real life it's not nearly as much fun. For one thing, it tends to make you a target. For another, it means that you can't help but feel responsible for everything the bad guy does, since it's because of you that the bad guy is still on the loose.
So, I'd done what any noble heroine with her eyes on the big picture would do. I'd removed myself from the equation, leaving him free to fight the renegade dark wizard and his cronies without having to worry about me. As a result, I'd broken his heart by walking away. At least, I thought I might have. Not that I'd heard from him. I didn't really see him as the type to beg me to come back, and even if he was, I had a feeling he was under very strict orders from his boss not to go after me, but that didn't stop me from jumping whenever the phone rang or daydreaming about him walking into the store.
The phone rang, and as always my heart started racing, even though I knew there were thousands of other reasons for the store's phone to ring . . . and ring. Sherri had apparently taken that break I'd predicted, so I picked up the call from my desk. "Chandler Agricultural Supply," I said briskly. "How may I help you?"
"Katie, is that you?"
"Marcia!" Marcia was one of my New York roommates, and hearing her voice nearly brought tears to my eyes. Is it possible to be homesick when you're in the place where you grew up, surrounded by family? "What's going on?"
"I tried e-mailing you a couple of times this morning, but it keeps bouncing."
"Yeah, there's something wrong with our server or network, or something."
"It'll be fixed soon," came Teddy's muffled remark from under my desk.
"It should be fixed soon," I relayed to Marcia. "Is there something going on?"
"I had dinner with Rod last night, and I've got a little news." Rod Gwaltney was Owen's lifelong best friend, and he'd started dating Marcia at the start of the year. Considering that his previous relationships could be measured in hours, that meant that this was looking very serious, indeed.
"Oh, do tell. The kind of news that involves jewelry?"
"What? No! God, no. We're still not even calling each other boyfriend or girlfriend. Talking about rings would really send him running."
"Wow, you do have him figured out."
"Owen's been coaching me some."
My heart started pounding again, and I got a funny feeling in my stomach. "So you've seen him? How is he?"
"My, but someone sounds eager. I'll tell you if you stop asking questions."
"Sorry! Go on. I won't say another word."
"So, as I was saying, I had dinner with Rod last night, and I have a status report for you." I was dying to ask questions, but I bit my tongue because I knew I'd get the answers quicker if I kept my mouth shut. "There's been no news on the bad guy front, to the point that it almost looks like they've gone underground. Owen thinks something big's about to happen, and the bad guys are changing gears."
"Yeah, that's usually how it goes. Do they have any idea what might be coming?"
"Not yet, but Rod's getting worried about Owen. He's working really hard. He's not getting enough sleep, and while we're all trying to make sure he eats, I think he's losing weight, and you know he wasn't a huge guy to begin with."
That answered any question I might have had about his dedication to the cause. "Has he said anything about, well, you know, me?" I cringed inwardly at how pathetic I sounded, but I had to ask.
"Not really. Sorry. But you know, he doesn't say much about anything." I wasn't sure what I was looking for there. I knew I couldn't go back unless the bad guys were well and truly vanquished, no matter how much he begged, and I knew he wouldn't beg. That didn't mean I didn't miss him.
"Thanks for the update," I said with a sigh. "Keep up the good work and keep me posted about him . . . and about you and Rod." Marcia had only recently learned about the magical world, but she'd proven herself a gung ho sideline participant in the efforts to stop bad magic from spreading, even if her role thus far seemed to be relaying messages and making sure overworked wizards got a good meal every so often.
"Don't worry, I think you'll know if Rod makes a move toward commitment. Heaven and earth might be rent asunder. Not that I'm looking for a deep commitment at the moment. We're having fun. We have plenty of time to worry about getting serious. Besides, I'm not even sure I want to hook up with a wizard on a more permanent basis. That may just be a lot of hassle."
"Yeah, you could be right about that." I knew from personal experience that dating a wizard had its complications, especially if he was leading the fight against dark magic. "But keep me in the loop. I miss you guys."
As I hung up, I remembered that my brother was still under my desk, tinkering with modems, servers, and whatever else he had rigged together to create a computer network for the store. I didn't think I'd said anything that gave away my magical connections from my side of the conversation, and besides, Teddy was probably the best brother to talk around. If he was focused on solving a problem, World War III could have broken out in the office without him paying much attention.
Even if Marcia was right about wizards being trouble, she could walk away from all things magical if she wanted to. I wasn't sure I could. She wasn't magical, one way or another, while I was in the special class of people who are immune to magic. The fact that magic has no effect on me under most circumstances made me a valuable player in the magical world. I'd been recruited by a company called Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., to help them detect magical trickery in their business dealings, which ended up putting me in the middle of the ongoing fight against a rogue wizard and his mysterious supporters. I wouldn't claim to have actually saved the world, but I had helped prevent some pretty bad stuff from happening.
But if I was so valuable, what was I doing running the office in a small-town farm-and-ranch supply store? This town was so utterly nonmagical that I hadn't learned about my magical immunity until I'd moved to New York City. There had to be a way I could help the cause beyond simply staying out of Owen's way. I couldn't imagine sitting on the sidelines with a magical war on the horizon.
A bell sounding from the front counter interrupted my brooding. Sherri should have been back from her break, but this was Sherri I was dealing with. I pasted a smile on my face and went out to ring up the customer. Then another customer needed help making a decision about the right soil additives for her rosebushes. It wasn't my area of expertise, but I'd absorbed enough over the years that I probably had fertilizer in my veins.
I returned to the front counter to find Dean toying with the cash register. "I think it's broken," he said.
"Why, what's wrong with it?"
"The drawer won't open." He tugged at the cash drawer to demonstrate.
"That's because it doesn't open unless you've made a transaction."
A flicker of irritation crossed his green eyes. "Oh. That would explain it."
"Was there something you needed?"
"Nah. I guess I should get the money out of petty cash, anyway." In other words, Mom's purse, since I wasn't letting him near the store's petty cash, and he knew it. Still, that didn't stop him from trying. He gave me his most charming smile. "You could spot me a twenty, couldn't you?"
"Sorry, Deano, but I'm immune to your charms." When you've spent enough time around a wizard like Rod, who used every trick in the book to charm people, normal smooth-talking loses any impact it might have had.
He shrugged. "Hey, it was worth a shot. You seen Sherri?"
"She's been taking a break for half an hour. If you see her, maybe you could tell her she needs to get back to work."
I barely made it into the office before the phone rang again. This time I answered it on the first ring. "Hey, girl, can you get away for lunch?" the voice at the other end of the line asked. It was Nita Patel, my best friend from high school.
"You're working days again?" She worked in the motel her family ran, and she was even more trapped by the family business than I was. At least I'd made an escape, no matter how temporary, to New York.
"Yeah, something happened last night that really spooked my brother, so they freaked out and put me on days. Now I'm stuck here at the front desk all day. It's not like anyone's going to check in anytime soon. But it would really brighten my day if you could pick up some lunch on your way over and join me."
A glance at the front counter assured me that Sherri had finally returned. "That sounds like a great idea. What are you in the mood for?"
Posted August 17, 2012
I’m not sure I can do this review without spoilers, so if you are like
me and hate too much information, STOP READING and I’m sorry! In Book 4,
DHWT, Katie has returned home to Texas to live a magic free life. Or so
she thought until she sees spots someone using magic in her small town.
The Bad: I did not like Katie’s retreat to Texas. It seemed out of
character for her to walk away, not just from Owen, but from her friends
and more importantly from this battle that had become so much of her
life. I realize it was to set up the things we learn in DHWT, but I
still had a hard time buying it. DHWT is probably the slowest paced of
the books, but I’ve still read it about 5 times if that tells you
anything.J The Good: Katie’s crazy family is present and accounted for
in DHWT. There are plenty of funny situations – such as Katie’s grandma
and her mother. Plus, we finally get some Katie-Owen alone time. I DO
love the ending and was devastated when Shanna announced in 2008 that
Ballantine wasn’t going to pursue Book 5. There’s still so much to
discover, including all the mystery surrounding Owen and his destiny.
Thus my complete joy at discovering that today, August 15, 2012, Shanna
is self-publishing Book 5, now known as Much Ado About Magic AND that
there will be a Book 6 later this fall!
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Posted April 25, 2008
I've enjoyed all of the books of the series, and this one did not dissapoint either. I do know for a fact that another book is supposed to be in the series after this one. However it may never be released, it all depends on the sales of this book. I urge people who enjoy reading to pick this one up. It has a little bit of everything for everyone...comedy, danger, and romance. So pick it up at the store or order it online, and don't let the series end like this. Make sure that the last book is the fifth book, not the fourth book.
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Posted April 29, 2015
Fun romp if a bit angst-y. Katie's retreat to small town family does not go as planned. Soon up to the courthous in paranormal activities eventually bringing in familiar faces. A little less small town and Owen/Katie angst would have netted higher marks from me but still a fun series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2015
I've enjoyed all of the books in this series, and this one did not disappoint. This series has had me cracking up and bummed that it ended. Okay for teens too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2015
I was so glad I went ahead and read this one. The reviews really didn't do it justice. It was Fantastic. I think she was great in dealing with her mother. Really she is so nice. Owen is just adorable. Best book yet.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 4, 2014
Posted April 4, 2014
Posted March 29, 2014
I love this series, but this is my least favorite in it. It really aggravated me the way she interacted with her mother. I know it's just fiction, but I was getting very annoyed with the whole thing. I'm on book 6 in the series now.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 14, 2013
Posted December 1, 2012
Good entertainment if read by itself. Best if read in order as part of this series. Continues the characters development and add more possibilities. Texas is really not an essential element, but gets the story away from the magic colony in New York City.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 5, 2012
This whole series was a ball to read. I thoroughly enjoyed each book and look forward to the next. The stories were simple, contemporary and silly. No literary profundity, just a well put together imaginative journey through a magical non-reality. As a lover of contemporary magical realism. I could not have chosen a better series for my summer reading. Too Cute!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When I start reading her books I find that I have a hard time putting the book down. What is going to happen next? Her books are funny and also in a Harry Potter style intriguing. Ms Swendson writes in style geared to an older audience than Harry Potter. Writing a smaller book is also something that is easier for an audience that has less free time to read but is looking for something that is light and enjoyable. Her books are pure fiction, no hefty political views. Their are friendships and light romance. She doesn't let differing appearances or types of creatures stop her in protraying her characters with human characteristics. Sometimes I find her books in the teenage or sci fic section which could be also appropriate. Her books are not full of profanity. Her books have romance but not sex. It is an easy read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 6, 2010
Posted December 3, 2009
Glad to see this one in Texas for a little change of pace. I think the only reason I keep reading these books is to see what's going to happen with Katie and Owen! These books are addicting I must admit, nice fun reads!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I just finished reading this book, and I immediately went to the author's website to find out when the fifth in the series is coming out. I'm so disappointed to learn that may not happen. Shanna Swendson does a great job of sharing her fun imagination with readers throughout each of the books in this series. I hope more readers take a chance on this series so they can also enjoy the magical world that I've thoroughly enjoyed thru four books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I loved every minute of this book. Please understand that this is by no means a conclusion to Katie's story or MSI's struggle to contain the every menacing threat to magic users everywhere. My only disappointment (by no fault of Ms. Swendson) is that the publisher has no plans to publish any more of these books. I understand that Ms. Swendson has written a fifth book and has ideas for more but we won't see these until sales pick up for the third and fourth books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 12, 2008
I loved this fourth installment in the Enchanted, Inc series by Shanna Swendson...think of it as Bridget Jones meets Harry Potter set in the heart of Texas! Filled with humor, romance, and a great plot, I couldn't put this book down until I finished it! This book is hilarious, and had me laughing out loud many times! Not to mention, that the love story between Katie and Owen is one of the best I've read in a very long time. This is the perfect summer/beach book and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easy, enjoyable read! And don't forget to pick up the other three books in the series 'Enchanted, Inc.,Once Upon Stilettos, and Damsel Under Stress.' ****Word has it that this might be the last in the Enchanted, Inc. Series!!! Buy this book today, and help spread the word about the Enchanted, Inc. series so Shanna Swendson's publisher will publish the next book in the series. We can't let the adventures of Katie Chandler, Owen Palmer, and the rest of the MSI gang disappear!!!****Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 2, 2008
Posted May 13, 2008
This book was completely refreshing. It's light, it's fun, it's fascinating, and it's extremely well written. If you're looking for something depressing to read then don't bother with this book but if you'd like an escape from the somewhat depressing world we live in then you will thoroughly enjoy this book. I whole-heartedly recommend it for fellow Texans and/or lovers of fantasy. It's a really great book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
She left Manhattan and her position at Magic, Spells & Illusion, Inc. because Katie Chandler fell in love with her boss Owen Palmer, who apparently does not reciprocate her regard and besides she fears for his safety due to her hex appeal. She goes home to the family farm in Cobb, Texas where she knows no major magical lines exists and ergo assumes there is a slim to none chance of an enemy arriving. --- As she works at the family owned Chandler Agricultural Supply store, Katie finds her hometown boring after living an enchanting life in New York. Everything changes when her mom tells her she witnessed some eerie happenings that no one else apparently noticed. Katie wonders if a rogue mage has come to town but that seems ridiculous as the lack of a power source makes it impossible. Still she informs her other former boss Merlin who sends Sam the gargoyle to investigate. Meanwhile Katie notices a magical advertisement in a local magazine in which Phelan Idris offers an online course to those who can read his ads. Owen comes to Texas to help out, but his arrival only tells Katie she still love him. Her mom realizes he is the one and insists he stay at the farm while Idris assigns his horde of amateur wizards to destroy Owen. --- The fourth Chandler-Palmer romantic suspense fantasy (see ENCHANTED, INC, ONCE UPON STILETTOS and DAMSEL UNDER STRESS) is a terrific entry in an entertaining series. The story line is fresh as readers meet the parents while the magical battle takes place in Texas. Still as with the previous three enchantments, it is the odd fascinating relationship between the lead couple that makes this a fine entry as the villains learn what most people in the Lone Star State already know: DON¿T HEX WITH TEXAS unless you want a mess of trouble. --- Harriet Klausner
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