30 November 2007

Key West Magic by Ciar Cullen

I admit it. I saw the cover and read the blurb for Ciar Cullen's Key West Magic (Dec. 7, Samhain Publishing), and practically knocked her down as I wrapped my arms around her virtual legs, refusing to let go until she let me read it and review it in advance.

She graciously agreed (I think just to stop the cyber stalking, but hey, I have no shame). I adore Key West, have stood in Hemingway's writing study, experienced the sunset mayhem at Mallory Square, imbibed the local brew at Sloppy Joe's. Don't get me started on the key lime pie - it'll get embarrassing. As winter closes in, I simply couldn't wait to let Ciar take me back there with her vivid descriptions and captivating characters. Ciar didn't disappoint - as if she ever could!

Here's the blurb:

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A haunted-to-the-rafters inn. A haunted heart. A sexy Irish ghostbuster must face both before he can love one woman.

Key West. An island of green on turquoise waters, populated with poets, artists, drifters, Jimmy Buffet fans—and the most stubborn ghosts imaginable.

When psychic and all-around sexy Irishman Trent Light takes on the challenge to ghost-bust Calloway House, he encounters something more than your normal, haunted-to-the-rafters inn. He butts heads with the spirit of Emily, a flapper with a sordid past and a short fuse. Emily’s guardian angel won’t let her cross to the other side until the infamous “Hemingway Mystery” is solved—a mystery Emily caused during her own lifetime.

Trent locks horns with another stubborn woman, inn owner and Key West newcomer Julie Calloway. Frustrated that the sexy Julie isn’t satisfied with being just his lover, yet unable to leave nor to commit to her, Trent is at his wits’ end. And then there’s that sentient Parrot that won’t shut up.

It’s a tough assignment, but Trent and Julie steam up the tropics as they try to solve the mysteries of Key West, of love, and of redemption.

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As I read Key West Magic I kept thinking what a great movie this would make. The story, the setting, the characters draw you in and make you feel like you're in the middle of the action, observing it as it streams past you in vivid color. If you can read the opening scene and not fall in love with Trent and his brothers, I'm sorry y'all, but you have no heart!

Trent is one of those fabulously flawed heroes -- charming, endearing, sensual, sexy, to-sigh-for, hiding his battle with his inner ghosts behind a brilliant smile and devil-may-care attitude. But the boy's got Issues, and he wouldn't be the interesting, complex character he is without them. Fish-out-of-water Julie is the perfect foil for him. She's only planning to stay in Key West long enough to dispose of the B&B she inherited in a crypically worded will from her grandmother. But for the sexy Trent - her "Magic Man" (ooh la la!), she might just be willing to extend her stay.

Like Key West, Calloway House is full of mystery, ghosts...and secrets. And so are Ciar Cullen's characters. Peeling back the layers will keep you up all night reading to the very end. Sensual and erotic, Key West Magic is the perfect escape from winter's chill!

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And now, I must get started packing for my own trip to a tropical paradise - a combination birthday and 25th anniversary trip to the Caribbean with my own Knight In Shining Armor. I'll be back online on Dec. 9.

1 comment:

Ciar Cullen said...

What a lovely treat on a cold Friday. You warmed my heart with your very generous words. Thanks so much.