REVIEW by Ginny: Mr. Real (Code of Shadows #1) by Carolyn Crane (@CarolynCrane)

He finds the girl of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares.

Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sexy TV ad spy . . . who looks exactly like Paul Reinhardt, the super-sexy martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class three years ago.

Fighter Paul Reinhardt has good reason to hate Sir Kendall, the character he brought to life to land a part in a TV ad; he’d do anything to forget him. A cross country road trip seems just the thing . . . until Paul finds himself inexplicably drawn to Minnesota and is shocked to discover Sir Kendall – in the flesh – with the girl he’d once loved from afar. He barges into Alix and Sir Kendall’s love nest, determined to stop the madness – somehow.

But is superspy Sir Kendall transforming into something more dangerous anyone can imagine? And what will Sir Kendall do when Paul and Alix finally give into their mad lust for each other?

mr real

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the author for review.

(I was going to put something here about how I had to read this book after watching Ms. Crane go through cover woes.  But I forgot until after the review was written… and now I can’t figure out how to work it in.  Instead, read the story here.)

You know, there are times when I read books and go “dear lord, I am such a shitty writer.”  “Mr. Real” is one of those books.  It’s told from three character’s perspectives.  Alix, who feels like she’s never enough and everyone looks at her like a screw up.  Hardass Paul who… also feels like he’s never enough and has evil deep dark demons.  And Sir Kendall, the fictional character Paul plays in Australian TV commercials for an utterly horrific after diner liquor that Alix accidentally summons to the real world using a wonky and arcane computer program gone horribly awry.


I just want you to be aware that the rest of this review will be colored by bitchy authoristic jealousy. Which is a word, since I just used it in a sentence.  Take that spell check.

There were several moments when I didn’t actually like the main characters in the book.  Usually when they were being overly chatty.  Yes, I am aware that occasionally main characters will do something that makes you instantly squint your eyes and take the other characters side… but I’m talking all three at once here people.  Like to the point where I said “why am I still reading about these *insert Chinese curse I picked up from Firefly and probably pronounce wrong* characters.”

Because the book was good.  Really good.  Smart, funny, and unique.  Even my bitchiness can’t take that shit away.  And let me tell you, I am glad for it because the end?  It was so sweetly romantic I might have cried.  You know.  If I cried over books.  Which I don’t.  Because I’m badass.  *hides discarded tissues*

4 begrudging stars.

AH! I thought of a complaint.  The book managed to trigger my one super weird hang-up.  I don’t like it when characters in romance novels have sex with other people.  Ever.  EV-ER.  Not in the past.  Not in the present.  Not in the future, if time travel is a thing in that universe.  Not before they knew the other character existed.  Not in a train, not in the rain, not in a house, not with a mouse.  NEVER!  So when Alix has sex with Sir Kendall Fake Paul it just… irks the ever living crap out of me.  Especially since he was such a dink about it.

Also, this is probably a good time to tell you that I reserve the right to ignore any of my own personal reader hang-ups when writing.  Meaning that if I think about this logically, my nose can’t get too bent.  Luckily, I NEVER think about things logically.

Ginny New 2

mr realMR REAL
Code of Shadows #1
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1 thought on “REVIEW by Ginny: Mr. Real (Code of Shadows #1) by Carolyn Crane (@CarolynCrane)

  1. OMG, I had to put my coffee down to read this review….love the humor! And I’m glad Carolyn’s cover turned out awesome 🙂

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