A Heart Untamed

It Takes Two

 
Threeís a Charm by Adrienns Burns
(Jove, $5.99, PG) ISBN 0-515-12907-0
***
I admit - Iíve admitted it before - having some fun, wacky witches in a story is not my usually cup of tea. But in this case it doesnít work too badly. I sort of like Mini and Reuben, the ex-witch and ex-warlock who have been stripped of their powers for reasons I donít get to know. (Perhaps because I didnít read the first book, It Takes Two.) Now they have to work for a living and generally behave like all mortals. The job they get is with Holly Wentworth, owner of a dating service.

Holly likes her new employees just fine. They may be a little odd but they seem to get the job done. But then Lance Wilder shows up. She realizes she more than likes him and he definitely could do a job on her. Unfortunately she has a rule about not dating clients and his best friend has just paid for him be set up with some dates. Holly has other reservations about him. Since he was happily married and is now a widower, she isnít sure she could compete with his late wife. Mini and Reuben soon realize that these two need some help to get together.

Lance is interested in Holly. In fact sheís the first woman heís really been attracted to in the years since his wife died. But there is plenty in the way. Mostly what is in the way are Hollyís roadblocks. She sets him up with other women but the dates go mysteriously wrong. She agrees to go out with him to help him practice his dating technique - then insists it is just practice. They do a lot of hot and heavy practice before she backs away again. I got a little tired of her hesitation, which seemed to be go on a little too long, but Holly is a likable enough character, if a little over-cautious about love.

The Mini and Reuben subplot, where Miniís best friend has taken on the form of a cat to help them out, has its moments as well. Xonia has never been fond of Reuben and she has plenty to say - when Reuben isnít around - about his stupidity as a mortal and as a warlock. Mini starts to worry that Reuben, after their happy 225 married years together, may be getting restless. Actually Reuben has just taken on an extra job to pay for his wifeís anniversary present. What Holly and Xonia learn - and what they try to keep from Mini - is that Reubenís extra job is as a dancer at a nightclub for the oversexed geriatric set. Iím not sure Iíd want a job where women throw their dentures at you when they get excited but I guess it pays well.

When two stories finally converge, Holly has to explain to Lance that her employees are actually witches who have finally regained their magic. Thatís amusing, since Lance is a psychiatrist and his first thought is to take Holly to the hospital. Both the witches and mortals have to show some courage in the grand finale. (My problem with the grand finale is that I still donít know too much about the villain or why he did what he did - I suspect it was one of those things you had to learn from the first book.)

The main characters are likable though not compelling and the witches are surprisingly easy to take. For a witch story, itís pretty fun.

--Irene Williams


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