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Annette Blair: The Kitchen Witch

 

Crescent Blues Book Views Berkley Sensation (Paperback), ISBN 0-425-19881-2

Book: annette blair, the kitchen witch
Melody Seabright knocks the socks off Logan Kilgarven from the moment he meets her. He needs a baby-sitter RIGHT NOW for his four-year-old son, Shane, so he ignores the rumors that she might be a witch and begs her to sit for Shane. She agrees -- in exchange for an interview at the TV station he works at. The cooking show host just left and Melody already knows she can be a stellar host. Never mind that she can't really cook. While baby-sitting, Shane and Melody try to whip up a meal to impress Logan, but it comes out burnt and tasting bad.

Undaunted, Melody wows her way into the position with a heckuva marketing plan and plenty of sex appeal. The Kitchen Witch show offers a generous helping of cooking and recipes, a sprinkle of magic and a pinch or two of "Oops…don't try this at home" accidents. Melody practices hard on her cooking, but she still manages to make a few goofs during the first episode. The station manager storms out, but the studio crowd likes her, and the viewers at home flood the phone lines to purchase tickets for next week's show.

As Melody and Logan continue working on the show, the attraction turns to lust, but they manage to keep themselves apart. Despite his bad-boy past, Logan now makes every decision with Shane's well-being in mind. And while Shane adores Melody, both Melody and Logan realize she doesn't fill the mommy part very well. Too flighty, impulsive and ditzy. Not stable enough. Logan even tries to kill the attraction by dating Tiffany, the station owner's manipulative country-club queen daughter who turns out to be very jealous of Melody's charm and success.

Annette Blair manages to keep Melody in the perfect spot. Melody's wacky personality and ditziness could easily go over the top, turning her into a caricature instead of a character. But Blair tempers Melody with a bit of parental angst (ditto for Logan). Blair also adds plenty of heart and warmth into the secondary characters (except for the catty Tiffany -- any more cookie-cutter and she would need chocolate chips). However, another pass through a proofreader would've helped immensely. A number of dialogue bits were missing quotation marks at one end or the other. But all in all, a sweet and fun read.

Jen Foote

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