by Kristine Grayson

February 2004
ISBN: 0-8217-7597-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Absolutely Captivated is another winner in the line of zany fantasy fables from Kristine Grayson.

Again we meet the kitten carrying Fates, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, whom we adored in Simply Irresistable. This time they are entrusted to an average joe, Travers, brother of Vi and Megan. Vi and Dexter (a.k.a. Superman) ask Travers to take the fates back to his hometown of Los Angeles, from Portland where he attended their wedding. Thinking this was going to be a simple favor, a brotherly thing to do, Travers agreed to transport the three unusual women. But before he knows it, heís changed his destination to the one place on the planet that he vowed never to visit, Las Vegas.

Travers couldnít explain his affinity with numbers, and he considered it fortunate he could support his 11-year old son, Kyle, as an accountant. Kyle is immediately drawn to the blond, brunette and redhead, the real fates, who recognize his magical powers and befriend him. He is intrigued by them, and recognizes that they are the ďWyrd SistersĒ of old Norse myth and legend, and wants to help them. Kyle is already aware that heís special, although his father is in denial and fearful. After all, how many eleven year olds can hear people broadcasting their thoughts, and draw comics that predict the future?

In Las Vegas, all the fun starts as Travers' life appears to spiral out of control and the insanity begins. It starts when he meets Zoe Sinclair, a Vegas detective the sisters were searching for in LA. The chemistry is spontaneous. Although Zoe is a mage of one hundred and fifty years, possessing a great deal of power, she chooses to live in Vegas as a detective to help ordinary people.

Although he is only thirty years old (donít you just love a younger guy with an older, more mature woman?), doesn't date or believe in magic, and sunburns in five minutes in the Nevada sun, there is no doubt that Travers is the man of Zoe's dreams. The introduction to this magical chaotic world for Travers, and Zoeís mentoring of Travers' education makes for an intricately funny story.

I love the pace of this book. The banter of the Fates reminds me of the quick wit and dialog of Gilmore Girls, which lasts the majority of the book. I enjoy the way the Fates talk, one after the other, finishing each otherís sentences. At times, I found myself rereading passages because of the dizzying dialog, but it always made me smile.

The imagination of this author amazes me. She doesnít haphazardly mix a variety of mythology into her plots, she blends characters like fairies and comic book heroes that make you believe this world is real! I think itís fun that the setting is Las Vegas, the land of faires, where the Fairy Kings live. Bet you never knew this side of Vegas! Every character or situation is inventive and unusual, which keeps your attention throughout the story.

I confess, I was disappointed that Travers didnít walk though a casino and have all the slot machines pay off at once but that would be too predictable for this unpredictable genius of an author. I also would have like more dialogue between Zoe and Travers and more romantic situations. What about dinner and a magic show? They could have blown the cover of Lance Burton!!!

Again, the Fates' outcome is unknown, but it comes as no disappointment since I know this means another inventively funny novel is in the making. Iíd like to see more of the fairies introduced in this book, maybe Gaylord, the evil fairy that wishes he was mage. Then there was a mention of stealing the wheel and having Robin Hood do it!! And so the fun continues!!

If you enjoy a lot of fantasy with your romance, youíll love reading this book!

Reviewed in March 2004 by Suemarie.

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