ONCE UPON STILETTOS
by Shanna Swendson

April 2006
ISBN: 0-345-48127-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Trade Paperback
Rating:



Katie Chandler has come a long way from her Texas hometown. Living in Manhattan, working for Merlin (yes, the real one) and rubbing elbows with all kinds of magical beings is a far cry from what she thought her life would bring. She came to the Big Apple to break out of her small-town rut, didn’t she?


As an executive assistant at Magic, Spells and Illusions, Inc. (MSI) Katie is a rarity - a magically immune human. Her services are invaluable and highly regarded, since she can see the truth in contracts, business meetings and other negotiations. And if her crush on Owen Palmer is one-sided, she can always go out with Ethan Wainwright. Although their first date was technically a disaster, he has asked her out again, which is a real improvement in her non-existent social life.


Things start to go awry when Owen’s lab is broken-into, and Katie is asked to head the investigation. As if that weren’t enough, her parents decide to visit the big city for Thanksgiving. Katie hopes that the saboteur can take the holiday off so she doesn’t have to explain the existence of magic to her family. They will probably drag her back home faster than you can say “fertilizer.”


The sequel to Enchanted, Inc., Once Upon Stilettos is as charming and light-hearted as its predecessor. Katie continues to mature as she believes in her own unique talents and stops trying to be what other people expect. I was eager to read this second novel, and was not disappointed. My only criticism is that the opening did not give enough background for a reader who was new to the series. It just jumps in where the first book ends, and I feel like some readers may be confused. It is a fine line between too much re-hash, and not enough, but a little bit more would have been welcome, if only to remind us of what had happened in the last “episode.” By the end of the story, some questions have been answered, but other things remain unresolved, so I hope that Ms. Swendson is planning at least one more book.


Reviewed in April 2006 by Paula.

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