Review: Mr. Real by Carolyn Crane

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?

Alix Gordon has inherited her aunt's house but that's not all she's inherited. She apparently found an old floppy and while trying to discover what it contained she added a spell to her laptop that takes things from a picture and makes them real. She freaks at first but it's kind of cool. After creating a ruby necklace – which started the whole thing – she makes some vinyl boots with matching belt and purse, a barrel – just to verify – and then...a man.

Four years prior she had taken a martial arts class and had practically fallen in love with the instructor but he kicked her out of class and she never saw him again. When she finds him in a commercial for a liqueur she's thrilled. When she decides who to bring to life and be her sex toy she figures that Sir Kendall Nicholas the Third would be perfect. In the commercial's he is a spy, an international man of mystery. He comes in to a bar, seduces the woman, has a drink of the liqueur, walks out the door and disappears. Alix thinks she can bring him to life, use him as her human sex toy and then he'll walk out the door and disappear. Yeah, it didn't exactly work out that way.

Sir Kendall thinks that Alix is working for his arch enemy and plans to kill her after he gets his information and has his way with her. Alix is completely in the dark but is enjoying Sir Kendall – mostly because he looks like her old MA instructor. When that MA instructor, Paul, comes barrelling through her door she's shocked but not as shocked as Paul when he sees his clone in Alix's living room.

Alix doesn't come forth with info right away to Paul but eventually she does because he won't leave. He was devastated almost immediately when he kicked Alix out of his class because it was nothing she did that forced him to do that. It was his own demons he was trying to fight because Alix was making him feel happy and apparently that was ruining his MA focus. Now he doesn't want to leave Alix with his worst nightmare come to life. But can he save her from something from another dimension when all he wants to do is send it back or kill it and Alix wants to help it integrate into society?

I have to say, right up front, that this is one of the most strangely bizarre books I think I've read this year...maybe ever. The story was very frenetic and as I write this I'm not sure who to rate it.

This is a fantasy set in contemporary times and I actually enjoyed the appearance of Sir Kendall and his whole back story – and yes, there is one despite the fact that he's a tv commercial. He was a little whack but I understood it to a point.

Then there was Paul. He had had a messed up childhood and his step brothers had bullied, picked on and tortured him nonstop. Despite that he had gotten away, made something of himself and was ok – except when it came to Sir Kendall. You would have to read the story to figure out all the nuances of the relationship between Sir Kendall and Paul and even after reading the story I'm not sure I understand them all. Suffice it to say that Paul hated Kendall with a passion. Paul had some issues, sure, but overall he was a really great guy and definitely the best part of the book for me.

Then there was Alix. *Sigh* What to make of her? She was always the black sheep of the family – not the conservative types the rest of her family was but they still loved her. She always felt, however, that they considered her stupid because she made some really bad and sometimes really crazy decisions and yes, from time to time, fucked up royally. At this time she would screw up and then fix it and then screw up and then fix it and on and on it would go. She would get her feelings hurt but bounce back and be happy again almost immediately. I found that it made her seem emotionally shallow and made me wonder, when she was falling for Paul again, if she could sustain the relationship because it seemed her emotions had ADD.

I've very much enjoyed Crane's writing in the past and the Dissillusionist series was great. This story, however, was kind of all over the place and that certainly didn't endear it to me. I see that this is book 1 in a series and for the life of me I can't quite figure out where there is to go from here, but I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5 

Carolyn Crane


Hilcia said...

Ohhh, not a good sign Tracy. I didn't read the WHOLE review because I'm planning on reading this book, but I looked at your grade and the last paragraph. So sorry you didn't enjoy it. I'm HOPING to like it more than you did. ;P

Tracy said...

There were some really great parts to this story, Hilcia, so hopefully you'll like it. :) I said in the review that I really loved Paul - I think you will too. :)

Patti (Caught in a FAB Romance) said...

"this is one of the most strangely bizarre books I think I've read this year...maybe ever." Not sure if this makes me want to stay away or click buy now, lol.

I like her other stuff, I'll read this to :)

Tracy said...

Patti - lol I feel ya. Let me know what you think after you're done. :)