Hidden Charm by Kristine Grayson

Hidden Charm by Kristine Grayson
A Fates Universe Novel
Publisher: WMG Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (340 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

When a Charming Prince named Sonny rescues Rapunzel from her tower prison, she rides off with him and gets on with her life—her real life in the Greater World. They set up a home in Los Angeles, and she begins to discover the strength of her magic.

But when Sonny disappears, Rapunzel needs help finding him.
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Enter Henry, the Frog Prince, who works the front desk of the Archetype Place. Only Henry can help Rapunzel find her husband because of the vast power it took to conquer Sonny. But Henry wants nothing to do with Rapunzel or her problem. He fights enough of his own.

Rapunzel thought she left the world of magic behind.

Traumatized by her captivity in the tower, Rapunzel (Zel), wants nothing to do with magic. She is more than happy to let Sonny deal with that aspect of their lives. When Sonny disappears, it becomes necessary for Zel to not only seek help from other magical beings, but also tap into a side of herself she’s tried to deny for far too long. This book is part of a series, but I believe it stands alone very well. I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, but I never felt lost or confused. Ms. Grayson explains any pertinent background information quickly and concisely so the pacing never suffers.

It is easy to sympathize with Zel, and I completely understand her aversion to magic after her ordeal. However, her avoidance of magic didn’t solve her problem or help her deal with the trauma of her past. Consequently, Zel never learned much about magic or how truly powerful her own unique abilities are. When the magical community of Los Angeles fails to locate Sonny or who took him, Zel finds herself with an unlikely ally.

Henry is a man with a past as troubled as Zel’s. When Zel walks into Archetype Place looking for help, Henry finds himself inexplicably drawn to her. After a tragic loss, Henry closed himself off from everyone and everything. He goes through the motions of life without truly living. When I got a good look at the way Henry lived, it broke my heart. When Henry meets Zel, he finds himself caring about another person for the first time in decades. Unfortunately, neither of them are in an ideal position to embark on a romance. Still, I saw an undeniable spark of attraction between them. As I read, I kept my fingers crossed in hopes they would find their way to a happy ending.

As Zel and Henry investigate Sonny’s disappearance, I enjoyed watching Zel gain confidence in her abilities. Henry offers guidance and advice in magical matters but really allows Zel to flex her magical muscles as well. They make a great team. I will say the conclusion of the mystery felt a bit abrupt. So much happens to Henry and Zel in such a short amount of time, and there was a lot of build up before Henry and Zel really got moving on their investigation. It seemed as if they’d barely started when suddenly it was all over! Despite this issue, the conclusion made sense and was satisfying.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to read Hidden Charm. Henry and Zel’s story is compelling and the mystery of Sonny’s disappearance is intriguing. I recommend Hidden Charm to anyone who enjoys fairytales with a twist.

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