Friday, February 11, 2011

The Charmer by Kate Hoffmann

This was an optional book for my FLICKS Book and Movie Club this month. The Charmer is a very steamy romance novel that is set in Door County, Wisconsin (the county directly to the north of where I live!). The author, Kate Hoffman, is also a native of Southeastern, Wisconsin. I think it’s safe to call this novel and author, a Literary Local.

The Charmer is the story of two serial daters, Publisher Alex Stamos, and troubled artist Tenley Marshall. Alex wants to sign a great new graphic novelist, T.J. Marshall to his publishing house and travels north to Door County to sign this new talent. Unfortunately he decided driving a sports car to northern Wisconsin in the dead of winter was a good plan and ends up stuck in a snow bank. He is rescued by Tenley and doesn’t realize at first that she is the artist he is looking for. They share a hot night of passion and over a course of a week decide that maybe serial dating isn’t such a good thing and it might be time to settle down.

While most of my book club members seemed to love the romance of this book, I didn’t care for it. I did like the setting, although certain details seemed off (locals calling people from Chicago “Flatlanders” – I’ve never heard that before). I guess I didn’t really like either Tenley or Alex and couldn’t relate to them. They were both rather wrapped up in themselves and didn’t have much time for anyone else. I found the story a bit hard to believe as well. Am I becoming cynical in my old age? I couldn’t believe that nights of wild sex after just meeting could ultimately lead to true love. But to each their own – I felt this way about the novel, but as I said, many members of my book club loved the characters and story. I did like how both characters had growth throughout the novel and actually would have liked to read more about their development after the novel’s conclusion.

I have to discuss the cover . . . while the cover has a sexy, unkempt looking logger on the front; this is not what Alex Stamos would look like at all. First of all, Alex is from Chicago. Secondly he is usually wearing a suit and well kempt. While I like the logger on the cover, the cover should really reflect the book!

Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library

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