Jove, $5.99, ISBN 0-515-12907-0
Fantasy Romance, 2000
There’re two disfranchised warlocks in Three’s a Charm. The husband has a secret job: he’s a, uh, dancer at the local club catering to denture-throwing grannies, just so to buy wifey a wedding anniversary gift (it’s 225 – or is it 226? – years, darling!). Wifey worries about having to matchmake matchmaker Holly Wentworth with her Mr Right, Lance Wilder.
Of course, one could just whip up a love spell and be done with the job in time for evening TV, but thing is, both warlocks Mimi and Reuben have lost their power.
Never fear, Xonia the meddling witch who spends the most of this story pretending to be a cat will help Mimi and Reuben.
Well, it sounds fun, and to an extent, it is fun.
Problem is, Mimi, Reuben, and Xonia are secondary characters. Not the main players.
When the story focuses on them – and not often enough, I must say – Three’s a Charm really sparkles. These three silly magician buffoons meddling and stumbling their way to their happy endings in ways that make me laugh.
But the main story is between Holly and Lance, never two more cardboard characters can there ever be. Holly is insecure, doesn’t trust men, doesn’t trust herself, doesn’t date, wants to date but can’t find the courage to, et cetera. In short, whiny and dull. Lance is the typical charming, perfect cardboard hero who is more patient with Ms Neurotic than he ought to be. Their romance consists of bickering, pouting, dating, lovemaking, recriminations on her part, bickering, repeat. As interesting as watching paint dry on the wall.
Three’s a Charm makes a big misstep in making its secondary matchmaking characters much more interesting than the main characters. The title alone refers to the zany witches, right? Holly and Lance don’t even seem capable of getting their romance right without the meddling trio’s help.
Cardboard humans are such bores, really.