Early Review: Mr. Real (Code of Shadows #1) by Carolyn Crane

October 23, 2012 Review 2

*This title will be released on October 30, 2012*

Cover: Su of Earthly Charms

Mr. Real

(Code of Shadows, #1)
by Carolyn Crane

Genre: Paranormal Romance |
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Author

  • Paperback, First
  • Expected publication: October 30th 2012
  • ISBN13 9781480134690


Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.

Sexual Content

A couple graphic sex scenes


The woman of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares

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 hot martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class a few 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 super spy 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?


There is nothing typical about the books Carolyn Crane writes.  Without exception they are wildly imaginative, endlessly surprising, and utterly unique.  That is no less true of her latest paranormal romance, MR. REAL, the first book in the new Code of Shadows series about a woman who inherits a magical computer capable of conjuring anything–or any one–to her doorstep.

If the premise didn’t tip you off, this is a wacky book.  There are preposterous situations, bizarre outcomes, and more than a few head scratching scenes.  Most of these are fun in the way only Carolyn Crane can create.  Unfortunately, she tiptoed over the crazy fun to just plain crazy line a few too many times.  A lot of that had to do with Alix.  As a protagonist, I just didn’t like her very much.  She’s kind of a slut, kind of immature, and kind of annoying.  Her actions throughout MR. REAL made it very challenging to understand why a guy like Paul would tolerate her let alone fall for her.  Not that Paul was perfect either.  His dislike of the character Alix conjures is really heavy handed.  When we find out why he hates Sir Kendall so much…it feels overly inflated and there are a few pretty obvious questions that never got answered–or even asked–about why Paul would ever portray Sir Kendall in the first place (the brief reason given was very flimsy).

It’s really hard to fall for a paranormal romance when the love story doesn’t click, and Alix and Paul never did for me.  It didn’t help that they picked the absolute worst possible times to let their hormones take over, like right after finding out about a impending and hyper dangerous threat for one.  They needed to run, not start tearing at each others clothes.

Carolyn Crane is a fantastic author and her Disillusionists Trilogy is one of my all time favorite urban fantasy series.  MR. REAL, while still wacky, isn’t half as winning as her first series.  It’s a little scattered and improbable in places.  The concept is fun and there is plenty of promise for a better romantic pairing in the next book in the Code of Shadows series.   There is no question that I’ll be back for more, I’ll just be hoping for a slightly more realistic Mr. Real next time.

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  1. Mr. Real

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2 Responses to “Early Review: Mr. Real (Code of Shadows #1) by Carolyn Crane”

  1. herding cats & burning soup

    Loved her Disillusionment trilogy! Too bad this one didn’t work out quite as nicely. It really is rough when the romance just isn’t believable. And OMG I’ve read other series where their hormones get the best of them at those times and all I want to do is yell at the book. Drives me nuts.

    Hope book 2 flows a bit better.