Wednesday, November 25, 2015

#Wednesday Review - The Big Fix by Linda Grimes (Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Romance)

Series: Ciel Halligan # 3
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages 
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance

Linda Grimes's sexy and hilarious urban fantasy series that began with In a Fix and Quick Fix continues in The Big Fix.

Aura adapter extraordinaire Ciel Halligan, who uses her chameleon-like abilities to fix her clients' problems—as them—is filling in on set for action superstar Jackson Gunn, whose snake phobia is standing in the way of his completing his latest mega-millions Hollywood blockbuster. There's only one thing Jack fears more than snakes, and that's the possibility of his fans finding out he screams at the sight of one. Going from hero to laughing stock isn't part of his career plan.

Seems like a simple enough job to Ciel, who doesn't particularly like snakes, but figures she can tolerate an afternoon with them, for the right price—which Jack is offering, and then some. What she doesn't count on is finding out that while she was busy wrangling snakes for him, his wife was busy getting killed. When Ciel goes to break the sad news to the star, she finds out Jack was AWOL from her client hideaway at the time of the murder.

Ciel begins to suspect Jack's phobia was phony, and that he only hired her to provide him with an alibi—but if she goes to the police, she'll have to explain how she knows he wasn't really on set. Up against a wall, Ciel calls on her best-friend-turned-love-interest Billy, and her not-so-ex-crush Mark, to help her set up the sting of a lifetime

The Big Fix is the third installment in the Ciel Halligan series by author Linda Grimes. Ciel Halligan is an aura adapter who uses her chameleon-like abilities to fix her clients' problems—as them. She can become anyone with just a touch. In this installment, Ciel takes on a job for superstar actor Jackson Gunn who is supposed to be afraid of snakes. 

After wrapping up the snake scene, Ciel learns that Jackson's wife Angelica has been murdered. What makes things more eye opening is that Jackson wasn't where he was supposed to be at the time of the shooting. Did Ciel just give Jackson the perfect alibi by posing as him? Ciel, along with her nemesis, now boyfriend Billy Doyle, also an adapter, get clued in rather quickly that something is amiss when 

Ciel begins to suspect that Jack's phobia to snakes was phony, and that he only hired her to provide him with an alibi. If Ciel goes to the police, she'll have to explain how she knows that Jackson wasn't really on set. She can't do that and expose what she is. If solving a murder wasn't enough, Ciel gets roped into helping plan her brother Thomas's wedding to Lauren. In Ciel's family, a family of 3 brothers and Ciel, you don't say no to Aurora Halligan, or Auntie Mo.

The last part of the equation is Ciel's relationship with her brother Thomas's best friend/CIA operative Mark Fielding who she had a crush on for years. Mark remains solidly in Ciel's life, and helps her whenever she gets herself deep into trouble she can't get out. OK, just call this part the dreaded love triangle that gets a BIT out of hand this time around. I find myself hoping that Ciel can finally make a choice and live with her decision between Billy, whose own family is just as crazy loco as the Halligan's, and Mark who is still in love with Ciel, and won't just walk away that easily. 

The Big Fix is a blend of mystery, humor, romance, and twisted situations. One of the more interesting parts of this series is that you never know who is who, and both sides of the family play important parts in what happens to Ciel, and her business. The romance between Billy and Ciel is one that has stumbled, fallen, and picked itself up but never has a dull moment since Billy tends to blame himself when something happens to Ciel. The couple has issues, they major issues at times, but it is the off-cut banter between the characters that will have you smiling.

The Big Fix is filled with a slew of secondary characters. From the Halligan's, to the Doyle's, to Ciel's Circle C Ranch. Trust me folks, you have to meet these families. They will leave you with stitches in your side. They are so close, that you have to wonder how they've lasted this long without any substantial problems. I adore the youngest Doyle, Molly. She makes me smile whenever she's in a scene with Ciel. This is a girl who maybe should have her own series spun off when Grimes is done with fooling around with Ciel. 

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