Charming Blue is an update to the story of Bluebeard. He used to be one of the Charmings, as in a Prince Charming, but he’s spent that last couple of centuries in an alcoholic haze. He believes that is the only way to protect others from himself, considering that he’s killed fifteen women. Jodi Walters has a magic that allows her to fix things and she spends her time working with the magical in the LA area – helping them get jobs, homes or assistance adjusting to our world. When she’s approached by Contankerous Belle (yes, she is related to Tinker Belle) to help Blue, she’s very skeptical. In addition to being a fall down, stinking (literally) drunk, he killed his wives. But there’s a stalker in LA that is claiming to be Bluebeard and Tank needs Jodi’s help figuring out what is going on. What she finds out could change how everyone sees Blue, including himself.
I love the retelling, modernization, updating, etc. of fairy tales. I don’t mean when an author uses the same theme, but when it is actually the same characters. Bluebeard is a more obscure one, which Grayson’s story points out, and I think that allows her to give readers a more imaginative book. Her make believe world isn’t too complex and it follows along with some well known ideas, but gives them a unique twist. She brings a world full of magical creatures with just enough differences, due to misrepresentation by fairy tale authors, to keep everything interesting.
Blue isn’t your normal hero – most days he is drunk, smelly, and disgusting. It is used as a shield and it is an effective one. When sober he does clean up exceptionally well, as to be expected, but that still leaves a man that is disturbed and awkward with people after years of a self-imposed exile. With Jodi’s help, Blue works on the stalker case and begins the process of bringing himself back from rock bottom.
Charming Blue will appeal to a wide range of readers – it’s a great mix of fairy tale, romance, paranormal, and mystery. The characters are interesting, with compelling problems, and there’s a touch of whimsy with the magic involved. It’ll make you take a second look at the stories you’ve been told all your life.
(This is a story in Grayson’s Charming series, all modern updates to classic fairy tale characters – Sleeping Beauty, her Prince Charming, Snow White’s stepmother, and CinderElla’s Prince Charming have all been featured so far. Each book can stand on its own, however they all share a supporting cast of characters.)