Under His Spell (Harlequin Blaze)

Under His Spell (Harlequin Blaze, #535) - Kathy Lyons I'm not really sure how I came across this particular book aside from a stray recommendation for a Harlequin Romance novel with a different twist, and keeping in consistency with finishing every book that I attempt to start - it took me a while, but I finally finished this. Suffice to say, there was nothing new or impressive about this particular work, and I didn't care for it much, though there were parts of it I thought had potentially great ideas for a romance story. I just don't think the execution of it was that great. Workaholic Nicky Taylor manages to be hypnotized by the handsome and mysterious "Magic Man" - who just so happens to be her old high school friend Jimmy Ray. Little do they both realize that Nicky's hypnotic state releases a rather...seductive and wildly relaxed side of Nicky that manages to be both pain and pleasure for the both of them.I didn't care much for most of the characters in this book. Jimmy Ray is decent, but crafted in a lot of cliche "boy next door" directions - it really doesn't do much for his character, though I did like his basic personality - it's just far too two-dimensional. Nicky's crafted in the mix of cliches as well, and it's difficult to want to follow her character considering her blunt flaws, and her hypersexed nature makes it even harder to like her at times because while she does have these repressed feelings (which could have been interesting to explore in other measures), it was made too tacky and cheesy to ever have much legitimacy. It was only more than halfway into the book where I realized that she has a better side to her, but even then, it was a little too late for me to really want to follow or root for her.I will give due kudos to the audiobook narrator of this story, she does a great job voicing each of the characters - giving the story far more lift than the prose did on its own. I've read/listened to this story twice, and that's probably enough times for me to realize that I wouldn't want to come back to it.Overall score: 1.5/5