By Tina L. Hook
I don't normally review self-published books, but I asked to review ENCHANTED BY STARLIGHT by a PR company through which I've reviewed several fun chick lit novels. So I decided to give Tina L. Hook's debut a chance. Thankfully, ENCHANTED BY STARLIGHT doesn't suffer from bad copy editing, also known as my number-one gripe with self-publishing.
ENCHANTED BY STARLIGHT follows the lives of three women who gained a superpower through each of their encounters with a comet. Grace, my favorite, can make men fall in love with her. But she quickly realizes that she prefers relationships that don't involve her power. Skylar can make people like her. Skylar could've been a really cool character, but she had less to do than the other two. Most of her growth happens in the chapter where she decides to stop being a kept woman and get a job she likes. Aside from that, she's mostly there because the other two women know her and she's part of their stories. Alina's power is that she can influence people based on their thoughts. And Alina is a real piece of work, driven by jealousy and hate. She doesn't deserve the abusive relationship she ends up in during ENCHANTED BY STARLIGHT, certainly, but she's not a nice person. Her chapters made my skin crawl.
ENCHANTED BY STARLIGHT opens with the three women meeting in one place for the first time, on a night when another comet will pass by. Aside from their powers, they're united through one man, Liam. ENCHANTED BY STARLIGHT then goes back to their teen years to show how they ended up at that point. It's a good basic structure, but sometimes the chapters jump back or forth in time with little reason for being suddenly nonlinear. As for Liam, as we get to know him, it diffuses some of the tension of the upcoming fight between the women because he's a total jerk and loser.
Really, the main parts of ENCHANTED BY STARLIGHT that I liked were Grace's growth as a character and her friendship with Skylar. Too much of the book was about women scheming to tear each other down, often because of a man. It's certainly something that happens, but it isn't a plot that I find compelling.
The ebook of ENCHANTED BY STARLIGHT is only 99 cents, which is very reasonable. For that price, it's a reasonably entertaining story with no annoying formatting errors. But I wouldn't recommend paying for the paperback.