Review: Mr Real by Carolyn Crane – urban fantasy romance

Review by Tahlia Newland. A list of all her reviews can be seen here.

Title: Mr. Real (Code of Shadows #1)

Author: Carolyn Crane

Genre: Urban fantasy romance

Mr Real is an awesome read, totally different, and with the perfect mix of humour, romance, action, an intriguing conceptual basis and characters that grow in very meaningful ways as the story progresses.

What would happen if you could bring your favorite fictional character to life, and what kind of existence would he or she have? This is the question at the basis of this story. If you request someone from a movie, or in this case from a commercial, would you get the actor, the character or both?

Alix is an irresponsible, frivolous pink haired girl, at least that’s how her family and friends see her.  Alix, a very likeable character, wants to gain people’s respect, but first she needs to learn to respect herself, and the events in this story, although she sets them off through a lack of due consideration to the possible results of her actions, provides her with the challenges she needs to do just that.

When she discovers a magical computer that brings to her doorstep whatever she saves and revisits many times, she ‘orders’ a suave spy character from a Denali commercial. In the commercial, Sir Kendall is played by a martial arts instructor that kicked her out of class for being too frivolous. She never forgot him because she wanted him, but he didn’t want her, or so it seemed. What she didn’t know is that the real reason he kicked her out was because she distracted him from his fights. He enjoyed her fun loving nature too much, so she had to go. She orders the fictional character because she figures that he will want her.

Sir Kendall arrives in her doorstep and is everything she wanted, but he is also a spy who carries a gun and sees his situation he is in in terms of a spy movie. He is dangerous in ways that she can’t quite comprehend, and Paul, the martial arts instructor turns up just when that dangerous nature us becoming apparent. That’s only the beginning, however, because though fictional, the  Sir Kendall character has a back ground, at least for Paul. His sadistic step brothers created him to torment little Paul with, something Paul has never gotten over. Sir Kendall represents everything Paul would rather forget, his archilles heal.

What is brilliant about this story is how Sir Kendall’s relationship with both Paul and Alex leads to deep healing for them both, even Sir Kendall comes to a new understanding of himself. This is no ordinary shallow urban fantasy. There are deep themes here; in order to be whole, you must embrace your shadows, and accepting your weaknesses gives you strength.

I recommend this for anyone who likes psychologically rich romance combined with plenty of action, a bit of sizzle and some leading questions to get you thinking.

US Kindle store

UK Kindle store


MR REAL is a cross-genre suspense/spy/paranormal romance novel by the author of The Disillusionists.

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, the hot martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class three 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?


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