"SO incredibly funny! I loved this book!"

Tara Cole had the boss from hell - Aileen. And after discovering Aileen's weakness for chocolate, Tara started her own form of revenge: sending a box of chocolate a day... that, and she and her co-workers all opted for early retirement from their computer jobs. Now Tara runs her own online business and lives in the Florida Keys where she bartends for free rent. Life couldn't be better could it?

Well that's what Tara thinks until someone leaves a gris- gris bag on her car (followed by a black kitten, black rooster and other black things) and her friend Kathy tells her that it's her bad Karma catching up with her. She also lives with a few cranky ghosts; her Uncle Lester and a food- throwing poltergeist. When Howard, the sexy new neighbor, (who turns out to be the grandson of Miss Wendy - she helps make lace for the allergy pillows) wants to use her urns for burials at sea, her life couldn't get any more turned upside down or less private. Or, so Tara thought.

Man, oh Man! Was I laughing hard through this story! Cindy Cruciger has a fabulous fresh and wacky writing voice. REVENGE GIFTS is written in the first person, and having it any other way really wouldn't have worked because so much of the humor would get lost. I got a hoot of how she dealt with the miscellaneous "bad" luck items left on her car.

Tara is an independent woman who has no interest in anything unless it pertains to her website. Only, while she thinks she is helping people get she really? The allergy pillows are all hand made by the local craft society and everything is mailed to the person who orders it, not to the person getting the gift. Then there are the ghosts in her bungalow. Most people would get them exorcised right? Not Tara, she just doesn't keep food or kitchen knives in her house.

There is just so much going on in Tara's life that this is great reading. Another nice thing about REVENGE GIFTS is that the story isn't overwhelming. Between the ghosts in her bungalow, Kathy trying to aide her in getting rid of the curse, working at the bar, and the online store (plus a couple other things) this story flowed and it held my interest. I just know that if I had as much going on as Tara, my life certainly wouldn't read as nicely.

This is a very thought out story, and I enjoyed how the island people are brought to life as well as how they interact with Tara. There is a real sense of community and you get to know who they are as individuals rather than just the feeling of people around Tara. Even though Tara has tried to remain aloof, when Howard arrives on the island, everyone is suddenly involved in her personal business and it's public knowledge. For example, when Tara falls asleep in Howard's hammock everyone thinks she's sleeping with him.

REVENGE GIFTS could be a romantic thriller, and Miss Good Voodoo (who actually is up to no good) does scare Tara. This story is not scary at all, because each situation thrown at Tara is written with so much humor. REVENGE GIFTS is a fantastic read I absolutely recommend!

Posted October 21, 2005

Reviewed by Cynthia Eckert
Posted January 12, 2007



In fact, she's an expert. Lace pillows filled with cat hair-for your least-favorite, most allergic relative; boxer shorts that set off metal detectors-for your cheating spouse; and her best seller at chocolates for your worst enemy, so you can watch gleefully as she packs on the pounds.

Tara's best friend warns her that all this revenge is damaging her karma, but Tara doesn't care about her next life-she wants to enjoy this one. Besides, her kitchen is full of cranky ghosts. Tara figures she'll be the same one day, when she leaves the mortal plane.

That might happen sooner than she thought, because someone has put a curse on her. A black cat, a black dog, even a black goat, appear, each followed by bizarre, almost-disastrous events. And it all started around the time Howard showed up. Howard says he wants to go into business with Tara, but it seems like he wants to go to bed with her. Unless he's the one who cursed her . . . .

Is this karma coming full circle-or destiny knocking on Tara's door?


Revenge Gifts
by Cindy Cruciger

Tor Books
August 1, 2005
ISBN #0765352257
EAN #9780765352255
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