"an entertaining blend of urban and imaginary world fantasy"

Claire is an astrologer who goes on one date too many with Darryl Decko, a wizard's brother who happens to run a national gambling ring. When Darryl asks her to use her talents to predict the outcome of various sporting events, she knows he isn't going to take no for an answer, so Claire leaves on an ill-advised camping trip. Little does she know that her journey will take her to a primitive world ruled by the tyrant Kovak, where she is hailed as a priestess of the Daughter of the Sun and attracts the attention of Tarvik, Kovak's son.

This story presents an entertaining blend of urban and imaginary world fantasy, spiced up with romance and humor. Claire, or "Stargazer" as she is known in Tarvik's world, has a distinctive voice, filled with self- deprecating charm, and comes across as refreshingly down to earth. She knows when she is over her head, but she also knows how to make the best of a bad situation and how to use her astrological knowledge to her best advantage. Her chemistry with Tarvik is delightful, but they are from very different worlds, and both stubbornly cling to the roles in society and values with which they were brought up, creating a great deal of suspense as to how the pair will end up. Supporting characters are well-drawn, and include the controlling Kovak, in whose footsteps Tarvik may be following too closely, and Nance, Tarvik's cousin and a devoted priestess to the daughter of the sun.

In my view, this novel may recommend itself more to readers of traditional fantasy than of romance. The world building is solid, the characters likeable and the plot full of surprises. However, it is the first book of a series, and there isn't a lot of physical contact, or a Happily Ever After resolution in the manner of most romances. For that, I expect we'll have to wait for the next book in the series. . . in which I hope we get more of both the delightful Claire and Mudflat itself!

Reviewed by Kimberly Bea
Posted July 12, 2008


When you grow up in Mudflat and have a troll in your basement, magic doesn't come as a total surprise. So when astrologer Claire, on the run from a pair of crooked brothers, stumbles into another world, she's ready to play the role of resident "Stargazer." Especially if it keeps her from losing her head to all those broadswords being swung around by the blond barbarians.

But one really cute warrior might make her lose her head in another way. Can Claire convince Tarvik that she's really just a peace-loving Seattle girl who needs her coffee? And how do you find your way home when there's a war about to break loose in the castle? If Claire and her Tarbaby are going to survive, they need more than a little help from the stars.

Genre: Fantasy Romance

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Tarbaby Trouble
(Mudflat: Book 1)
by Phoebe Matthews

June 1, 2008
Available: June 11, 2008
ISBN #1606011219
EAN #9781606011218
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Other Books by
Phoebe Matthews

Mudflat Spice and Sorcery
Mudflat Toy Boy
Welcome to Mudflat, Baby

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