Originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/no-shirts-no-shoes-no-spells-by-rose-pressey
When Elly Blair moves to Mystic Hollow to take over running her grandmother’s café, she never expects that her grandmother wants her to use magic as well – Elly didn’t know she was even capable of using magic! Elly hopes that a little luck and a lot of hard work will ensure that she doesn’t let her grandmother down. But that luck she hopes for turns out to be bad luck – her friend and waitress serves up a bespelled burger to the wrong customer. It’s a problem that gorgeous Rory Covington is now being chased by all the women in town – and his equally beautiful ex-girlfriend. It’s a bigger problem when handsome National Organization of Magic investigator Tom Owenton shows up to look into Elly’s magical mistake. If Elly can’t fix the spell, Mystic Café will be closed down…and Elly will never know if her desire for Rory is real.
Witches, magic, and mayhem are the name of the game in No Shirt, No Shoes, No Spells. The first installment of the Mystic Café series starts off as a lighthearted, enjoyable romp filled with pratfalls and magical mishaps. Unfortunately, the longer the book went on, the less entertaining I found Elly’s problems to be. The problem for me lies with Elly and her increasing woe-is-me attitude and her irritation with Rory’s ex. For a while I sympathized with her. But as Rose Pressey made Kim, Rory’s ex, increasingly persistent in winning Rory over, I found that I pitied Kim more than Elly, as it was Elly’s spell that sends Kim over the edge. Ms. Pressey attempting to explain away Elly’s guilt just didn’t jive for me; it’s a personal preference, but I’d rather have a heroine who will admit just how badly she screws up than one who passes blame.
The romance is in the background of No Shirts, No Shoes, No Spells and it includes the potential (that doesn’t really pan out) for a love triangle. When Ms. Pressey first introduces Tom and Rory, I found one of them incredibly interesting and ripe with potential and the other I thought was handsome but completely cardboard otherwise. Naturally, this made me root for Elly to end up with the interesting man…and sadly for my reading experience, she didn’t. I really, really wanted to like No Shirts, No Shoes, No Spells, but ultimately the story just wasn’t for me.