Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Close Up Magic by Michelle Garren Flye (Book Review)

Close Up Magic by Michelle Garren Flye
Book 1: Sleight of Hand series
Publisher: Self Independent Publisher
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 304 pages / Kindle - 339 KB 
ISBN: 0615794467
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

BUY THE BOOK: Close Up Magic

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Book Description:

Do you believe in Magic?

Reporter Stacey Matthewson has made a living writing sensational stories that knock celebrities off their pedestals. Now she’s got a hot lead on an even hotter magician who’s mystifying Las Vegas with his new show–the problem is, she’s had a crush on him for years. How can she write a story that might ruin him, especially when he proves himself to be so much more than she’d ever dreamed?

Magician Andre Hawke has a knack for making things disappear, but when it comes to his brother’s drinking and gambling, he’s got a problem. Hiring the sexy reporter who threatens to blow away his carefully wrought illusion might be the answer to his problems…or she might bring on a whole new set of them.

Stacey’s never believed in magic, and Andre doesn’t know who to trust anymore. Can passion overcome their inhibitions, or will betrayal stem the tide of love?

Book Excerpt:

Andre caught up to her, wheeled around and started walking backward in front of her. He was amazingly nimble on his feet, able to avoid oncoming traffic without even glancing over his shoulder. Stacey shook her head. “Don’t you think you need to watch where you’re going?”

“Why?” He shrugged. “I can never see it until it’s past anyway. Most people can’t.”

She rolled her eyes. “I had no idea kissing made you philosophical.”

He tsked. “Kissing makes me horny. Life makes me philosophical.”

He was starting to get on her nerves. “Get over it, Andre. So we made out. We got carried away, that’s all.”

“I think it was more than that…for at least one of us.” His words teased her, but she wouldn’t ask him which one of them he was talking about. He kept walking backward, and this time, he was heading directly toward another man--a very large one--walking toward them. Stacey opened her mouth to say something but before she could, he’d walked directly into the other man, almost as if he’d intended to do it. He laughed out loud, catching himself by putting his arms around her. He glanced over at the large man, breaking off his embrace of Stacey to turn and shake his hand. “Thank you! That was perfect. Sorry about that, I’m trying to make a point, though, and you just did it very effectively.”

He turned back to Stacey. “You say you never saw it coming. I say we never see things coming. I mean, look at this particular incident. I was walking backward, couldn’t possibly have seen him, right? But what’s his excuse?”

My Book Review:

Thirty year old New York freelance entertainment reporter Stacey Matthewson is known for her sensationalist stories exposing secrets of famous stars. But her career took a downward turn two months ago when she screwed up, and now all her sources have dried up.

Thirty-two year old Andre Hawke is an up-and-coming hot magician who is taking Las Vegas by storm. He has charisma that easily draws people in with his mesmerizing illusions and a reputation for being a charming womanizer.

Stacey has been an admirer and has followed Andre's career since she first saw him perform his magic show years ago in a small New York theater. But now she is flying to Las Vegas to be the first to try to get an exclusive from him since finding out about a scandal that involved a betrayal by Tony, his twin brother/agent. This is her chance to revive her faltering career. What she doesn't count on is his ability to break down her inhibitions when he counters her proposition with one of his own, and offers her the position as his public relations representative.

Can a little bit of magic go a long way to break down the history of mistrust and betrayal in Stacey and Andre's past and lead them to finding true love? Or is it just an illusion?

In Close Up Magic, author Michelle Garren Flye weaves an entertaining tale of romance with a touch of magic that will captivate the reader's attention. Written in the third person narrative and set in Las Vegas, the reader follows Stacey and Andre's relationship develop with a mixture of humorous verbal banter, drama, magic and passionate interactions.

Both Stacey and Andre share a past history of mistrust and betrayal within their family dynamics. Stacey has always lived her life by maintaining control at all times. She doesn't believe in magic, there hasn't been many reasons in her life to believe in it. She also isn't the type to fall in love, she never has, and falling in love requires trust and she never has been able to trust a man. Andre is a charismatic and intelligent man who also has trust issues. He is passionate about his craft and surrounds himself only with a close knit group of family and friends, and will only reveal his secrets to people he completely trusts. What starts out as a business arrangement magically builds into something more when their instant mutual attraction to each other takes over. They want to love each other, but they struggle with inner turmoil over trust and betrayal issues that holds them back from taking a leap of faith, and with family drama added into the mix, it's not easy to trust another with your heart until a little bit of magic brings them back to each other.

Author Michelle Garren Flye weaves an enjoyable romantic tale that is interwoven within the themes of magic, trust and betrayal. The reader can't help but become engrossed in the development of Stacey and Andre's relationship as their story unfolds with drama, passion, witty humor, family issues and inner turmoil. I think the author's underlying message that true love can be found if you are able to let go of your inhibitions and give your heart and trust to someone becomes clear with this touching scene between Stacey and Andre: the symbol of the red origami phoenix bird with the following message in silver ink written on its wings: "Sometimes you have to do something that frightens you just to be sure that you're still alive."

With an engaging secondary cast of characters; witty dialogue and humorous interactions; Close Up Magic is an enchanting story that will make the reader believe in romance and magic!


About The Author

Michelle Garren Flye is the award-winning romance author of five novels. Her most recent novel, Where the Heart Lies, has been described as an “engaging novel with charming and likable characters” and a story that “will make you believe in love and second chances.”

Michelle placed third in the Hyperink Romance Writing Contest for her short story Life After. Her short stories have been published by the romance anthology Foreign Affairs,, and She has served on the editorial staffs of Horror Library Volume 1, Horror Library Volume 3, Butcher Shop Quartet, Butcher Shop Quartet II and Tattered Souls.

Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the mother of three and lives in North Carolina with her husband and their rapidly growing collection of pets.



  1. Hi, Michelle...I'm also a librarian and in NC, but I didn't attend library school in North Carolina.

    1. Hey Catherine! Thanks for stopping by and visiting with Michelle! :)

  2. Congrats on another great review! Looking forward to Close Up Magic!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and posting your kind comment. Hope you enjoy reading Close Up Magic! :)