This story starts with enchanting promise as familiar fairy-tale characters come to life. But the plot turns sluggish when the heroine travels to an alternate world. Too many times an exciting revelation is put off because the characters decide to eat first. An unexpected twist leads to a satisfying conclusion, however.

A mysterious invitation tempts Ivy Daniels to attend a party that will change her life. She always loved fairy tales, and now her favorite characters have come to life. But there's a reason they've revealed themselves. Prince Duncan needs her help to save his kingdom and his dying father. Ivy resists his pleas, because she's falling for the handsome prince, and she knows that once she helps, him he'll be out of her life forever. (WHISKEY CREEK, Jan., 255 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed by: 
Gail Pruszkowski