WILD AND HEXY
Taking her trademark geeks paranormal, Thompson veers into cutesy silliness with this plot but rescues the novel with her writing style. Her talent for creating likable stereotypes is remarkable. Even the most eccentric of her small-town folks is never small or mean of spirit.
Dorcas and Ambrose have been exiled by the wizard council to Big Knob, Ind., until they can get George, the local dragon, to leave his protracted adolescence behind and grow up to be a true guardian of the woods. Their problems are complicated by a lonely sea serpent in the lake and a bunch of poker-playing raccoons who are cheating George out of his hoard.
To make time pass, the two wizards go into the matchmaking business. For their second act of matchmaking magic, they want to team Jeremy, the shy proprietor of the local Internet cafe, with Annie, now a big-city reporter, who is in town for her sister's wedding. This is not so crazy an idea, since Jeremy has always loved Annie from afar, and Annie is bouncing back from a painful divorce. It only remains to get them together and let love do the rest. Oh yeah, and get George's act together, find DeeDee the lake monster a soul mate and deal with those cheating raccoons. (Onyx, Jun., 315 pp., $7.99)