* * * 1/2
Eliza Herman has spent years avoiding her calling as a Descendant of Eros. After all, happily-ever-afters are a myth. But when a family crisis requires her to fill in at her family's Cupid-for-hire shop, Eliza finds herself enchanting couples under the watchful eye of her mentor, Jake Sanders.
After Eliza accidentally enchants Jake instead, they set rules to keep his arrow-struck desire at bay. But some rules are meant to be broken, and before long Eliza is rethinking her stance on true love...until they discover a conspiracy that could destroy thousands of relationships--including their own.
Eliza has come to accept that she's a bungling cupid, and she's tried for the most part to stay away from the family business. They're cupids for hire if you need to introduce a little romantic sizzle into your life. So why is she staying away? Because she's kind of a liability. She's so accident-prone that the wrong move would literally mess up a job and could have someone declaring their undying love for her for weeks. Her clumsiness is demonstrated within the first few chapters reiterating the fact that she's better off doing something else. However, when her father suffers a heart attack and her twin brother Elijah (seriously, Eliza and Elijah, so cute and so confusing) needs help running the business, she reluctantly steps in. She gets a little help from Jake, her friend since forever who's also been her eternal crush for just as long. Jake coming on board is a good thing because he knows Eliza best and can guide her. At the same time, his presence makes her all wobbly inside.
Part of Eliza's problem is confidence. She's severely lacking in it and it isn't helped by her mother's random comments and nitpicking. But Eliza's devotion to her father pushes her beyond her comfort zone to work past the mental blocks she's erected in her mind. With Jake encouraging her it should be a breeze, but no. The few enchantments that she's cast for clients initially work well. Then something goes horribly wrong with each of them. At first she thinks she's botched the jobs but after further investigation she and Jake suspect something sinister's afoot.
I usually have issues with characters who are "clumsy" because it feels like a lot of the examples wind up being gratuitous which in turn make me annoyed and embarrassed for the character. I was so relieved when that gradually abated and Eliza got to shine and show what a smart and talented person she is. She's such a genuine sweetheart who'd love to give the world to anyone. There are also tons of laugh-out-loud instances that had me in giggling fits. A prime example of the humor and how much fun Heger had with the book: a governing entity named "The Department of Affection, Seduction and Shellfish", or as the author pointed out to me, The Department of A.S.S. Tell me that doesn't make you laugh!
While Eliza's spells going haywire is a predictable part of the plotline, Heger's addition of quirky clients and their bizarre problems keeps things unusual and interesting, as does the mystery that pops up halfway through. I had so much fun reading this and think this goofy, joyous read makes it perfect for your summer reading list.