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Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.

Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

336 pages, Paperback

First published September 4, 2012

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About the author

Linda Grimes

6 books161 followers
Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses, embarrassed herself onstage a lot, and taught teenagers they’d have to learn the rules of English before they could get away with breaking them for creativity’s sake. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. (There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of “If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait” to hook a man for a lifetime.)

Like IN A FIX's globetrotting main character, aura adaptor Ciel Halligan, Linda has spent her fair share of time overseas, though fortunately under less stressful circumstances. Kidnapping and daring rescues are all well and good in fiction, but she prefers sanity in her real life.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 302 reviews
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,920 followers
October 12, 2012
I don’t much care for books that are almost urban fantasy, but not quite. In a Fix has a bit of urban fantasy, a bit of paranormal romance and a bit of chick-lit, I suppose. It is light-hearted and sure, it’s occasionally funny, but it’s just not my cup of tea.

The paranormal element is so weak, it’s almost non-existent. A group of people, including our heroine Ciel, has the ability to steal the smallest piece of someone’s aura, which allows them to assume the form of this person. It’s like Polyjuice potion, minus the nasty liquid. As you can imagine, this is a very fertile ground for humorous situations, especially since Ciel, and her two best friends and love interests, Billy and Mark, all have this ability. However, lack of worldbuilding made me think that most of the elements in this book were just thrown in in the attempt to make it as funny as possible and little things like making sense became of secondary importance in the process. There are authors who are skilled in writing books like they’re episodes of Looney Tunes, but sadly, Linda Grimes is not one of them.

Not every heroine needs to be a kick-ass heroine, but every heroine needs to have at least something I deem worthy of respect. There isn’t much to admire about Ciel – she is indecisive, whiny at times, utterly childish and incapable of standing up for herself. She is constantly upset that her family sees her as a child, and yet she behaves like one in every situation. She has a schoolgirl infatuation with a family friend and CIA agent, Mark, and even keeps a diary full of her fantasies about him. Can you imagine Kate Daniels with a diary full of her name combined with Curran’s last name, surrounded by little hearts? I think not. This little detail was probably meant to be cute, but honestly, that’s not how I saw it at all.

What made it even worse was that I simply couldn’t understand the attraction. If Mark had any qualities worth mentioning, anything other than his good looks, I might have found the whole thing entertaining. But see, Mark was a condescending jerk who kept treating Ciel like a two-year-old. His every sentence was awfully patronizing.

The plot itself, if it can be called that at all, wasn’t much better. I won’t even try to explain it because it can’t be explained. I’ll only mention that it involves a spoiled little rich girl, CIA operations and actual Vikings and dare you to come up with a story that would combine these three things and actually make sense. You can’t. I win.

I always want more from urban fantasy, even when it’s insanely good, like the aforementioned Kate Daniels series. I want well-defined worlds, admirable characters, solid plots and decent writing at the very least. Grimes achieved none of those things.

Based on the reviews I’ve read, people seem to have liked this book much more than I did, so please take my words with a grain of salt. Give In a Fix a chance if it sounds at all interesting. I tend to be overly sensitive when it comes to urban fantasy.

Profile Image for Elspeth.
836 reviews131 followers
May 15, 2015
When I signed up to read this book I was expecting a kick ass female lead. A leading lady who is a little bit Mystique, a little bit Jackie Chan, and a whole lot of Ryan Reynolds in the last words department.




Fucking Ciel wants to be a Mary Sue, but is failing hard.

First off is her morals, she is okay with sleeping with someone elses boyfriend. It's even in her contract, signed and everything, but as soon as her mark goes down on bended knee no more bumping uglies for this leading lady. No, that would be wrong.


Hooker with a heart of gold she isn't.

Okay let me back up for a minute. Ciel, the main character whom we are supposed to fall in love with can shift auras. This means anyone she touches, and samples their aura she can duplicate. Pretty neat no, could be used for bettering the world, kicking terrorist ass, spy movie galore...nope, none of that cool stuff.

Ciel has her own business as disguising herself as rich women, and getting the man of their dreams to propose to them.

So when I got to her poaching tendencies the book gave me pause. I am not okay with that, so therefore I started hating Ciel.


I skimmed a bit further and found that she a girly cluster fuck that needs to be watched over by beautiful men, whom I might add, one she has a crush on.


No thank you.
Profile Image for Trisha Leigh.
Author 15 books523 followers
September 4, 2012
The most fun I've had reading a novel cover to cover in one day in a long, long time. Brava.

Also, I'm seriously rethinking my decision to be happily single. Yeesh, THOSE MEN.

The book has a unique, inherently funny premise - people with the ability to "pinch" auras, resulting in the ability to look like anyone they touch. This alone makes for a million laugh out loud scenes, but my favorite involves a hot man getting busted trying to disrobe what APPEARS to be the Queen of England on a bathroom floor. Priceless. Also, Boner Benjamin. Enough said, right?

Ciel, the main character, decided (with some help from Mark, Hot Bachelor #1) not to use her ability to assist law enforcement. Instead she offers her services to people who want to avoid a certain situation. For example, if you don't want to go to your mother-in-law's for Christmas, Ciel will do it for you! Brilliant. Ciel is smart, sassy, indignant, and gets into trouble every time she turns around. I loved her.

Billy, aka Hot Bachelor #2, has a teasing, supportive attitude that made me grin (and want to take his clothes off) from the beginning to the end of the book. I can't tell you more about the men without spoiling things, but see above. They. Are. Hot.

The three of them, along with a slew of fleshed out, comical, characters (some of whom are VIKINGS) round out a cast that I spent an entire day with, and hope to spend many more alongside in the future.

This is a can't miss for anyone who loves tight stories, great characters, and books that remind them of all the reasons they love to read.
Profile Image for Melindeeloo.
3,106 reviews159 followers
October 19, 2012
2.5 stars = pretty good. In a Fix had a five star premise that was intriguingly original - the heroine, Ciel, is an aura adapter and can take on the appearance of anyone whose aura that she's sampled. For her business Ciel is a 'life coach' who solves people's problems by standing in for them. When the story starts out Ciel is on a job that should be all fun in the sun and sultry romantic moonlight nights when things go wrong and her 'cousin' who is also an adapter - and has been secretly keeping an eye out for her - shanghais her gig to deal with the trouble. And when another protective 'friend' also gets involved and identities get swapped around with only Ciel knowing who's who and she decides that the meddling males deserve a little payback for running roughshod over her, some amusing moments ensue.

After that point though there were things about Ciel and her controlling overprotective protectors that I found truly frustrating. It was pretty annoying how they treat her, but then again it was equally annoying how she does the stupid uf-y heroine thing and sneaks around and keeps getting herself in trouble and needs to be rescued almost as often as she rescues herself. As a result In A Fix leveled out in the 'pretty good' range of the star department (2.5 goodreads, 3.5 amazon). I do think that this series has potential though - I liked the teasing banter with her 'cuz' and some lip locking action with two annoying but hot guys - actually three if you count the Stockholm (almost literally) Syndrome guy, but I know which one I am rooting for - and I will likely try the next one.
Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews617 followers
September 4, 2012
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

If Diana Gabaldon blurbed a book about plankton, I’d probably read it. When she blurbs an urban fantasy about shapeshifters and vikings and calls it “A fast-paced, sexy romp with characters as original as its intriguing premise!” I know I’m in for something unbelievable.

How to describe IN A FIX? Imagine a shapeshifting Stephanie Plum mixed with Burn Notice. Ciel isn’t as hapless or helpless as Stephanie, but she does attract trouble and is caught between two gorgeous and overprotective guys. As an Adapter, she can assume the appearance of anyone she has come into contact with. The two men in her life are adaptors too. There are several fantastic scenes involving mistaken identity that kept a grin on my face a mile wide.

What also kept me grinning was the romantic tension. Ciel loves Mark, Mark views Ciel as a sister. Billy is an incorrigible flirt who is like a cousin to Ciel. When assuming the identity of others, sometimes this trio has to get closer than they normally would, which causes all three to begin looking at each other in a new light. Billy had to be my favorite. He was playful one minute and than he would slip into something decidedly unplayful. It was just enough to keep Ciel’s head spinning. And Mark, while the more serious and guarded of the two guys, definitely seemed to be fighting himself in one or two scenes with Ciel. It wasn’t easy for him to maintain the kid sister view of Ciel when they kept getting thrown together.

IN A FIX is a great book to lure new readers to the urban fantasy genre as it’s light on worldbuilding and heavy on action. We don’t really learn about the origin of Adapters or the possible presence of other supernatural abilities in this world. Ciel, and a few others, have this rare ability that she uses to run a business and they use for the CIA. It’s pretty straightforward. What makes IN A FIX so special is the sizzling chemistry between the main characters, the try-and-catch-your-breath pace, the intense but fun–and sometimes silly–action, and mix of espionage with the supernatural. I had a blast reading this book and will be first in line to buy QUICK FIX when it hits shelves in 2013.

Sexual Content: Kissing. Scenes of sensuality.
Profile Image for Scooper Speaks.
604 reviews27 followers
August 2, 2012
Favorite Lines: “Guess you could say I’m a kind of life coach. At least, that’s my cover with all but the select few nonadaptors who know about us. Only instead of teaching people how to solve their own problems, I just do it for them. My clientele tends to be more comfortable with delegating than learning.” (p. 13, e-galley)

In a Fix is a fun urban fantasy novel written by Linda Grimes that had me thinking “go go Gadget arms.” That should tell you not to take it seriously. It’s an outrageously comedic book featuring characters with fantastic abilities who are placed in an urban setting.

I’ve got to tell you–I was a little confused in the first chapter of the book. I didn’t understand what was going on so I’m going to simplify it for you. Mina is a rich chick who wants her boyfriend to propose to her, but she’s nervous it won’t happen so she hires Ciel. For a price Ciel can alter her aura which allows her to take on another individual’s appearance and level of fitness. So when the book opens we get Ciel who has “shifted” into Mina and is making out with Mina’s boyfriend. We also get other aura adaptors who are pretending to be other people which created a mess of confusion.

Now those other adaptors are men. Attractive, single men who Ciel becomes sexually drawn to in tingly ways before the story ends. In a Fix is not a romance, but it gives Ciel a couple of guys to lust after while avoiding a permanent entanglement with either. Ciel is immature and child like at times, so either of the men would be a good fit. Both of them are responsible adults. Mark is serious, while Billy is playful.

Let’s move on to the villains. They are neo-Vikings who believe the Viking lifestyle is the only way to live. Silly. Do you hear me? The villains are goofy. And their big plan is straight out of an Inspector Gadget cartoon and is exactly what you would expect some play acting men to concoct. Now it may feel as if I’m being derisive, but after I decided to just go with “it” I had a great time reading In a Fix.

Ciel is a trouble magnet who somehow manages to stumble into absurd situation after absurd situation. I laughed out loud and wondered how Grimes could top each crazy adventure. She showed me when she brought in a catapult. Yes, a catapult. You’ll be seeing the similarity to cartoons when you read In a Fix, but you won’t be thinking kids when you read it. It’s sexy, action packed and humorous. If you’re anything like me you’ll have picked the man you want Ciel to explore more of with in a physical romantic way. Book two in the In a Fix series is called Quick Fixed and will be released in 2013.
Scooper Speaks
Profile Image for Nafiza.
Author 6 books1,238 followers
September 3, 2012
This delicious urban fantasy surprised me on several levels. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did considering the main character had something of a harem going on but you know what? I just went with it and enjoyed the heck out of it. Ciel has this irrepressible voice, irreverent and charming – she is the quintessential younger sister with many older brothers who coddle her and protect her even when protecting is the last thing she wants. There is also a delicious friend of older brother who never seems to see her for the woman she is and a best friend who has recently blurred the lines of their relationship. Then there is the action – you are running, screaming, avoiding being shot, being drugged and then escaping – there are mad men wanting to increase the testosterone level of the general male population and a sexy CIA agent who may or may not be kissing (and other things) Ciel’s crush. And most irritating of all, there are all these men who keep on trying to “protect” Ciel.

The pace of the story is akin to riding a roller coaster and I’m not just saying that. This is not a serious affair where the survival of the world depends on these characters but more a light hearted foray into a family, somewhat like the mafia, who are able to change their appearance at will. It’s fun, it’s sexy and it packs a hell of a punch. I really liked this one. The whole plot and the overarching narrative is a bit out there but not enough that it is utterly unbelievable. The villains are, of course, appropriately villainous but more caricatures than actual serious villains and it works in this novel.

Where the romance is concerned, I, of course, see-sawed between Billy and Mark because though the latter seems more dependable, the former is more fun and rather more honest. Billy doesn’t play games but Mark, it seems, does. Billy also wins major points for letting Ciel be the person she wants to be without wanting to protect her every second. Who knows what the triangular relationship is going to look like next but if Grimes has taught me anything with In A Fix, it’s that I’m going to enjoy finding out. Strongly recommended for those who love wicked wit in their protagonists, delicious kisses and just sheer irrepressible fun.
Profile Image for Kadbury.
522 reviews316 followers
September 16, 2012
I might give this a 4.5 .

This book was so much fun! I need the sequel!

I really enjoyed this novel! I was smiling and laughing throughout the entire novel.

Linda Grimes introduces a new type of species that have abilities very similar to that of Mystique from X-men.(a.k.a the blue chick who can change her entire appearance and become any other person) .It was interesting to read about a new type of paranormal creature. I wanted to know more about their history and how their abilities work but even though the author doesn't focus on that ,I wasn't disappointed.

The chameleon abilities of the characters led to a lot of hilarious instances that were a little hard to follow in the beginning because the author starts the novel with a bang (Literally!) but the after the first few pages I was able to keep up easily.I really liked the pace of this novel. There was never a dull moment and I never thought that things were happening too quickly.

The main character,Ciel was likable.She was flawed but I loved the fact that she wasn't perfect and I could easily relate to her insecurities. I was very amused with Ciel's relationship with her family.I hope I get to read more about her family in the sequel.

Billy is Ciel's pseudo-cousin. Basically he isn't related to Ciel but they've known each other since birth. I love Billy. He was such an awesome character.I'm on Team Billy! (I hope there's a Team Billy because I'm not very sure )

Mark was a character that needs a little more of a backstory. Why does Ciel have a crush on him? What's so great about him? There were moments when some of my questions were answered but I'm not very satisfied with the answers. I have a feeling I could really start liking Mark if I just got to know him better.

So my only complain is the lack of a backstory. I want to know more about the characters. The characters need a little more depth.BUT... aside from this I have no complains. I haven't enjoyed a novel so much for a long time! I highly recommend this novel !

I loved this novel and would recommend it to everybody who loves a nice,light and fun read with an interesting and fresh story!

My Rating:

Profile Image for Steph.
220 reviews19 followers
September 3, 2012
4 1/4 stars

Really not bad for a debut. I don't say this often, but it starts off a tad too fast and deep in the thicket of things. It was a little confusing at first and a bit hard to get into for that reason. However, after hanging in there for a couple of chapters, it quickly turns more fun than cumbersome.

Fast paced and fun, edging slightly towards light-hearted and humorous UF story telling, Ciel is a for-hire aura-sort of shifter. I still don't quite get the whole slipping on another person's aura, without exactly shifting, and becoming another person for a time. In this story, there are quite a bit advantages to doing just that. Ciel slips on the auras of those who hire her, in order to help with their various social/professional problems. Her best friend and "honorary" cousin, Billy, is all jack-of-all-trade kind of guy, who is of course hot, and always insufferable. The other longtime man in her life is Mark, Mr. Secret Agent Man himself, her brother's best friend, and her full time and constant crush.

Suffice it to say, this book is chock-full of action, humor, and of course romance. Somewhat fresh and sometimes a little ridiculous, but never boring, you will see random and various things like evil Neo-Vikings, mean but cute kids, & humans getting catapulted. As I stated at the beginning, not a bad start. I really look forward to reading more. And isn't that the true test of whehter a book or series debut was truly successful?

Warning: Some Sexual Situations-Humor, but no Sex. Some Violence, but nothing too grotesque.
Profile Image for Joanne.
Author 12 books214 followers
June 20, 2012
This book was SO MUCH FUN. I expected a kickass character-I mean, just look at that cover-with the viking helmet and the redhead standing over it? You know you're going to get something hard core. But what I wasn't expecting were the hard core laughs. This book, about Ciel, an aura adapter with a serious need to prove herself to the overprotective men in her life, is funny, witty and sexy, with not one, but two (maybe even three) hot guys that vie for her attention. But what I especially loved about Ciel was that she wasn't a bombshell that you would expect men to drool over-the men in her life were attracted to her, the quirky and tenacious woman who can definitely hold her own in the company of strong men. Several laugh-out-loud moments pepper this action-filled page turner. My only complaint was I know there's a book two and it can't come soon enough.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,395 reviews158 followers
November 28, 2012
Four stars: A witty, fun UF romp!

Ciel Halligan is an adaptor. She can take on an aura and slide into someone's life. For her, that means a nice little business where she can take the place of a person wanting to avoid a sticky situation. Granted she doesn't always end up in the nicest circumstances, but having her unique ability does have its perks. Unfortunately for Ciel while she is on her latest job, she accidentally finds herself in the middle of a kidnapping and bombing plot. Thankfully, her pseudo cousin Billy, who has the same aura shifting gift, shows up unexpectedly and helps bail her out. He doesn't always pick the best disguises, but he is fun to have around. Ciel is soon over her head into a very nasty situation involving Vikings and a plot to bring back Viking masculinity. Will she survive her ordeal with the Vikings?

What I Liked:
*In a Fix is a fun little book that is a blend of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and a bit of chick lit. The final result is a read that has plenty of action, lots of aura shape shifting, loads of trouble and a bit of unexpected romance. It ends up being a quick, funny read that will keep you entertained.
*I really enjoyed the aura shape shifting. Ciel and her cousin Billy and her childhood friend Mark can all take on the aura of a person they have encountered. In the blink of an eye they can alter their appearance and become someone else. How handy would that little talent be? The only downside is that sudden shapeshifting into different forms creates lots of wardrobe problems. Imagine wearing a form fitting gown and then shapeshifting in a muscular man and ripping at the seams....this little hitch definitely makes for some catastrophic wardrobe malfunctions which liven up the book. *The other hilarious aspect is the characters are caught off guard time and time again when they surprise each other in different forms. You honestly never know from one page to the next who is going to show up where and how they will look.
*I adored Ciel's pseudo cousin Billy. He is not a blood relative but she considers him a cousin. Billy is hilarious and always appearing in the right place at the right time in ridiculous disguises...i.e. The Queen of England. He is a mischief maker who will make you laugh, but he has a few surprises up his sleeve, such as being incredibly sexy and the hero who saves the day. I was delighted over and over when he suddenly showed up at the most opportune moments to save Ciel. I would certainly like to have Billy as my pseudo cousin.
*I liked that one of the bad guys ended up surprising me. I can't go into details but I was definitely pleased by the twist regarding Ciel's kidnapper.
*Overall this was a quick, fun read with lots of action and a surprise blossoming romance at the end. It wrapped up neatly with no dreadful cliffhangers or unanswered questions, which is always a bonus!

And The Not So Much:
*While I for the most part I enjoyed Ciel's character, she is witty and head strong and determined and she has plenty of funny one liners that made me laugh, I was a little frustrated about her lack of restraint. She was always putting herself in precarious positions and time and time again, she was at the mercy of the bad guys. You would think after the first entangle she would avoid them like the plague or find an unrecognizable aura, but she is snared by the same villain repeatedly and I grew tired of her stupid decisions. Don't get me wrong, overall she is a like-able heroine, but it got old seeing her land in compromising situations.
*This book presents a bit of a love triangle but believe it or not it didn't irritate me. I think the reason for that being that Ciel has a long standing childhood crush on one of the men. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when there were some unexpected developments as far as the romance goes, and the love triangle is resolved. There aren't any fiery hot scenes, but I am expecting the next installment to be smoking hot!
*One aspect that troubled me throughout the read was the aura adapting. In the beginning it was explained that Ciel and Billy and Mark were born with this unique ability to take on the aura of other people once they encountered them and touched them, or they could borrow the aura that one of them had in their repertoire by touching each other and shifting into that aura. What I didn't understand was how Billy was able to transform into famous people, i.e. Attila the Hun, The Queen of England etc. without having physically interacted with that person. As much as I enjoyed this awesome talent, I wished that it had been explained a bit better.

In the Fix is a fun read that will make you laugh and keep your entertained. It is solid start to a new series. If you are a fan of witty Urban Fantasy with a bit of romance this is a book you should check out!

Favorite Quotations:
"The ideal vantage point for observing a half-naked man was definitely across the rim of a crystal champagne flute."
"My favorite aerobic activity is reading steamy romantic thrillers. I figure an increased heart rate is an increased heart rate. Why quibble about methodology?"
"But I have a pretty good idea which would be more fun, my inner slut (who has never had much opportunity to become an outer slut) said."

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated.
Posted @Rainy Day Ramblings.
Profile Image for Julie.
535 reviews139 followers
September 4, 2012
Posted at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks

In a Fix is the first book by debut author Linda Grimes and it is just wonderful. A really fun read.

The premise is so unique; it was one of the things that drew me to the book. Ciel is an aura adaptor. She can take one someone else’s aura and look, act and sound like the person she takes on. So cool! Because adaptors aren’t all that common, they tend to stick together. This is where the ‘family’ comes from. Taken at face value, Ciel is related to almost everyone in this book – but really, they are all just close friends. Even her cousin isn’t really her cousin, and that’s good because Billy, he’s yummy…and one of the men she is interested in. *wink wink*

I think that is a good transition to start talking about the men in In a Fix. Oh the men! First there is Mark. He is a secret agent of sorts and best friends with Ciel’s older brother. He is very protective of her and sees her as a little sister. But Ciel has been crushing on him forever and really wants him to see her as more than an awkward girl with an unfortunate nickname. Then there is Billy. OMG I loved Billy! From the moment he appears on the page, he cracked me up. But yes ladies, there is also a very sweet side to him. All together now…*swoon*.

Back to Ciel for a minute. I really enjoyed her character. To the point that if she continues being this sassy and sweet, I may just have to add her to my favorite characters list. She wants so badly to be one of the boys. She wants to be brave and hard core and kick ass…but her heart is just too big to truly allow her to be like that. What is cool is that this book is written in the first person point of view from Ciel’s perspective and with that we are privy to her internal dialogue – and those paragraphs were some of my favorite moments in the book. We witness while she is trying to work herself up to doing something because the boys are doing it and we witness when she is berating herself when she can’t quite get there. Many laugh out loud moments during those scenes! There is such an innocence to Ciel that makes her so endearing. You want to cheer her on yet protect her at the same time – which is, come to think of it, exactly how the boys treat her.

Story wise, this book was a little out there. Ciel is hired by Mina to get her boyfriend Trey to propose. While on the vacation with Trey where Ciel is to do her job, Trey gets kidnapped and Mina/Ciel gets a mysterious phone call with eerie instructions. Then the Queen shows up. Trust me, it’s funny. Basically, Trey is not quite who we think he is and he gets caught up in some sort of bid from a crazed Swedish organization who want to take back the world from women (there is more to it than that but I’ll just let you read the book to find out what). I asked myself ‘what the hell is going on here?’ many times while reading it…but in a good way. Just when you feel something might get explained, it turns into something else entirely. But don’t worry, it’s not annoying. It just keeps you on your toes.

The one little thing that I did find a tad bothersome was when Ciel didn’t listen to Billy or Mark and ended up getting herself (either as herself or as her client) kidnapped. This happens so many times! I wanted to shake Ciel and say ‘don’t you think you should maybe listen this time seeing as what happened the last few times you didn’t listen?!’ Of course, her not listening does have its key moments in the plot but… I hope some of Ciel’s haphazard nature cools off a bit in the next book because otherwise that may indicate that she’s not really growing as a character and that would be too bad because really really, I love her.

In a Fix is a brilliant book. The way the characters interact, the comfortable dialogue and the internal thinkings of our heroine are just amazing. Add to that a fascinating premise and potential for anything to happen and you have the makings of a series with serious potential. I have no doubt that this series will continue being awesome and I highly and strongly recommend this book.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Shellie (Layers of Thought).
400 reviews63 followers
September 4, 2012
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

A laugh-out-loud, fast-paced, new romantic urban fantasy series with a sexy love triangle, bound to keep readers sleep deprived and waiting for the next in the series.

About: Ciel is a feisty, petite red head with loads of freckles which she dislikes every time she looks in the mirror. But she doesn’t linger too much on her perceived inadequacies and gets on with life since she has a new business; after all she is an adult. Or so she tells herself, even though her family and friends behave otherwise.

Ciel’s business is based upon using her genetic talent of “aura adapting” (the ability to take on the form of another person) to assist wealthy clients in need. In her latest job, Ciel has taken on the image of a drop-dead gorgeous wealthy young woman. She is to travel to the Bahamas to obtain a proposal for marriage and an engagement ring from her client’s even richer and perfectly handsome boyfriend. But to Ciel’s chagrin things don’t go as easily as she hoped or planned.

When Ciel’s dreams of a sexy (she has been granted sanctioned sex with her client’s boyfriend), luxurious and “paid vacation” becomes a mess, she is more than a little upset. Even though the bungalow of the two wealthy love birds’ is blown into pieces, and the hunky would be groom is missing, Ciel still has her job to think about. She needs to return her client’s fiancé (with the ring) to collect her earned money even though it’s Neo-Vikings that are the cause of the problem.

The story becomes even more twisted, and hilarious, as Ciel’s two very male, sexy, meddlesome, and controlling childhood friends (aura adaptors too) become deeply involved – believing that she needs protecting and is incapable of taking care of herself.

Thoughts: I devoured this book in three sittings, which is rare for me. I am a “grazer” when it comes to reading. Meaning: I read bits and pieces of many different books, sometimes completing them, often not. However, with In a Fix I had to find out what was going to happen next in the book on several levels - dramatically and romantically.

But the best part is that I laughed myself silly throughout the story, and I liked the main character. Ciel, is self effacing, strong and will not let life’s messy events keep her from getting her job done or doing mostly the right thing. I liked that she refused to let her two male childhood friends, hell-bent on keeping her in the dark and safely in an office, stop her from living her life, taking care of her new business and haphazardly saving a few lives.

I recommend pushing through to the second third of the book if you are having any trouble with the first several chapters, it was worth it for me. It’s highly recommended for its snarky (beware of strong language) and not completely politically correct humor (what truly funny humor is), pant-inducing romance scenes (includes some hilarious and sexy nudity), and its old fashioned chivalry with a modern twist (guys will be guys humor.) This was great genre fun! It’s a 4 star in my opinion. I will be waiting for the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Melliane.
2,041 reviews343 followers
August 18, 2012
Mon avis en Français

My English review

This book was a real surprise for me. I confess I was immediately attracted by the synopsis, well we don’t often meet human chameleons in literature, or it wasn't my case until now. I therefore was very intrigued to discover something new and to learn more about this incredible talent.

We discover a young heroine, Ciel (I never thought it was possible to use "Ciel" as a name, but I really love the idea), a woman who sells her services to the persons who need it, well the ones who can pay her as well. She can become any persons if we ask her, and when her last client asks her to replace her to get her wedding ring, the job doesn’t seem so difficult. But she is so wrong, and while she finds the ring, her “fiancé” Trey is kidnapped by some modern Vikings, and the bungalow where they lived, is blown up. So many things that weren’t in her planning. Besides, when she realizes that her cousin Billy keeps an eye on her, as the best friend of her brother, Mark, she is really angry. But it’s not even the end. When despite everyone tells her what to do, she decides to check on her Client’s health, she finds herself in a compromising situation. Kidnapped when she looked like Mina, the Trey’s girlfriend, she will end in a big, complex story. But, well, she is lucky enough to always attract the most crazy and dangerous situations in a second. And when she begins to understand that she is attracted by Billy and Mark, and that they’re not indifferent either, things get even more complicated.

I must say that I really loved these two men. They’re totally different and both of them really interesting! It’s difficult to really understand Mark or to know what he wants from our beautiful heroine. He is very secretive but we know that he would do anything to protect Ciel. Billy, is more like the ugly duckling of the family, always immersed in something suspicious, but he is also very intriguing (well if not, it wouldn’t be so fun). We understand easily his interest for our heroine and he will do anything to win her attention, for her to see him differently. I loved their arguments all along the book, or even the Ciel’s attempts to avoid all the orders that everyone gives her. It’s a heroine who has a wonderful sense of humor, something that is very pleasant to discover with the chapters. She is funny, not very lucky but so determined when she decides to do something. Well, even if it’s always synonym to a new disaster.

From the start of the book I was hooked by the plot and the rhythm of the story. This volume is very different from the urban fantasy novels I read before, I even thought I have a girl like Stephanie Plum in a different world. Well I really loved this book and I’m so curious to learn more now. I highly recommend this new series!
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,490 reviews290 followers
September 4, 2012
Debut author Linda Grimes brings forth a new offering in the Urban Fantasy genre. Her characters are not shape shifters but chameleons in the same guise as Raven Darkhölme; more popularly known as Mystique of the X-Men series.

The Gist: Ciel assumed the identity of a client to snag a proposal from the millionaire boyfriend - in which she was successful...for the most part. If you can ignore the whole, someone-tried-to-blow-her-up thing and the whole, kidnapping-for-ransom thing, I guess you can say it was sort of, kind of, a success. But when the boyfriend was kidnapped by Vikings (?!), Ciel realized that her romantic mission just got real, yo.

The Review: This book was action from the get-go; but the set up was like a soothing taste of a sweet alcohol - goes down smooth but fire in your belly afterwards. You're thrown right in the thick of things as soon as page four, give or take. It definitely doesn't leave room for a nap because you're in the chase right away. There's not a shortage of funny banters between characters here, which to me is an almost always prerequisite for an Urban Fantasy paranormal read. The characters' ability to zing people just adds another layer of badassery in their repertoire.

I like the characters for the most part. Ciel, however, is a heroine that I feel have yet to reached that full kick-ass stature. I think she needs to kick those boys to the curb and tell them they're not the boss of her. Ya know what I'm sayin'? I'm irked at the protective side of Mark and even the underhanded way Billy keeps popping in when she's in trouble. She's surrounded by He-Men who wanted to keep the little woman in a bubble. Please.

Cold killer she's not - well, she couldn't hurt anyone for that matter. She hesitated a lot and had the propensity to waffle as far as men around her is concerned. Sure it's what made her real and relatable but readers still may find this attitude off putting. Aside from the fact that she's an "adaptor", she's pretty much on the yet-to-show-her-full-potential stage. I, for one am looking forward to the next books just to watch Ciel develop into a heroine worthy of her powers. Just imagine the possibilities! The ability to change into whoever you want and get out of situations as easily as slipping into another identity. This brand of super power is unheard of in this genre - for me, at least. Readers would also find confusion with identity switches at first and would take a bit re-reading to get a full handle on the switcheroos. But once you get used to it, hilarity ensues (see drunken, constantly horny frat boy and Queen Elizabeth).

VERDICT: Action-packed, humorous and original; Linda Grimes delivers a new fare to the urban fantasy genre that will sure to catch on and readers would have no complaints of devouring. This series is one not to be missed.
Profile Image for Tynga.
389 reviews117 followers
August 20, 2012
In A Fix was a stunningly original and extremely engrossing read. I have to confess, I judge books by their cover, and I wasn’t really thrilled by this one, but oh boy was I proven wrong! From the very first page Grimes hits you with a healthy dose of seduction, spiked with a bombing (literally) for good measure. I promise you, you’ll find all the action you can dream of in this book.

Linda Grimes came up with a very unique concept for this series. Her main characters are called adaptors. Their particular talent lays in an ability to touch one’s aura and mimic it to perfection. They become an exact copy of their target, right down to their voice and physical abilities. How does it differ from a “simple” shape shifter you ask? First of all, it’s instantaneous, as opposed to a long and strenuous process and the adaptor need to have a direct or indirect contact with the desired aura to be able to change into it. Quite fascinating!

Be warned, you have to really pay attention at first because the whole “being someone else” thing can easily become confusing when Grimes is introducing the characters. Once you are introduced to the three devils though, it’s easy breezy to follow their multiple aura changes.

The characters are the main reason I fell for this book instantly. We first meet Ciel, posing as Mina, and her pseudo-cousin Billy, posing as Queen Elizabeth, no less. You have a good example right there of Billy`s sense of humour, that and their affectionate bickering really got me hooked from the first chapters. You meet Mark not long after and he amplifies their squabbling to a whole new level. Really, the three of them together, wearing any auras, are simply priceless.

As I previously mentioned, this novel is action-packed. Travelling around the world, our heroes are busy dodging neo-Vikings, being kidnapped, catapulted and more. There is also this tiny thing with Ciel, her hormones, and the boys she works with. How can a sex deprived girl be expected to focus when she`s surrounded by two devilishly handsome man? She`s only human after all!

The end was really exciting and damn hilarious if you ignore the fact that the main characters are facing death by Viking. `The story flowed so smoothly I didn't see the end coming and I`m really sad it`s over. I can`t wait for the second book, Quick Fix, due July 2013.

In A Fix is one of my favourite read this year and I strongly recommend this read to all urban fantasy fans out there. Original, funny, spicy and breath-tacking, this debut by Linda Grimes rocked my socks!

Profile Image for Vanessa Booke.
Author 47 books694 followers
August 29, 2012
In A Fix by Linda Grimes is a fun, sexy and entertaining read from start to finish. Ciel Halligan is a great leading lady. She’s funny, smart and just stubborn enough to make things interesting. I loved Grimes writing style! She really knows how to bring characters to life and the situations that Ciel found herself in were some great scenes! I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I read In A Fix. Ciel’s inner dialogue is priceless. Whether it’s her double entendres or just pinning over Mark and her confusing feelings for Billy, I really think readers will love her personality. Grimes really gave Ciel such a great voice as a character. You can’t help but want to know someone like her. I also loved the idea of being able to adapt like a chameleon by changing auras. It definitely made the story that much more entertaining. Although being able to change your aura sounds incredibly awesome, it seems to get Ciel into trouble whether it’s with men and/or work.

The back plot surrounding the Neo-Vikings trying to restore their culture’s masculinity was a bit confusing at first, but I quickly realized how ironic and just how funny their idea how to was. I think that’s the only complaint I had about this story. I was a little confused about Trey’s real identity and his involvement with this extremist group in the beginning. I think it would’ve been great if the ending could’ve been fleshed out a little more, although I loved the scene between Billy and Ciel.

I’m not a big fan of love triangles, but the one between Billy, Mark and Ciel is subtle and unlike many that I’ve read. For once, it seems that there’s an equal playing ground between the guys. I’m sure as readers you’ve seen your fair share of stories where the ending relationship is predictable. We all know whom the girl is going to pick, but in In A Fix the lines blur and by the end of the book I’m not quite sure who Ciel is going to end up with. The options are definitely open for the next book in the series.

I definitely hope to see more of Ciel’s relationship with Mark in the next book and I hope Grimes continues with her fantastic characters and fun story plot. I highly recommend In A Fix, it’s the perfect read if you’re looking for something fun and easy to read!
Profile Image for chucklesthescot.
2,907 reviews118 followers
April 6, 2015
I really liked the idea of this book-a life coach of sorts who instead of advising you how to deal with your problems, becomes you and solves it for you. for a hefty fee. Imagine the possibilities! You want a pay rise but don't have the guts to ask for it? Get someone else to do it for you! There are Viking bad guys! That caught my interest at once when I read the description. And I thought this was going to be a book with a smart kickass heroine-I mean she must be to pull off these deceptions right?

Wrong. Ciel is a whiny, useless, somewhat pathetic, annoying, childish moron. She is so incapable that her cousin Billy has been following her on all her assignments to make sure she doesn't get into trouble. She complains non stop about everything and I wanted to give her a good slap. That does not yell 'kickass' to me nor does it fit with the tough looking girl on the cover. Frankly, you wouldn't let her out of the house on her own in case she got lost, never mind trust her to fix other people's problems so you can understand why Billy and Mark are spying on her.

Billy and Mark both seem to be obsessed with this airhead and you find yourself wondering why. I think she and Billy are a perfect match though, with him being an annoying idiot as well. All he wants to do is grab Ciel's ass, spy on her in the shower and make stupid comments in every conversation. His idea of being incognito to look after Ciel is to look like The Queen. Oh that is so clever Billy. Way to keep a low profile huh? This leads to extremely dumb scenes where mall shoppers come up to 'The Queen' and ask her if she had Diana killed. Stop it, my sides are splitting already. This was the kind of 'humour' that was thrown at the reader and none of it was funny. It fell totally flat, at least for me. Ciel and Billy seem to be more interested in each other than discussing a plan to find Trey, who has been kidnapped by Vikings.

Another reviewer on Goodreads said that if you don't like Ciel, the book is impossible to like and I certainly agree with that. If you don't mind an airhead bimbo as your MC, you might get drawn into the story and find it amusing or entertaining. I hated her and Billy so I just couldn't put that aside to see the story.

Not for me.

Profile Image for Shelley.
5,220 reviews462 followers
September 2, 2012
*Genre* Fantasy
*Rating* 3.0

*First thoughts*

Ciel Halligan is known as an aura adapter. She's a facilitator, or an intrepid fixer of other people’s problems who can insert herself into their lives, and in turn, make their lives better or worse depending on the situation. It's too bad that she couldn't fix her own life which is full of trials and tribulations!

Ciel is a very stubborn character who refuses to listen to her step-cousin/nemesis Billy Doyle, or her brother’s best friend Mark who works for the CIA when they attempt to keep her out of trouble. She ends up getting involved in things, like strange Vikings who want to enhance the male population with steroids, because she just can't stay away from trouble.

Even though Ciel is something of a problem child, she is also fun, snarky, and has her moments under the sun. I found myself laughing at her antics and rolling my eyes at her indecision when it comes to the men in her life. Yet, her heart was in the right place more times than not.

Aura adapting is an intriguing idea to me. You can pretty much shift into any person you want to just by touching them. Billy and Mark form a lover’s triangle with Ciel and I’m not sure which character I would choose at this point. Both of them have their ups and downs and yet being a step cousin is something of a turn off to me.

In a Fix is a unique story in that adapters aren’t actually supernatural characters like werewolves or shape shifters, but actual humans who have the ability to be someone else for a while.

In a Fix is the debut novel by Linda Grimes. Grimes second novel, Quick Fix, releases sometime in 2013.

Recvd from Tor/Forge via Netgalley.com 07/03/2012.
Pub Date: September 04, 2012
ISBN: 9780765331809
Profile Image for Lydia Presley.
1,387 reviews107 followers
August 19, 2012
It's been a while since I've read a good, steamy urban-fantasy, and In a Fix by Linda Grimes was the perfect solution to that problem.

I'm fairly picky when it comes to urban-fantasies. I like spunky heroines, unique abilities, and men that make me want to swoon a little bit. While Ciel wasn't quite as spunky as I wanted her to be (or maybe Billy and Mark were just a tad too overbearing), I thoroughly enjoyed her antics as she struggled to make her name in a very, very male-dominated business.

The unique abilities factor was definitely included here. Ciel belongs to a group of folks that are able to absorb information about people and take on their appearances. This allows them to become their clients and handle vacations/confrontations/spy jobs - whatever, as needed. So when Ciel takes on the task of being Mina to secure a proposal from Mina's hunky boyfriend, Trey, she bites off a little more than she can chew. Why? Because there's a spinter group of Vikings.. yes, Vikings, who have other things on their mind than Mina's proposal.

I laughed my butt off several times while reading In a Fix. There's a particular scene in a tree that had me going for a good, solid, two minutes. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe (it was late, okay?). For being her debute book, Linda Grimes hit all the right spots for me here and I'm thoroughly impressed. I have very few favorite urban-fantasy authors but this one is an author I'll be watching. Just .. please Linda, tone down the macho-ness a tiny bit. I'd like to see Ciel actually learning how to be kick butt and independent.
Profile Image for Dr susan.
2,348 reviews28 followers
August 21, 2013
I try to be honest when I do these reviews, and I was not certain I was going to like In a Fix. Love triangles are one of my pet peeves; everyone does them, I often feel bad for the guy who does not win the girl, and I get mad at the girl for playing the guys. Ciel fit that stereotype in the beginning, but the story overcame my prejudices, and I found myself liking Ciel and her 'extended' family. Fix is a fast, enjoyable read. I have to admit the plot was somewhat improbable, but in a genre that includes dragons, fairies, vampires, witches, and lots of bumps-in-the-night, vikings are almost realistic. I look forward to Ciel's continuing adventures, and liked Fix enough to read it again.
Profile Image for Chan.
704 reviews38 followers
March 28, 2021
Ciel has the ability to shift her whole appearance to look like someone else. She opened her own business to use this ability to help other. Something goes wrong and an adventure begins.

I was excited about this story, but it took some strange turns. If one is trying to be incognito, why would you take the appearance of Queen Elizabeth? That was at the beginning of the book and of course it bothered me for a while. Then the uncomfortable love triangle and one of the men being related to Ciel. Just too weird.

I was hoping for a fun story and series I could stick with for a while, but I can’t read about cousins possibly getting together.
Profile Image for Deborah Ideiosepius.
1,676 reviews132 followers
June 5, 2014
Never judge a book by its cover is a lesson that I had learnt about books by the time I was twelve (it took me a little longer to figure it out about boys), but which still trips me up now and then.

“In a Fix” tripped me up in a big way: The back cover described it as ‘bright, fizzy, sexy and amusing.’

I was in a bookshop, in the mood for a slightly romancy, paranormal fantasy and this one had an interesting premise, no vampires or werewolves in sight, instead our main character is a shapeshifter and this caught my interest. The final line of the description mentioned Vikings, so my interest was firmly engaged. At this point I looked at the main cover which had a confident looking young woman staring challengingly at the reader with a HISTORICALLY ACCURATE VIKING HELMET at her feet! I was sold – an actual spangenhelm instead of something silly with horns. The cover art is by Craig White and the cover art is great, sadly the story does not live up to the cover.

First of all the main character, Ciel, is a dependant, annoying, winy moron. She complains constantly that the men in her life (all are of whom are of course, stunningly gorgeous and obsessed by said moron) coddle her and spy on her and interfere with her job. I can’t really blame them as she is a dependent idiot but she seems to be the only occupation they have, which is disturbing. I know she is meant to be funny, I know the ‘girls empty dishwashers boys have careers’ stories are meant to be humorous but I found them insultingly sexist and they leave me cold.

Next problem: There is almost no shape shifting, the premise that interested me in the book to begin with. Shifting mostly occurs only if Ciel is pretending to be someone else and it is usually a precursor to her kissing someone. Occasionally one or another of the multiple gorgeous male shapeshifters shifts into a different male form (also stunningly gorgeous), with the sole apparent intent being to kiss Ciel who in any case kisses him in his normal shape as well. Bewildered much? Yeah, me too.

Just as I was considering giving up (and would have if it had been a library book) Gotland in Sweden is mentioned, and Visby! I was there last year and absolutely I adored it, so I hung in there until Ciel reached Visby. Well, one of the most lovely places I have ever visited is barely mentioned, hardly described at all, it could have been anywhere since we spent the whole time in Ciels mind, (which I have to agree with the cover description, is pretty fizzy). In fairness, one of the very rare paragraphs which talks about anything except Ciel does describe a Visby sunset – some of the most stunning sunsets I have seen anywhere got a paragraph. Yay.

So, yes, where are the Vikings? Good question, in fact there are no Vikings. The author probably does not know this however as she does not seem to realise that twenty first century Swedish men are not Vikings, they are Swedes. We do visit the annual week long, medieval festival that Visby hosts and in which Vikings can usually be seen. Unfortunately the festival is pretty much ignored by the narrative except as a reason to dress Ciel and her Swedish captors in tenth century garb and I don’t see why she bothered, it was barely a plot element.

The main problem I had with this book is that without liking Ciel the story is impossible to like. The author clearly adores her and the whole story is %100 Ciel, there is not a single page, barely a single paragraph that is not all about her or seen from her depressingly self absorbed, childishly idiotic view point. At one point I wondered if this was meant to be a young adult book because it has high levels of immaturity throughout.

Billed as “a sexy romp” it completely disappoints. I found it about as sexy as date rape. Males consistently condescending to and demeaning women are not sexy to my way of thinking even if the female is a moron and deserves to be condescended to. The repetitious kissing, wondering if she should have kissed him, wondering if she should kiss someone else, wondering what he thought about her kissing him... It is all awkwardly childish, at times quite prudish, and not remotely sexy. This adds to the YA feel though most YA books are much, much more adept at describing sex.

I sound like a critical bitch don’t I? Well here is a sop; the author is exceptionally skilled at character creation and description. She has a deft, light ability to quickly sketch a character which remains distinct in the mind of the reader and that is no small skill. Side characters with barely a mention were instantly recognisable in the text. And I did not enjoy this book and did not read a lot of it at a time so that is pretty impressive. Sadly this is not enough to make Ciel bearable or the book enjoyable. I resent the $18.95 spent on this novel; I hope some of it makes it back to Craig White who did the cover art, the only part of this book worth paying for.
Profile Image for Marielle.
13 reviews
April 3, 2018
Fast-paced exactly as described. Not a boring moment. Absolutely loved the combination of action and humor. Shipping Ciel and Billy all the flippin way. Can’t wait to start the sequel!
Profile Image for Heidi.
771 reviews178 followers
October 17, 2012
I was really excited when I read the blurb for Linda Grime’s urban fantasy debut, In a Fix. I loved the idea of a main character whose career choice was to work as a facilitator–a sort of life coach for those too rich and lazy to actually bother dealing with their own problems. Ciel is a human chameleon, bearer of a genetic trait that allows her to borrow the aura of those she’s come into contact with and take on their appearance. Plus–there were vikings! I’m a total sucker for vikings. They may have not been the best of men, but they were my family’s forefathers (or at least shared their land), and I can’t help but be attracted to stories that contain them.

Linda Grimes totally delivered in In a Fix, it just took me a while to realize that what was delivered was not at all what I thought I had ordered. Sometimes these sorts of surprises are wonderful, unexpected, and enchanting. In this case, it made In a Fix a difficult read for me to pick up and finish any of the many times I set it down. I love that Linda Grimes created a unique world with In a Fix, one in which those with the adapter trait can very conveniently take of the auras of others. They don’t shape change at any molecular level, but the auras make them completely physically that other person. This mechanism actually confused me a bit. I feel like if you’re just taking someone’s aura and not physically shape changing you might be able to fool anyone into thinking you are another person, but wouldn’t you still be physically you under the appearance? Apparently not, taking on the aura of a 10 year old makes you as small as a kid, taking on the aura of a bulky man gives you his strength, but you’re not really shapechanging?

I was willing to let my confusion go and shrug it off as just the way things work, but I soon found the power to be just too powerful and confusing for me. Ciel shares this trait with the two major love influences in the story, her ‘cousin’, Billy (not actually her cousin–but it’s still too weird to be okay) and her brother’s best friend, Mark. When wearing someone else’s aura, these characters can’t even be certain who they are talking to, which had some interesting implications. For example, you could think you were making out with one dude and realize later that it was someone else. That, my friends, is more awkward than a black out drunk. Additionally, this power just seemed too powerful. It sounds basic enough, and I like that it seems to be the only power in this world making it very unique for UF, but it’s just too easy to do whatever you want. A character that can be anybody has so many ample chances to lie, cheat, and steal their way to the end goal, I got fairly bored fairly quickly. The power made any struggles in the book seem contrived, and all of the resulting situations much too farcical.

In a Fix contains a sense of slapstick comedic timing that we might see in a supposedly thrilling romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl. Pro tip: if you found the movie Killers to be unwatchable, you’ll probably find In a Fix just as grating. It was all just too eye-roll inducing for me. Lots of readers will find the confusing scenes with Billy, Mark, and Ciel in random bodies to be hilariously fun and awkward, but to me it just screamed ‘You’re trying too hard!’. I like banter, I like wit, I like sarcasm and spite–I didn’t feel that In a Fix had these.

I didn’t really like the balance of urban fantasy action to romance in In a Fix. I feel like the action wasn’t dangerous enough, the plot line too ho-hum, and the relationships completely under developed. Ciel wasn’t my type of girl. I realize that a lot of women out there date around and love it. That’s fine, but I’m all about the monogamy, and in my books I like to see slow burn true love. Ciel was romantically free enough to kiss 4 different men thoroughly within the first half of the book. Being surrounded by an abundance of attractive men, contractually obligated to seduce, and taking advantage of every opportunity by playing the make-out card just doesn’t appeal to me as a reader. I honestly didn’t know which way the romance would end up leaning, but the fact that I was unhappy with where it went certainly added to my dissatisfaction. That said, I never fell for either joker Billy or dependable Mark, so I likely would have been unhappy regardless.

In a Fix was a finely written start to a new series, one that many UF fans will love. It simply wasn’t the type of story or characters that I look for when I pick up a book. The vikings fell flat as a villainous crew, the slapstick humor was not to my taste, and the instant gratification just made it feel cheap.

Original review posted at Bunbury in the Stacks.
Profile Image for Novels On The Run.
846 reviews59 followers
September 2, 2012


I saw this book on Netgalley and I liked the cover. Strong girl pose and Viking helmet. Yes, that is right, a Viking helmet. The Viking helmet did intrigue me. I did not read the blurb. I requested the book for review and didn’t think much of it. Then I saw a review went up on a blog. I didn’t read the review , I just saw five stars, so I said okey dokey I need to read this book asap.

So I did :D

YAY for me. I LOVED this book. It has humour, a very original theme, which I air high fived the author while I was reading and it had some great action scenes.

What a wonderful character, Ciel Halligan, facilitator, an adaptor. She uses the aura of another person to change into them , be them, and help her clients out with whatever they need an answer to. It pays the bills. Essentially she totally transforms into this person. Not shape shifting, this is an aura thingying thing she does.

But let’s not stop there, enter Billy and Mark. YUMMILICIOUS!!! lads who have the same aura changing thingy going on and are adaptors. Mark works for CIA and Billy is paid by Mark to do whatever he needs done, mainly watching Ciel from afar.

Let the humour begin.

Billy is absolutely delightful and witty and smart and....and...and....handsome. Mark and Billy are mates. Mark is Ciel’s brother’s best buddy too. Ciel has had a crush on Mark for a long time and Billy has been her buddy for a long time.

Yes people, we have the beginnings of a triangle and I CAN NOT DECIDE who out of these babes is on my Team T-Shirt. Mark is a bit standoffish but oooooo when he kisses and plays handsies with Ciel.....*fans oneself*

Now I am not selling Billy short, by any means. The boy has a way with words and uses them. He is protective but fun and he knows how to play handsies too. *puts the airconditioner on*

He is absolutely gorgeous and shows little pieces of the Billy underneath all the humour. The Billy who is no longer the child friend, but has become the guy who has noticed Ciel, and she is no longer a little girl.

This is an adult book but, it is quite light on the smexi, more the tension and maybe some handsies and K.I.S.S.I.N.G , oh and.......

Both guys can’t let Ciel run her business as a facilitator by herself. Both guys are over protective and me thinks a bit of vying for Ciel’s attentions will come into play next book titled ‘Quick Fix’.

At one stage I thought there was going to be a square with another character. I have to admit I was hoping at the most I had a triangle to sort out in my head.

At one stage I did get a teeny muddled with who was wearing whose aura as it gets fast paced and everybody is changing into somebody else and it got a little muddling. But, I soon worked out who was who and where. Visually, Linda writes the aura changing and descriptive of the clothes etc very well.

The humour I put in line with Darynda Jones and the fun she has with Charlie Davidson. It’s not the same, but if you like Darynda Jones’ writing, then I think you will like Linda Grimes.

The Viking’s were a fun step away from the norm and travelling to Sweden for a part of this book added quite some humour and some action, Viking style.

I want to be Team Billy , but when Team Mark gets his smexi on...ooooo weeeeee!!! I think of these two like Jace and Marc in Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series....oh boy, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

I thought this was a wonderful debut tale from Linda Grimes and I can’t wait for more of Mark and Billy and the humour is hilarious. All round this was a smashing entrance for Linda to make into the published world.

Ok, just to further entice you to read this book I found an interview on URBAN FANTASYLAND BLOG which I thought was very good. Linda is asked about casting for Billy and Mark...well colour me purple people , if you can imagine Matt Bomer as Billy and Charlie Hunnam ( Sons of Anarchy) as Mark.....I may need two Team T-shirts!


“So, you sure you’re not mad I didn’t boink you last night?”

.........”No I’m not mad. I’m fine,” I said, letting my irritation at his reminder seep into the words.

He dug into his stack of pancakes. “Because”, he said between mouthfuls, “I’d be happy to oblige. Just as soon as you’re over your crush on Mark, and I can be sure it’s me in your head as well as your bed. I’m afraid my ego won’t have it any other way.”

“Yes, there’s a difference,” he said. “And if you’d ever been kissed by me, you’d know it.”

“Hey Mark,” I said as he walked away. “Are you the kind of guy you’d want your kid sister to get involved with?”

He stopped and turned back to me, eyes serious. “No . I’m the kind of bastard I would castrate before letting him near my kid sister. Maybe you better think about that.”
Profile Image for Amy Fournier.
557 reviews156 followers
September 3, 2012
I will start by telling you, this is not a YA book, it is an adult series. It is an action/thriller with fantasy elements to it and it was fantastic!! This book had a great storyline, plenty of action, and takes you on quite the adventure. I thought it was a creative and fun story and had to know what would happen in the end. Most of the characters were really awesome and I love getting to know them.

Ciel has her own business helping people solve their problems by adopting their aura's and standing in for them. It's good money (when she get's paid) and she likes doing things on her own and not having to answer to anyone else. She does rent her brother's condo and rent office space from him, but it's her own business and she likes it. She was likable for the most part, but there were times when I was really annoyed at how stupid she could really be and the bad decisions that she makes. She's ballsy for sure and has some pretty bad ass moments, but I just could help but be irritated at her more than liking her most of the time.

I really did like the secondary characters a lot, and I am hoping that we get a lot more of Billy and Mark in the next book. Heck, I could do with a little more Trey too. Mark is a bit on the intense side, but I get why he is. I really want to know more about him. Then Billy who seems like the ladies man, player...I think that that is mostly a front, either that or he is willing to leave all of that for Ciel. He is most definitely swoon worthy.

The story is very fast paced and full of action. I mean we start off with the bungalow getting blown to shreds and Trey being kidnapped. It just gets better and more dangerous from there. Ciel is in way over her head. Good thing that Billy and Mark were keeping tabs on her because really, she needs them whether she wants to admit it or not. This is way bigger that she ever could have imagined. They now need to track down the vikings who kidnapped Trey, but Billy and Mark want Ciel to stay out of it so they can take care of it. Um, yeah right!! Well, they all seem to take on all sorts of different aura's and at first I was a bit confused by it, but easily was able to keep track and tell who was who after. They travel all over the place, face a lot of dangerous situations, and uncover secrets about what is really going on.

I thought that this was a great book with an awesome plot and enjoyable characters. Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle, but only slightly and it's done well, so it didn't make me roll my eyes. (Though I did want to smack Ciel a few times) I only wish that Ciel had had a little more character growth. It seems to me that after going through all of that she might act a little differently, but she still seems to be a bit reckless and not thinking about the bigger things. She only thinks about things directly affecting her and not everything as a whole. I hope that she matures a bit in that aspect in the next book. Overall though I really enjoyed this and thought it was great!!
Profile Image for Jo.
311 reviews37 followers
September 6, 2012
Review copy provided by publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest view

Originally reviewed for and posted at Vampire Book Club

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

In a Fix isn’t your typical urban fantasy. It’s a magic- and mythical creature-free zone. Instead there are a select number of the population who have a genetic mutation giving them the ability to alter their appearance. By touching another these ‘Adaptors’ can exactly mimic their aura, shifting to a carbon copy of that person. Ciel Halligan uses her talent as a Facilitator. Clients hire to her to become them in order to solve some of the stickier situations in their lives.

When her latest job means going on holiday to the Bahamas with the attractive boyfriend of her client in order to secure a marriage proposal, Ciel can think of worse ways to earn a living. That is until their luxury villa is bombed and the boyfriend is kidnapped. Bad for Ciel but great for us readers, as what follows is a tale of body-swapping hijinks that features Neo-Viking terrorists, globe trotting and, at one point, a quite miraculous escape from a medieval war machine.

As the characters change faces like we might change socks, it can be confusing to begin with, but each of them has such a distinctive personality that soon becomes easy to follow. With a plot worthy of a spy novel that moves at breakneck speed, the funny and quick writing style of In a Fix means the book never gets overwhelming.

Having grown up surrounded by over protective boys, Ciel is fed up of constantly being underestimated. So when her pseudo cousin Billy and long time crush Mark come in ready to take over, Ciel refuses to be sidelined. Her sometimes reckless need to prove herself tends to get her in more trouble than anything else, but she never whines or sits back waiting to be rescued. She may not be the baddest on the block but she’s certainly resourceful and her inner dialogue makes her incredibly likeable.

Whilst she’s eager and willing, there are certain situations that her inexperience shows, primarily in the emotional tangle she finds herself in with Mark and Billy. Both have pros and cons, and while I found myself firmly on one team, there is plenty for scope for a full out wooing war to come in later books.

This book had me in stitches, the unique premise lending itself perfectly to action and humor going hand in hand. With Baddies that manage to be sinister and hilarious at the same time and a heroine who hasn’t quite got it all figured out but will give it a damn good go anyway, In A Fix opens what promises to be a very original new series, a series that is definitely going on my watch list.

Sexual content: Kissing and sensual situations
Profile Image for mlady_rebecca.
2,227 reviews97 followers
September 19, 2012
I've noticed when some people review books, they review the plot and characters separately. I think I need to do that in this case, because I liked the characters and general world-building significantly more than the specific plot.

Closed urban fantasy world where the heroine and a select group of other characters were born with a genetic quirk that lets them act as aura adaptors. Basically, think "shapeshifters", but they only shift into other people. And they need to "absorb" the aura of that person first, either first hand or from another adaptor.

In shapeshifter terminology, it's a magic style shifting, as opposed to a biological shifting. In other words, they jump from one form to the other, as opposed to a slow morphing body part by body part.

Ciel, the female lead, uses her ability to act as a sort of elite concierge service. Instead of helping people learn to get past certain obstacles in their lives, she takes over and does it for them. Ciel's case involves a woman trying to convince her fiance to propose, so Ciel's off on a fancy vacation with the woman's sexy soon-to-be fiance. (Like I said, plot issues.)

Only Ciel's straightforward case gets mixed up with a CIA case involving her "cousin" Billy - their mothers were sorority sisters - and her brother's best friend Mark - who she's been crushing on forever. Billy and Mark are both adaptors, as well. And the book is first person, so sometimes it's hard to figure out who is who.

Possible spoiler ...

Then there is the big plot issue, for me. The case involves neo-Vikings that look like they just stepped out of a Renn fest. And their big crime? They're lacing shampoo and body wash with steroids. Is it just me or does that sound like a cartoonish crime with cartoonish bad guys?

It's that cartoonish quality that bugged me. Fortunately, if this becomes the first book in a series, that plot will be a thing of the past.


I did end up loving the dynamic between Ciel, Mark, and Billy. Mark has been treating Ciel like his little sister, who needs to be protected above all else. And Ciel and Billy play off the cousin vibe. Billy being the annoying cousin who teases you, but ends up being your best friend anyway.

But due to the constant body-swapping, Ciel gets up close and personal with both Mark and Billy, and suddenly their brotherly relationships are turning into something else. So, Ciel goes from chaste to having two suitors in the wings. (Note: Nothing but kissing and a little making out in this book.)

So, all in all, while the plot line bothered me with this particular book, the characters and the world-building were strong enough for me to start looking for a sequel.

Plot: 3 stars
Characters: 4 stars
World-building: 4 stars
Overall: 4 stars
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