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Mr. Real

(Code of Shadows #1)

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  396 ratings  ·  120 reviews
He finds the girl of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares.

Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sex
Paperback, 328 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Createspace
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3.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  396 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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I absolutely loved this book. PNRish type books (and this is not quite PNR) are hit or miss for me. This book, was a complete hit. Well developed and likable characters, charming setting, laughable but scary villain and a nice surprise at the ending. Oh and it is a sweet romance (with steam!).

This book is good. It is really good. I am always worried about a new series by an author that I am already a fan of, particularly when it is a genre switch. But I shouldn’t have been worried. Carolyn Cran
4.5 stars - Witty, original, fun, entertaining.

Mr. Real has got to be one of the more entertaining and fun books I've read this year. And one of the most original. So original, I'm not exactly sure if it qualifies as a paranormal romance or a romantic suspense book. It doesn't really matter. Read Mr. Real, it's good.

Mr. Real takes the idea of things just being a mouse click away and expands on it. What if you could click on an image, save it to desktop and presto! the item mysteriously appears
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
Everyone knows that Alix is a good time gal who just wants to have fun and doesn't take anything seriously, so when loads an occult computer programme on to laptop that materialises anything you click on in 24 hours time, she decides to do a little shopping....a nice new necklace, a new outfit and a new man! Sir Kendall, a super spy from a liquer advert is just what she needs, someone to take charge and bonk her brains out and who just happens to look like the man she has a huge crush on. Paul R ...more
Kat Kennedy
Dear world:

How did I not know this book had come out by the super awesome wonder Crane?


Tell me next time, Kay?

The BookChick
My Rating: ★★★

Book Description:
He finds the girl of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares.

Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sexy TV ad spy . . . who looks exactly like Paul Reinhardt, the super-sexy martial arts teacher w
Not to beat a dead horse, I've said this before, but it's hard to write an original novel. Want to write about vampires? Pft, take a number. Werewolves? Zombies? Witches? Mermaids or ghosts? Done, done and done.
Maybe you make your vampires resistant to sunlight or part of some religious sect. Maybe your zombies will be upstanding citizens with more common sense and brains than your regular human. Or, maybe, you go for something really original and novel and give your MC the ability to create..wo
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance

Mr Real has an interesting and intriguing plot. Being able to summon everything you want with a magic computer could have been fun. And at first, it was. The main character, Alexis or "Alix", was fun and sassy. And then, she does the inevitable: she orders a fictional TV character from a liqueur ad, based on her former martial arts teacher, Paul, whom she liked a few years ago. Expect, she didn't expect the real thing to come to her too.

From that moment on, Alix turns out the be a dumb b***
Imagine if you were able to create the items you wanted on your computer simply with a click and it would appear on your doorstep. Imagine having a crush on a man for years only to have him think you were a joke and took nothing seriously.

Alix Gordon does take a few things seriously but she likes to live life in the moment too. When she realizes that her computer can create the man of her dreams, Paul Reirnhardt, not him literally but his TV ad persona Sir Kendall, Alix presses the button that
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'll admit that with the seemingly mad-cap plot that was described for this book by its blurb, it was going to have to work hard to impress me - but luckily my faith in Carolyn Crane was well-founded! I really had some doubts at the outset... magical computer programs? A fake super spy from a liqueur commercial? Um... er... yeah. But she pulled it off, reasonably well.

I was struck quite a bit at first by how the plotting seemed an awful lot like a Gwyn Cready novel - right down to the heroine pr
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy See site review for similar titles

There is nothing typical about the books Carolyn Crane writes. Without exception they are wildly imaginative, endlessly surprising, and utterly unique. That is no less true of her latest paranormal romance, MR. REAL, the first book in the new Code of Shadows series about a woman who inherits a magical computer capable of conjuring anything–or any one–to her doorstep.

If the premise didn’t tip you off, this is a wacky bo
"Mr. Real" is an improbable, yet entertaining read. The idea of converting spells into computer code, and using that code to conjure whatever you want...well, it's far-fetched to say the least, and hat's off to Ms. Crane for writing it so convincingly. In her hands, the unbelievable becomes believable. It's a neat trick and one not every writer can pull off.

The tone of the story is a well-balanced blend of humor and emotion, fluff and intrigue. There are moments that will make you laugh out loud
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I came to this book after absolutely loving the Disillusionists trilogy by the same author, and excited to see what she would do next.

I was expecting a heroine similar to the Disillusionist heroine Justine, and was pleasantly surprised to find that although Mr. Real's heroine Alix was completely different, she was just as rounded, well-developed and likeable as Justine had been.

Carolyn Crane shows remarkable insight into people and their psyche and this comes across with her characters, they are
Alix is a woman who spends her life thinking of action and never consequences. She acts without thinking and barely accepts responsibility for those actions. She spends the other half of her life feeling sorry for herself and making jokes at the expense of the people who force her to accept responsibility. Alix has just come into inheritance of a house and a large amount of money from an aunt who was thought to be a witch. In hopes of learning more about the aunt who left her such a generous inh ...more
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I got this book to review from NetGalley. This was such a fun, wacky read. The idea behind the story is very original. Alix inherits her geeky witch aunt's house and discovers a computer program that could materialize anything you want, all you have to do is submit a picture. And Alix decides to order Sir Kendall, a James Bond-ish fictional TV commercial character who looks exactly like Paul, the real-life hardass she has a crush on. Sir Kendall shows up on her doorstep being all romance man and ...more
Kerstin (under_moonlit_skies)
What an entertaining and fun story! As a huge fan of the authors 'Disillusionists' series, I've had high expectations for this book, but was also a little worried when I found out it would be more PNRish than the before mentioned series, because I haven't enjoyed those overly much lately. But I shouldn't have worried, as of course Crane gave 'Mr Real' her very own and unique touch and didn't just write a standard PNR, but meshed all sorts of other genres in there.

The story itself was set in a c
Jess the Romanceaholic
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Nobody, and I mean nobody could have pulled off this premise except for Carolyn Crane, seriously.

I snagged this one on NetGalley because of the author's name, since I really enjoyed her Disillusionists Trilogy, and honestly didn't even read the synopsis at first.

So when I went to read it, and saw the blurb, at first I was all

But then I started reading and was all

And then I finished it (all in one sitting, might I add), and was all

Just brilliant. While there are a few tiny things that kind of stu
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Paranormal Romance.
Alix has always lived her life in a care free way and with a laugh in the face of any obstacles, now shes inherited her aunts old place, and living alone makes her think of what she misses. Like her old martial arts teacher Paul, who didnt appreciated her fooling about. The sparks they shared is just as hard to forget.
When she stumbles upon some old code her aunt had saved, she finds that she can conjure anything she wants, money, clothes.. How about the perfect man? Like Sir
Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Oh Ms. Crane, how I loved this silly weird book! Cheesey plot, silly heroine, beef cake hero. & *then* she gets sneaky! Dark twists & turns + this cheesey silly stuff = fanfuckingtastic book. Pls note, I also, Ms. Crane's use of Star Trek geekery in all her books. (Come on? An anti-hero named Packard?! HA! Love it!) Even tho I'm all about Star Wars. 10+ for nerds. Excited for the next. Although I'm not sure how the story is gonna carry on. She seems to wrap it up pretty tight. Hmmmmm....
Nov 03, 2012 marked it as abandoned-ship  ·  review of another edition
This started out intriguing enough but then I got bored. I got to about 45% and I could no longer deny that I didn't care about any of these characters. Alix is a ditzy idiot and for the life of me I cannot understand her sudden loyalty to and saviour complex over Sir Kendall who happens to be weird and stuck in some alternate reality that doesn't make a lick of sense. Paul meanwhile is just meh.
Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)
My Rating: 3.5 stars: Liked it - recommend (B+)
Full Review:

Alix Gordon has inherited her crazy Great Aunt Veronica’s old home, one that her family believes is shrouded in dark magic. She and her BFF, Karen, realize that the old 5-1/4 inch floppy she discovered in the house and uploaded onto her computer contained magic code. One drunken and lonely night, in order to prove that the computer is in fact magic, Alix decides to “order” a man of her own from th
Stephanie  G
What's a girl to do when she finds magical software that brings images to life? Alix Gordon decides to bring Sir Kendall, sexy commercial spy and ladies' man who resembles a certain hardass martial arts teacher, into the real world. Paul Reinhardt wishes he never played the part of Sir Kendall because he's a reminder of a terrible past. Drawn to a small town for reasons he can't explain, Paul is shocked and horrified to find Sir Kendall in the flesh with Alix, a woman he's never been able to for ...more
Pink haired Alix finds out that living in her spooky Victorian home (her aunt, a witch, bequeathed it to her) comes with perks. YA THINK? Real quick: So I have this thing about heroines with unnaturally colored hair in books, it just seems such a lazeballs way of projecting, “Wow! Look at her! She’s funky! She’s spunky! She’s different! She DA ONE!” Surprisingly, Crane Made It Work. Alix owned the hell out of her pink hair and tassled boots and skanky clothing. Go, Alix!

So it turns out if she s
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read other book reviews at Book Junkie Joint.

A steamy romance with seriously lovable characters!

Mr. Real is a real treat for fans of the Paranormal Romance genre! It isn't too heavy and doesn't dwell too much on the mystery aspect of the story, but it makes everything worthwhile come full circle.

Personally, the best thing about this book is Paul Reinhardt. He's an accomplished athlete, a completely virile male and a rising star of professional mixed martial arts fights, but there's also that par
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
Mr. Real is exactly what I would expect from a Carolyn Crane novel. It's unique, fun, and sexy with an imperfect protagonist, a damaged hero, and eccentric secondary characters.

The story revolves around Alix, a character full of flaws and known for her poor decision making skills. It's apparent that she has become resentful of her role as the carefree, irresponsible friend/sibling/daughter and we're shown that many of her actions are a mask for her insecurities.

I love this type of broken, compl
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alix Gordon has recently inherited a former hotel from her great aunt who was by all accounts a witch and a computer guru. Up to this point Alix hasn't taken life too seriously she leaves that for her sisters, her friend Karen and Hardass Paul (the sexy martial arts instructor who kicked Alix out of class because she refused to be serious). Now she plans to turn the House into a B&B. She finds out accidentally that her aunt had created a computer program that combined science and magic. If y ...more
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pnr
4.5 stars

Mr. Real is a paranormal-romance-superspy-mashup that defies a strict category and was just so much fun to read. When Carolyn's characters mess up, they do not do it half-assed. In fact, the first lesson I gleaned from this book was to never screw with an occult computer program after the 5th beer. Definitely want the beer goggles off for that kind of decision.

I did like Alix. She of course did stupid things, but she tried so hard to do right and build herself up after years of feeling
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Things to love about this book:

It's as unique as they come! I love how original the concept is. Magic computer programs + spies + romance you will find nowhere else!!

The female lead, Alix, is a TSTL character done VERY well! I've seen some reviews complaining about Alix's intelligence and let me just say, she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but if she were, we wouldn't have the story. She's not pretending to be some super genius and everyone in her life knows she isn't as well, but there
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love Carolyn Crane. She’s one of my must read authors and so when she announced Mr. Real, I was more than just merely excited. I loved her Disillusionist series so much and I knew that I would love this series just as much. And while in the end, I did love this book, the beginning was a little weird for me. I had a hard time getting into the book and really getting into Alix. I understood who she was, but not why she did what she did. Then when we were introduced to Sir Kendall and then to Pau ...more
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazingly fun read!

I absolutely love Crane's Disillusionists trilogy, so when I got the offer to read and review her self-published book Mr. Real I jumped at the chance.

I love it!

Alix is such a great heroine. I fell in love with her from the start and could perfectly understand why she does the things that get her in trouble. And then there's Paul and Sir Kendall. I loved both of them and at times I was wondering which one of them I should root for. I also really wanted to drink Denal
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
As a fan of the Disillusionist series, it pains me to give this book a so-so review, but I just couldn't get into the main character. Anyone who's read Carolyn Crane's earlier series knows she has an amazing ability to create unusual, semi-tortured characters. In this book, Paul was a great example of this, and Sir Kendall was an interesting character as well. Unfortunately, Alix just wasn't very compelling to me. I kept waiting to find out circumstances from her youth that worked considering he ...more
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After spending her youth thoroughly obsessed with Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy and convinced that her suburban neighborhood was awash in dangerous secrets, Carolyn Crane grew up to become a RITA-nominated author of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and other tales of adventure and love; she also writes erotic romance about bank robbers as Annika Martin.

Her books have been published by Random Ho

Other books in the series

Code of Shadows (2 books)
  • Friar Jack (Code of Shadows #2)