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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Author:  Dakota Cassidy
Publisher and Titles:  Berkley
          The Accidental Werewolf (2008) 
          Accidentally Dead (2008)
          The Accidental Human (2009)
          Accidentally Demonic (2010)
          Accidentally Catty (2011)
          Accidentally Dead, Again (2012)
          The Accidental Genie (12/2012)
          The Accidental Werewolf 2: Something About Harry (12/2013)
          The Accidental Dragon (2/2015)  

     This post was revised and updated on 7/18/14 to include the back-cover blurbs of the 7th, 8th, and 9th novels, which appear in order towards the end of the post. 

     The novels in this series are so similar in plot and characterization that I won't be doing in-depth reviews any morejust adding the blurbs as new books come out. If you're reading the series, you know what you're getting: light, funny, profane, chick-lit paranormal romance. The World-Building section below will give you an overview of the series.    

             WORLD-BUILDING & SUMMARIES OF BOOKS 1-5              
     The emphasis is on humor and sex in this contemporary series about three friends in New York City. The series was originally called ACCIDENTAL FRIENDS, but now it appears to be called the ACCIDENTALS SERIES, according to the author's web site. In book 1, Marty, a devoted cosmetics saleswoman, is accidentally turned into a werewolf. In book 2, Nina, a dental assistant, has the unfortunate on-the-job experience of being accidentally bitten by a vampire patient. In book 3, Wanda is diagnosed with a terminal illness but is saved by her friends. In book 4, Wanda’s sister, Casey, is accidentally possessed. In book 5, the girls starts a business (OOPSOut in the Open Paranormal Support) to help other "bitees," and they come to the assistance of Katie, who has been bitten by an amnesiac werecougar.

     In this world, the human population is unaware of the existence of supernaturals, even though vampires, shape shifters, and demons live amongst them.

      In each book, the lead character is a cute, spunky, mouthy human female who is accidentally "turned" (usually bitten) by a preternatural creature who appears to be a sexy, handsome young guy. The plots follow the same route: the girl's initial denial of the supernatural species-changing consequences of the bite followed by gradual (or sometimes quick) bodily changes, with the biter trying to make amends and falling in love along the way. Plot interruptions come in the form of villainous supernaturals who want to get in the way of the romance for one reason or another. 

     The "girlfriend" dialogue flies fast and furious, frequently profane (lots of f-bombs) and always sarcastic. The lead couple falls into bed early in each book and enjoys a full sexual relationship with plenty of graphic details. A few violent episodes occur, but with few bloody details.

     In Accidentally Catty, the fifth book in the series, the beginning is a bit confusing as we are dropped into the middle of a bite situation with not much explanation. Reading the back-cover blurb will help clarify things, and when the girlfriends show up to help, the chart below will help you sort them out:    

    > The Accidental Werewolf: shape-shifting werewolves, Marty and Keegan
    > Accidentally Dead: Nina and Greg: sun-sensitive vampires who can fly 
          (Nina is the most foul-mouthed of the group, especially in book 5.)
    > The Accidental Human: Wanda and Heath: a bizarre mix of werewolves and vampires, 
    > Accidentally Demonic: fire-wielding demon Casey and vampire Clay
    > Accidentally Catty: Katie and Shaw: shape-shifting cougars plus a touch of vampirism,
    > Accidentally Dead, Again: laboratory-created vampires Sam McLean and Phoebe Reynolds

     This is a cute series that sometimes goes overboard with its earthy dialogue among the girlfriends. Some of the scenes are really hilarious. For example, in Accidentally Dead Wanda researches vampire fundamentals in paranormal romance novels so that she can help Wanda adjust to her new situation. Wanda says, "Make fun all you like, but some of the people that write these romance novels are right on the money....Where they come up with some of this and call it fiction is beyond me. If they only knew how accurate they really are, huh?"  So true!      

                  NOVEL 6:  Accidentally Dead, Again                  
     This improbable plot centers on not one, but two accidental vampire transitions. First is Sam McLean, who left a party for a one-night stand with a beautiful woman and woke up on the steps of OOPS to find that he is now a vampire. As the OOPS girls are filling him in on the pros and cons of his new life style, a young human woman named Phoebe Reynolds comes in claiming to be foul-mouthed Nina's half-sister. When Nina reacts to this unexpected and unwelcome news with her usual  loutish rage, Phoebe stumbles back, falls down on Sam (who is lying on the floor), and lands her derrière on one of his new fangs. Voila! She is now a vampire, too. When the newbie vamps demonstrate some brand new talents (i.e., teleporting, walking through walls), the OOPS girls decide to track down the vamp who bit Sam so that they can figure out where these skills came from. Then, a dying vamp—the woman who bit Sam—appears on their doorstep with a mysterious memo and a warning. Before she turns to ash, she tells Sam that he is going to die just like her—and very soon. Now the pressure is on. The group must discover what's going on so that they can save the undead lives of Sam and Phoebe, who—by the way—are quickly falling for one another.

     The plot soon disintegrates into a mishmash of evil scientists, rival spy agencies, and the reappearance of villains from the past. In addition, both Sam and Phoebe have dark secrets that they keep from one another and from the OOPS team, provoking even more animosity and profanity from Nina.

     Although the story has several major improbabilities and plot holes, it still has the usual amount of sarcastic dialogue, frenetic action, and quirky characters in which this series specializes. Unfortunately, the author strikes a wrong note when she goes straight to offensive stereotypes for her portrayal Mark, Phoebe's gay roommate. She also throws in way too many dated cultural references. For example, the girls make several pointed references to the 1970s TV cops, Starsky and Hutch. And when Phoebe, Sam, and Nina are communicating with walke-talkies on one of their escapades, Phoebe begins spouting 1970s CB trucker slang. I'm not sure that the average reader will get these references. Certainly, Sam and Nina don't have a clue about what Phoebe is trying to tell them. All in all, this is a light and fluffy (but somewhat violent) story that you can read during a single beachy summer afternoon.  

        NOVEL 7:  The Accidental Genie         
     Jeannie Carlyle is a caterer extraordinaire, more than ready to handle any challenge thrown at her. But when her client asks her to open up a rare bottle of gin for a party, Jeannie is shocked when a guy in poofy pants pops out and she gets sucked inside. Trapped in the bottle, Jeannie does the only thing she can think of and uses her cell phone to search the term “paranormal” and finds the number for OOPS—Out in the Open Paranormal Support. Until he sets her free.

     Werewolf Sloan Flaherty isn’t keen on dealing with distraught women, especially since his sister-in-law Marty basically forced him to man the OOPS phones. But when Jeannie calls in a panic, Sloan is the only one available to find Jeannie’s bottle. After giving it a good rub, Jeannie emerges dressed like a character from Arabian Nights and starts calling Sloan “Master.” Now, they need to figure out how to break their unwanted bond, before the wishes Jeannie can’t stop granting get them into more trouble than even the OOPS girls can handle…

        NOVEL 8:  The Accidental Werewolf 2: Something About Harry         
     He’s in a furry situation. Accountant Harry Ralph Emerson has always been a by-the-numbers kind of guy. But when he finds himself trapped at work sprouting an obscene amount of hair, he knows his odds for maintaining normalcy are zero to none. After a frantic internet search, Harry goes through the OOPS—Out in the Open Paranormal Support—checklist and comes to a disheartening conclusion: He’s turning into a werewolf and he needs help ASAP.

     She might be the only solution.

     Werewolf Mara Flaherty has long carried a torch for Pack Cosmetics’s sexy single accountant, even after her attempt to seduce him went down in flames. When her sister-in-law, Marty, shows up to handle Harry’s OOPS emergency, she tasks Mara with showing the hirsute hottie the ropes. But Mara knows Harry’s condition is a result of her lab experiment gone wrong—and the previously mild-mannered object of her affection is about to give her a piece of his mind…

        NOVEL 9:  The Accidental Dragon         
     Firefighter McAllister “Mick” Malone knows he has a protective streak, especially when it comes to his deceased best friend’s sister, Tessa. But after twenty-five years of verbal sparring, Mick can’t help but notice that their recent arguments have started to feel a lot like foreplay. And while Tessa knows exactly what to say to get him going, Mick is thrown for a loop when he actually starts breathing fire.

     Antique-store owner Tessa Preston has loved Mick Malone since she was ten years old—not that she’d ever admit it. Fighting with Mick is the only thing keeping her from an embarrassing romantic confession, but when the sexy firefighter accidentally ingests some ancient dragon scales masquerading as powdered aspirin, Tessa finds herself handling something much hotter than long-simmering sexual tension…

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