Romance - Comedy
358 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Shammed is a contemporary romantic comedy novel written by Bernadette Franklin. Working as a legal secretary at R.K. Legal & Associates was not at all what Alice had envisioned it would be. The last attorney she had worked for was a bully and a cheat, and she was still undergoing surgeries to correct the damage done to her face when he attacked her. Alice’s friend, Chloe, had set the job search in motion, and Alice’s new boss, Mr. Kenton, was a dream of a boss. She had been there only a month before the latest prank, the festooning of his office with voice-activated spider toys, had him shrieking like a little girl. Alice, who absolutely adored spiders and had a few feisty tarantulas of her own, couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of those spiders and Mr. Kenton’s reaction. Pranks were a part of everyday life at R.K. Legal. Lance McCarthy was the opposing attorney in the Randell Case, a divorce action, and he was a veteran prankster. Alice’s new status with the firm would make her the least likely suspect for the series of pranks Kenton had in mind, and Alice was more than game to get involved.

Shammed is a hilarious look at the lengths to which some attorneys and their associates will go to to bring a little comic relief to what is a highly stressful and not terribly well compensated profession. And while Franklin describes R.K. Legal’s operating hours as between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., anyone familiar with that demanding profession knows that associates are expected to put in 60-80 hour workweeks to even begin to be considered for partner. Legal matters aside, I loved how this book ties in with Franklin’s preceding romantic comedy, Claustrophobic. The pranks are marvelous, and learning about Alice’s favorite pets, tarantulas, kept me taking side trips to google each new tarantula she considers buying and wistfully considering how to get one for myself. Franklin’s characters are credible and finely crafted and her plot is grand fun. Seeing how Alice learns to trust again and gains her self-confidence back is marvelous. Shammed reads like a breeze and kept me smiling throughout my reading experience. Shammed is most highly recommended.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

The tradition of elaborate pranks at R.K. Legal and Associates is a welcome change for legal secretary, Alice, whose face is still recovering from her previous boss’s assault. Although new to this concept of office mischief, Alice gleefully accepts her new boss Mr Kenton’s challenge to play a series of pranks on Lance McCarthy, a handsome associate from a rival firm that regularly participates in the prank war. With St. Patrick’s Day as a deadline for the greatest of these pranks, and a generous budget to work with, Alice plots a cunning series of shenanigans aimed to both torment and delight Lance. As she spends more time with Lance, and gets deeper and deeper into the pranks, it soon becomes clear that there’s more to her boss’s request than meets the eye.

Shammed is a delightfully addictive romantic comedy with a unique premise. The pranks featured in this novel are marvelously ostentatious at times. The culprits deploy everything from glitter and ridiculously expensive bathroom fittings to pet tarantulas, but they are always harmless and good-humored at their core. Franklin’s dialogue is amazing, packed with wit and comedy that make for very entertaining reading. The plot evolves from light-hearted fun to touch on more profound topics, which adds a satisfying depth to both the plot and character development. Alice and Lance have convincing chemistry and personality compatibility but the straightforwardness and honesty of their blossoming romance was the aspect I enjoyed most about this couple.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Shammed by Bernadette Franklin is an appealing romance which involves pranks, lawyers, spiders, and a spunky red-head. At her previous job as a legal secretary, Alice found her boss had extreme anger issues and took it out on her. Working with Mr. Kenton allows her physical and psychological wounds to heal while it encourages her to prank others in her circle of peers. Lance McCarthy is an attractive attorney who is the latest prey and the funds are unlimited. She learns not to let her weaknesses define her strengths as well as not all attorneys can be labeled the same. But there is still that fear he will become upset and seek revenge though, they tell her he is nice. She questions how much he can take when old wounds are thrown into the mix.
Fascinating and fun, Shammed is a must-read for Irish romance fanatics. Bernadette Franklin keeps the office life lively when Alice becomes the secret collaborator for tricks played on the handsome lawyer, Lance. Pretending to need lessons on tricking her boss was innovative to keep her identity hidden. I found parts of this novel predictable while others were original. I really liked the skydiving instructor Lance found for his Hawaii trip. The characters were spirited and amusing though I found some of their tricks extreme. The author does a superb job of keeping the pranksters unanimous, and you never knew who was joking whom. Was the greatest prank played on Alice and Lance at the end and did their friends plan for them to meet this whole time? For those who want to have an amazing trip to a happy ending.