Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Book Review: Jo Beverley "Forbidden Magic"

Forbidden Magic
Jo Beverley
Signet, November 1998
Historical Romance

Starting with a vile proposition to have her 16-year-old sister become the mistress of her equally vile landlord Sir Arthur Jakes in order to pay the rent and ensure the future well fare of her other siblings, Meg Gillingham is overwhelmed by her circumstances and resorts to using the forbidden magic of a pagan statue left to her upon her mother's death. Only to protect her family would Meg consider the use of such powers and in her desperation wishes for the answer to her problems.

Awakened to the news that he's received a missive from his Grandmother Lord Saxonhurst, Sax to his intimates, is thrust into anger by the reminder of a promise to be wed by his twenty-fifth birthday-the very next day. As is usual, for Sax anyway, when angered by his Grandmother he begins to randomly vandolize his chambers. His strange array of misfit servents arrives to clean the mess, even as he makes more, and it is through their suggestions that he decides to ask Meg to marry him.

Of course several obstacles do stand in their way. They've never met. They do not know what the other looks like or what his temperment is. They don't know if they'll suit eachother or if they'll be attracted to one another. And their nuptuals must occur within 24-hours. Fortunately, Sax is an earl and is able to obtain a special license to marry and Meg is desperate enough to take just about anyone as her husband.

The wedding arrives and though Meg has a few moments of hesitation the entire event proceeds rather quickly and the Gillingham family is immediately bundled into coaches and carried to their new home, the London mansion of the Earls of Saxonhurst. Of course upon arrival they meet Sax's horrible Grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Daingerfield and the odious Cousin Daphne.

Misconception, misunderstanding, misbelief, fear and lies crop up to stand in the way of their happiness but it doesn't take long for either Meg or Sax to realize that what is happening between them is more than just lust. More than just passion. Certainly those things are of course part of the emotions and part of the relationship between them but it takes nearly losing eachother for them to realize that what they have is possibly something more than they'd wagered on. Something more than they'd imagined they'd get. Something that they had only dreamed they might someday have.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

What I Read Last Month

The List:
Lucy Blue - Bound In Darkness Trilogy

  • My Demon's Kiss
  • The Devil's Knight
  • Dark Angel
Lynne Ewing - Daughters of the Moon Series
  • The Secret Scroll
  • The Sacrifice
  • The Lost Ones
Michele Hauf
  • Familiar Strangers
Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Devil May Cry (Audio book)
Julia Quinn
  • The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever
  • The Viscount Who Loved Me - 2nd Epilogue (e-book)
  • Romancing Mr. Bridgerton - 2nd Epilogue (e-book)
  • When He Was Wicked - 2nd Epilogue (e-book)
  • It's In His Kiss - 2nd Epilogue (e-book)
Alexis Morgan - Paladins of Darkness Series
  • Dark Defender
  • Dark Protector
  • In Darkness Reborn
Rebecca York - Werewolf Series
  • Moon Swept (Witching Moon and Crimson Moon)
Mary Jo Putney
  • Kiss of Fate (Guardian Series)
  • Stolen Magic (Guardian Series)
  • The Marriage Spell
Kat Martin
  • Heart of Honor
Jo Beverley
  • Forbidden Magic
Nora Roberts
  • River's End
  • The Villa
Karen Hawkins
  • How to Abduct a Highland Lord
  • To Scotland, With Love
Liz Carlyle
  • Never Lie to a Lady
  • Never Deceive a Duke
Danielle Steele
  • The House

It was another one of those months when all I could do was read. Admittedly the e-books were only shorts (30-40 pages each) and the Ewing novels were Teen-fiction and so considerably easier to read.

The only book that was a re-read this month was Kiss of Fate and that was to refresh my memory of the Guardian series. I'm looking forward to A Distant Magic coming out in paper back so I can read more of that series because I really enjoy it! I think the concept is really good and I find the characters incredibly interesting. I'd picked Putney's Marriage Spell at the same time as Stolen Magic thinking that it was another book in the Guardian series but while I was wrong on that accord, I was happy to find that I liked the story just as much! I wouldn't mind seeing what happens to some of the other characters that made appearances in Spell and seeing it develop in to it's own series as well.

I really enjoyed, as per usual, both of the Nora Roberts and Sherrilyn Kenyon's book and when I found myself without any new books to read, I dug the Steele novel out and decided to give it a try. I haven't read a Danielle Steele novel in ages and I can't say that I particularly enjoyed it. I debated that notion with my sister-in-law and we both decided that the feeling came down to an incessent repetition of facts and that the last 100 pages or so was like reading a sixth grader's writing. "And we did _____. Then we went ______." It was really annoying. The story itself was good, fascinating in some parts and I liked the way it all came around in the end, but it was the way it was written that drove me crazy and nearly persuaded me to drop the book multiple times while reading. Needless to say, it won't be likely that I'll pick up another one of her books for some time, if ever.

I liked Blue's Bound In Darkness trilogy and am really glad that I finally read it. I've had all three of the books for some time just sitting on my bookshelf but for some reason I never got to round to reading them. I really liked them. Morgan's Pallidan's were great. I might even go so far as to say they were amazing. I've seen the books at the store for some time now, heard comments and read some reviews on them over the last several months but kept putting off grabbing them. Now I'm chomping at the bit, waiting for Redeemed in Darkness to come out. I think I've got a couple more months to wait on that though, so I've got to turn my sights to other books for the time being.

Quinn's Secret Diaries and Kat Martin's Hearts novels were great stories, both of them. From these, the two Carlyle's and both of Hawkin's books I found my "happy romance" stories. Obviously, as with any good novel, the character's had their ups and downs but when they had their ups they were truly amusing and warm and when they had their downs you never doubted that they could work through their issues. Personally, I love reading stories like that every once in awhile, it's good for my heart. And these six novels fed my desire for some good ole' historical romance stories. There were other historicals in the list but these six were just the light-hearted, happy and cute (sorry I couldn't think of a different word to describe this, because believe me I know cute makes it sound trite) novels that made me giddy just reading them and had me laughing out loud in several parts!

I really liked all the stories that I picked up, downloaded, or listened too this month (if we ignore the bleep on the radar from The House) and for next month I'm looking forward to several new stories from series that I've read in the past and new single titles that are coming out by a variety of authors. I'll hint at the two most highly anticipated (at least as to my current opinion) and to do it I have only to say two things: Dominor and V. I think you can figure it out from there.

That's it, and for now that's all! Till next time: happy reading, viewing, listening or surfing.