Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Book Review: Jo Beverley "Forbidden Magic"
Signet, November 1998
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.