ENCHANTING THE BEAST - Kathryne Kennedy
Relics of Merlin, Book 3
May 2009 Paranormal Romance
Trollersby, the surrounding area, and London, England - 1861
Sir Nicodemus Wulfson's brother Royden thinks their home is haunted. Roy's health and well-being have been compromised by these "ghosts", and so, Nico finds himself in London hunting someone who can convince Roy the spirits have been sent away. Being a baronet and a were-wolf, Nico is immune to magic and thus not much inclined to believe in such things, but when he meets Lady Philomena Radcliff, ghost-hunter, he finds something, or rather, someone, he's definitely not immune to.
Philomena is more than willing to help Nico and his brother, and with her assistant Sarah (were-snake) journeys to Grimspell Castle to do her best to ferret out the reason for the recent disturbances. However, the ghosts in residence seem reticent to communicate, making her job a difficult one. Then, of course, there's Nico and the constant distraction he provides. The man is an utter Adonis, and he seems to be a bit overenthusiastic in his attentions to her person. In fact, if she didn't know exactly how unlikely a scenario it is, Phil would be certain the young man wants her in a very intimate way.
Nico's human side isn't the only one interested in Phil; his wolf finds her intriguing as well. Can he convince Phil that true love can occur between an older spinster and the young man who appreciates her for all that she is? And then there are the ghosts in Grimspell Castle, just what is their agenda?
Nico, like many men, has secrets. In his case, it's the knowledge that his former fiancée appears to have been killed by a wolf. Nico lost control for a while after her death and fears he could lose his humanity entirely if the circumstances are right. Could Phil's talent for ENCHANTING THE BEAST keep them both safe, or will his beast turn on them both as he might have done once before? Phil may be a spinster, but her talent has given her insight into the ways of passion (her home is a former brothel with a very instructive ghost in residence). Unfortunately, Phil is convinced that society would never allow a lady of her age to marry a man of Nico's. Luckily, Phil is at heart a sensible woman, and I feel sure that with Nico's persistent nature, she'll realize that true love should never be denied, no matter the circumstances.
Sarah is a loyal and true friend to Phil. She doesn't hesitate to protect Phil with her life when the situation warrants it, and she's one of the reasons Nico realizes so quickly that Phil is a special woman. After all, most non-weres aren't exactly comfortable around weres, and Phil has completely embraced Sarah and her idiosyncrasies. Edwina, daughter of Lord Magift (the local magistrate and Baron of Bargest House) is Royden's wife. Edwina is insecure at best and worries about the day when Nico takes a wife and she loses her position as mistress of Grimspell. Nico's brother Royden is a man with a terrible burden (and no, I'm not talking about Edwina, though that case could be made). The ghosts are trying to impart a message to Roy, and if Phil can't figure out what it is, Roy's very life may be at stake. Sir Edgar Hexword and his daughter Jane are fellow were-wolves and members of Nico's pack. Sir Edgar has a great fondness for history. Jane, beautiful young thing that she is, has that same fondness for Nico. She thinks she's the right mate for Nico, and Phil isn't certain she's wrong. Last, but not least, I must mention Tup. A ghost boy from the streets of London, he's Phil's spiritual guide and pseudo son. It's obvious he and Phil love each other, and it's a fortunate circumstance that he's able to follow her to Grimspell and aid her in her investigation.
Like the rest of the Relics of Merlin series, ENCHANTING THE LADY (January 2008) and DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT (September 2008), this book has been written in such a way that you need not read the others to understand the plot. One of the best books I've read this year, ENCHANTING THE BEAST cannot fail to capture your imagination with its fully developed characters and the magical world they inhabit. Don't miss it! It's a keeper, and you'll be up all night reading it!
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