Moonlight Wish by Janice Bennett
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (139 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia
When Lady Edwina Langston’s grandfather orders her to marry his heir or be cut off without a penny, she makes a heartfelt wish on the full moon to be her own mistress. Xanthe, her fun-loving fairy godmother, sweeps her off to Brighton’s summer season, where Eddie’s ability at piquet can lead her to wealth—or ruin. When her spurned groom, the dashing and dangerous Viscount Ashtead, aids her in her new career as a genteel gamestress, is it out of the growing love she longs for—or as a plot to win her grandfather’s fortune?
Xanthe and Titus must spin a magical web of romance to entangle this mistrustful pair into the true freedom of love.
One must believe to see fairy magic. Edwina Langston sees, she can tell you all about it. Wet, chilled, and fearful, she makes a wish as the moonlight shimmers in the lingering mist after the storm. Xanthe and Titus see her image in the water of the basin that Xanthe endowed with magic. They declare it is time to help the shabbily dressed dispirited Edwina who has been at the beck and call of her grandfather always.
Xanthe, Edwina’s fairy godmother (whom everyone else thinks is just a plain garden-variety godmother) takes Edwina in hand. While she doesn’t outright give Edwina everything she wants, she sets up the opportunity for Edwina to decide what her heart truly desires then work to achieve that goal.
Edwina’s grandfather the irascible Marquis of Shoreham and his heir Viscount Ashtead cause Edwina to flee the only home she’s ever known. She can no longer bear the marquis’ unyielding demands and she had no desire to marry a falling-down drunken man that had to be inebriated before he would agree to marry her.
Xanthe and Titus, her big cat helper, set out to give Edwina eight weeks in Brighton’s elite society. Fun, intrigue, and manipulations make Edwina’s life a wonder—so different from the life she’s lived with her grandfather.
Ashtead goes to Brighton, apologizes to Edwina for his boorish behavior, but it is too little too late, even though when she’d first seen him her heart sat up and took notice. At this point, she is not amiable to an alliance with him to soothe her grandfather. Ashtead realizes he must have a major attitude change (not an easy thing for him) but he rises to the challenge and sets in to help Edwina with her plan to become independent of her grandfather while working on his own agenda.
What fun and games the reader gets to enjoy as these two navigate the hazards of society while trying to reach their goals.
Some of the secondary characters bring humor, suspense, and anxious moments to the story. Jacoby, Ashtead’s friend, and Edwina’s Uncle Marmaduke do create a stir from time to time. However, the sparkling, mischievous, beguiling Xanthe with her entourage of magical creatures, especially the butterflies and the miniature horses with their coaches that propel Xanthe’s feet along, are enchanting.
Janice Bennett’s charming imagination and her smooth writing style makes Moonlight Wish captivating.