Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by the new site and take a look around.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Marquis' Mystical Witch by Rachel McNeely

The Marquis' Mystical Witch by Rachel McNeely
Publisher: BookStrand
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full (269 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Orchid

Marriage of Convenience

Cursed and scarred, Ulric (Wulf) Hamlin, the Marquis of Radford, becomes a recluse after his wife’s death. When he returns to London, after five years, he meets Althea Beckett at his sister’s coming out ball. Used to seeing revulsion in women’s faces, Althea instead touches him and soothes his pain.

Wulf’s family curse causes him to shape shift into a werewolf at each full moon. But Althea and her sister have their own hidden powers. Wulf's family strongly encourages him to wed and produce an heir, and Althea faces a marriage with a repulsive man she fears.

Wulf and Althea agree to marry for their mutual benefit, but both keep their secrets to themselves. Wulf hopes to hide his family curse from Althea until he finds a cure, but she suspects something is not right. They must face their own demons, find a way to break the curse and trust enough to love.

Ulrich Hamlin, the Marquis of Radford has sworn not to marry again or produce an heir. His resolution falters when he meets Althea Beckett.

Ulrich has a dark secret and after the suspicious death of his first wife he refuses to endanger any other woman. His imposing exterior hides a caring heart, but he knows he will gradually stop caring about others.

Thea and her sister Elvie have recently lost their parents. Thea also has a secret which would put her life in danger if it was discovered. The girls’ uncle has inherited the title and estate and he treats them like poor relations. For reasons best known to himself he is forcing Thea into marriage with a man who strikes fear into her heart.

The Marquis helps Thea but the two fight to stay as individuals rather than become a couple. Ulrich turns to his dark side while Thea tries to bridge the gap between them. In the background is the skullduggery (don’t you just love that word) of the uncle and the man he wants to force Thea to marry.

For lovers of regency romance be warned - this is a regency with a difference. When reading romances of this period I tend to silently beg the hero and heroine to talk to one another and solve their problems. I didn’t feel I needed to do this with Ulrich and Thea. They have very valid and frightening reasons for not revealing their secrets. This in turn makes them both afraid to express their true feelings for each other.

This is the first regency I have read in a long time that kept my attention and forced me to keep reading. The story has many hidden facets and even the end of the book held totally unexpected surprises. Instead of floating along with a delightful but unexciting storyline, this book grabbed my interest and didn’t let go until the last page.

I recommend The Marquis’ Mystical Witch to regency readers who would like that little bit extra in their books. It’s also a book guaranteed to catch the interest of lovers of the paranormal or anyone who loves a good romance.