Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Advance Reviews for ENCHANTING THE BEAST

Relics of Merlin, Book 3
Love Spell ISBN-10: 0-505-52764-2 ISBN-13: 978-0-505-52764-6
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!

Lori Ann
Romance Reviews Today

Kathryne Kennedy
ISBN 978-0505527646
April 2009
Dorchester - Love Spell

Fantasy Romance

Sir Nicodemus Wulfson, Baronet of Grimspell castle has come to London seeking a medium, a ghost hunter, who will chase away the ghosts that haunt his brother, Roydon. While the baronet shape shifters are immune to magic, family members without an animal form, are not. Nicodemus, or Nico as those close to the baronet call him, does not believe in ghosts and does not fall lightly into the glamour of magic. To help his brother though, he will do anything and everything possible.

Lady Philomena Stanhope has the gift, as it were, of being able to speak to and hear ghosts. She can tell the difference between a memory and a real ghost. While she may not always see the dearly departed, she has seen enough of them to be convincing in a séance. With the help of her shape shifting assistant Sarah and the little boy ghost, Tup, she has been able to bring peace to those who have lost a loved one, whether those ghosts appear or not. When Nico appeals to her for help, with the added enticement of a hefty sum, she leaves the crowded streets of London and journeys to Grimspell Castle. There she learns that not only is Roydon quite ill and fading more each day, but that the handsome Baronet may be the killer of his fiancé, Beatrice. After all, Nico’s animal form is a large wolf and a large black wolf was seen in the area where Beatrice’s body was found. Yet when Phil, as her friends call her, sees how Nico cares for not only his family, but those that live on his grounds, she cannot believe he is capable of such a heinous act, be he wolf or human. It isn’t long before she finds herself, despite telling herself she is far too old for him, falling in love with the handsome baronet.

The Relics of Merlin are thirteen stones each enchanted with a different spell and each incredibly dangerous. Despite their immunity to magic, the baronet shape shifters can smell the dangerous relics. Each of the Relics of Merlin books stand on their own. For me, Enchanting the Beast is the best yet. Nico is written in such a way you feel as if he has stalked off the page and prowled into your life. Ms. Kennedy creates an incredibly sexy and compelling character. While each of her shape shifting heroes are lifelike and true to their animal self, Nico is the most gripping. You feel his anguish and pain over Roydon’s illness, his playfulness as he courts Phil, his care for his family and friends. He is secure in himself, yet not an overbearing alpha male. In a word, he’s yummy.

Among the many aspects of Enchanting the Beast that I liked is how wonderfully Ms. Kennedy portrayed the blossoming love between the twenty-seven year old Nico and forty year old Philomena. It is endearing and natural and I found myself rooting from Nico to win her heart from the git go. The relationship from start to culmination is a reminder of why we read romance. Ms. Kennedy teases and temps and makes the reader sigh wishing for the same kind of romance. Enchanting the Beast is the personification of true romance.

The secondary characters are equally enchanting. Despite their brief appearance, the way Ms. Kennedy describes Samuel and Charles, paints the picture of two sexy, well built men whose animal form are horses. Roydon’s plight pulls at the reader’s heart and his wife Edwina is entertainingly confusing.

I highly recommend this series. It gets better and better with each tale. There is a part of me that says Ms. Kennedy cannot possibly top how wonderful Enchanting The Best is yet I cannot wait for the next book to see what new enchantment she has planned for her readers.


ISBN- 10: 0505527642/ 13:9780505527646
May 1, 2009
Dorchester- Love Spell
376 pages
Victorian Fantasy Romance
Rating- 5 cups

Lady Philomena Radcliffe is a very interesting woman. At the age of forty, she is a spinster who lives in an old brothel which is haunted by some interesting ghosts. She and her assistant, Sarah – a were-snake-, earn a living by hunting ghosts and conducting séances for the people of London.

Sir Nicodemus Wulfson –Nico, to friends and family- is a young man of twenty seven and he is on a mission to help his brother, Roydon. Sitting in on séance Lady Philomena is conducting makes Nico believe she is the right person for the task at hand.

The ghosts of Grimspell Castle are haunting Roydon causing him to lose sleep as well as his appetite. Nico is concerned for his brother, but does not believe in ghosts though he is a werewolf and owner of an enchanted forest. Seeing the way in which Lady Philomena conducts her séance, Nico thinks her “acting skills” may be good enough to convince his brother that there are no ghosts in Grimspell Castle. Philomena and Nico are both in for a few surprises in this wonderful adventure.

Ms. Kennedy weaves a spell from the very start. The world she has created is one in which I find myself longing to be. Grimspell Castle, with its ghosts, and Grimspell Forest, with its wondrous creatures, calls to my soul. This story is full of romance, mystery and the paranormal. The characters are lively and colorful. The author gives her readers such a wonderful experience when they read her magical tales. I am looking forward to picking up the other books in this series.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More


Tina LaVon said...

Wow! Great reviews!
I am so excited about this book. I have been since you first explained the premise to me.
Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the terrific reviews. Can't wait to sink my teeth into this one.