Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy
(The Relics of Merlin #1)
Sourcebooks Casablanca (Aug 2012)
Ebook, 309 pages
Historical Paranormal Romance
Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy is a paranormal romance set towards the end of the 19th Century, (although historical influences don’t play a massive role in the plot!).
To begin with we are given a short prelude about the Relics of Merlin, thirteen magical artifacts that contain the magic of Merlin himself. These relics are all that remains of his strongest power, as his magic has been filtered down through the aristocracy, with each level owning a different level of power. For example, the royals are the strongest, followed by dukes, marquesses, etc.
Then there are the baronets, the only individuals who are immune to the effects of magic, as they are able to shapeshift instead. However, as a result they are shunned by the aristocracy but their favour with the royals means that they are begrudgingly accepted into society. The main reason the royals accept them is for their ability to sniff out Merlin’s relics, which can then be kept out of the reach of nobles who would abuse their power.
One of these baronets is Sir Terence Blackwell, a were-lion who is trusted by the royals and determined to hunt out the remaining relics. His determination stems from the death of his brother, who was killed during one of the previous struggles for a relic. He is shunned by most of society, but shows disinterest in their ways as well as being disinterested in taking a wife.
However, this all changes when he lays eyes on Felicity Seymour, the would-be heiress to her deceased parent’s estate. Take note of the ‘would-be’ as Felicity has apparently failed to inherit her parent’s magical abilities, meaning she fails the magical test of the aristocracy and loses her estate. When she comes to take the test, Terence is the only one who takes notice of her beauty, seeing straight away that she has a spell placed upon her that makes her almost invisible. She also has the smell of a relic upon her, making Terence immediately intrigued as well as suspicious.
He begins to court Felicity in the hopes of discovering more about the relic, but soon finds himself falling for her, feeling an animal attraction that he can’t control. She is attracted to him too, but doubts herself as she has no dowry and no prospects, wondering why he could possibly be interested in her. Her dreams are also plagued with nightmarish illusions, and it is unclear if these are induced by magic or are merely dreams.
As the main female character of the novel, I didn’t really like Felicity as she seemed weak and submissive. She makes a bit of a stand to Terence through her flirtation with him, but she always accepts everything he tells her and I didn’t feel that she held her own. As Terence was the first male to show her any attention I didn’t like how she all but threw herself at him, especially given her reputation in society and the historical context.
Her full, red lips contrasted with the pale complexion of her skin, and he wondered if her nervousness might be responsible for her lack of colour. What would she look like with a blush to her cheeks from a round of fevered lovemaking?
As for Terence, I didn’t like how controlling he was, with him taking over at every opportunity. It also felt like his status as a shapeshifter could have been explored more as we don’t really find out how he feels about being shunned, or how being a shapeshifter has impacted on his life. I also didn’t like how his focus almost always shifts to sex when he is around Felicity, and there were times when I thought he was taking advantage of her.
When it comes to the plot of this book, I liked the idea of the Merlin relics, but I felt that this took a sideline to the romance, when I would have preferred the search to be more detailed. This book also contained the instantaneous type of love that I don’t like in fiction, as the reader is supposed to believe that they fall in love with each other after their first meeting. There were several details that could have been explored more, but overall I did enjoy the book and found it to be a really fast-paced read as I was able to read it in one sitting. I really liked Kathryne Kennedy’s writing style, and look forward to discovering more relics in book two!
This book pulled me in and was a quick read, as I finished in one sitting. However, the plot was a little predictable and the love was a bit too instantaneous for my liking. Despite this it was written well, and the world is built up beautifully by the author.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Enchanting the Lady
- Double Enchantment
- Enchanting the Beast
BUY YOUR COPY