Kathryne Kennedy – “Enchanting The Lady”

18 Jan

GENRE: Romance / Historical (alternate reality)
PUBLISHED: Love Spell, 2008

SERIES: “Relics of Merlin” series, #1

WHY THIS NOVEL: I liked Enchanting the Beast, book #3 in this series.

In a world where magic ruled everything, Felicity Seymour couldn’t perform even the simplest spell. If she didn’t pass her testing, she’d lose her duchy–and any hope of marriage. But one man didn’t seem to mind her lack of dowry: a darkly delicious baronet who had managed to scare away the rest of London’s Society misses.

Sir Terence Blackwell knew the enchanting woman before him wasn’t entirely without magic. Not only could she completely disarm him with her gorgeous lavender eyes and frank candor, but his were-lion senses could smell a dark power on her the same kind of relic-magic that had killed his brother. Was she using it herself, or was it being used against her?

One needed a husband, and the other needed answers. But only together could they find the strongest magic of all: true love.

Felicity grew up with her aunt and uncle and their son. Besides her lack of magical abilities, she’s also often overlooked by other people and even forgotten. It goes so far that people who want to sit down on a chair sit on her because they didn’t see her there. It’s been that way for as long as Felicity can remember so she’s accepted it as the way it is and doesn’t think to question it or finds it strange. She’s rather naive and clueless in that regard. Then she meets Terence and he notices her. Without any trouble at all.

Terence doesn’t understand why people don’t notice Felicity. She’s beautiful and makes him forget his mission – to find the relics. What’s more, she does it even though he senses the dark power of a relic on her and he knows his brother died because he fell head over heals for a woman – a woman who was connected to a relic, too.

Enchanting the Lady isn’t a character-driven story. The romance and the mystery are to keep the reader reading. While the romance is nice enough I also found it more on the bland side of things because there were no real surprises and (as I said) not a strong focus on character development. The problem is, I also thought the execution of the mystery and the way Terence and Felicity dealt with it weak. The romance wasn’t compelling enough to make up for that in my eyes.

It was rather obvious to me what the problem and reason behind with Felicity missing magic was. But because it’s often that way in such a story, I actually didn’t mind. I had more trouble believing that Terence noticed the way Felicity was overlooked by everybody and that there must be a spell on her and then not once asked himself why Felicity would put such a spell on herself. It makes herself feel insignificant. And if Felicity really had access to the magic of the relic, wouldn’t she use it to keep her inheritance and pass the testing? I thought this omission a too obvious way to keep the conflict between the character going without much trouble.

Later Felicity has her suspicions about her aunt and uncle but nevertheless she goes to confront them without the help of her dragonette (a pet she was given by Terence to protect her) or someone else. She gives the dragonette to her maid instead because the maid shouldn’t be alone. Also, she fears the dragonette might set a curtain in flame inadvertently. Okaaay.

Then, when Felicity’s aunt and uncle confirm her suspicions and tell her that Terence lied to her about his reason to marry her, she just believes them even though they lied to her for years and years. She does this even though a friend of Terence, a “seer,” told her to believe in Terence’s love, no matter what it might look like at some time. She just forgets about that and readily believes her aunt and uncle. The only mediating factor is that she’s slightly drugged at that time.

These three things hurt the mystery, IMO. I had the impression that the story had to go a certain way and for that, the characters had to act a bit stupid at times. It influenced my impression of the novel considerably even though it might seem only nitpicking.

I want to finish by saying that there are also quite a few things I like about Enchanting the Lady. The world created for this series and the setting and premise, for example. And Kennedy’s writing style and her voice. So actually, I’m looking forward to reading Double Enchantment, the next in the series.

Verdict: 3/5


4 Responses to “Kathryne Kennedy – “Enchanting The Lady””

  1. Christine Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    I wonder if this is a case of an author finding her series groove after the first couple of book releases. Not that a 3 out of 5 is a poor grade, but the fact that you loved book 3 in the series tells me maybe the writing got better?

    I’m going to keep this series in mind. I know quite a few readers who enjoy it.

  2. Taja Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Christine – you’re right. 3 out of 5 isn’t a poor grade. It means this novel was a perfectly okay – yes, even enjoyable – read for me. But I can’t see me reading it again (except maybe as part of the series) whereas I’m rather sure I’ll read book 3 again. That’s the difference.

    Actually, I was bothered most by some of the characters actions and not the writing in this novel. It just didn’t add up sometimes, IMO. Of course, I also might have been in a mood to nitpick. šŸ˜‰

  3. nath Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    I picked up this book the other day and started it, but put it back down. I don’t know, I wasn’t far enough to really have an opinion… but it did feel a bit bland. But then, you did like the third book… hmmm… what to do?

  4. Taja Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    nath – you can read the third one without having read the ones before with no problems, if you’re wondering about that. Enchanting the Beast (#3) has an older woman-younger man romance going for it so I’m partial to it but yes, I also thought Enchanting the Lady/em> lacked something that made it a really compelling read.

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