Friday, March 20, 2009

So Enchanting by Connie Brockway *****

This was truly So Enchanting! It's a book with a magical premise, and it's even magical to read. I'm not sure why I hadn't heard much about Brockway before, but I've liked the ones I've read and this one is a real keeper too.

Grey has spent his adult life devoted to debunking all sorts of paranormal shyster activity - people who prey on those hoping to make contact with the dead especially - because his father lost the family fortune to people like this. During his raid on a seance by Alphonse Brown, Grey is entranced by Brown's wife, Francesca - but pushes aside his feelings.

Fanny, formerly Francesca Brown, soon thereafter widowed, gets a chance at a new life. She has some power over animals - when she is upset, the nearby animals react, and as a child, animals attacked and crippled her brother, so she became a sort of pariah in her family and her neighborhood. When a neighbor comes to her after her husband's death and asks her to be his daughter's companion, she agrees only if she can use a new name and identity, and no one but the 2 of them will know.

Then she spends the next 6 years in the Scottish Highlands as Fanny Walcott, with Amelie as her ward. Now that Amelie is 18, though, she's tired of being cooped up in a small town away from all the excitement of town, and yearns to be free and travel. Unfortunately, she has 3 more years to go before she comes into her inheritance and freedom.

Her guardian, a Lord Collier, receives a letter warning that Amelie's life may be in danger, so he sends his brother in law and son to check out the situation. Coincidentally enough, Grey is the brother in law - and his son is Hayden, a young man of 21. Amelie and Hayden immediately take to one another, and in the space of one day are declaring their undying love, and spending long moments mooning about.

The spark is also still there for Grey and Fanny - but there's no declarations of love or mooning - their sparks are more the flint v steel type. Brockway's style is so humorous and witty - while the young lovers are chastely holding hands and murmuring endearments on the terrace, Grey and Fanny are first fighting like cats and dogs, then the next minute they are passionately kissing and ripping at each other's clothing in the next room. Meanwhile, Fanny's spell over the animals has them all howling and hollering and tweeting and boinking like mad in the garden, on the paths and pretty much everywhere they look - it's laugh out loud funny!

She continues to contrast the 2 couples - one chapter starts with Hayden declaring it's the most wonderful day, and describing his day with his love Amelie. The next chapter is Grey declaring it's the most dreadful day - the same day, only from Grey's POV. When the plot to harm Amelie becomes more real - a large pot is pushed off a balcony and barely misses Amelie - Grey and Hayden try to figure out who is behind the plot. Meanwhile, Grey cannot let himself be enchanted by Fanny - he does remember who and what she is - and tries to figure out how she is scamming Amelie and her guardian.

I enjoyed every minute of this story! It fits as my second book for the novel set in Scotland category of the Spring 2009 Challenge, and I think I'll tag it Besotted Hero - Grey was slightly besotted, but Hayden was truly smittenly besotted!!

1 comment:

Kristie (J) said...

Gack!! I forgot I had this one. Now where did I put it? Anyway - I was delighted to see her write another historical as I love her writing in that genre.