Long ago and far away a thoughtless King and his Queen were imprisoned within a beautiful slave bracelet by a distraught wizard. As part of their punishment they must resume human form whenever the jewels are rubbed and grant that person their every wish. Oh, and most importantly, they must also find the person a love match (whether they want one or not).
Alura is a young maiden whose father’s greed has sullied her reputation. Innocent Alura’s dear old daddy has announced that she is pregnant by her recently dead betrothed in order to secure his claim on the deceased lord’s property. But much to dad’s dismay the dead guys’ brother, whom everyone believed was also dead, reappears to claim his estate.
Connor Warwick is a warrior who has lost the will to fight after he’s gravely injured during the Crusades. After the death of his brother he does something he never intended to do and returns to the home where he is known as the “Beast of Stavebrooke.” He realizes he’ll never be able to find a wife when everyone about him believes he is a cruel, violent man and rumors abound that he’s a rapist and a murderer, but it bothers him not a whit since he doesn’t want to marry. He only wants peace and a quiet place to retreat. When he sets eyes on the gorgeous Alura he begins to change his stance on the not wanting a wife thing. The two become betrothed due to further scheming by Alura’s selfish father and Connor gives her the slave bracelet he discovered during the Crusades (not realizing it’s magical) as a betrothal gift. When Alura releases the djinn from their prison the couple don’t have a chance of avoiding love.
As you can guess there is a lot of scheming going on in this story. The couple have an instant attraction but Connor (who is a fine, honorable hero) feels he will never win Alura’s heart because of his tarnished reputation. Alura, a beautiful but rather uninteresting character, does fear him initially but as she begins to get to know him she comes to the realization that the rumors are false. But every now and then she still has doubts. Doubts that could have been easily cleared up if the couple had been given a chance to be alone to talk. Unfortunately, between the machinations of Alura’s father, jousting tournaments and the additional scheming of two stereotypical villainous characters the couple spend very little time together. When they do find the time to be alone they smartly spend it doing, ummm, other things. As a result, the relationship is based more upon lust than any heart or mind melding. They only open up and begin to trust each toward the very end of the story.
There aren’t any surprises in Alura’s Wish. But although it didn’t engage my emotions it does contain some amusing moments. The verbal sparring between the djinns was great fun to witness. Those who enjoy adventure filled medieval tales with a little magic and a lusty love story may enjoy this more than I. Had there been more pages (this one contains only 277), more magic, better communication and a lot less scheming this book would have earned a higher rating.
|Review Date:||July 23, 1999|