Charmed by His Love
This one was tough to grade. I found the characters interesting right from the beginning, but I was quickly lost in several plot aspects. After reading about 20 pages there was a reference to time travelers who had been invited to a wedding the heroine was attending; until that point I wasn’t clear that this was a paranormal. And, honestly, while there are paranormal elements, it reads more like a contemporary romance.
Peg Thompson believes that the women in her family have been cursed for generations; their husbands will die before they reach the age of 30. The curse seems to have held true for her mother and Peg. Peg’s husband died in an accident soon before his 30th birthday, leaving her with four young children and virtually no money. Peg’s belief in the curse has her firmly convinced that she must live the rest of her life alone. She resists all matchmaking attempts by her friends, and definitely doesn’t want anything to do with the attractive Duncan MacKeage.
Duncan is in the area as the head of a construction crew working on roads to a new resort that Peg’s friend – and the heroine of the previous book – is building. Duncan is attracted to Peg right from the first, and isn’t even put off by her four children.
In many ways Peg is admirable. She’s doing a remarkable job raising her children. She’s also independent and able to tackle such things as illegally shooting a deer to provide food for her table. She’s doing all kinds of construction work to build a new home for her family. But she’s also unbelievably stubborn and unwilling to accept help from anyone. She doesn’t want to let others know just how desperate her financial situation is because they might help. I really had problems understanding why she didn’t accept help from her family.
This is the first book I’ve read by the author and my reactions may be different than her longtime readers. While this is the second in her Spellbound series, it actually features characters – and a paranormal reality – from many of her previous series. This helps explain my confusion at points while reading the book. I kept thinking that I should know more about some of the characters, that I must have missed descriptions of the “magic” present in the world. It did work for me as a standalone, but I think longtime readers wouldn’t have these problems.
Duncan and Peg are extremely likeable. Even Peg’s children are likable, if you don’t mind children in your romances. I don’t, but have more problems with the book’s paranormal aspects. There are only snippets describing the author’s world, the magic, the time traveling, the myths that apparently have been built over many previous books. In this case they distracted from Duncan and Peg’s love story. It was also extremely confusing that while Peg believes in the curse of the women in her family, she’s unaware of the magic in the world, despite some pretty major physical changes that have occurred near her home.
Despite my problems with too many characters from previous books, and a confusing paranormal aspect, I was going to give this a higher grade until nearly the end. Without going into spoiler territory, there were some plot points that I feel are not only unnecessary, they just felt out of place with the rest of the book.