Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Merely Magic - 1st in the Magic series
Author: Patricia Rice
Release Date: March 2011 (Reissue)
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: 1750 London & Wystan
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Patricia's Website/Blog: www.patriciarice.com
Sourcebooks has agreed to reissue the entire Magic series. I’m so happy because I’d not read any of this series before. Merely Magic is the first in the series. We meet Ninian Malcolm, a healer; some say a witch, but always a Malcolm. When she meets Lord Drogo Ives, she knows nothing can come of the attraction they feel. Malcolm's and Ives do NOT marry. The last time they did, there was such a great flood that it wiped out almost all of Wystan. Drogo is a man of science and has no time—or patience—for all of this magic and witches nonsense. He knows Ninian is a flesh and blood woman and he has no time for the witch nonsense. He’s instantly attracted to her, but he’s been burned before. Both by his siblings who have all sorts of illegitimate children, and by a woman who tried to trick him into marriage because he supposedly got her pregnant.
After a lot of manipulations by Drogo’s half-sister, Sarah, he finds himself unable to stop himself from having Ninian. And when their one night of passion does result in a child, Ninian is determined to keep the news from him so he won’t feel trapped. Sarah, ever the diligent half-sister, steps in to notify him of his impending fatherhood.
From here, it really takes off. Drogo can’t convince Ninian to marry him. Moreover, she doesn’t want to be in his bed again until he makes some drastic changes to his life and his way of thinking. It’s hard to teach a scientific mind to accept the realm of magic, but Ninian is determined. There’s also a hint of death and doom that can’t be shaken throughout the story. I won’t spoil it for you, but there were some moments where I was on the edge of my seat.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and before I discovered its part of a series, I was hoping the loose ends left open could be tied up in another book. Patricia Rice has said that all of the Magic books are going to be reissued by Sourcebooks. In the beginning, I thought Drogo was too aloof and wasn’t sure I’d like him. But he’s the kind of man that once you start to know him; you realize how lovable he really is. Ninian’s stubbornness also caused me a bit of irritation, but her true love of others—and eventually Drogo—shines through in a way that is really magical.
There were so many rich details in the descriptions of the healing herbs, the castles and the London scene, that I was enchanted from start to finish. Patricia Rice has such a wonderful way of presenting the story that makes sense to both the logical side of my mind as well as the creative side. Her characters are well developed and become part of your family. Her descriptions are full without going over into boring. I was entertained and transported from the first page to the last. Looking forward to the next book in this series.
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