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on 9 June 2009
This was a very enjoyable book with an imaginative setting and some good characters.

When Lady Philomena, a ghost hunter, is tasked by a werewolf Baron to prove to his brother than he isn't being haunted, she decides to try and help the brother. Sir Nicodemus Wulfson, the werewolf, doesn't believe in ghosts and thinks that Philomena is probably a charlatan but he also finds her rather interesting.

When Phil arrives at Grimspell Castle she discovers something very strange going on with the ghosts - plus brother Royden is looking seriously ill. Her attempts to investigate things are complicated by the mutual interest between her and Nico and by local suspicion that Nico is a murderer. When another woman dies, and when Phil finds that all clues to the problems with the ghosts lead to the underground tunnels at Grimspell, she must persuade Nico to let her investigate further.

What was nice about this book was that the romance between Phil and Nico was smooth and well written. The author didn't feel it necessary to put awkward plot devices in to keep them apart, or Big Misunderstandings, they just got on with getting to know each other. It was also unusual to have such a large age gap (Phil is 13 years older than Nico).

The subplot of the murdering wolf was interesting and I didn't guess at the cause. All in all this was a good read with an interesting setting of a semi-magical Regency world.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2009
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on 7 April 2014
Enchanting the Beast is the third book in Ms Kennedy's Relics of Merlin series and is easily read as a standalone . It's a mixture of historical romance and magical fantasy and it's also a little bit like reading fairy tales but for grown ups! Lovers of the Arthurian legend will find this an intriguing twist on the norm as Merlin has created thirteen relics that each possess magical powers and they have been hidden until a time when they might be needed. Each relic has been entrusted to a family that will protect it but if they should ever fall into the wrong hands then chaos could be unleashed upon the world because the power within each relic is immense beyond belief.
Sir Nicodemus Wulfson has a serious problem, his castle and brother Roydon are being haunted by belligerent ghosts! Now Nico himself might not really believe in ghosts but he's not prepared to stand by and watch his brother suffer so he travels to London to find a ghost hunter . Lady Philomena Radcliff has the ability to both see and talk to ghosts. Phil is an independent sort and not easily fazed by anything so happily accepts Nicos offer but Grimspell castle has many secrets. Nico is a werewolf and the villagers believe he is a dangerous one but will Phil be in any danger from him? His blatant pursuit of her is not appropriate and yet he's a very tempting beast indeed. Phil's about to discover things within the castle walls that put them all in danger and murder is dogging their footsteps. Set in an alternative almost regency era in England this book seemed to corporate so many ideas that it took me a little while to actually just enjoy this story. Its a crazy mixture of magical legends , shape shifters , ghosts and even a "couger"!. There is so much to digest in this wide storyline that at times it seemed a little too implausible to me. I do love escaping into fantasy and a world of imagination but the world building here felt too much. Whilst the author is clearly a gifted storyteller I needed to believe in the situation the characters found themselves in and it just took me a little while to immerse myself fully. I loved the romance between the two lead characters and it made a pleasant change from so many paranormal romances available. The ghostly goings on added tension to the story but I felt the Baskerville type plot appeared far too late in the storyline. Supporting characters , in particular Sarah and Tup are an amazing touch and help bring humour to the proceedings but I was left feeling a little dissatisfied as there was very little about the Relic actually in the storyline. If you fancy an alternative type of historical romance that's almost certainly inspired by Beauty and the Beast with an alpha male hero and an exceptional heroine then this could well tick all your boxes. It's truly magical storytelling and very well written. For this reader perhaps just too many elements which felt distracting and I've never before read a book with so many types of shifters and magical creature! This is a paranormal romance though so anything goes and Ms Kennedy certainly has a very vivid imagination. I'd happily read more from her as it was fun , fast paced and full of unexpected twists and turns.
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