Starting at 100, count backward by 7.
Ok, so I failed. Yes, I've already reviewed Bewitching and it's sequel, Dreaming. I had already started to write a new review about Bewitching and had plunged into reading Dreaming when I recognized the name of the dog, Gus. Wait a minute, I said to myself. Don't I give out an award based on a dog named Gus? Yep, I do. So, after some checking I found my reviews for both of these books.
I have to say that I haven't changed my mind about Bewitching. If anything, I love it more than the last time. It was a pleasure to read this story again and to once again visit one of the happiest, most loveable heroines ever, Joyous Fiona MacQuarrie. Her name says it all. Her character is so defined I knew exactly what I was going to get, and I did. She is a nice person, who mostly sees only the good in people and bends over backwards to make people around her happy. She is so charming and sweet that you fall in love with her right along with the hero. Now, because you have read a trillion romance books, you know that someone this bright and loveable is in for a big heartbreak. You also know that heartbreak is going to be given by the hero, and it is. Because Joy's character is so fully-developed when her heart is broken, I actually had a few sniffle moments...and I've read this book before, for Pete's sake! Someone stop me! I feel myself going into gush mode! But, I can't help it...loved the heroine.
Let's look at the guy that hands out the pain in this book, our hero Alec Castlemaine. As much as one wants to dislike this man because of all the pain he inflects on Joy, you can't. Oh sure, you might feel a little anger, but Ms. Barnett as once again fully-developed a character who at first glance is this cold, unfeeling man. He fights Joy's love every step of the way, but you are allowed inside as he struggles with feelings that he has no way of controlling. When he finally accepts fate and is happy with it, it is a very satisfying moment.
For those of you who have never read this book before, there is a slight touch of the supernatural. There is witchcraft of sorts, along the lines of the tv show Bewitched. In fact, Joy (our witch) reminds me a little of Aunt Clara, just not quite as bumbling. Joy just can't get her spells and conjuring right. And, she accidentally dumps herself right into the lap of one of England most unforgiving, starchy, cold aristocrats ever, Alec.
There is humor all over this book. There is a Joy's familiar, a weasel by the name of Beezle. Beezle likes to chew hair, usually the hair hanging from the footmen in Alec's employ. There are Alec's two friends, the superstitious Seymour and the drunk Earl of Downe. All of these characters add a sense of fun to this charming book. One of my favorite funny scenes ever written in a romance is in this book. It makes me chuckle every time I read it. In case you’re interested, I'll give you a hint: it involves lips against glass.
A very tender moment comes when Alec discovers that he has a brother, Stephen. Stephen was locked up by their father at a very early age. His character reminded me a little of
Quasimodo and for a prideful Alec, who has a fear of imperfection, this is a truly amazing moment to behold. Here comes another sniffle!
Now, let me tap my finger to my chin…I've tried hard to find something wrong with this book, but it was tough. There might be some who would say Joy was a tad TSTL, but I think she was just someone who saw the bright side of everything. And, a number of times this brightness hurt. Maybe Alec said one too many hateful things, but he struggled so hard when he did, I can live with them. And there was a wonderful grovel.
Bewitching is a clever, funny, tender book and after rereading it I believe that I like it more than I did before. This book made me smile; heck, I even liked the epilogue.
Time/Place: Regency England
On to Dreaming. Well, evidently when I read this one the last time, my evil twin sister Ms. Hyde must have done the review, cause she didn't care for the book very much.
This time around, I would have to say that some things struck me funnier than the last time. And, I of course loved Gus. I also wanted to smack Letty. How many bricks does it take to fall on one’s head before one moves on to someone else? Letty was still just too needy for my taste. However, the hero, Richard, didn't strike me as being such a frat boy this time around. In fact, I felt sorry for him having to deal with a stalker-girl who just wouldn't leave him alone. Overall, however, Dreaming still wasn't as good as the lovely Bewitching.
I also wonder what it means that the authors website hasn't been updated in a while.