Book Review: By Magic Beguiled by Maggie Shayne

bymagicbeguiled-683x1024Many a man has died of longing for one such as her. For her skin has the flavor of honey which contains a magic all its own. Once a man’s lips taste her nectar, he is bound to her for all his days. Be forewarned, then, for her spell cannot be broken. Look for the sign of the cradle moon above the mound of Venus. Be it pale, you might yet escape with our heart and mind intact. But be it crimson, she is of royal blood, and too strong for a mortal man’s resistance.

Brigit Malone can paint anything she sees, and uses that skill to get herself and her best friend,  Razor Face Malone, off the streets. Living the straight life is good until an old enemy kidnaps Raze and demands Brigit forge a privately owned painting, switch the fake for the original, and deliver it. But that painting is the prize possession of Adam Reid, a good man betrayed one too many times. Not only that, but Brigit has seen him before in her dreams. Hurting him is unbearable, but so is leaving Raze in danger.

Neither of them realize the images in the painting are actually a message from the twin sister Brigit doesn’t know she has, a message calling her back to the enchanted kingdom of Rush, where the two half fay twins are destined to put down the usurping Dark Prince Tristan and restore peace to their home, the distant land of Rush.

 

This book was just what I needed. It’s an epic adventure with romance, deception, and e9cf52a5638350f16f6bffbaaa72b004magic. Adam Reid is breath-takingly sexy, and Brigit is wonderfully strong and graceful, like a fairy should be.

However, Adam isn’t inclined to believe in love, let alone fairies. After his terrible childhood with an abusive father, his money was stolen by his ex wife, leaving him a jaded and cynical man about the world and very distrustful of humans. His sadness translates really well on the page and it’s really easy to feel for him, even when he’s complaining about only being able to afford a once-a-week cleaning service instead of a live-in maid. Despite his crankiness and need to be a cynic, you can’t help but want him to find true love and happiness.

Brigit is similarly disillusioned about life. After living homeless on the streets for several years, she succumbed to be an art forger to care for Raze, an old man who had saved her from a fire, and acted like a father to her. Now she was struggling to put the past behind her by running a florist shop. Unfortunately she will have no choice but to go back.to being an art forger to save Raze from one of her old enemies. And this means she needs to rob Adam Reid of the painting.

Adam’s first impression of Brigit is well illustrated and on point with the magic ability of fairies, especially those of royal blood.

She was incredible, and because her eyes sucked him in like quicksand, and because he had the oddest feeling that he knew her. Or should know her.

I love that this story isn’t insta-love, despite the Lure that Brigit gives off, magic that makes men fall in love with her. Yes, Adam does obsess with her a bit at first, but there is so much distrust in him that he doesn’t fall to her charms too quickly. And the plot is fantastic, right up to the heart-wrenching climax. Even though there’s very little magic and supernatural elements in the first book of this duo, it’s still there. Adult fantasy and fairytale lovers will enjoy this book as much as I did.

By Magic Beguiled is available on Smashwords.*

 

*This is an affiliate link which means that I get a small commission if you purchase through this link, but at no additional cost to you. Half of my commission from this book will be donated to The Malala Fund to help girls all over the world get an education. 

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