The Cupcake Queen

Merely Married

The Lost Enchantress
by Patricia Coughlin
(Berkley, $14.00 PG-13)  ISBN 978-0-425-22982-8
The Lost Enchantress is a thoroughly enjoyable story of a woman who has turned her back on her magical abilities, and a man who needs that magic to end a curse.  Though readers won’t be terribly surprised by the plot, it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Eve Lockhart is an enchantress, which means that she pulls her magical powers from within, rather than drawing them from objects or her surroundings. This makes her magic more powerful than that of a witch or warlock, which plays into the story.  Eve swore off magic as a teenager after an attempt to discover her true love ended in a family tragedy.  She is now a successful television reporter in Providence, Rhode Island.

At a high-end charity auction, Eve is mesmerized by an antique pendant in the shape of an hourglass. She unknowingly uses her magical powers to stop her competitor, Gabriel Hazard, from outbidding her. Later, Gabriel approaches her with an offer to buy the pendant.  When two thugs attack them, intent on stealing the pendant, Eve and Gabriel fight them off.  Eve’s magic is apparently still available to her, much to her astonishment, and something about Gabriel brings it into focus.

Eve discovers that the hourglass pendant is an old family talisman, missing for many years.  Gabriel needs the pendant to break a nearly two-hundred-year-old curse placed on him by a vengeful warlock.  Eve’s efforts to help him call forth more trouble than either had anticipated, and it will take all of Eve’s power to save and protect Gabriel, who just might be her one true love.

I really liked Eve. Mature, clear-thinking, and willing to help Gabriel once she understands his problem, she’s a heroine worth cheering for.  Her attraction to Gabriel takes her by surprise, and the author wisely gives them time to talk and get to know each other a bit before dumping them into bed together. Smart move.

Gabriel isn’t explored in as much depth, but what we do know about him is intriguing.  He’s a bit world-weary, as anyone might be after two hundred years of a bad-luck curse, yet he remains a gentleman.  Although Gabriel has little magic of his own, he recognizes it in Eve – and she’s not what he expected to find when he came in search of the pendant.  Gradually, his attraction to her will force Gabriel to unlock his long-suppressed emotions.  Gabriel has an associate, a man named Taggart who is no stranger to the whole curse situation.  He’s an interesting sidekick.  I wanted to know more about him.

The Lost Enchantress is fine entertainment from an author not published since 2002.  Patricia Coughlin previously wrote category and historical romances; she might have a bright future in paranormals.  

--Cathy Sova

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