Under Your Spell
Lois Greiman
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Buy *Under Your Spell (Witches of Mayfair, Book 1)* by Lois Greiman online

Under Your Spell (Witches of Mayfair, Book 1)
Lois Greiman
384 pages
May 2008
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Ella St. James, Countess of Lanshire, is a widow with a secret: she's a witch who has been working with other witches to help people. Following the death of her friend Sarah, though, she has decided she wants to live a quiet life with a child; she just needs to find a suitable man to provide that child. Ella doesn't want to get married. She doesn't want any man to have power over her as her former husband did - and then put her in an asylum when she told him about her powers.

When Ella meets Sir Thomas Drake, a former soldier, she finds him unexpectedly appealing, but he doesn't fit her criteria for a liaison so she tries to ignore him. However, he often appears when she's in danger and they spend time together. Does Sir Thomas know anything about Sarah's death? Can she find a man who will accept that she is Gifted?

The basic story of Under Your Spell is rather thin, and several aspects aren't entirely resolved (such as Ella's time in the asylum). It's mostly made up of interactions between Ella and Sir Thomas where he wants to sleep with her and she tells him he's not suitable. Neither character is particularly convincing, despite the fact that we follow the story from both their points of view.

Unfortunately the historical accuracy in this book goes vastly awry at times. The author clearly hasn't done thorough research into the period - she has several characters who are referred to as 'count' (the English title is Earl); the hero is called Sir Drake where he would always be called Sir Thomas (Thomas being his first name) or Sir Thomas Drake; and there's a colossal howler two-thirds of the way through the book where the adjective 'sophomoric' is used, which is unlikely to be understood by modern British people, let alone historical ones. As usual the dialogue is littered with Americanisms, very common in this genre, but elemental mistakes such as 'Count' for Earl and the correct way to address a knight are disappointing.

This is ultimately a forgettable book with little to make it in any way special. It's an okay read for a lazy afternoon, but it could have been a great deal better.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Helen Hancox, 2008

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