Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookReview – “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” by Maggie Shayne

Blurb

In “Everything She Does is Magick,” a trio of matchmaking witches chooses unsuspecting little Nathan McBride as the perfect mate for their baby niece. The future looks rosy indeed, except for one little catch: they must keep him a virgin!…A lady private eye on the run from some dangerous gangsters invokes a spell of protection in a fit of desperation–and conjures up a dashing musketeer looking for his damsel in distress in “Musketeer By Moonlight.”…And in “The Con and the Crusader,” Jack McCain jumps into a well-and into the past. Mistaken for a criminal, he’s headed for prison, until he’s freed-with a wedding proposal!

Review

There are three novellas in this anthology.

In “Everything She Does is Magick,” witch healer Aurora Sortilege works as a doctor in the ER. Raised by her eccentric aunts, she’s used to many of the town’s residents calling her names and being afraid of her. Though few people actually believe the Sortilege women are witches, they certainly like to spread cruel gossip about the women. Worst of all is Nathan McBride, the boy who lived next door to Aurora when she was growing up, and the secret object of Aurora’s affections.

Nathan never liked Aurora, but that stemmed from jealously, not his honest feelings. After years of no contact with her, he winds up in the ER after yet another failed attempt at wooing and bedding a woman. Desperate to lose his status as a twenty-nine-year-old virgin, he asks Aurora for help, but their past animosity and present tension drives a continuous wedge between them. Still he’s convinced his malady has something to do with Aurora, and he has no idea how right he is.

I really enjoyed this story. Nathan and Aurora are such likable characters. They often bickered and bantered with each other, but you can easily see the love and affection beneath their acidic barbs. Aurora’s aunts are quite awesome, and I loved how they manipulated the H/h into fulfilling their destiny.

4 Stars

In “Musketeer by Moonlight,” Mary Catherine Hammersmith, better known as MC Hammer, runs her own private investigation firm, and she’d accidentally taped a phone conversation about a gangland hit. Now she’s on the run from a mobster and takes refuge at her aunt’s house on Halloween night. Even though Aunt Kate is a witch, MC doesn’t believe in witchcraft but performs a protection spell, anyway, just for fun. After the smoke clears, she meets the type of man she’d thought she wanted.

Alexandre is a Musketeer from 1400s France and chivalrous to a fault. Once he finally realizes he’s traveled through time, he vows to help MC, a fair lady in need, and then return home. MC helps him adapt to the modern world, and a love neither expected quickly blooms between them.

Wow. I love this story. There’s romance, humor, and action. MC is a great female lead. She’s strong and smart, but in way over her head. Alexandre is dashing, suave, and mouthwatering sexy. Their strength blends together, and they mutually respect one another.

5 Stars

In “The Con and the Crusader,” pioneer widow Emily Hawkins lost her husband a few months earlier, and she has to pay the final mortgage on the farm by harvest time, or she’ll lose everything. But Emily and her two children (her departed sister’s children) can’t do all the work by themselves. She needs a husband to plow and harvest the fields, but she wants it to be a business arrangement. To have control in the marriage, she needs to find a man bound for prison, one who would be at her whim.

Modern man Jack McCain has always shied away from hard work—something his departed witch grandmother had always chastised him for—and he likes to con criminals out of their money. As Jack runs through the woods to try and escape the goons chasing him, he comes across a magic well and accidentally falls down it. After making a wish to survive and in turn work harder than he ever had in his life, he winds up in the year 1890 and bound for prison. Emily picks him to be her husband, and he finds himself strapped to ready-made family and a farm. But Emily needs a strong, honest man, and Jack doesn’t know if he’s up for the task.

I soooooo love this story. Emily is strong and determined, but so blind to love and her own worth as a beautiful, desirable woman. Jack is so damn smart and conniving, but he matured a lot throughout the story and learned the meaning of responsibility. I really enjoyed these characters.

5 Stars

The novellas are well written in duel POVs. The sex scenes were brief but romantic. There are a few typos in each story, but nothing major. Maggie Shayne is one of my favorite authors, and I look forward to reading more of her books.

Book Overall – 5 Stars

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

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