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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Under Your Spell by Shiloh Walker



Under Your Spell by Shiloh Walker
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (87 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Nicholas Montgomery fell in love with a bewitching woman only months before his sworn obligation to marry another. His beloved’s fury cast a spell that lasted hundreds of years.

You will never love another like you love me. You will never know a moment’s peace for what you have done. Until you love me enough to forsake everything—your honor, your pride, your own soul—we cannot be together.

Reborn into the body of Sean Concannon, a powerful witch, he has finally found his beloved. Now he has a choice to make, and a sacrifice. One he may be unprepared to make.

How long would you wait for a second chance at true love? When Nicholas Montgomery chooses family honor over his true destined love, he is forever reborn looking for her. In each life, he has searched in vain for Aislinn, the woman who loved him, and cursed him with these words: You will never love another like you love me. You will never know a moment’s peace for what you have done. Until you love me enough to forsake everything—your honor, your pride, your own soul—we cannot be together.

Now, in his current incarnation as stage illusionist and magician Sean Concannon, he believes he has found her. But this woman has no magic, and no memory of who she had been. Rhiannon Welles is a modern woman, with no hint of who she had been. She deals with antiques, and a mysterious stranger sells her a special antique brooch-the very same brooch that Nicholas gave to Aislinn so long ago. Can Sean accept that she doesn’t remember their past, and try to make a future without her? Can he give up his magic for a life with the woman he has loved for over four hundred years?

Shiloh Walker has written a marvelous tale of love that endures long past one life. I loved the twist in this one: Nicholas wasn’t exactly immortal, but he retained his memories from one life to the next. Ms. Walker always creates memorable characters, and Nicholas/Sean and Aislinn/Rhiannon are a perfect example of this talent.

Aislinn is a powerful witch, one set on revenge for the rape and murder of her sister at the hands of bandits. She is strong, and determined, but feels deeply. When she realizes that honor means more to Nicholas than she does, she sacrifices herself, literally. I like the fact that she cursed him, letting him wander endlessly, rather than just accepting his words of love and fading away. I liked her modern counterpoint, Rhiannon as well. This woman is independent, smart and determined to keep what she sees as hers.

Nicholas is an interesting character. He shows his weakness when he chooses family over love, then realizes too late what he turned away from. His modern incarnation is a much wiser man, and I like that, when he finally finds his true love, he does everything in his power to have her.

There were times in this story when I wasn’t sure there would be a happy ever after, but after many surprising twists, it finally came around. This was an emotion filled story, and I admit there were places where I cried at the heart wrenching decisions made by them all. The involvement of Nicholas/Sean’s parents was a pleasant surprise, as was the lengths he would go to help Rhiannon overcome her fears. This is a wonderful story of love lost and found again, and it is well worth the reading.

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