||Awe-Struck E-books, Earthling Press
Ann Tracy Marr - Romance Writer
Sorcery and society tangle in a twisted marriage of convenience.
Twist legend into truth. King Arthur, the round table, and Merlin’s magic are not myth, but history.
In the Camelot inspired Regency fantasy, Thwarting Magic, a rogue wizard threatens the stability of the world. It is magician Adrian Hughes's quest to find and stop the wizard before magic holes destroy the atmosphere. It is his dream to win Margaret Ridgemont.
But in 1814, the fathers decide. Margaret and James Treadway will marry. Period, end of discussion. It promises to be a hell of an arranged marriage.
With magic holes forming in the most unexpected places, Adrian’s quest throws him into the deepest pit of all, the void of a loveless marriage.
"Oh my dear boy," Mrs. Treadway exclaimed from the comfort of her bed when James poked his head around the door. Arms outstretched, she bade her son enter. "I am delighted to see you looking so fine."
"Wanted to make sure you were comfortable, Mama." James tucked the comforter closer around his mother's form. His finger poked through a hole in the material. "Shoddy housekeeping," he muttered. Distastefully, he shook his finger free and straightened her night cap. "I hoped you would arrive sooner, you know. You haven't had a chance to get to know Miss Ridgemont."
She sighed with the drama of a tragedienne. "I did wish to come sooner, dear boy, but Ann was miserable, wanting to scratch all over. She could have been scarred. Then your scamp of a sister fell out of the oak at the foot of the drive. The doctor set her arm and assured us Davinia will be fine, but I could not tear myself from her side for a time. The trip was abominable, what with the mudslide down that hill. My heart was in my throat, truly in my throat, when the carriage slipped. But your father assured me there was no danger. And here we are."
Overwhelmed by the spate of words, he said dutifully, "Just in time."
Her night cap slipped askew with her vigorous nod. "I intend to be fresh as dew tomorrow for your big day. Sir Denison and your father will stay up much too late drinking brandy and solving the country's problems. It will be left to me to uphold the decorum of the family." She pushed at the edge of the cap and twittered. "You don't suppose something will go wrong?"
"Grandfather said things always happen in threes," James reminded her, gently pushing the cap back to the top of her head. "Ann, Davinia, and mud have done the bad luck in." If he'd been dealing with one of his friends, he would have taken her resultant giggle as a signal she'd imbibed more brandy than was wise. As it was, he attributed it to exhaustion.
She drained the wine glass on the bedside table. Leaning back against the pillows, her words slurred. "I shuppose, though the children wouldn't agree. Ann missed Ruth Dorshey's birthday party and Davinia moaned at being confined, the little hoyden. We may hope your Grandpapa was right. But when he talked about threes being a dish-dishaster, he was referring to my brothers. They were a hellish lot. Your Uncle George sh'pecially.
"He took up with that hideous Harriette Wilson's vulgar sister. Nearly married her. I thought Papa would have an apoplexy from the grave. Your father had to sit George down and talk sense into him. Then he married Shusan."
She paused to gather her scattering wits. "Though with marriage being a joyoush occasion, p'raps one of the other children will create a dishaster to balance everything. Children are like that." She took a deep breath and cracked her son's composure. "Jamie, I am glad this is a love match. Just what I wished for you. Be happy, dear boy, as happy as your father and I. It's an adventure of the best sort."
"Mother," James began, his voice clogged with annoyance.
She stifled a yawn. "Marriage ish difficult enough without affection to temper the impatience, disappointment and ill feeling events thrust upon one. Not for my children the aridness of the fashionable alliance. I've known too many miserable people to want that for you."
"Thank heavens you are shensible." Her eyelids fell. "Now go away, darling dear, sho I can sleep. I wish to be fresh for your big day. I will steal a moment to become acquainted with Mish Ridgemont. But for now, I really need to rest."
The darling, dear, dumbstruck boy let himself out of his mother's room. She was overtired, sounded almost drunk, but her meaning was clear. What had his father done? His mother thought he had contracted a love match? Egads. She must have misunderstood the Pater.
He wandered the hall, pausing outside the widow's door. What he wouldn't give to turn the handle, climb on top of that luscious body, and take his fill. He knew he could satisfy Christine. He was certain she could satisfy him. But the widow would scream for the wedding ring to go on her finger, rather than her sister's. He could see it happening. Unholy crystal cave, the wedding was tomorrow. A pity he couldn't celebrate his last night of freedom with her--or at Merlin's Gardens again with a doll. He leaned his head against the door frame. Then he gave up and went early to bed.
Romance and magic in Merry Old England! Electrifying!
Thwarting Magic: Sequel to Round Table Magicisn is an electrifying book that will keep you enthralled to the very end. In her second book, author Ann Tracy Marr has created a unique Regency fantasy romance, a love triangle of such realism your heart will go out to the young couple.
Margaret Ridgemont is being forced by her father to marry James Treadway. Things start with a bang in the opening chapter when she overhears him telling his best friend Adrian Hughes that he prefers her sister.
Our feisty, independent heroine is not one to be tampered with. As befits the era of this story, Margaret's a lady through and through, but she's also "one of a kind" in the way she handles the arrogant, wealthy Treadway. The servants' tongues are wagging like crazy, not to mention the more liberated leader of the Ton who admires Margaret and takes her under her wing. Together they pull a coup to end all coups, lending much humor to this tale of romance and magic in Merry Old England.
Adrian Hughes doesn't approve of Treadway's treatment of his betrothed, but he has problems of his own. There's magic afoot and the Council of Mages is relying on him to find the rogue wizard. Holes are springing up all over England ... in carpets, draperies and other benign places, but the Council suspects it will get worse and needs to stop it before "people die of holes in their foreheads or England crumbles into the ocean." As far-fetched as that sounds, the Council is deadly serious about ferreting out the wizard, and Adrian could be knighted if he succeeds.
He suspects Margaret because her mother practiced magic and the Council feels it's hereditary. Fate pulls a dirty trick on Adrian and he soon becomes enamored of Margaret. She develops feelings for him, too, but the "societal mores of the day" won't allow a "lady and a gentleman" to act on their feelings.
Is Margaret the rogue wizard The Council seeks? Or is it one of her sisters or someone else entirely? Will Adrian find the culprit in time to save England and win his Knighthood? But most important, will true love win? Will Margaret and Adrian find each other and live happily ever after? Well, as review readers know by now, I'm not about to give any spoilers, so you will have to RFY, as usual.
While being kept in suspense by the romantic and magical elements of this novel, you will also be highly amused when you learn how Margaret handles the "philandering, self-centered" Treadway, especially the scene where she rearranges his library when he dares cross her. If this lovable heroine doesn't win your heart in the first chapter, she will have you enslaved after you read this. What a woman! And Adrian is just as winning. You're in for an exciting, fun-filled read!
I find this book to be a unique, intriguing blend of Regency romance and magic. Marr has a wonderful, distinctive style of description that brings not only her characters to life but her settings as well. I can't wait to go back and read her first book Round Table Magician.
Reviewed by Betty Dravis
Author of: "1106 Grand Boulevard"
In an England where magic reigns and the United States is still the Colonies, Margaret Treadway is locked in a loveless marriage of (in)convenience, complicated by her two sisters.
One sister is an attractive widow, far prettier than Margaret, at least in her philandering husband's opinion; the other is an ingénue with out-of-control magic that seems to act like a termite on most any substance. Are her domestic worries at all related to the current rash of disasters plaguing the magical community? Will she ever be able to give in to the adulterous love that makes her feel like Guinevere?
Ms. Marr weaves a charming tale, sure to appeal to Regency aficionados, that skillfully blends together two genres in a fantastic alternate history that is essentially true to the time period. You cannot help but sympathize with Margaret's dilemmas, especially her problematic family issues. How she handles them with ladylike deftness is worthy of applause.
Reviewed by Amanda Kilgore for
The Romance Studio
I really enjoyed my second trip to Ms. Marr’s Arthurian Regency. Adrian and Margaret are great characters, both very honorable. Margaret is wonderfully able to stand up for herself, as is the younger sister Emma. I really disliked the selfish and amoral elder sister, who would have been an almost perfect match for the truly horrible Treadway, who thinks nothing of setting up a twelve year old mistress. I loved the new and interesting take of life in the ton with a magical twist. The author has a wonderfully descriptive style, especially evident in her description of the house in Mount Street and Margaret’s redecoration of the library; I could picture everything and everyone clearly. Mrs. Sylvester is a great character and Emma’s magical experiments are very exciting.
Reviewed by Maura Frankman
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