Merrimon Book Reviews

Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur
Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur
From Medieval Book Reviews
Magic In His Kiss
Magic In His Kiss by Shari Anton
by Shari Anton

A Pendragon Princess, a bard and ghosts --- a magical, memorable medieval romance!

Set in mid 12th century Wales during tumultuous times, Shari Anton's final third book in a trilogy combines history and romance with a touch of the paranormal. Tender, passionate, and suspenseful, Shari Anton creates memorable characters and scenes. From political intrigue emerges a tale of love that crosses boundaries with a sense of magical healing. MAGIC IN HIS KISS is an unforgettable romance read.

Nicole de Leon may be a Pendragon princess, a woman who can trace her bloodline all the way back to King Arthur, but Empress Maud and King Stephen's struggle to secure the throne has put Wales in a precarious position, and with it, Nicole also. As the King's ward, her future marriage is a political alliance. Connor ap Maelgwn, chieftain of Glenvair, sends Rhodri ap Dafydd on a mission to kidnap Nicole from Bledloe Abbey and bring her under Connor's control, thus freeing her from the political maneuvering of the Earls of March. As a bard, Rhodri knows how to use language to persuade and his job is to abduct Nicole and make it look like it was her desire so as not to incur political retribution. Rhodri doesn't relish the task. She was an impossible, willful child! Now that he meets the woman that she has become, a woman of loyalty and passion, how can he ever turn her over to another? Although Nicole has formed close friendships in the convent, times are changing in the abbey itself and she has no calling for the religious life. How can she not seize this opportunity to escape, especially when such a handsome, clever and strong man offers her protection?

Rhodri ap Dafydd is a strong and clever, a man who can outwit anyone, but his real talent is song. He knows Welsh history and can recite songs to charm anyone, but can he win the heart of the one woman who steals his heart? Will he achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a pencerdd, the highest acclaim to which a bard can aspire? Nicole has a heart of gold. In the convent, her friendship with the Mother Abbess shows a side of her that few people from her past would ever imagine. Nicole, however, harbors a deep secret that torments her very soul. She has a special gift, the power to talk to the dead, soothing them, yet one ghost refuses all comfort that she might deliver. Will the past haunt her, forever ruining her chances to make peace with her family and be with the one man she truly loves?

Shari Anton's MAGIC IN HIS KISS warms the reader's heart from the first pages as Nicole's loyalty and kindness to the Mother Abbess shows her independent spirit, a determination to do right by others. Amongst the political intrigue of the times, Nicole stands out as a true princess, a woman who has inherited the nobility of her Arthurian bloodline if not the position. Sharon Anton's portrait of Rhodri is the perfect match for a woman as talented and complex as Nicole. A man of many talents, Rhodri's maneuvering adds an exciting level of suspenseful action as he and Nicole race through the maze of alliances and a guarded landscape to reach Connor. Shari Anton's MAGIC IN HIS KISS is a wonderful mix of passion and tenderness born in a precarious political backdrop. What an ending! Just at the most intense point of suffering, Shari Anton creates one of the most memorable and moving reconciliation scenes I have ever read in medieval romance. Nicole and Rhodri's love itself is magical as each brings to the other the true calling of their hearts, not for them but for others as well. Together, their love has a power to heal beyond the imagination. MAGIC IN HIS KISS has a striking beauty that will be loved by both medieval and romance lovers.

Publisher: Forever (July 1, 2008)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Medieval Book Reviews
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