Monday, June 26, 2006


Maya Berry reviews THE MARRIAGE SPELL by Mary Jo Putney (Ballantine Books, 2006).

Romance and magic in Regency England!

Abby has loved Jack Langdon from afar for years. One day, Jack gets severely injured in a hunting accident, and his friends carry him to her door for help. Abby is a healer, a person who uses her magical abilities to heal the sick and injured. With his extensive injuries, attempting to save him magically could cost Abby her life. Weighing her options, she offers to help Jack on one condition—that he consents to marry her! After Abby saves Jack’s life, she offers to release him from his promise to marry her, but he discovers that he does not want to let her go.

After Jack and Abby get married, they have to face a variety of obstacles together, including intolerance of those with magical abilities, Jack’s magical past, and mysterious happenings at Jack’s ancestral home.

Although I was raised as a romance reader, this is the first book I have read by Mary Jo Putney. I was very impressed with The Magic Spell. Abby and Jack are thrown together in marriage like in so many other romance titles (which I also enjoy reading!), but they actually communicate with each other like mature adults, instead of allowing big misunderstandings and hearsay to detract from their relationship.

Did you know that Mary Jo Putney, along with six other authors, have their own blog called Word Wenches?

Maya Berry, Parkway Village Branch Library

I also enjoyed this book. I am typically intrigued by romances and other novels in which the heroine is attractive but not conventionally beautiful. But, she must be intelligent, inventive, courageous and compassionate. Flaws, tragic or otherwise, are always welcome.

Even if The Marriage Spell is not the type of book you might typically read, give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised. Also consider Second Sight by Amanda Quick.
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