An Illusion of Love by Patricia Rice

An Illusion of Love (School of Magic, #3)Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: School of Magic #3
Publication Date: 7/21/20
Number of Pages: 332

I am really enjoying this series – and I always enjoy this author. I have followed the Malcolm and Ives families through ALL of their generations and they are all delightful. I loved that our Malcolm heroine in this book is a very exotic mix of Indian (India) and English. As with any Malcolm lady, she has her ‘talent’, but she is finding hers later in life. I also enjoyed that our hero had a mixture of Ives and Malcolm in him – poor fellow.

Azmin Dougall had to wait until adulthood before she even began to see what her Malcolm psychic gift might be. Probably because it had to do with photography – and that hadn’t been invented earlier in her life. However, once she began to discover what the gift was, it also gave her her life’s calling. She’d rescue women who are in abusive marriages – and her photography gift will tell her who those women are.

Azmin’s first rescue is Keya whose husband is a very powerful man in India. Once the decision was made to rescue Keya, Azmin knew she’d have to leave India and return to her family home in Edinburgh, Scotland – and she’d have to bring Keya with her. So, here they are, in Scotland, honing Azmin’s photography skills and refurbishing her father’s townhouse into a photography studio. Will Keya’s husband just let her go? Will he come after her and drag her back to India as he has every legal right to do? While they are waiting for the photography studio to be ready, Azmin is teaching art classes at her Malcolm aunt’s school.

Dr. Zane Dare (how do you like that name?) was once a carefree, rogue. Now, he’s a stodgy, dull professor and researcher at the medical school. What changed him? He watched his sister die of a fever she’d gotten from her young child – and Zane, as a doctor, couldn’t save her. His niece survived, but she was left with weakened lungs and heart – again, something Zane couldn’t fix. His niece is now in his custody and he’s spent years searching for something that will help his niece. Will he ever find the cure?

Zane and Azmin have a history. They were friends when she was sixteen and he was twenty-four – well – each of them wanted to be more than friends, but Zane felt like a pervert for being attracted to Azmin. When he did a stupid thing and she immediately left for India, each felt abandoned by the other. So, imagine Zane’s surprise when he goes to the Malcolm School to seek a governess/companion for his niece, and Azmin is sent to him. OH!

He rescues Azmin on more than one occasion – even though she insists she didn’t need rescuing. The more she’s around, the more he’s smitten – but neither of them wants to be smitten. They waltz around each other, rescue each other, rescue others, fight off bad guys, and finally – finally – realize they are made to be together.

I must say I was puzzled about Zane’s family. His distant uncle is an Earl and his father is the heir to that earl. Yet, somehow, his father is a viscount. It sounds as if he is a viscount because he is the heir to that distant uncle who is an earl. Since that couldn’t be the case – because the only one who would get the courtesy title would be a direct male descendent of the earl. Heirs presumptive don’t get courtesy titles. So – maybe you can figure that part out when you read it. I’m still confused.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think it is a really good addition to the Malcolm family collection.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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