Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: School of Magic #4
Publication Date: 3/23/21
Number of Pages: 322
I absolutely LOVE the Malcolm and Ives world this author has created. We have followed them around the world from century to century and they are always delightful. The wacky Malcolm’s are always marrying scientifically inclined Ives – and – OMGoodness, the talents that can come from the combination of wacky and scientific is delightful. The book, as always, is excellently written and the story is well-plotted with completely relatable characters. It is, of course, wonderful to have a re-visit with characters from other books and series. In this story, we meet Max and Lydia who are absolutely perfect for each other and I loved to watch them come to realize that.
Poor Maxwell Ives has a mixture of Ives and Malcolm blood – so he has the scientific mind of an Ives AND the Malcolm ‘talents’. Sometimes those Malcolm ‘talents’ seem to be more curse than talent. Maxwell’s talent is magnetism. No, he doesn’t attract random pieces of metal – he attracts females – all sorts of females. Now, you’d think a man would think that is a wonderful thing – but – picture a room full of females – all fighting over you. Yep, pretty uncomfortable. So, Maxwell has lived most of his life in remote areas working with males. He has absolutely no intention of ever returning to England and society – let them just think he is dead. However, when he learns that his mother is about to be evicted from her home because her fortune is gone – he has to come home to see about it. Since he cannot possibly deal with society in Edinburgh, he heads to the Malcolm Library at Calder Castle where he has been corresponding with the Librarian Mr. Cadwallader.
Lydia Wystan has been at Calder Castle for several years acting as assistant to the Librarian. It is the first place she has ever felt truly at home. Now, however, she’s feeling fearful because she’s sorely afraid she isn’t qualified to be the next Librarian. Mr. Cadwallader says she can be – but – the books don’t talk to her as they do to him. Mr. Cadwallader had apoplexy a year ago and has been totally incommunicative since then, so Lydia has been doing the best she can. What in the world will she do when he dies? If the books won’t talk to her, she won’t be able to be the Librarian and she’ll not only lose the library, she’ll lose the only home where she’s ever felt at home.
Max and Lydia both need something within themselves. Max needs the calming/settling effect that Lydia has on him. With her, something settles and he can deal more easily with all of those females who are attracted to him. Lydia needs the self-confidence and self-worth Max brings out in her. He makes her feel as if she has value. Can Lydia break the spell of Max’s magnetism? Can Max learn to be faithful? Can Max solve his mother’s financial problems? Can he and Lydia save the Library? Can Max prevent his uncle from having him declared dead? OMGoodness – so much going on and the answers are all right in this lovely story.
I am so glad to have read this book. I think the author did a remarkable job of making Max and Lydia into real people. People we could get to know and like. Now, I can hardly wait for the next book in the series, Entrancing the Earl.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.