Series: School of Magic
Publication Date: 5/18/21
Number of Pages: 300
As a through-and-through, logical, unemotional Ives male, Gerard, Earl of Ives and Wystan, avoids Wystan Castle as much as he possibly can. Why? Well, because it is filled to the brim with those lovely but pesky Malcolm women who like to manage him. It is his responsibility to care for and provide for the dears, but his coffers are all but drained and he has absolutely no idea how he’ll manage to keep the castle and lands going. If only he could find the treasure that the voice from the old Roman coin keeps talking about, he could do the necessary repairs and preserve Wystan – but if he can’t … Maybe he should just find an heiress to marry. He could do that – as long as she isn’t a Malcolm – he couldn’t do that. He just isn’t ready for marriage yet and since his father isn’t pushing him – well – he can wait.
Lady Iona Malcolm Ross and her twin sister Isobel have fled Craigmore, their home in Scotland because their debauched and evil step-father has usurped the title Earl of Craigmore. That title rightly belongs to Iona, but since she is a young female, nobody questions him. He has gone through all of their funds and is now planning to sell Iona to an American who wants a title. That American has more money than sense and has absolutely no idea how their Scottish title works. The American thinks he is buying a title for himself. Iona and Isobel have assumed new names and are well hidden within different Malcolm households – they should be safe. They were, safe that is, until their nasty step-father – using the American’s money – goes public with a tale of woe about his daughters having run away and offering a large reward for anybody finding them.
I always love all of the quirky ‘talents’ that manifest themselves in the Malcolms. Iona’s talent is that she talks to bees. That might not sound like much of a talent – but when it is needed to save the day – well – we find it might be more valuable than we realized.
The Malcolm I most appreciated in this book was Gerard. Poor man – can you imagine how conflicted he is? Yes – he is both a Malcolm and an Ives – and that pretty much puts him at war within himself. His logical, scientific, Ives mind absolutely cannot fathom that he has a voice talking to him in his head – so he often thinks he must be insane. Can he come to accept and embrace his Malcolm gifts as well as his Ives brilliance?
I really enjoyed Gerard! His conflicts within himself are really well done. Iona, on the other hand, wasn’t my favorite Malcolm. I loved that she calmed Gerard and seemed to amplify and focus his emerging gifts – but I just didn’t love her personally. She was strong and independent but didn’t trust anybody and I can understand that given her life over the last few years. Still, she was much too headstrong and often put herself – and perhaps others – at risk. Even when she was presented with logical alternatives, she still went her own way without caring a whit about what her decisions did to others – particularly Gerard. So, I liked Iona – and I liked Iona and Gerard together – but I didn’t love Iona.
I can definitely recommend this book and this series. I hope you’ll give it a try and will love it as much as I did.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.