Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Magic and Mayhem, #5
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Born into a magical family, Damon Norcott, the third son of the Marquess of Chandos never expected to be his father’s heir, but with the death of his older brothers, he is now Viscount Bentford and the guardian of his late brother’s three young daughters, all of whom will at some point inherit powers, as do all the women in his family, just as the men are tasked with protecting them. Ever cautious of their welfare, especially when their parents were murdered because his sister-in-law was a witch, Damon has sworn off marriage until the last of his nieces is grown and then he will find a nice witch and beget an heir. That was the plan until his eldest niece, Ianthe comes into her powers and his mother moves them all to Nightshade Manor in Bocka Morrow.
Miss Cordelia Vail, sister to the Viscount Lynwood, was born and raised in the magical town of Bocka Morrow and maybe the only resident that has never witnessed anything magical! Her older siblings all met their true loves with ghostly help and her younger sister swears she was saved from drowning by a merman and sees ghosts from Castle Keyvnor and even her younger brother Edward has seen pixies! But that doesn’t mean she has given up hope and when Edward convinces her to climb a tree and watch as their neighbors in Nightshade Manor arrive, she finally witnesses a magical moment! This leads her to meet Damon for the first time, which strikes her as odd since their sisters are good friends, as were their brothers and Cordelia has even met his mother several times in London. The attraction between them is instant and the friendship that grows is strong, but despite his feelings, Damon knows nothing can come of this since he is destined to marry a witch, so he tries to keep his feelings in check. But when Madam Boswell, foretells of darkness around him, he worries for his nieces and accepts Cordelia’s help as he isn’t familiar with the village and finds himself falling more in love with her every day and it seems like fate – but why would fate bring them together when they can never be?
This was a fun story and if like me, you are a fan of the Castle Keyvnor stories, you are going to be delighted to revisit Bocka Morrow! Cordelia and Damon are wonderful characters and the chemistry between them is apparent from their first encounter. The book is filled with magic, witches (good and bad), long-buried secrets, cryptic warnings, riddle-filled prophecies, mild love scenes (kissing only), and finally a HEA that hints at more magic to come! I really enjoyed reading this story and while I prefer a bit more heat in the books I read, I really didn’t miss the steam in this story. This is the fifth book in the series and it is loosely tied to the Castle Keyvnor books, but it is easily read as a standalone title. If you like a bit of paranormal in your historical romances, I highly recommend this series and this title especially.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*