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I was never a big fan of the "Regency romances" that are popular with so many, so I purchased this with great trepidation, hoping that the paranormal aspect of a were-lion courting a shy Duchess who couldn't find her magic would make it more unique. "Unique" doesn't come close to describing what I found within these pages.
I love fantasy stories and Kennedy's Victorian era world of magic kept me absolutely enthralled from first page to last. I look forward to reading the others in her "Relics of Merlin" series although I actually didn't know when I purchased and read this book that it was in fact the start of a series. It had a lovely ending that, although you were left wanting more because you loved the characters, you didn't feel as if you were left hanging and needing more closure.
Amazon's description was far too short to give any kind of feeling for this book. It deserves better.
In a Victorian London where titles are based on the inheritance of magical powers, a were-lion's obsessive quest for Merlin's relics will threaten his love for a disinherited duchess--as well as their very lives.
Yes, that sums it up neatly, but it doesn't do justice to the book at all! It doesn't make you feel the helplessness of a young orphan girl who realizes that if her ability to do magic doesn't surface quickly she will lose her immense inheritance and become homeless. Or the craftiness of a handsome baron shapeshifter who serves Prince Albert to protect him from black magic...the most intense magic of which are the 13 Relics of Merlin, black magic created by Merlin himself, too dark and deadly for even the most magically inclined to possess. It doesn't do more than hint at the sexy love story between the young Duchess and the were-lion baronet that is entwined through the pages amongst the magic, the treachery and the Victorian life vignette. If you enjoy fantasy stories, if you thrill at a warm romance (think Beauty and the Beast revisited, with a twist), if you like a happy ending where the bad guys end up on the bottom...you simply must read this book!