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Lois Greiman

REVIEW:  Charming the Devil by Lois Greiman

REVIEW: Charming the Devil by Lois Greiman

Dear Ms. Greiman:

Cover of Lois Greiman's Charming the DevilI think of myself as a big fan of the Beauty and the Beast tale, but I can’t help but wonder if we readers are being oversaturated with the retelling of this popular myth. Charming the Devil is the third entry in the Witches of Mayfair trilogy (and given that it is a trilogy, I assume that it is the last book in the trilogy but there are several plot threads that appear to be unresolved at the end).

Faye Nettles (not her real name, but I don’t know that we are ever given her real name) was found somewhere and taken in by Lord and Lady Gallo who own the Lavender House. The Lavender House shelters women who have gifts. Faye’s gift is one of truthtelling and it was sorely abused by someone in her past life. As part of the Lavender House, Faye is called upon to use her gifts to determine whether Rogan McBain was involved in the death of Lord Brendier.

Why the Lavender House is interested in Lord Brendier’s death remains a mystery to me in the end, as do many elements of the story. At one point, it was hinted that Faye is given this task merely so that she can prove to herself she is a woman of great strength and not the mouse she perceives herself to be. Yet, given all the dangers that Faye is put in to gain this knowledge, it seems that Lady Gallo plays very loose with her charges. Motivation of the characters often escaped me in this story.

The story had a very nice gothic feel to it, aided by the timidity of the Faye. She’s very uncertain of Rogan McBain, in part because of his large size. Men have never been kind to Faye and Rogan McBain has the ability to fell her in one blow. For Rogan’s part, he finds “faerie Faye”, as he calls her, fascinating but he’s also a little apprehensive for Rogan’s experience with women hasn’t been very good either. He has a strong protective streak, one that he’s tried to tamp down or eliminate, but to little success. This desire to protect the weaker, or the seemingly weaker sex, has gotten his heart broken and made him leery of permanent attachment to women.

Rogan and Faye are both like wounded birds and easily misunderstand the motives of others and intentionally mislead the other in trying to keep up their appearances. Faye is trying to show that she isn’t tenderhearted or weak (not understanding that the former does not imply the latter). Rogan is torn between wanting to protect Faye and not wanting to fall into another trap.

I found both Rogan and Faye to be very likeable. Rogan is described as so beast like, however, I envisioned pictures of Andrea the Giant. You, however, apparently see a young Gerard Butler. There was a definite disconnect between that vision and the description of Rogan as having “freakish size” or being referred to as a “big freak of a man” and having “timber sized legs”.

Part of my problem with the book is that it seemed very disjointed. There lacked smooth transition between scenes. One minute you would have two individuals talking and then next, one character would be in the backyard garden of a home at midnight. As I said previously, the motivation of the characters eluded me. Why were Faye and Rogan at ton parties? How did they go around blithely interrogating people? Why is Shaleena naked? (you can read the Shaleena naked scene here. I mean, the first scene produced questions that remained unanswered. I kept asking myself what the point was.

I have not read any of the other books in the trilogy and I admit to feeling disadvantaged because of it. Perhaps if I had read the three previous stories, I would have understood the role of the Lavender House and why Shaleena was naked. How people could just turn up in the garden at midnight and why Faye could roam the streets at dawn.

I liked the gothic appeal of it. I liked Faye and Rogan. I just felt like I had only been allowed to read half the story. C

Best regards

Jane

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This book was provided to the reviewer by either the author or publisher. The reviewer did not pay for this book but received it free.

REVIEW:  Bewitching the Highlander by Lois Greiman

REVIEW: Bewitching the Highlander by Lois Greiman

Dear Ms. Greiman:

Bewitching the HighlanderI have never read a Greiman book before. I always meant to read and have, in fact, purchased your contemporary books, Unzipped and Unplugged before. But with the muscle bound chests and arms and titles with “Highlander”, I wasn’t terribly excited about reading the historicals. As I said a few days ago, I kind of feel that my Scottish historical days are past. My blogging partner, Jayne, puts her Scottish malaise down to too many book with faux Scottish dialect but this is a book I would recommend to her and, in fact, I am going to send this to her.

While there is plenty of dialect in this book, none of its seems faux. In fact, its downright lyrical. I loved the speech patterns of the characters that held true not only in their conversations with each other but in their own internal dialogue.

“I did na ken what I was doing.” And that was the bloody truth. “I swear to the saints. I did na ken. And I was hungry. ‘Twas three days since I had so much as a bite. I saw a meadow filled with sheep and though sure a man of such astounding wealth would na miss one small lambkin.”

Keelan, the hero, was particularly adorable with his penchant for exclaming: Mary and Joseph! Even the lovemaking scenes seemed steeped in the language of the time period.

Her lashes framed her whisky, troubled eyes, and her bosoms . . . Sweet Mary, her bosoms, bunched together like a bouquet of posies!

Keelan is a charmer. It is his one skill. He’s a braw man but not enough to overcome three thugs who beat him to an inch of his life until he convinces Lord Chetfield, the thugs’ employer, that Keelan can heal Chetfield’s illness. Chetfield orders that he be healed and in comes, sweet, innocent, daft Cherie, who is not as she seems. Cherie sets out to heal Keelan while searching for something from Chetfield.

Keelan and Cherie both take turns trying to convince the other to leave the evil household but they are both bound to find the Chetfield’s treasure. Each has no idea about the other’s purpose but they both see something good in the other, comparatively speaking anyone would look like an angel next to Chetfield and top thug, Roland.

It’s a con, a caper, a mystical story that leads to a compelling read. Cherie is a wonderful heroine. She has magnificent female assets and isn’t afraid to use them to appear nothing more than a pretty face, while trying to charm her way around the Chetfield residence. But she seems to always be on the edge of being caught out. Keelan’s near death experience at the hands of Chetfield’s thugs is one that the reader believes might just be brought to a swift and unhappy conclusion in the next paragraph. This story, however, had just the right movement between suspense, humor and sexiness. I couldn’t put it down.

There are clues left to the reader to discern the basis of Chetfield’s evil and while I hadn’t guessed it, I was delighted to remember the trail of breadcrumbs that you had left.

The bad part was the end where I felt you cheated a bit and used a deux ax machina. It seemed that you wrote yourself into a corner at the end and had to use a helping hand to get out of it. The insertion of previous characters wasn’t too hamfisted but their involvement left questions as to other things which if I were to elaborate might ruin the denouement of the story. Suffice it to say it was the one thing that kept this book from being an A but I’ll be reading your backlist titles this weekend.

Best regards,

Jane

PS. Sadly your website has no new content so I can’t link to any excerpt for your book. Readers might be able to find it in their stores this weekend, but the official release date is July 31, 2007 and available at Amazon.