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REVIEW: The Lost Enchantress by Patricia Coughlin

Dear Ms. Coughlin:

The Lost Enchantress by Patricia CoughlinAlthough you have been writing romance for some time, I confess to not having read you before, or if I have read a book of yours, I don’t recall it.    I wasn’t initially interested in The Lost Enchantress but when so many in our Berkley Giveaway pinpointed your book as the ARC they wanted to win, it prompted me to pick up my own copy of this book (given to me by Berkley, FTC disclaimer).

Eve Lockhart is a successful tv reporter in Providence. She comes from a long line of women who have been imbued with magic but after an incantation that results in a tragedy, Eve has turned her back on magic. She’s spent the rest of her life trying to be normal and suppressing her innate magical abilities.

Gabriel Hazard is a man on a mission. He has been the victim of a curse and his search for a release from this curse has brought him to Providence. He buys Eve’s old house and then one night at an auction realizes that Eve might be the key to the removal of the curse.

Reality bends to desire. That’s the core of Eve’s magic. Her magic is in her blood, inherited. She does not need to draw on the power of the earth or ley lines or the like. She calls it up from within making her power stronger than that of an ordinary wizard.   The suppression of this power, matched with something in Hazard, results in Eve generating accidental magic that she is not even aware of performing.      It’s not entirely clear how or why Eve can do magic.   Sometimes, like at the auction, she just needs to will it so. Othertimes, she needs the protective circle or artifacts.

At a charity auction, she is gripped with the desire to bid upon a pendant. She gets into a bidding war with Gabriel and when he would bid higher than she, she turns to him and wills him not to raise his paddle. With this unknown exertion of magic, Eve changes the course of her life and Gabriel’s.

I thought that pace at which Eve and Gabriel’s attraction moved was nice. Eve didn’t immediately fall in love with Gabriel but recognized that he was someone that she could and wanted to fall in love with.   This story is largely Eve’s.   Gabriel is almost a placeholder, moving the plot along, providing a foil to Eve’s acceptance of her burgeoning magic.   Gabriel is tall, dark and handsome when the book calls for it and he is full of information about prophecies and magic when it is convenient.

A bit too much of the story is told to us in info dumps and I particularly did not like the way the story was introduced which was a prologue in the first person (the rest of the story is told in third person).   I wanted the story either to be all first person or all third person.

I’m not much for witch/magic stories but this one was charming. It helped that Eve and Gabriel were likeable characters. This success of this story for an individual reader depends largely on a reader’s ability to accept prophecy and destiny tropes. C+

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased at Amazon (affiliate link), Kindle (non affiliate link) or in ebook format BooksonBoard (non affiliate link) or other retailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

9 Comments

  1. TKF
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 16:25:45

    Sounds a little like the movie Practical Magic (which I quite liked).

  2. Jane
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 16:26:41

    @TKF I totally had Practical Magic flashbacks, but in a good way.

  3. Kelly L.
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 16:37:50

    Hey, you wrote the review of this at Goodreads that I liked so much. :)

    I had Practical Magic flashbacks too, and Nora Roberts Donovan Legacy flashbacks. It reminded me of the kind of gentle witch romances that were more common before urban fantasy took off and made a more action-driven style popular. If that makes any sense.

    The plot twists didn’t really surprise me (such as the revelation Eve learns later about the tragedy), but it was fun and sweet and sort of a comfort book.

  4. Janine
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 16:56:21

    Patricia Coughlin wrote a historical romance I adored called Merely Married. It’s been ages since I read it (maybe a decade?) but I remember it being hilarious, dark and sexy all at once. I am really glad she is writing again and will probably give this or something else of hers a try now that she’s back.

  5. Jane
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 19:17:51

    @Kelly L. I just started using goodreads over the holiday. This book also made me think of NR romances with the light paranormal touch. I kind of liked it. Like you said, it’s sweet and comfortable.

  6. Monica
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 20:07:44

    Dear Author I love the new look…super cute. I love the cover of this book as well. Pretty.

  7. I Got Money in the Bank » Blog Archive » REVIEW: The Lost Enchantress by Patricia Coughlin | Dear Author …
    Jan 12, 2010 @ 03:16:11

    […] the rest here: REVIEW: The Lost Enchantress by Patricia Coughlin | Dear Author … January 12th, 2010 in […]

  8. Susan Laura
    Jan 12, 2010 @ 07:32:30

    I just finished reading “Merely Married” and it is going on my short list of all-time favorite books. An intelligent, funny romance with a great plot – very original! I wish I could remember who recommended it during a year-end discussion of favorite reads – Wendy the Super Librarian, maybe? I think I will wait a bit before reading more of Coughlin’s books, though. I don’t want to ruin the glow of perfection I have with MM.

  9. Wendy
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 22:37:50

    @Susan Laura:

    Nope, not I Susan. I’ve heard of Coughlin, and Merely Married – but alas, have not read it. And shock of all shocks, it’s not in my ginormous TBR. Write that down somewhere. A book Wendy doesn’t have in her TBR….

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