Friday, November 27, 2009

Review: Wicked Charms by Jayel Wylie

In this medieval set romance, Aiden is a knight worthy and true (or so we're told) and he is to marry the king's sister after fulfilling one last errand: taking and securing the Scottish castle of an English lord killed on the Crusades. Standing in his way is the lord's betrothed, Evelyn, and their toddler son. Evelyn has been waiting in the castle for her fiance to come back to her and when she hears he's died, she is determined that his son should have the castle as his birthright, not that an illegitimate child had any birthright. Aiden storms onto the scene arrogant and demanding, making snap judgements and riding roughshod over everyone. And he takes one look at Evelyn and decides he'll keep her around for his pleasure just as long as it suits him but that ultimately she'll have to go because she'll throw a monkey wrench in his plans to marry the princess. Evelyn, for her part, plays the tease in an effort to secure Aiden and the castle. As the two play off of each other, they uncover the pasts that have made them who they are. In Evelyn's case, she was bartered to her fairly indifferent English lord by her brother-in-law at her nasty sister's urging. She had a youth devoid of love and so it is not surprising that she doesn't recognize what she finds with Aiden until almost too late. Aiden is fighting against his wizard heritage, which he knows has always shamed his father. But Aiden and Evelyn have an indescribable connection that stems from the magic that entwines them.

Neither the hero nor the heroine were hugely appealing and the magical aspects of the story were fairly sparse until the author needed to invoke them to move the plot to crisis point, a sort of hastily constructed deus ex machina. The story of Aiden and Evelyn coming to trust each other, despite their initial cold-blooded plans for seduction solely for pleasure's sake was a much more interesting plotline than the magical history by the castle. I wasn't wowed by this one but it was a decent enough read.

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