Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Dark Things Lurk in Grimspell Castle
Sir Nicodemus Wulfson is haunted by memories of murder—and ghosts. He brings in a ghost-hunter in the form of celebrated spiritualist Lady Philomena Radcliff, and promptly, all hell breaks loose. Is Philomena a threat to his already suffering family? Or can Nico trust his burgeoning attraction to her?
Is it Him She Should Fear?
Lady Philomena has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood performing séances for the aristocracy—until she meets sexy young werewolf Sir Nico. She agrees to try ridding his castle of its increasingly restless spirits. But there are more mysteries within Grimspell Castle than even Nico is aware of, and when a local girl turns up dead, Phil wonders if she’s risking her life as well as her heart.
This blurb came from Amazon.
It had been way too long since I read something by Kennedy. I tend to find her writing lyrical and vivid so she is on my list as a reliable fantasy romance author. When I saw this title on Netgalley I had to request it for review. However, as I was reading I thought some parts of this story seemed familiar so I did a little bit of research and discovered this was a rerelease and I had read the original version back when it was originally published. Thankfully long enough had passed so I was not doing a memory comparism and I found that I enjoyed the story all over again.
In Kennedy’s Relics of Merlin world power is measured by your magic ability. The more magic you have, the higher your social status—a status which over time has become relatively hereditary; regarded you have the minimum amount of power required. This power/status linkage stayed in place except for the most magical of all: the Were or shifters. Able to transform into an animal of some sort and almost completely immune to the effects of magic while holding a technical social status position in reality, Weres were considered outside polite society.
Nico, a Werewolf, had ventured to London in search of someone who could rid his home of the ghosts that were haunting his brother. Haunted by the gruesome death of his former fiancée and worried about his brother’s health, Nico found himself strangely attracted to Philomena. He didn’t believe in the existence of ghosts or that she was more than a charlatan but he was desperate. I loved watching Nico deal with family responsibilities, Philomena, and her world of spirits. His joy in showing Philomena the land he loved was really touching as was his sometimes overly protective nature.
Philomena “Phil” was also a lot of fun. She was in her forties and paid for her household by charging the rich for séances. While her magic might not have been unknown, it wasn’t one openly accepted in society except as a parlor game. As a result she existed on the fringes and did enjoy relatively more freedom than younger women still caught by society’s rules. Under slight duress, she agreed to travel to Nico’s castle to see what she could do with the haunting. I really enjoyed her open enjoyment in the wonders of the country and her resistance to Nico’s attraction. I also thought the way she avoided the game of insults but could deliver a proper set-down if really needed.
As Nico and Phil’s mutual attraction built so did some other less pleasant things in the area. Nico’s brother’s health continued to deteriorate at an alarming rate the closer Philomena came to solving the problem. In addition, another death very similar to the unsolved murder of Nico’s former fiancée occurred increasing village fear and anti-sentiment towards the small pack of local Werewolves. Since this was a rerelease, I can’t say for sure if some of the twists I actually expected or just vaguely remembered from my first reading, regardless I did enjoy them.
Phil and Nico’s push/pull personal and professional relationship were very entertaining. Each learned from the other and also had to compromise. They had to work together to not just solve the haunting but to survive discovering the answers. I thought the way Nico worked to give Phil something she always wanted while achieving his own goals was both sneaky and touching. I enjoyed revisiting Kennedy’s Relics of Merlin series.
I give Enchanting the Beast a B
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