Ya’ll, the books I’ve been receiving lately are good enough to make my southern heart swoon! Keep sending me books like this gem to review, and I will be one satisfied reviewer! This is the THIRD review to receive a Mithril Armor rating on my own rating scale (five out of five stars, see my post ‘Don’t Attack the Sundae,’ for the origin of my rating system).
I have the distinct pleasure of reading and reviewing the Duke and the Enchantress before the anticipated March 1, 2019 debut of this stunning historical romance by Paullett Golden. I tried to be as spoiler free as possible since it’s just now coming out!
The novel is everything you could ever want from a story in this genre while also providing surprising and gratifying thematic depth.
Reading The Duke and the Enchantress is seeing the characters from the other side of a mirror. Glimpses into the main character, Charlotte, were introduced in the previous novel and presented her as a young and naive debutante social butterfly. This story focuses on Charlotte as she grows from that young girl into a woman. Before the first page of the novel, Charlotte is married to Drake, a Duke with vast wealth and status. However, being a Duchess is not everything Charlotte expected. Through adversity, Charlotte grows and finds inner strength. She learns love can not be part and parceled, that love is loving the whole person.
As the reader looks through the mirror at Drake, he is much more than the image he reflects. Confusion and critical misunderstanding when communicating with Charlotte shatters the perfect image Drake has of his new wife. To win her heart, he must face a duel, not just with a man who besmirches his wife and family name, but a duel within himself, to accept both personas as an integrated whole.
What I love about Golden’s books is that while they end in happily ever after, the stories are realistic depictions of the tribulations which we all face before finding happily ever after. It adds a delicate touch of realism the reader appreciates as a break from the traditional romantic novel formula.
The final obstacle for the couple is romance itself. One expects the romance to take place before the wedding. Yet, both Drake and Charlotte find that romance is more than stolen passionate kisses. Together, after the wedding, they learn the art of true romance and find their way into each other’s hearts.
The author has an uncanny ability to take characters previously embittered to the reader, and not only lead the characters to forgive each other, but as a reader, I found myself forgiving Charlotte and Drake’s flaws and misgivings.
Ultimately, the novel itself is flawless in it’s presentation and provides the reader with dynamic characters, drama, and steamy well written romantic interludes. My only complaint is waiting for the next novel in the series!
[Please note, in exchange for a free copy of the novel, I agreed to provide a HONEST review.]