Review – The Earl and the Enchantress by Paullett Golden

About the Book:

Not all scars can be healed with a kiss.

Sebastian Lancaster, Earl of Roddam, harbors a family secret so dark he has forsaken marriage to hide the past. When fate introduces him to Lizbeth, he believes he has met his perfect match—a woman with whom he can share passion without commitment.

Lizbeth Trethow risks everything to follow her heart until Sebastian’s past returns to haunt them. Desperate to hide the blood on his hands, he sabotages their happiness. Everything depends on Lizbeth unraveling the truth and turning this villain into a hero.

This is the love story of Lizbeth and Sebastian as they battle metaphoric ghosts born of murder and enlightenment to be together.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                            The Earl and The Enchantress (An Enchantress Novel Book 1)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Lizbeth Trethow lost her mother at age seven, and from that tender age started taking on the responsibilities of running her father’s household and caring for her baby sister, Charlotte.  Now after several seasons, and watching how her friends’ marriages have turned out, she’s decided that wedded bliss is not for her.  She has no desire to become a man’s property and only a strong love from an exceptional man will change her mind.  While sneaking away from yet another ball for a few moment’s peace in the library, Liz encounters a most unusual man.

Sebastian Lancaster, Earl of Roddam, has also escaped to the library, only to have his solitude disturbed by a beautiful young woman.  Roddam’s plans don’t include marriage, so he has no desire to be found alone with a young lady.  He’s somewhat abrupt with Liz, though he finds her choice of reading material and her conversation fascinating.  Rather than the typical single lady who bats her eyelashes and flirts with him, Liz has intelligent conversation and a sharp wit.  They both enjoy their brief encounter, then Liz prudently leaves, and they don’t expect to encounter each other again.

Sebastian usually stays on his remote estate, not venturing to town, but he agreed to assist his cousin, the Duke of Annick, in finding a bride. Annick’s search has led him to Liz and Charlotte, and it seems that fate has decided to put Sebastian and Liz in each other’s path again.  As they spend time together over the short time left in the season, their physical and intellectual attraction grows.  Liz, for the first time, is willing to take a chance, and does all she can to let Sebastian know how she feels, while still staying within the bounds of propriety.  Though Sebastian is clearly interested, he makes no declaration, and the season ends with each of them going off to their homes far away from each other.

Sebastian regrets his treatment of Liz, and though it’s not the proper thing to do, he writes to her.  Surprisingly, she can’t resist writing back, though she had made up her mind to forget him.  Their letters become friendlier and more intimate.  Liz has an opportunity to visit Sebastian’s part of the country, when her sister, who has since married Annick, urgently summons Liz to visit her.  Liz and Sebastian meet and become even closer, yet it seems that he can’t bring himself to propose.  A defeated Liz is once again prepared to forget him, this time for good, but as the time approaches for Liz to return home, Sebastian finally proposes.  They marry quickly, but this does not turn into their happy ever after.

Sebastian has his demons, no doubt, and is truly a tortured man.  Tragedies from his childhood wrack him with guilt, give him nightmares, and cause him to doubt himself.  After a passionate honeymoon, where Sebastian felt at peace, his insecurities return, causing him to jeopardize his new marriage.  While I truly did like Sebastian, his waffling behavior was truly maddening.  His drawing of Liz close, then pushing her away was so frustrating, as was his refusal to fully discuss what made him this way.

Liz is one of the strongest heroines you’ll encounter.  Though confronted time and again by Sebastian’s confusing behavior, she never falters in her commitment to him.  I feel that she went well beyond what a typical spouse would do.  She’s not put off by Sebastian’s scars, physical or mental, and is determined to do whatever is necessary to save her marriage.  I adored this woman!

THE EARL AND THE ENCHANTRESS is extremely well written for a debut novel.  There are some truly romantic moments, such as this one:

“He had begged for the night never to end, or else for the world to end in that moment so he would know nothing but the moment itself, the feeling of elation, the uncomplicated attraction of two people perfect for each other.”

I love that Sebastian finally finds strength within himself to face his demons, and to move forward.  He has a fun, sexy and playful side that had been buried due to the burdens he carried.

The second half of THE EARL AND THE ENCHANTRESS seemed to flow much easier to me, and the pacing really picked up and held my interest.  There is plenty of passion, heartbreak, doubt, romance and some interesting, well developed secondary characters.  Readers who enjoy a character driven romance will find this a story well worth reading.  Paullett Golden is an author I will be following.    ~Rose

 

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