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Forbidden Magic [Paperback]

Jo Beverley
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2011
One of New York Times bestselling author Jo Beverley's best loved Regency novels.

Left penniless after her parent's death, Meg Gillingham is in dire straits. Reluctantly, she turns for help to her only legacy: a magic statue that will grant wishes. Meg never expects the statue to bring her a marriage proposal, especially not from a handsome earl. But when his dark secrets are revealed, putting her life at risk, she dares not believe in another kind of magic: true love...


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Product Description

From Library Journal

Forced by a forgotten promise to his autocratic grandmother to marry by his 25th birthday, the earl of Saxonhurst consults his servants, flips a coin, and ends up married to gently bred but impoverished Meg Gillingham. He doesn't realize that in her desperation Meg has invoked the powers of an ancient Irish statue to help her out of her difficulties?with sexy, magical, and ultimately dangerous results. A charming, outspoken heroine, a magnetic, unconventional hero, and a diverse cast of well-drawn secondary characters come together in a fast-paced, intriguing plot with a holiday setting that features a touch of evil, a dash of bawdy humor, and enough of Beverley's trademark page-singeing sensuality to satisfy the most demanding reader. Beverley (Lord of Midnight, Topaz, 1998) is a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame and lives in Canada.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Beverley's nonpareil Regency-era romance of the season features a vulgar prehistoric stone statue, the sheelagh-ma-gig, which has been used by generations of women to invoke a dangerous magic. Meg Gillingham, responsible for four orphaned younger siblings, is down to her last handful of oatmeal when their lecherous landlord, Sir Arthur, threatens to either make her younger sister his mistress or throw the family out on the streets. Meg decides that she must use the sheelagh-ma-gig, even though it will exact a high price. Could it be the magic of the statue that induces the eccentric earl of Saxonhurst to decide to take his one-eyed maid's suggestion and marry respectable but impoverished Meg? Terrified that her new husband will discover that she used magic, Meg leaves the statue behind, intending to retrieve it later, but it is stolen by the dastardly landlord. Meg bravely sets out to retrieve the family treasure but finds herself fleeing for her life when she is fingered as Sir Arthur's murderer. Delightfully odd characters and a thrilling plot, along with a generous touch of magic, make this an enchanting read. Diana Tixier Herald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The sharp rap of the knocker almost made Meg Gillingham cut herself with her paring knife. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully eccentric characters Dec 6 2003
By Kara
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! So many romance novels are formula-following treks down what has already been written. This book showed us something different. A little flash of ancient magic and one of the most bizarre casts of characters I have ever seen in a romance novel. From the maid, Susie, with an eye patch to the footman, Clarence, with his twisted foot - Saxonhurst likes to bring the neglected people of society into his world. And it doesn't stop at people. He also has a misogynistic parrot, Knox, and a cowardly but permanently snarling dog, Brak.
Even the hero, Saxonhurst, has his foibles. Beyond his penchant for surrounding himself with the most unlikely group of people and animals, he is a generous, kind-hearted soul -- who has a need for smashing items in his bedchambers when the "rages" come upon him. And his staff search all of London for items for him to break...and even bet on which item is to be destroyed next. How can you not be interested in what this group of characters will fall into next?
The characters that populate this book are wonderfully eccentric and bizarre. They serve to elevate the plot from somewhat expected to simply delightful - from beginning to end.
I've not read anything else by this author, but this book completely captured me and made me care about all who populated Sax's world. I can't wait to see if more of her books have this degree of characterization.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Magic Jan. 3 2003
By Teresa
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Forbidden Magic is a wonderful, magical novel. For people who do not enjoy novels with a magical element, then this novel will not be for you. Meg is in a bind, it's christmastime, she has no money, four mouths to feed, and an imminent eviction, unless she allows something that is unacceptable. Her only hope is to make a wish on her magical statue the sheelagh-ma-gig, the only problem is there is always a consequence, but Meg has no choice and makes a wish to help solve her predicament. Sax(Lord Saxonhurst) also has a problem, to get his evil grandmother off his back he made a promise that he would marry by his twenty-fifth birthday which is tomorrow! He has a household of people and animals that no one else would take in, who are loyal to the core. One of these people suggest that Meg would be the perfect cantidate for him because of her predicament. He agrees and writes her a letter. When Meg reads this she wonders why an eligable Earl would want to marry her sight unseen. Although she has misgivings she accepts because of her family. They marry the next day and the fun starts from there.
Sax is gorgeous, sexy and has a huge heart and a habit of breaking ugly pictures and various objects. Meg is sensible, passionate, with a penchant for scandalous embroidery. When these two come together the pages are set ablaze. Ms. Beverley can write the steamiest moments without consummation. This book was an all around fun and fabulous treat. If you want great dialogue, interesting characters and some hot scenes this is a novel that you should definately read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling wit which works for me ... March 22 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm intrigued by the vastly differing opinions reflected in the reviews for this book. I think it's because different people read romance for different reasons. Me, I read for light fun and amusement, having done enough hard thinking by the end of a day's work. This is not to say that I read mindlessly - I still demand that my books, even romances, be well-written (i.e. no cliches, no poor prose, no dialogue which goes "clunk" onto the floor, please), and have basic integrity (i.e. be historically accurate and have characters and stories which don't require me to suspend too much disbelief).
This book satisfies these requirements. It has these and the basic ingredients of a good romance (adversity, rescue therefrom, romancing, and so forth). Best of all, it has the wit to make me smile - the dialogue sparkles, there are many clever turns of phrase, and a strong sense of fun. I also like the fact that the plot doesn't runs along bog-standard melodramatic lines, but has enough eccentricity (off-centredness) to hold my interest, and some nice period touches too. A happy bonus is that the characters are likeable and warm (though I agree the grandmother is a dull villainess, she is too minor a character for this to bother me), and most of all charming and witty. Sax wins me over by his not taking himself too seriously and his thoroughgoing niceness (which his aristocratic insouciance saves from preciousness) and Meg is an honest woman of wit, though (justifiably, I think) a tad insecure and confused. Their humour makes them irresistable to me.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really did not like this book at all, and had great difficulty finishing it. Unlike other Beverley books - the Malloren series, and the first two Company of Rogues books - the characters did not capture my imagination, and I ended the book not really caring about what happened to any of them.
Meg, in many respects, seemed a sensible woman at first, but by the time she ran to Saxonhurst's grandmother, from whom she knew very well he was estranged and didn't want anything to do with, I wondered what had got into her. She knew exactly how Saxonhurst (I did not like the nickname 'Sax') felt about the Dowager, and it made no sense whatsoever that she would ask the woman for help.
Unlike some other reviewers, I never grew to like Saxonhurst, which made it difficult to enjoy the book. I found his habit of smashing things irritating rather than amusing.
Not being a great fan of the supernatural, I found the 'sheelagh-ma-gig' element of the plot a complete turn-off. Beverley could easily have written this book without resorting to the device of a 'magic stone'. I know I would have enjoyed the book far more without it.
However, equally I was not convinced by the Dowager; such an irredeemably evil person seems simply too one-dimensional to be true. I found that part of the book where we learn the full extent of the Dowager's actions to be beyond credulity.
Ms Beverley, you're allowed one aberration; now can we have more Company of Rogues books, and more heroes like Bey Malloren, please?
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining romp.....
Hmmm... my first thought is - Meg WAS NOT good enough for Sax!!! I am not refering to financial or physical aspects either! Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2003 by Jojo
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, lighthearted read........
"Forbidden Magic" was such a delight to read!! This book was full of colorful characters. I LOVED Sax and Meg together. What a sweet story. Read more
Published on April 21 2003 by M. I.
5.0 out of 5 stars Forbidden Magic - Truly Magical
I don't know what the other reviewers were reading because I found this book delightful and quite, to the point, magical! Read more
Published on March 14 2002 by M. Rondeau
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
While I found parts of the story here and there to be interesting
I didn't particularly enjoy the book. Read more
Published on Dec 15 2001 by Ariesgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Unusual, Sensual
This was my first full-length Jo Beverly book and I loved it. It kept me up at night because it was too hard to put down. Read more
Published on April 4 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny
Now, I much prefer Beverley's Mallory novels, but this one is not bad at all. Of course, Sax, and the rest of over the top characters, including his servants, his pets and his... Read more
Published on May 27 2000 by Thorn
4.0 out of 5 stars A LOT OF FUN
Sax was a terrific hero. I wasn't too sure of his depth of character when he chose to wed by flipping a coin or from the fact that he lost track of an important sort of promise he... Read more
Published on Dec 7 1999 by "nuideas1"
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I give this book one star only because of the following few good points: (1) Sax is extremely handsome and falls head over heals for "plain" Meg; (2) Sax has a soft heart... Read more
Published on Aug. 17 1999 by Harmoni
5.0 out of 5 stars extroidinary (how do you spell that?)
i absolutly LOVED this book! it's different and lovely. passionate and wonderful. i loved it! definetely a must read for historical romance readers. Read more
Published on July 28 1999
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