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So Enchanting [Mass Market Paperback]

Connie Brockway
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Feb. 3 2009

The Scottish hamlet of Little Firkin has one important industry: the guardianship of Amelie Chase, a witchling banished by the ton for her alleged supernatural powers, and entrusted by her benefactor to Fanny Walcott. But the scheme is hitting a snag: Little Firkin is cramping Amelie's style, anonymous notes are threatening her life, and now, two handsome travelers arrive with tantalizing links to the pasts of both women. And what's happening in Little Firkin is so enchanting, it's going to take a leap of faith to believe it.


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About the Author

The author of seventeen full length novels, Connie Brockway lives in Minnesota with her husband and several dogs. An adult daughter has managed to escape to warmer climes. For now.


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exhilarating ride! March 3 2009
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a child, Grey Sheffield's father had dragged him from séance to séance to communicate with his dead sister, ruining the family's fortune and name, while all young Grey could do was watch, helpless and infuriated and incapable of preventing it. It is no wonder that, once an adult, Lord Greyson Sheffield became a predator, chasing down and exposing charlatans, destroying their reputations and their livelihoods in a court of law. This time Grey exposed Alphonse Brown and his wife, Francesca, as the frauds they were. Alphonse escaped and fled from London and soon afterward died in an accident. Francesca never left London. Very shortly after her husband died, she disappeared.

Francesca never wanted to help Alphonse in his scams and she did not mourn his death. But when Alphonse courted her he did not seem to care that all animals responded to her emotions. She thought he actually loved her. Now with his death, Francesca was adrift and wondering what she should do now. Her family wanted nothing at all to do with her. Fate comes in the form of Colonel Chase. The colonel knew of Francesca's affinity with animals having known her long ago. The colonel's young daughter, Amelie, has begun showing signs of paranormal abilities. Colonel Chase offers Francesca a position as Amelie's governess. She accepts on the condition that no one knows of her past. Francesca Brown became Fanny Walcott.

Colonel Chase, Amelie, and Fanny settle down in the small town of Little Firkin in Scotland. Diagnosed with a terminal disease, Colonel Chase set up his will, naming Amelie's legal guardian to be Lord Collier should he die before she reached her majority.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun and heartwarming romance Feb. 5 2009
By Gialdini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Connie Brockway's my favorite, so I when I found out she was returning to historicals with So Enchanting I was intrigued, thrilled, couldn't wait to get my hands on the book - all kinds of happy. The premise of So Enchanting is different and refreshingly original - at least I haven't come across too many historical paranormals. Best of all, there's not a werewolf or vampire in sight! Though there is one facetious reference to an incubus that had me laughing out loud. The tone is light and fun, but still with enough depth to make the whole reading experience memorable. The heroine, Francesca Walcott, is interesting and fully three-dimensional. I liked how the author dealt with the supernatural elements of her character, blending it in so that it's a part of her world and who she is, a formative influence on her life. At the same time, though, the magic doesn't highjack the story and detract from the human emotions that play out as things progress.

So Enchanting starts with a bang and takes the reader where few romances have gone before - into the midst of the occult craze sweeping late Victorian England. I thought this initial setting was inspired, particularly in light of what the book is about. Issues of faith and skepticism, fraud and fact, mystery and magic are brought to the forefront as the book pits eminently skeptical, rational Greyson Sheffield, who makes it his business to expose the hoaxes and schemes of occultist charlatans, against Francesca Walcott, who, when our story starts, is a willing accomplice in her husband's fraudulent séances. Grey busts up the show, Fanny's husband abandons her, has a fatal run in with a train in France, and Fanny is on her own, disgraced and exiled. But Fanny is different from her husband and other con artists in that she does have a bit of the magical about her, which has been more of a curse than a gift, branding her as different, even dangerous, and estranging her from her family. When she's offered a clean slate by the father of a similarly afflicted/gifted girl, who wants Fanny to become his daughter's companion, to guide and protect her, Fanny jumps at the chance to live a "normal" life. She and Amelie Chase retreat to the wilds of Scotland, where they live in peaceful, if boring, seclusion for the next six years.

I really liked the relationship between Fanny and Amelie, a friendship that evolves with the story. Fanny eschews the all too easy/clichéd Merlin mentor role and even keeps her magic a secret from Amelie. They're unconventional, independent, and complement each other nicely. Fanny is the mature, (seemingly) staid, practical one. Amelie is young, emotional, and impulsive.

As for the romance, a series of coincidences brings Grey back into Fanny's life because it turns out he's the brother of the man who became Amelie's guardian upon the death of Amelie's father. A threatening letter warns that Amelie's life is in danger, and since Amelie's guardian is too busy, he sends Grey to take care of it for him. With Grey is his nephew, Lord Hayden. The rest of the book (apart from the untangling of this death threat mystery - not my fav part of the book btw) chronicles the misadventures in love of these two pairs, Grey and Fanny, and Amelie and Hayden.

Francesca's character is one of the strongest aspects of the book. She's resourceful, intelligent, and has a sense of humor. She's suffered in the past, but has adapted, recovered, and moved on. Grey seems like a powerful personality - v compelling, even if his trust issues are kind of rote (was hurt in the past by con artists, hates them all and wants to rid the world of their evil blight.) He's abrasive and rude a lot of the time, in an I'll-say-what-I-think-and-damn-the-consequences way, but cares deeply for Fanny (against his better judgment.) They're a very well matched couple - with a credible instant, deep connection thing going on, but, at the same time I'm not so sure about their chemistry (that fun, sexy banter that I love,) and I think the story was stretched a bit thin in this regard. They don't have a conversation until well into the book, more than a hundred pages. But I enjoyed the set up and the story that was woven around their eventual reunion (and 100 or so pages isn't that long to wait after all,) so I'm not complaining. I just wish there could have been more of a focus on the two of them.

The secondary romance between Amelie and Hayden also takes up a lot of space, and the book is pretty equally divided between the two romances. I would have liked Amelie and Hayden more if the book hadn't gone on so much about how young they were - in a way that gently, playfully pokes fun at the couple. Grey and Fanny are in on the joke and spend a lot of their time rolling their eyes at the besotted love birds. While I was amused too, I wish that Amelie and Hayden's romance could have moved beyond this to become something more than a parody. As it is, the joke got old for me, and since no one else in the book seemed to take their love seriously, I couldn't either. Though Amelie had more depth to her, Hayden was pretty bland.

On the other hand, there were some beautiful moments shared by Grey and Fanny, particularly near the end as they work through their issues (well mostly Grey has to become more amenable to the idea of a little trust and magic in his life) and fall in love. At the end of the book, I'm happy to see them together at last. As always, I love how Connie Brockway writes, so even though I have some reservations, I still enjoyed So Enchanting.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Feb. 13 2009
By Janis 1e - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've always loved Connie Brockway historicals so was very excited to read her new one. Unfortunately, it got boring about half way thorough - and her great humor lost its way.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Odd premise, but a great read May 17 2011
By Sophia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I avoided reading this for a while because I thought the premise odd and not particularly appealing. But on a long trip I caved, and am glad I did! Laugh out loud witty, and a great lead couple. The best use of parallel romances that I've seen in a romance novel: the two romances are great foils for each other. My only objection is that Connie Brockway has a tendency to let bad behavior go unpunished...not in line with my moralistic requirements of a romance novel!
5.0 out of 5 stars BRAVA!!! [ SPOILERS ] Feb. 19 2009
By Cali - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
WOW!!! "So Enchanting" is just that...ENCHANTING!!

- If I had to give one dislike it would be that it did not need to be 400+ pages. It did drag in some places. However, that said, the last 100 pages or so will make you forgive that! Had it not slowed my initial interest the way it did, this would have been a 1-nighter read! Absolutely!

I love the cover and the insert cover, but what I absolutely loved the most - and what Ms. Brockway's coup de grace was - is definitely the ending!!! Sure we all know the happily ever after is happening for the two main characters; that's a given. But I adore that on rare occasion (such as this) the author closes with something more, something different.

Some people read for the romance, some for the steamy scenes... my thing (aside from it being historical) is definitely humor! And when you run across a book, a story, an author, that hits it *so* perfectly, you absolutely want MORE!!! So I guess I have to amend my "if I had to give one dislike...well it's actually two: I *so* wanted more magic, *more* scenes and situations with Fanny's gift/curse, and more, more, MORE of Grammy Beadle!!!

So, instead of ending the story with the typical married happily ever-after, I hope you will enjoy [as I did] Ms. Brockway's ending with a scene from the beginning of the story: in the streets of Little Firkin! I absolutely laughed my @$$ off!!

- One suggestion: (and for any fans of Julia Quinn's "Lady Whistledown" character, you will appreciate this) find a way to put Grammy Beadle in a whole string of stories! =)

- This is perhaps one of 4 or 5 books I've read this year (and I read a couple a week) that's a solid 5* and keeper! Enjoy! =)
5.0 out of 5 stars So Enchanting is SO ENCHANTING! April 17 2009
By romancelover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a huge Connie Brockway fan, have been for years. In fact, I think she could re-write the phone book and she'd keep me up burning the midnight oil to get to the Zs, alphabetically as well as somnorifically. After a break writing contemporaries (the wonderful Hot Dish and Skinny Dipping), she's back in familiar Brockway territory, especially for lovers of her books Bridal Season and Bridal Favors. We're in an eccentric village (Little Firkin in Scotland) in the Victorian era with a large cast of eccentric characters, a madcap plot, a VERY appealing hero and a smart, courageous heroine with a slightly shady past and secrets to hide. There's a paranormal element to add spice to this wonderful mixture but the glory of the book is the push and pull relationship between Grey, the hero, and Fanny, the heroine. Some of the dialogue will have you laughing out loud! Fanny has genuine psychic powers which she's doing her best to suppress and hide. She also has a less than pristine past as the offsider for a fake medium. Grey investigates and exposes liars and cheats who claim false extrasensory powers they use to defraud the public. The game is set for a titanic battle of wills, especially when both Grey and Fanny are in the grip of an overwhelming attraction for each other. This book is sparkling fun! Read it!
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