Bewitching by Jill Barnett

Set in the 1800’s this story is about Joyous Fiona MacQuarrie, a Scottish witch who couldn’t fully control her magic despite help from her aunt. Joy wanted to go to her maternal grandmother’s cottage with her familiar, an ermine weasel named Beelzebub because her aunt had to go to North America. However, fate had other plans. Alec Castlemaine, Duke of Belmore planned to marry Lady Juliet Spencer. From childhood, his father taught him to fulfill his duty with harshness and never give into emotions. When he received a letter from Juliet stating her refusal to marry him, Alec felt humiliated. It was a stain on his family’s name.

After meeting a fortune teller, Alec with his two closest friends set out to go to his hunting lodge. Suddenly Joy appeared from nowhere after misreading a travel incantation. Alec used the opportunity to propose and marry Joy to avoid any controversy. After reaching his home, Joy revealed herself as a witch which Alec took it in his stride warning her not to use magic. What follows is a series of magic and mayhem with his nosy friends in tow and the appearance and disappearance of mysterious people. Alec’s icy exterior gradually melts as Joy shows him a different way of viewing the world, with love and happiness. Fate yet played another twist when Alec came face to face with his brother, Stephen whom he never knew existed. Stephen was banished from the castle only because of being physically abnormal. But Joy, living up to her name taught everyone the magic of love and accepting Stephen as part of the family.

The story is hilarious mainly due to the innocent carelessness of Joy. But it also shows the importance of love and family. Acceptance of one another despite differences, whether in character or physical appearance. Despite being released more than two decades ago, it still hooks the reader. It is perfect for those looking for humor and love stories.


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