Customer Reviews: Potent Charms (Leisure historical romance)
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on March 26, 2000
What a wonderful read, Waide has equaled if not surpassed her first book. Stephen and Pheobe are a very alluring, dynamic couple and the author has introduced us to a superb secondary cast of characters. Her villians evoke strong emotions and you certainly feel very satisfied when "they get theirs". Sensual but tasteful our couple are very driven and their attraction evident throughout this intriguing story. Definitely a one sitting read that I highly recommend.
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on January 20, 2002
American Phoebe Rafferty came to England to find a
husband. She needs to marry in six weeks or she won't
inherit Marsden Manor, an ancestral home she's only
seen in a painting. Within a week, and only after
one meeting, she's found her man: Stephen Lambert,
Duke of Badrick. He's exciting, attractive and his
kisses make her feel things she's never felt before.
The moment Stephen see Phoebe, he wants her as his
mistress. Generations ago, the Badrick family line
was cursed by a Gypsy woman and they are doomed to
unhappy, short-lived marriages. Stephen has lost
two wives already and he's determined to never marry
again. He will give Phoebe pleasure, jewels, a home;
anything she desires, except love and marriage.
POTENT CHARMS is made unique by having the Gypsy
curse be a point of conflict. It's a first for me,
and I loved it. Smaller conflicts get resolved,
until all that is remaining between Phoebe and Stephen
is this curse. The characters are very believable.
It doesn't matter if you or I believe in curses,
Stephen does, and Ms. Waide has portrayed this
exceedingly well.
I read POTENT CHARMS in one sitting. It has a nice,
even pace to it. The sparks that fly between Phoebe
and Stephen are sexy, as are Stephen's displays of
jealousy. I found myself looking forward to both.
There are some historical tidbits throughout the book,
but I never felt as if I were being taught a history
lesson. Ms. Waide has written a wonderful romance
reminding us that words do have power, inviting us to
believe that maybe, "I love you" are the most powerful
words of all.
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on October 25, 2002
For a cliche plot line thats been written over and over and over again by countless authors, i think Waide has finally done the impossible and perfected it. If your interested in the plot of wealthy duke who refuses to marry and american bluestocking who absolutely MUST get married before their birthday to get her inheritance, then this is the book you must read. Although the gypsy curse excuse is really rather lame, in the book there's everything one would expect going on between Stephen and Phoebe. Lots of sparks, witty dialogue, a LOT of jealousy and possessiveness, and funny minor characters like Elizabeth and Winston, Rhys,Tewksbury and Bliss.Absolute must.
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on June 4, 2001
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about two people who want nothing more than to be together, except they both have different ideas about how to go about it. Stephen and Phoebe were so fun to read about with Stephen constantly trying to seduce Phoebe into becoming his mistress and Phoebe trying to seduce/love him into forgetting about the curse a gypsy made against his family. Phoebe must marry to gain her inheritence and Stephen wants no part of it save Phoebe in his bed.
With a delightful cast of secondary characters, Potent Charms is fun, romantic, with a little bit of suspense thrown in for good measure. When Stephen came to his senses, I found myself sitting up in anticipation of his finding Phoebe.
I truly enjoyed this book. Don't miss it!
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VINE VOICEon March 6, 2016
I did not like either of the leading characters in Potent Charms. I kept hoping that they would become better people but that did not occur.

Heroine Phoebe Rafferty is an American who has traveled to England after her father passed away. She will inherit an estate from her father’s family if she marries within a few weeks. Phoebe is southerner and views slavery not as an abolitionist. She calls slaves on her plantation workers. She had to sell the plantation when her father squandered the money. I do not recall that she freed all the slaves on the plantation, although her maid is a freed black woman who voluntarily left her husband to accompany her mistress to England which seemed difficult to imagine. Phoebe once was hit with a whip when she stopped a slave from being beaten undeservedly which begs the question did she agree with beatings that were supposedly deserved? She does not join her voice with those in England who were fighting against slavery. If she had done this and freed her slaves she would have been a sympathetic figure.

Steven Lambert, Duke of Badrick has lost two wives already and he believes it is because of a gypsy curse. He will never marry again, but he sees the beautiful Phoebe and instantly wants this young American as his mistress. Forget that she needs to marry, his needs come first. He pursues her relentlessly but is honest with her about his aversion to the married state.

Phoebe falls for Stephen because he is charming and handsome and she just cannot help herself. She then thinks about some of the slaves she had befriended and then terribly tries to compare her problem of falling in love with a man who might not love her with the feelings slave women must have felt when they fell in love with their slave masters. This ridiculous idea is just absolutely awful in every way. There is no comparison; Phoebe has choices the slaves on plantation have none to include having the freedom to say no or the freedom to walk away from a horrendous situation.

I did not like this story. It was hard to believe a Duke of the realm would be afraid of a curse. This was also a man who was willing to expose the woman he supposedly loved to the shame of the ton by keeping her as a mistress instead of a making her his wife and I could not forget the views the heroine held toward slavery.
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on November 18, 2014
I borrowed this book from Amazon and was very glad I did. This was a lovely story about two people who had things that made their lives difficult. They found a way to get through the trials and had a nice ending.
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on February 29, 2016
A delightful and charming English historical romance. Phoebe, a strong, Southern belle and heiress, must find a suitable husband within 6 weeks or lose her inheritance. Lord Badrick is an eligible rake and not about to be married. And so the challenge begins. Obstacles and misunderstandings abound as does their obvious attachment. So fun to read their trials and tribulations and development of a deep relationship. A pleasing cast of characters (except for the ones that weren't) adds to the enjoyment. For a Regency romance, a five-star rating makes sense to me. No, it is not Jane Austen, but it is Peggy Waide and worth the time to read.
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on April 10, 2016
I absolutely loved this book. Unlike the only other reviewer posted here, I appreciated the folksy, breezy style of the author. This book is not to be taken as journalistic, in-depth research into the various women listed in the book. It is merely a brief tale of each of them, stating the known facts and the myths or legends that have grown up around them. It is an easy, entertaining read for those who are curious about some of history's "bad women." Two of the cases interested me enough that I did additional reading on them.
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on February 27, 2016
This is the second book I've read by Peggy Waide. I love the banter between her heroes and heroines. Peggy Waide has such a light touch, I love it. In this story, the heroine needs to get married in six weeks to gain her inheritance. The hero's family has a gypsy curse that says everyone in his family will have short, unhappy marriages. He's already had two bad marriages, and doesn't want to marry again. Instead, he wants the heroine to be his mistress. The sexual tension between the two is fun and tantalizing. Will definitely read more books by this author.
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on October 25, 2000
This was great fun! I finished this book in two days. Poor Stephen, a man with only one thing on his mind. But the heroine was too great challenge for him. I really enjoyed the other characters too. Can't wait for the next one.
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