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Theory of Magic: Unexpected Magic #3 (Volume 3) Paperback – July 13, 2016
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About the Author
With several million books in print and New York Times and USA Today's lists under her belt, former CPA Patricia Rice is one of romance's hottest authors. Her emotionally-charged romances have won numerous awards and been honored as RITA® finalists in the historical, regency and contemporary categories. To receive news of new releases, sign up for her newsletter at http://patriciarice.com
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The energetic, irascible Ash is finding ways to deal with his infirmities and is ever at a boil. He has always been tempestuous and arrogant and lusty. But lack of an outlet for slaking his sexual appetites is a constant frustration.
Servants are fearful, and the household is tense. Ash’s pride can’t admit to his fear of being seen as vulnerable in public and so he prefers the safety of his manor where he can bumble about and terrorize others.
Into this mix against her better judgment stumbles runaway heiress Lady Harriet Christie Russell Townsend who has been mistaken by Lady Aster and Celeste for the new companion/secretary.
Beneath his thundering personality Ash is tolerant of his crazy household: of the maimed servants that Lady Aster is training for house work; of the mess of renovation and redecorating by his sister-in-laws and sister to suit Ash'’s needs; of his obstreperous twin sons who were born out of wedlock; and of the lying newcomer who the boys call Miss Chris and who calls herself Christie. From others, as well as from herself, Ash hears of Harriet’s ample size, her plainness, her timidity. But blind Ash who is now honing his other senses, knows that that she is the right size and shape for him and that she lies to do something no one else ever has done, to protect him and his family.
Christie thinks of herself as two people: the timid Harriet and the feisty Christie. The voices (her magic) in her head of her deceased mother and Ash’s great grandmother offer her advice and warnings about Ash's enemies as she becomes a member of the household and indispensible to Ash. In this house and with this family, she is a Joan of Arc.
Theory of Magic is about the transformation of the formidable, wily, arrogant Marquess of Ashford when he seeks the help of others instead of barking orders, when he listens instead of charging ahead and when he appreciates the strength of his family as they pull together for political change. The Marquess of Ashford is still formidable, wily and arrogant, but with the love of his life at his side, why, the magic they make is not theoretical at all.
Ash, blinded in the initial book, finds it hard to give up his previous way of living and lashes out at everyone around him. His family brings him to London hoping getting him involved with politics and being around others will help him come to terms with his disability.
One morning during a walk in the park accompanied by his footman, Ash is attacked and left to fend for himself after his footman leaves to pursue the attacker. In steps Harriet who helps Ash safely return home. She is in a precarious position herself as her step-father wants to marry her off to the first taker. Deciding to make her own destiny instead, Harriet takes a job in Ash's household.
She has serious issues as she has been told she is way too large in stature to ever land a decent husband and that she is basically worthless. But in this case beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder, because he is blind, but Ash becomes aware of Harriet's inner beauty and responds to her.
Other family members from the previous first two books were interwoven throughout this story and so I found this book an extremely well written installment in bringing everything together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series and cannot wait for more from this writer.
Sexual situations may offend some readers.
Yet, I was so taken with Ms. Rice's paranormal universe, I had to know more about protagonist Ashford, and how he handled his circumstances.
This novel is even stronger than Magic in the Stars, which I also adored. I was already expecting impeccable period detail, but was overwhelmed by Ms. Rice's sensitive handling of Ashford's adaptation to blindness. Add a Junoesque heroine with wit and empathy, and the result was magical.
It's a rare author who can make the intricacies of the Parliamentary system, and a well documented vote of no confidence into a suspenseful story. I wish I'd been this riveted when I studied Constitutional Law!