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Whisper of Magic: Unexpected Magic Book #2 Kindle Edition
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|Length: 272 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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Whisper of Magic presents a new snag for the Ives family: The central male figure, Lord Erran Ives, has been commissioned by his brother, Lord Duncan Ives, Marquess of Ashford, to investigate tenants who have taken over the Ives Mansion in London and to oust them so that the blind Marquess can move in. Once there, with his family’s presence helping him overcome his infirmities, Duncan is determined to be active in Parliament to squelch the opposition faction of Lord Lansdowne and cronies who profit from keeping the poor, the blacks and the downtrodden in poverty.
Unbeknownst to his family, Erran’s successful first – and only – day in court revealed to him an unexpected magic: his impassioned, loud voice pleading his case not only caused the judge’s gavel to rise, it also held sway over the jurors, the lawyers and the judge who ruled – impossibly so -- in favor of the poor tenants who were to be evicted by their landlord. His clients rejoiced, but Erran was appalled; his persuasive voice reminded him of his silver-tongued Cousin Sylvester who used his voice for nefarious ends and who was banished to the Americas. Fearing his awful gift, and that he might be another Cousin Sylvester, Erran never again raised his voice, in court or out.
Handsome, impeccably dressed Lord Erran appears arrogant, wealthy and idle. But he is perpetually pockets-to-let and has to find ways to live now that he doesn’t have an income from work as a barrister, despite his brilliant understanding of the intricacies of the law. Happily though, he is free to carry out the wishes of the Marquess.
The central female figure is Celeste Malcolm Rochester. She has arrived in London with her siblings and family retainers after a disastrous sea journey from Jamaica in which her beloved father, Lord Rochester died and where most of their papers were lost. Despite holding a valid tenant’s lease, the Rochesters are cowering at the Ives Mansion as they await papers from their lawyers in Jamaica to prove their legitimacy to be there. They are cowering because their English relative, the villainous Lord Lansdowne from Book One has claimed his entitlement to the Rochester holdings and wealth. Although his lawyers are successfully pleading his claim in the courts, the evil Lord – for good measure – has instigated constant malicious attacks on the house and family to encourage his wards to return to their island.
In spending his time reconnoitering the comings and goings of the household ‘usurpers’, especially a heavily cloaked slim figure of a woman, who is often accompanied by a tower of a black man, Erran also observes how when rocks are thrown at her, the woman responds in a compelling melodious voice that causes the rowdies to stop. Erran is struck by the lady’s beautiful voice with its layer of sweetness and undercurrent of command. For her part, when Erran saves her from being drenched in offal by using his despised voice, Celeste hears only a gorgeous baritone.
Here we have the basis of contention between the two protagonists: Celeste calls upon her ‘repellent behavior voice’ easily and values it as a positive means to help herself and her family. Erran avoids his voice at all costs because it seems to him an unfair way to make people heed him and besides, he fears having magical powers. Their conflicting beliefs about their voices don’t seem to prevent them from a mutual attraction, however, which deepens as the story continues.
Lady Aster, the expert on the history of all the Malcolm branches of the family, comes to the rescue by confirming the Jamaican family’s legitimacy to their claim. Her information leads Celeste and Erran to travel to Wystan where the enormous Malcolm Library of Records is located to search in the Rochester files for the proofs of legitimacy and inheritance necessary to thwart Lansdowne. (Note: Lady Aster cautions the couple to sleep on different floors when they are in Wystan !!).
Whisper of Magic may be quiet, but it is no less eventful than its predecessor. There are legalities to surmount; Celeste’s grappling to take charge of her life; Erran’s acceptance of his magic; and unruly mobs to tame with the Erran/Celeste vocal duet. Not-of-this world, magical incantations notwithstanding, Erran and Celeste do make beautiful music together.