Can a straitlaced engineer, three psychic children, and a lonely witch find love?
The daughter of an earl, Lady Phoebe Malcolm Duncan has the ability to talk to animals. She longs to be a veterinarian, but education requires more coin than she possesses. When the walls of her home come tumbling down, she has to take two steps back—to servitude.
Inventor Andrew Blair keeps his nose to the grindstone, knowing his friends and family depend on his talent for turning machines into money. He is about to embark on his biggest investment yet—rebuilding crumbling tenements in Old Town Edinburgh— until his beleaguered cousin begs him to hide his precocious children from a killer.
When the School of Malcolms sends Lady Phoebe as governess for his wards, Drew’s well-ordered beliefs are upended. Ladies don’t live in slum housing like the one he’s about to tear down, nor do they command ravens or encourage children to talk to dead mothers. It might take a vengeful ghost to show the disparate pair how to join forces, fight their fears and their enemies, and reveal a path to love.
“. . .transports readers to Victorian-era Scotland with the appealing . . . fantasy romance that opens her School of Magic series. . . Rice does a good job fleshing out her protagonists, imbuing them with convincing motivations and worthy ambitions outside of the central romance.”—Publishers Weekly
Rice (Moonstone Shadows) transports readers to Victorian-era Scotland with the appealing but occasionally clunky fantasy romance that opens her School of Magic series. Born into the lower class, engineer-turned-businessman Drew Blair has worked hard to accumulate enough wealth and stability to pursue his passion as an inventor. When Drew's cousin dies, Drew takes in her magically gifted children and must secure their safety and schooling. Lady Phoebe Malcolm Duncan dreams of using her gift for animal telepathy as a veterinarian, but without money for university tuition, she reluctantly accepts a position as a governess in the Blair household. Phoebe and Drew work together to care for the gifted children, and along the way they discover a mutual attraction. Rice does a good job fleshing out her protagonists, imbuing them with convincing motivations and worthy ambitions outside of the central romance. Less successful are the eventual love scenes, which feature awkward sexual descriptors ("His visceral growl trembled her womb")and overly aggressive behavior from Drew, which will turn off some readers. Still, those swept away by the atmosphere and magic may be able to overlook these missteps. (Self-published)
A really enjoyable read I highly recommend this book
Magic and Villains
Set in Victorian Edinburgh this is a delightful story in a new series. Mixing science and magically gifted women and children, this is a treat for both fans and readers new to Ms Rice’s Malcolm women. Highly recommended.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.