Twiggy's Reviews > Magic Embrace

Magic Embrace by Jennifer Horsman
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This is the second book that I have read by this author and she has a nice writing style, albeit that this is not a perfect book.

The heroine, Juliet, lives with her brutal uncle and spoilt cousin. The uncle physically abuses Juliet and whips her regularly and has permanently disfigured her hand. She lives in a world of silence and fear. It becomes clear that the spoilt cousin Clarissa is also abused by her father but in a different way.

Clarissa has an affair and is caught by her father, who then castrates and murders her lover. This turns out to be the brother of Black Garrett, a famous pirate, but who is in reality an English Earl who is providing information on the French to the admiralty. He decides to seek revenge and murders the uncle and kidnaps Juliet in the mistaken belief that she is Clarissa, with the intention of raping and abusing her.

He forces himself on Juliet (although she gets pleasure from the act) and then tries to comfort her as he realises that he has hurt the wrong woman. This is undermined however by the fact he then makes her drink 'a potion' which makes her respond amorously to him and he has sex with her throughout the night.

Thereafter the author does well to portray the impact that the abuse she has experienced has had on Juliet and the way in which this is compounded by the hero's actions. This is not a girl who recovers over night.

There is a 'magical' element to the book which I found frustrating and hard going. There are two scenes where Garrett mesmerises Juliet with his magic into sleeping with him and then convinces her this was a dream. Given that earlier on in the novel he points out he will not do this as it would still be against her will - this left a bad taste as well as being bizarre.

Much of the novel was spent on Juliet's angst about her betrothed Tomas, who had known about the abuse but not done anything to stop it. Garrett refuses to return her to Tomas given his cowardness and a large part of the book is spent in getting Juliet to realise how worthless Tomas is.

Tomas is eventually revealed as a weak villain and this devastates Juliet even further and makes Garrett feel even more guilty. He takes her to his mother and sister to help her recover. In the end she realises that she loves him.

There is a silly end plot device which involved Juliet singlehandedly warning Garrett that his identity has been revealed to the French and saving the day. This was just stupid and I could have done with out it.

Overall I did enjoy this book but there was no doubt it was frustrating at times.
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