Date: April 2003
Pikes Peak Romance Writers’ Author of the Year (1994,1999),
Parker Award of Excellence, 1998 Heart of Romance Readers’
Choice Award, Romance Novel of the Year from Affair de Coeur
Reviewed: Mass market paperback
it at Amazon
Contemporary romance (paranormal elements)
Janet Elaine Smith
Notes: some sexual scenes
Reviewer Janet Elaine Smith is the author of A House Call
to the Past, Monday Knight, My Dear Phebe, In St. Patrick’s
Custody, Recipe For Murder, Dunnottar, Marylebone, A Christmas
Dream, A Lumberjack Christmas, and Par for the Course.
Prequel: Mulligan Stew
author Deb Stover returns to Caislean Dubh in Ballybronagh, Ireland
with Mulligan Magic. In typical Stoveresque fashion, she
mixes a blend of the old with the new and throws in a good dose
of the paranormal along with it. One of the things I always enjoy
about Deb Stover’s books is the importance of her settings,
which are as endearing as her characters.
In Mulligan Magic,
Maggie Mulligan gets her dream of a lifetime: to teach the children
from Ballybronagh. She moves into a small cottage, which has as
many secrets of its own as most families have hidden in their closets.
former New York policeman Nick Desmond, his “aunt” Maureen
O’Shea, and his “cousin” Erin take a trip to Ballybronagh,
where nothing is quite as it seems. Nick is on a vendetta of his
own to get revenge for his father’s death. Maureen O’Shea
is in truth the widow of a mafia boss and Erin is—well, she’s
Mrs. O’Shea’s granddaughter, who was supposedly kidnapped
when she was an infant. Mrs. O’Shea herself was killed in
an airplane crash, and there are still other family members who
paint a very lively cast in this book.
Nick and Maggie hit
it off the first time they set eyes on each other, and soon they
have way more than just eyes for one another. But they are plagued
by strange voices from the past, odd icons that haunt them, and
Maggie’s brother, who wants only the best for Maggie—and
he’s not at all sure that includes Nick.
The nearby castle,
which is now a bed-and-breakfast run by Maggie’s brother and
his wife, which is the tale that is told in the first book, Mulligan
Stew, seems to have gotten rid of the ghosts that had haunted it
for many years, but has the ghost moved on to Maggie’s cottage?
The town historian, Brady (who is Nick’s cousin), spins an
Irish yarn as fine as the best Irish lace about the witch who lived
in the cottage, and soon all of the pieces begin to fall into place,
revealing the delightful paranormal link of Nick and Maggie. Can
they overcome the past enough to build a future?
One of the delights
of this book is the secondary relationship that develops between
Mrs. O’Shea and Brady. Ms. Stover very successfully makes
you believe that love is forever—no matter what your age.
You don’t have
to read Mulligan Stew to make sense out of Mulligan
Magic, but by the time you have finished this book, you will
have to read the first one—just because you want to!