There is so much epic WTF crazysauce going on in LoveSpell that it’s basically RedHeadedGirl bait. I read it on the beach, and when I was done I considered setting it on fire and casting it into the sea at sunset in a magenta and turquoise funerary rite.
First of all, let’s talk about the cover. That is clearly MacGyver making out with Rogue from X-Men. By the way, the heroine has a white streak in her hair, is southern and has special powers. So yeah, Rogue.
LoveSpell is a gothic that bounces from present day (1992) to Tudor England because the heroine, Alix, has “genetic memories” of her past life as Crislyn. Alix has just buried her Uncle Porter and is all upset that her cousin, Cassandra, didn’t show up for the funeral. Cassandra’s husband, Philip-the-Asswagon, does come though, which is suspicious. Why is Phillip an asswagon? Well, he was Alix’s professor when he seduced her in the most WTF way possible. Cue flashback music:
“Professor Coleman, I don’t know what you’re talking about. What ‘special situation?’”
“You’re staying in my aunt’s house next door to mine on Friday nights, starting this evening. The regular nurse is off, so we need someone to stay in the house.” He looked at me with dancing eyes. “Don’t look so worried. Aunt Dora sleeps like a rock, but she likes the idea of someone being around. It was her idea for me to arrange someone from one of my classes. I thought of you at once.”
“Why me?” I asked. “And why couldn’t you stay with her one night a week?”
He shrugged. “She likes the idea of another female and I thought of you because you’re mature. Also, you wrote in your application bio that you assisted your uncle part-time in his medical practice. Besides…” The eyes held mine, challenging me to deny the mutual physical awareness that had crackled between us from the first day. “…I want to know you better, Alixandra Manning. I look at you sometimes in class and see a beautiful, mysterious goddess in the middle of a sea of nymphets, and I sense you’re someone extraordinary.”
So, if you’re guessing that this is all a ploy by Philip-the-Asswagon to seduce Alix, you are right. Also he’s described as being an extraordinarily skilled lover.
What are his skillz, you ask? Kissing followed immediately by penetration.
Then Phillip-the-Asswagon found out that Alix wasn’t a rich heiress, but her cousin, Cassandra, was and he dumped her and eventually married Cassandra.
Alix doesn’t buy that Cassandra wouldn’t have come to the funeral, and she doesn’t trust Phillip-the-Asswagon, so she goes in search of her cousin in the last place she was, England. Alix is on the way to Bloodstones Castle, where Cass was researching their family history, and gets into a car accident, and the brooding and Gothic owner of the castle, Miles, takes her in.
There’s some “I-hate-you-for-no-reason-but-I-want-to-fuck-you” feistiness between Alix and Miles, and there’s a supermodel there for no reason other than to be a bitch I guess, and Miles tells everyone that Alix is staying on as a companion for his aged mother.
WTF. What is it about this woman that screams “PRETEND I’M TAKING CARE OF YOUR ELDERLY RELATIVE SO WE CAN SECRETLY BANG!” Did she show up holding a copy of AARP magazine and the DVD box set of Matlock?
Also, Miles’s mother really does live in the castle and he really does expect Alix to read to her and shit. You know what’s probably not a great fucking idea? TRUSTING A TOTAL GODDAMNED STRANGER TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR ELDERLY MOTHER. I’d like to think I’d maybe hire a nurse, or a personal careworker, or do a mother-fucking background check. Miles is all “I likes her boobies. Hired!”
Anyway, Alix stays at the castle and reads Georgette Heyer to Mummy and she and Miles fuck, and she and the supermodel are all bitchy, and she looks for Cass.
But this isn’t even the interesting bit. OH NO. Those are the “flashbacks.” Alix periodically goes into a catatonic state where she relives her past life as Crislyn, a woman from the Tudor era. And this is where the author smothers this book in extra-spicy crazysauce for your reading pleasure.
Crislyn is the daughter of a miller and a noblewoman (mom is dead, Disney-style). She’s got secret witchy powers like talking to nature and healing and shit. And she’s out with a falcon catching rabbits and such when a Handsome Stanger approaches her and suggests that their falcons duke it out to the death. If his bird wins he gets to bed her — “a proper bedding, one without biting and scratching.”
And if she wins he won’t tell everyone about her witchy grandmother, thereby saving gramma from being burned at the stake or whatever. What a fucking charmer.
So he wins (yes, her bird dies and it made me sad) and then they have sex and it’s great and she never sees him again. Later, Crislyn’s father, who is as disgusting as Phillip-the-Asswagon, tells her that he’s basically sold her in marriage to the Baron of Bloodstones Castle who insists on having her even though she’s a lowly miller’s daughter (apparently millers were more important than I realized and got to fuck the aristocracy a lot). Then he tells her he’s not really her dad and tries to rape her. So she kills him.
So then Crislyn’s grandmother tells her to run away and she does. She lives in the woods for awhile until she’s captured by a highwayman-cum-Robin-Hood named Lord Blackheart.
Lord Blackheart. Bloodstones Castle. Can we get any more heavy-handed here? Let’s name the hero Hugh Schlong and the heroine Alabaster McTittiesworth. Anyway there’s more feisty shit that’s supposed to prove how tough and spirited Crislyn is, but was really just annoying. And then they start fucking.
And then Lord Blackheart (Crislyn calls him Lord B, for reals) reveals that he’s going to do something with a charter or some shit and has to pose as a nobleman and he wants Crislyn to pose as his wife and seduce some dude. I don’t know. I honestly had no idea what the fuck was going on this point. The plot not only jumped the tracks, but the train flew off a bridge and erupted into a giant fireball because it was hauling Class 1.1 Explosive Materials without proper placarding.
Anyway they move to town, Crislyn seduces the guy but doesn’t sleep with him, she hypnotizes him to think they’ve slept together (because apparently she just figured out the swinging a pendant in front of someone thing), but Lord B gets all asshurt anyway.
Crislyn runs away again (I think—at this point I’d had a couple of Dirty Monkeys and a rum and Coke). Then she gets captured by James Linwood, the Baron of Bloodstones Castle, who turns out to be the dude who she had the creeptastic falconry bet with and they get married. And then some shit happens and they fight and then Lord B shows up wounded, except she realizes that Lord B and James are really the same fucking person and so she’s been in love with one dude this whole time.
HOW THE EVERLOVING SHIT DID SHE NOT KNOW THAT? James dyed his hair black and wore an eyepatch as Lord B and that was enough to make her think they were TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE. I mean, she has seen this guy naked—a lot. And he’s going to have the same voice and the same build and…I can’t…
Anyway back to the future. Miles is the re-incarnated James, and did he murder Cassandra, Alix doesn’t know, and I fucking quit.
Other crazy shit that happens in this book:
1. Alix describes her housekeeper as the Pillsbury Dough-Boy in gingham
2. All the Lords of Bloodstone Castle are born with an extra finger that’s removed during a ceremony. This has no bearing on anything whatsoever, but is just casually mentioned.
3. The modern Bloodstones Castle has a friar living there doing research who is described multiple times as “retarded.”
4. Crislyn is really a Hapsburg. OF COURSE SHE FUCKING IS.
So that’s LoveSpell. Basically there is enough crazy in this book for several Old Skools. It’s so fushia is glows. And I’m having another rum and Coke.