“Although each story can stand alone the three Donovan cousins are such integral parts of each other's lives, offering advice, support, and love, that they are even better when read together. What is the Donovan Legacy, it is a legacy of magic passed down by their Celtic ancestors. It is also a legacy of love. Two sets of fraternal triples marry, three Donovan brothers to three Corrigan sisters. Each union results in a single child, Morgana to Matthew and Bryna, Sebastian to Douglas and Camilla, Anastasia to Padrick and Maureen. Hereditary witches one and all; each is blessed with a special gift. The stories are set in Monterey California.
Captivated is Morgana's story. Morgana's gift is the gift of magic; she can conjure spells like no other. Magic is her stock in trade as well as she is the owner of the successful shop, Wicca, which caters to folks interested in healing crystals and herbs.
Nash Kirkland is a successful screenwriter. He writes scripts for horror films. His latest muse is to write a script involving witches. Draw to town by Morgana's reputation, he is a skeptic but is determined to pick her brain for material for his film. He never expected to find himself face to face with the real thing.
Nash is also an only child, however his legacy is quite different from Morgana's. His mother, an unwed teen, abandoned him to the dubious mercies of his grandmother. The grandmother, determined to visit the sins of the mother upon the child, farms him out to foster homes just long enough for him to form attachments. No sooner is he happy than she yanks him back home to a loveless environment. A good-natured boy, he does not become bitter, but in the way of many in his situation he draws himself into a world of his own making. His fertile mind creating fantastic tales, which later become his stock and trade. He is vulnerable though, never risking his heart, afraid of rejection, he puts all his passion into his work.
Morgana isn't impressed with Nash's vision of witches, but has admired his previous work. She is not sure she wants to aide him in his quest. She has seen the future, her personal involvement with him, but she doesn't know where it may lead. Risking her heart she agrees to help him with his script to ensure proper portrayal of her kind. She is soon drawn to the talented and lonely man. The result: a sultry affair and the best work of Nash's life. Why isn't it enough for either of them?
Entranced is Sebastian's story. Sebastian's gift is that of sight. He can delve into people's minds as well as see past, present, and future events. Although independently wealthy from various ventures, he lends himself to the authorities to solve crimes they are unable to solve on their own. Just having returned to his California home after apprehending a serial killer, he is determined to rest and recuperate. The grisly visions of the crimes, and the foray into the mind of a madman have taken their toll on him.
Mary Ellen Sutherland is also an only child. Raised by a single mother, she lived a rootless existence, moving frequently from place to place. She is a loner. Once a member of the police force she has become a private investigator. She likes to do things her own way and without help from others.
A crime has been committed and it hits close to home. Mary Ellen's friends baby has been kidnapped. The mother in desperation to find her child insists on enlisting a psychic sees read about. He's just solved a case of serial murder. Mary Ellen is of the opinion that the man is a charlatan and wants to pursue the case her way, but accompanies her to the home of Sebastian Donovan.
Sebastian is inclined to decline. He is shattered in the aftermath of his last terrible quest; he just wants some peace. It is not the mother's desperate plea that finally gets to him, but Mary Ellen's firm disbelief in his abilities. Something about the belligerent detective intrigues him. Mary Ellen returns alone to warn him not to hurt her friend by giving her false hope. Sebastian however has found a lead and Mary Ellen is not about to let him out of her sight. The next thing she knows she on the back of a motorcycle bound for Utah. The child is recovered by they've uncovered a whole string of child kidnappings. On the trail of the kidnapper who is selling babies to childless couples, the two pose as a husband and wife in search of a baby to adopt. Can these two very different people work together to trap the kidnapper and will their role-playing lead to something more permanent? This was my favorite of the three stories. Sebastian is just so sexy.
Charmed is Ana's (Anastasia) story. The youngest Donovan is an empath. Her gift is the ability to heal. She is able to determine the extent of the damage to a person by the laying on of hands. She can then cure them from within using her gift. As with all empaths, there is a toll to be paid, the healer must take the persons pain upon herself. This can be draining or even deadly, depending on the timing and the seriousness of the patient's ills. Because of her empathy, her feelings are extremely sensitive. Her cousins try to protect her from pain whenever possible. However Anastasia has been hurt before, in a matter of the heart. She had revealed herself to a man she had loved and been cruelly rejected. She has accepted that she will undoubtedly lead a solitary existence but delights in the new found happiness of her cousins. That is until the house next door becomes occupied.
Boone Sawyer, fantasy writer and single father, has already lost the love of his life. He has moved to California to remove himself and his young daughter from the sad memories and the interference of both sets of grandparents. He is determined to start over but love is not to be part of the equation. He's well to do and had experience of gold diggers trying to attract him by cozening up to his daughter.
He is suspicious of Ana' friendship with the little girl. When she realizes who his is and tells him of her admiration of his work, he is extremely rude to her. Determined to put him in his place she shows him her collection of his work, along with that of her aunt, Bryna (Morgana's mother) who also writes fantasy novels.
Realizing that Ana isn't the kind of woman he thought she was, he let's her into their lives. It isn't long before he realizes that he wants her to be a permanent part of their family. Once burned, twice shy Ana is to afraid to tell him what she is, and too polite to read Boone's thoughts to determine his feelings for her. She puts off telling him telling until a tragedy involving the little girl forces her to reveal her skills. The toll on Ana is great. Now Boone doesn't know what to do with his feelings. Which will prevail, gratitude for his daughter's recovery, fear for Ana's life, or anger that she didn't trust him enough to share her secret with him? And can he accept who she is and make her a part of his life or is it all too much to accept? Can Ana bear another rejection? Enjoy the story that ties up all the loose ends and get a glimpse of the amusing elder Donovan's in the process.
Though lighter than Maggie Shayne's witch novels, I think the reader will enjoy this believable and highly lovable witch trio and their mates. Highly Recommended.
Reviewed for PNR Reviews”