by Jo Beverley

NAL, $15.00, 343 pages

Forbidden Magic is a historical romance set against aristocratic England. The protagonist, Meg, is a young woman left to care for her siblings after her parents’ death. The antagonist is introduced early and becomes more fiendish throughout the story. While the plot hints at a looming marriage proposal, the author provides an unexpected twist in the form of a magic statue. However, the statue’s magic is not always a positive force and the result is Meg fighting her way through blackmail and murder, fueled by a desperate need to keep her siblings safe. The romance aspect of the novel is kept in the foreground of the tale as the plot events unfold. The author offers a type of verbal foreplay to illustrate the passion between the main characters without stepping completely into the erotic genre. The characters are well developed and memorable. The plot offers enough conflict throughout; however, this reviewer found the resolution to be rushed and loose ends left dangling.

Reviewed by Jina Oravetz