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Book Review: Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

againmagic200She gave him her innocence…

Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class.  

Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father’s estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable — John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the countryside…an exile from London society. 

…and he took her love.  

Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned — more boldly handsome and more mesmerizing than before. 

His ruthless plan is to take revenge on the woman who shattered his dreams of love. But the magic between them burns as bright as ever. And now he must decide whether to let vengeance take its toll…or risk everything for his first, and only, love.

****

Again the Magic must be one of my favorite books by Lisa Kleypas. Hands down, it’s one of my top favorite historical romances. Both hero and heroine are agonizingly tortured. Star-crossed, separated, wringed, and tortured.

Aline is the daughter of an earl. Her parents are cold and unfeeling towards her. She and her siblings seek attention and affection from other sources. Aline, herself, finds comfort in the housekeeper, Mrs. Faircloth. Both grew up together on the estate of Aline’s parents. She also finds a friendship in John McKenna, a lowly servant in her parents’ service. Her friendship with McKenna slowly deepens into love.

However, their passions are uncovered by Aline’s father. Her father demands McKenna leave the estate, and Aline must ensure he never returns. Aline breaks McKenna’s heart at her father’s instruction, dashing any hopes of their budding love.

Twelve years pass between them. Within the time apart, an accidental fire burns Aline’s legs. Her flesh might be scarred, but her heart and mind are devastated more so. McKenna’s become a self-made man after venturing into business in America. But, he’s never forgotten Aline. He’s kept her in his mind, everlasting. So much so, he returns to her estate hell-bent on revenge. He means to seduce her body and her heart, then crush her as she did to him.

Aline doesn’t fight McKenna when he pursues her. She’s not a fool, though. She doesn’t expect proclamations of love from his lips, but she desires her last chance to feel passion. She doesn’t think McKenna can love her again, but she’ll not fend him off knowing this.

McKenna dismisses his earlier love for Aline as youthful infatuation, but slowly comes to realize it was pure. He loved her then, as he loves her now. He proclaims this to her, but Aline’s burn scars keep her from accepting him. She keeps him at bay for a time, even after his profession, until close to the end. But once the two do reciprocate, their love becomes recognized. At last.

I find this book to be touching and emotionally fulfilling. Again, it’s one of my favorite books by Kleypas, as well as one of my favorite historical romances in general. Each character, whether primary or secondary, stands with their own personalities. The conflict, while a little lagging, never overshadows the pure enjoyment of the read. The writing, as always, is perfection, and I give the highest recommendations for this book. If you’re looking for a true romance, one with high satisfaction, pick up this book.

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