by Heather Cullman

February 2001
ISBN: 0-451-20229-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

Bewitched is a title that promises a good and interesting story; however, sadly enough, the book doesn't deliver.

Heather Cullman's Bewitched is the story of Emily, an American girl who is cursed, and Michael, an English duke who suffers from seizures. They are forced into a marriage of convenience by their respective grandmothers and have to come to terms with their situation and their expectations of each other.

I am a sucker for 'marriage of convenience' plots, and most books usually manage to surprise me with new twists and interesting characters; not this one.

What attracted me to the book and its plot was the anticipation of a funny and entertaining battle between the hero and heroine. Then there is the element of magic, which gives the writer the chance of forcing her characters into situations not possible under normal circumstances. While some readers might feel drawn to the nursing back to health aspect of the story, I've never been a big fan of plots along that line. It never really appealed to me to read about weak characters, physically or mentally.

Which brings me to my one main complaint about the book; the characters are weak! Not just physically hampered by their curse or illness but mentally completely unwilling to stand up and fight for what they want or need. And it wasn't because Heather Cullman provided her characters with unsolvable problems and obstacles or unobtainable goals!

Call me a cynic, but I don't believe in characters without flaws. Sure, Michael is full of self-loathing but don't worry because he's got Emily to cheer him up in no time. And Emily might be a dreamer and her imagination might be running away with her, but again don't worry Michael will prove that certain things are not to worry about... and others the secondary characters are just plain charming. Ugh!

Oh, one more thing...

I do love historical romances, but please don't force feed me information about the period and even more so of customs and events not of the period!

Most of Bewitched doesn't take place in the present but in the characters' past, described in boring revelations by them. The two characters that were interesting and entertaining to some extent, the grandmothers, got sent onto a journey right at the beginning of the book, so it did not even give the reader the welcome distraction of a good subplot.

Yes, I admit it; I didn't like the book. It took me 10 days to read it! Still, if you are into sweet romances with very nice well-behaved characters, then by all means read it. I'm just going to re-read one of Heather Cullman's previously released books, like the highly entertaining A Perfect Scoundrel.

Reviewed in September 2001 by Kris Alice.

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