CHARMED
by Jayne Castle, Julie Beard, Lori Foster, and Eileen Works

October 1999
ISBN: 0-425-17129-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback
Rating:



In Bridal Jitters Jayne Castle takes us to a world where alien energy visitations and paranormal skills are part and parcel of everyday life. In Cadence City, on the planet called Harmony, Virginia Burch is trying to reconcile herself to an MC agreement she has signed with her potential business partner Sam Gage. An MC is a marriage-of convenience and Virginia is uncomfortably aware that she doesn't want to feel convenient, she wants to feel Sam - all over, many times!! It is Jayne Ann Krentz' skillful writing that allows us to accept this strange world and the alien abilities possessed by its residents without losing focus on the crux of this tale - the budding romance between Sam and Virginia. Of course the adventure they find themselves thrust into on Halloween only brings them closer, and Krentz' legion of fans know that love always finds a way! (Krentz revisits this world in her later novel After Dark.)


The Man In The Mirror by Julie Beard tells the tale of a shy young woman who finds her man and her destiny in the past! Through a bizarre series of events, Katie Montgomery is transported back to old England in the time of King Arthur and Merlin! She rescues and falls in love with Tristan of Ilchester. To her enormous surprise, Tristan tells her that Merlin foretold her arrival! What Katie learns about herself and her capacity to love stands her in good stead for her adventures in this far-off age; and when she finally returns through the mirror to her own time she brings with her knowledge that will enable her to change her life forever. It does not come as much of a surprise to learn that true love can also stand the test of time!!


Lori Foster readers will recognize Tangled Dreams as another installment of her stories about the dynamic Winston brothers. This time, it is Chase Winston, the quiet second oldest brother who is stunned when he realizes he can hear every thought in shy little Allison Barrow's head and most of them revolve around her incredibly erotic fantasies of him!!! Anyone who has read a Winston story knows Lori Foster never disappoints her fans - and sure enough Chase is no exception. He's hot, hard and can't wait to get Allison alone. Of course he has to negotiate some pretty strange territory on his way to Allison's bed, but once he's vanquished villains, settled some restless spirits and made wild and sensual love to Allison, future Halloweens are going to look pretty tame!


Eileen Wilks' tale, Pandora's Bottle, is perhaps the most enigmatic of these four mystical stories. This is a world where magic is real and often distrusted, certainly by staid stockbroker John Raven who has a very compelling reason, and also by Pandora Kitlock who has mostly managed to forget about her gift. Unfortunately, Pandora and John are in love and before he asks her to marry him, John has to take Dora to his home at Halloween and tell her his secret. And what a secret it is! It explains why Dora has always felt something was slightly lacking in John's kisses and asks us to consider the nature of people and what makes a complex, rounded personality. It also considers the delightful possibility of pink chickens. Dora's sensual pursuit of John is great fun and we know that the magic of love will win out over the adversity that this couple seem to be facing - a literate and thought-provoking conclusion to a truly Charmed anthology.


Reviewed in July 2001 by Celia.