The Last Leprechaunby June Calvin
John Blayne wants nothing to do with marriage-and certainly nothing to do with Beth Longford. But despite his efforts to remain indifferent, he finds himself coming to her aid. Will he decide to reform his ways...before it costs him the love of his life?
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Elizabeth Longford knew that her childhood friend, John Blayne, thought of nothing now except his own sensual pleasures. He was no longer the wonderful lad she had grown up with. But John is now the Earl of Wayneathe, and only he has the power to help her save the cherished forest in which they played as children - and where she once caught sight of a leprechaun, even though they lived in London instead of Ireland. Beth's father has let his anger overwhelm all reasoning. He insists that he lost everything due to a curse by the leprechaun. The only thing he does blame the leprechaun for is the death of his only son, Terry. Terry's death he blames on John. ........................ John used to believe in leprechauns, but now he believes in nothing and no one. When Beth arrives for help, John had no intention of assisting her or anyone else. But Beth is more than John's match and it does not take her long to persuade him to come see the woods and all that her father is doing to destroy them. John sees not only the devastation of his childhood playgrounds, but also the madness within Beth's father. John is wise enough to fear for Beth and her mother's very lives! ......................... Still believing his childhood glimpse of a leprechaun had been nothing but his youthful imagination, John returns to the woods where Beth insists the little man still roams. Beth told John clearly that Shamus, the leprechaun, would not show himself to a human, especially a male human. Since acorns do not naturally fall sideways to hit people, John must admit that the woods still hold magic. As time goes by and John actually meets and visits with Shamus, John is left with several problems to solve. What can John do to protect Beth and her mother? How can he save the woods that mean so much to Beth? How can he stop a madman from destroying the area? How can he get Shamus back to Ireland safely? And most importantly, how can he convince Beth to marry him when she has vowed never to marry again? .................... ***** I was not sure if I would like a Regency Romance with a leprechaun in it. They just do not seem as magical to me as faeries and water sprites do. (Must be due to all those horrid Lucky Charms cereal commercials.) But this enchanting tale of romance hooked me within the first few pages and I SO wanted to believe. Shamus's story on why he is stuck in the human realm, banished from the land of the faery, is very well done. I even caught a glimpse of water sprites and of the queen herself! This story will remain with me for a long time to come. I simply must hunt up more novels by this talented author. Outstanding! *****
Those who enjoy a Regency romance with a touch of the supernatural will love June Calvin's delightful The Last Leprechaun. As the title suggests, this is the tale of the last leprechaun--and it is the story of the two humans who struggle to rescue him from extinction. However, although the leprechaun serves as the fulcrum of the story, it is the romance that is the story's focus. In order to stop her father's plan to destroy the ancient forest on his lands, young widow Elizaeth Longford seeks the aid of her distant cousin John Blayne, Earl of Wayneathe. Only Lord Wayneathe, as her father's heir, has the power to stop the desecration of the primeval woodland and the destruction of the forest creatures, among them the last remaining leprechaun. Beth is certain John will help her because he is the only other person who has seen such a creature, and Beth seeks him as her ally. Unfortunately, when Beth arrives at John's home, she finds the person she remembers as a kind and caring boy has grown into a dissolute care-for-nothing, bent on a life of sensual pleasure in the company of his depraved acquaintances. It is only when he begins to see his friends through Beth's eyes that John listens to her plea for help in saving the forest land. As he follows her in her crusade to save the woodlands, John finds his redemption in a return to the values of his youth and the love he finds with Beth. Calvin's ability with the language and her skill in developing believable characters prevent this story from becoming merely a trite little fairy story. Although the story of the leprechaun is fantasy, throughout the novel is the very subtle theme of saving the natural environment not only for future generations of humankind but also for the creatures to whom it really belongs.