Historical Romance Meets Fairy Tale Magic
In a Victorian England with a rigid hierarchy of magic, lion shape-shifter Sir Terence Blackwell is at the bottom rung of society. Only Lady Felicity Seymour, who has no magic, no inheritance, and no prospects, may be willing to judge the man strictly on his own merits.
When family pressures push Lady Felicity into a terrible fate, she has only Sir Terence to turn to. As the two outcasts are propelled by circumstances beyond their control, they are forced to explore the unseen depths beneath society's facade.
And what they discover about each other is more real and more beautiful than they ever could have imagined...
A unique combination of historical and fantasy romance, Enchanting the Lady will fascinate readers of Karen Monin, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kresley Cole, and Diane Duval who will be charmed by this light-hearted, powerful mix of romance, history, magic, secrets, and spies.
The Relics of Merlin Historical Fantasy Romance Series:
Enchanting the Lady (Book 1)
Double Enchantment (Book 2)
Enchanting the Beast (Book 3)
Everlasting Enchantment (Book 4)
What people are saying about Kathryne Kennedy
"As darkly imaginative as Tolkien, as richly romantic as Heyer, Kennedy carves a new genre in romantic fiction."Erin Quinn, author of Haunting Warrior
"[Kennedy] has created characters that live and breathe between the pages; a talent which is, in my opinion, a hallmark of skilled storytelling."Fresh Fiction
"Ms. Kennedy's a pro at creating memorable characters, comical situations, a fun dialog, and an endearing love story."Sia McKye's Thoughts Over Coffee
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Where magic has never died...
Felicity should have known that her cousin would try to frighten her with one of his illusions on the most important day of her life. But when she opened the door to her room to fetch her wrap and saw the apparition before her, she gasped with astonishment.
The wooden floor had cracked apart to reveal a gaping hole. Felicity leaned forward and peered over the edge, an odor of rotten eggs burning her nose. Her lavender-blue eyes watered as she looked down into an abyss that glowed from a river of lava flowing at the very bottom.
Cousin Ralph's magic had surpassed his rank, just as Uncle Oliver had predicted. As a viscount's son, he shouldn't have been able to create any illusions, much less something this vivid.
Felicity swallowed and lifted her chin. Ralph's illusions usually came to her in dreams, and it startled her that he'd become powerful enough to send her one in the daytime. Still, it could only be an illusion, no matter how well crafted, and she'd have to cross it to reach the white lace shawl she needed. But she hated heights.
Uncle Oliver's impatient voice-loudly wondering what could be taking her so long to fetch a wrap-carried up the stairs. Felicity took the deepest breath she could within the confines of her corset, lifted the ruffles of her skirts and sprinted across the room, landing in a very unladylike sprawl atop her settee. Her heart pounded at an alarming rate and her hands shook when she reached for her wrap, but a smile of grim satisfaction spread across her face.
And then she glanced down.
The settee shifted, slowly sinking into the chasm.
Felicity rolled, thankfully hit a solid surface with her feet, and leaped across the room, catching the edge of the chasm with her fingers. Her feet flailed and she could feel the heat of the lava flow up her skirts, and she swore she'd get even with her cousin.
She'd never been caught up in one of his illusions to this degree. But his magic kept growing stronger, and she had little of her own to counter it.
"My goodness, Miss Felicity!"
Felicity looked up into the freckled face of her newest lady's maid.
"I near stepped on ye! Whatever are ye doing?"
Felicity wiggled her toes and glanced over her shoulder. The lava burped and a fresh wave of rot hit her nose. "What does it look like, Katie?"
The Irish girl stepped back, her eyes wide, and crossed herself. "Ye're lying on the floor, miss. Wiggling like a fish."
Felicity sighed. She'd lose another maid. Again. It was hard enough to get good servants, but when only she could see the illusions, the hired help had a tendency to think she was a bit mad. Her fingers had started to slip, and her shoulders to cramp. "Would you mind giving me a hand, then? I can't seem to get up."
Katie nodded, the red hair that had escaped her cap bouncing along her flushed cheeks. Although tiny, she had enough wiry strength to flip Felicity right on her feet.
"Now, then." Felicity brushed at the dust covering the front of her white gown. "I think you should go straight away to the upstairs maid and tell her the floors must be mopped more often. Really, when one wants to wiggle like a fish, one should not be subjected to such filth."
Katie nodded again, backing down the hallway as if afraid to turn her back on her mistress. Felicity watched her bound down the stairs as if the hounds of hell were after her, and tried not to feel too sad.
Sometimes Felicity thought she might be going a bit daft. For the umpteenth time she wished she could get away from magic, find some nice untitled, unmagical man who couldn't light a fire without some ordinary matches...
Aunt Gertrude passed her in a rush of whispering silk and lavender scent, spun to a halt and narrowed her eyes. "Is that you, Felicity? I've been looking for you everywhere. Lord Wortley has become most impatient with the wait, and you know how your uncle gets when he's inconvenienced."
Lady Gertrude Wortley grasped her niece's hand and towed her down the stairs, the feathers in her hat leading the way like the prow of a great ship. She swayed like one as well, the bulk of her thighs creating a rolling motion, her huge bustle a pendulum of silk. Felicity adored her aunt, who had been her surrogate mother since Felicity's parents had died. But Aunt was plagued by headaches, and she rarely left her personal chambers. They shared the same home, but Felicity seldom saw her.
Aunt Gertrude looked surprisingly well. Felicity could never see a resemblance to her aunt in the photographs of her mother. Aunt lacked the coal-black hair and violet eyes of her mother, and instead was gifted with mousy brown hair, watery blue eyes, and a plain face. If she'd been a beauty in her youth, it had faded with the years and her illness.
When they reached the bottom of the staircase, Aunt Gertrude bobbed her head at her scowling husband and ushered Felicity out the great door, down the marble steps and into their coach. Uncle Oliver and Ralph climbed in and sat in the opposite seat, both dressed in black top hats and double-breasted frock coats. At seventeen, Ralph looked like a younger version of his handsome father, his face just beginning to lose the fullness of a boy's. Ralph's mahogany brown hair was matched with similarly colored eyes, whereas Uncle Oliver's eyes glittered gray. And Uncle Oliver didn't sneer at her with disdain.
Aunt Gertrude finally let go of her hand. "Felicity, dear," she whispered. "Your palms are so sweaty. Don't tell me you've forgotten your gloves?"
Felicity shook her head and pulled the lengths of satin from the pocket of her skirt, ignoring Ralph's snort of contempt. While she struggled to pull the cloth over damp skin, she glared at him beneath her lashes. Let him gloat over the fright he'd given her while he had the chance. If he wanted to continue to behave like a child-even though he was due to reach his majority in a few months-she would accommodate him.
Even though she had little to no magic, there were other ways she could get even: like pepper in his soup, powder in his top hat, holes in his breeches. She'd had to get creative over the years, but she just couldn't let him bully her without any consequences.
If only Uncle Oliver would do something about it. But whenever she complained, Ralph would either lie or point out that if Felicity worked harder on garnering her own magic, she'd be able to counteract any of his measly spells.
Uncle glanced at her and lifted an imperious brow. Felicity quickly turned to look out the window, staring at her reflection in the glass. She admired the three white feathers in her hair, the way Katie had done up her black locks into twists and curls, then let the back fall in waves where it flowed down her back like a river of silk. Her pale face still had a flush of pink from her fright, and her black lashes outlined the bluish-violet of her eyes, so that even in her reflection they seemed to glow.
She might have been vain, but she'd become so accustomed to people overlooking her presence that she felt sure her features weren't particularly extraordinary. Felicity knew that if she thought herself the tiniest bit handsome it was because she'd reached an age where she resembled the photographs of her mother... and who didn't think that their own mother was beautiful?
Especially when one's mother was dead.
"Do you think," she asked no one in particular, "that if my parents had lived, I would have inherited the power of a duchess?"
Stunned silence rocked with the coach over the cobblestones. Felicity never mentioned her parents; it always seemed to bring such horrible reactions from Aunt and Uncle.
Uncle Oliver scowled and cursed beneath his breath. Ralph's mouth dropped open in the most unbecoming way, and Aunt Gertrude rushed to fill the silence.
"Lord Wortley, I'm sure it's just her nerves. It's most difficult to face a presentation, especially without the support of one's parents."
Uncle Oliver looked ready to implode.
"I mean," stuttered Aunt, "when she's likely to fail at the tests, it's understandable... isn't it?" She patted Felicity gently on the hand, but her eyes glinted with a warning. "We all feel the loss of the duke and duchess, dear. Especially when one reminds us of their absence."
Felicity tried not to flinch when Aunt mentioned her probable failure. But Uncle Oliver let out a gust of breath and his features relaxed. Ralph let out a smug giggle.
"Just wait," he boasted, "until my presentation. At least then the lands will stay in the family."
"Dear Ralph," sighed Aunt Gertrude. She fingered her pearl necklace. "That's something to be grateful for now, isn't it, Felicity? If you don't have the magic required to be the next duchess, at least your cousin might be the next duke."
Felicity tried to look grateful. She knew her lack of magic to continue the title had to be a great disappointment to Aunt and Uncle, and she shouldn't begrudge her cousin because he carried it in his veins. But she'd been duchess-of-honor for her parents' holdings for so long she felt they belonged to her. She didn't care much for Stonehaven Castle, nor their London mansion, but Graystone Castle was home. It was her parents' legacy to her...
"Look at Lord Gremville's new coach and four." Uncle Oliver's voice dripped with disdain.
Felicity stared out the window. Marquesses' powers were limited to illusions and the transfer of objects, so she knew that the white unicorns with golden horns weren't real, that the gilded coach camouflaged a plain black finish. Still, the sight took her breath away, and she longed to stroke the foreheads of the animals.
"Oh, yes," said Aunt Gertrude, still fingering the pearl in the necklace she habitually wore. "Unicorns are at the height of fashion now. Much better than those ghastly gargoyles they had last season."
"Foolish of him, don't you think, Father?" Ralph's lips thinned into a narrow line, making his handsome face look cruel. "How long can a marquess's powers last, a few hours or so? He'd have to renew the spell in the middle of the presentation, and the wards are too strong for him to get past them. It'll be interesting to see the real condition of his nags."
"Perhaps. But perhaps it would be equally delightful to have a son who could hold his illusion for even that long."
Ralph shrank in his seat, and Felicity couldn't help feeling a pang of sympathy for him. For some ridiculous reason, Uncle felt her absence of power forgivable because of her gender. But Ralph lacked that excuse. She thought Uncle had unreasonable expectations for his son; after all, Uncle was only a viscount, his powers limited to alchemy and herbs. Yet he expected Ralph to attain the power of a duke, to go beyond illusions to the actual changing of matter. Ralph's powers already entitled him to the expected rank of a marquess, or at the very least, an earl.
The coach lurched to a stop, and Felicity blinked with surprise and a sudden panic. They had reached Buckingham Palace so soon? The door opened and just as Felicity descended from the coach, the clouds cleared and the sun lit the palace. The diamond-studded walls threw prisms of color in her eyes. She squinted to admire the fanciful arches over the windows, which had been shaped into mythical beasts and ancient battles of wizardry.
Felicity averted her gaze from the warding spells that surrounded the walls. Although barely discernible, if she looked too long it always made her feel queasy.
It would be several hours before her official presentation in the palace. She had to be tested first. The guards herded their group toward a small, unremarkable building. It didn't look more important than the palace itself, but within those walls titles had been made or broken.
As they waited in line, Felicity stared at the mosaic-tiled walk. If the wards of the palace could make her queasy, the ones surrounding the Hall of Mages would make her violently ill. Designed not only for defense, but to keep the magic released inside those walls contained, the wards roiled in dizzying motion.
Aunt Gertrude patted her shoulder and murmured encouragement. Felicity lifted her chin and locked her trembling legs. They all expected her to fail. And she couldn't blame them, since she could barely manage to light a candle with the magic she possessed. But she knew she had magic; it just always seemed to be hiding from her. And lately, she'd discovered a small secret.
If she looked for her magic, it evaded her. But if she relaxed a bit, she could feel it gathering from all the tiny crevices in her body, and she'd managed, just a few times, to use it.
Felicity prayed that she could accomplish that feat again today. She endured the agonizing wait by imagining how pleased Aunt and Uncle would be to realize that she did carry a bit of her parents' power. Not enough to permanently keep her parents' title, but at least enough to hold the title of honor until another qualified for the dukedom.
"Lady Felicity May Seymour?"
She looked up into the face of a novice, his purple robes indicating his rank. He looked over her head at Aunt Gertrude, who shook her head with disgust and laid her hand gently on Felicity's shoulder.
"This is Duchess-of-Honor Stonehaven."
The novice blinked. "I apologize, I didn't see you standing there. Would you follow me, please?"
Felicity strengthened her resolve. She embraced Aunt and Uncle as if she'd never see them again, as if she went to her doom instead of a testing of entitlement. Ralph's sneer of disgust made her abruptly loosen her hold.
She followed the novice down so many hallways and through such myriad corridors that without a guide she knew she'd never find her way out again. Strange sounds issued from behind several closed doors. Green lights and blue smoke bled through cracks in the frames and seeped into the halls. Felicity grabbed a pinch of the novice's robe and held on.
"Don't worry," he said. "Not enough can get out to harm you."
"Enough of what?" she gasped.
He only chuckled and opened a door embellished with a golden crown. He pushed her through and closed it behind her, and when Felicity looked up she saw a half dozen white-gowned girls.
One-by-one they'd be called out to face their test. She hadn't thought about it, but experiencing this holding cell with other equally nervous, jittery, giggly girls felt like a subtle form of torture.
She didn't know any of the girls, but they all seemed to know each other, whispering encouragement and adjusting hair feathers. Felicity had never cared for the city, always preferring to live at Graystone Castle in Ireland. Aunt and Uncle had indulged her, though now she wished they hadn't. It might have been comforting to have a friend to talk to. But they all ignored her, so she just concentrated on relaxing. Which seemed ridiculous, considering her situation.
Felicity fought against her corset to breathe as deeply as she could. Ralph's illusions had taught her about fear from a very young age. When faced with a three-headed green monster slobbering noxious purple goo all over one's bedcovers night after night for several years, she'd learned to isolate the fear from her brain.
As she got older and his illusions became more sophisticated, her skill at managing fear had only increased.
So, she breathed, and acknowledged the pounding of her heart without thinking she'd die from it, and let the weakness in her knees flow out through her toes. She gave her body permission to be afraid, already knowing that the fear had a limit to what it could do to her. But she must let her mind relax. Must allow the little bit of magic given her to gather at her fingertips, so that when the time came she'd be able to-
"Duchess-of-Honor Stonehaven, please enter." Another novice held open a door from across the room and scanned the sea of white ruffles. His eyes slowly focused on her as she approached. "The prince is most eager to meet you." And he bowed aside, waving her through the door with an unnecessary flourish of his arm.
What People are Saying About This
"A sweet fantasy with well written characters." - Reading Between the Wines Book Club
"A fabulous books and a delightful read. If you like Regency historical romance and paranormal romance, you'll love this original and fresh take. " - Star-Crossed Romance
"Casts a magic spell on the audience from the moment the heroine expects to fail her test and never let's go until the final magical revelation. " - Midwest Book Review
"Enchanting the Lady is a fairytale involving a great romance, in a Victorian setting, with a twist of intrigue and magic." - BookLoons.com
"A whole lot of frothy fantasy romantic fun." - Reading Reality
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In 1882 London, duchess-of-honor Felicity Seymour is worried that she legally will lose her inheritance as she lacks the magical gifts of her parents Prince Albert¿s rule states that no magic equates to no duchy. Lion shapeshifter Sir Terence Blackwell enjoys finding ancient relics, but also is a close friend of the Prince, who asked him to participate in the test of Felicity. She ignominiously fails, but Terence feels something was not right as he experiences a trace of relic-magic in use, which makes no sense.-------------- - Terence decides to court Felicity somewhat because he is attracted other somewhat because he feels sorry for her as she is now a pariah like he is as a shapeshifter and somewhat because what he believes destroyed her test is too similar to what killed his brother. He needs to know whether Felicity is the user or the victim of dark magic. However, Terence never expected to fall in love with her.-------------- ENCHANTING THE LADY is a fantastic late Victorian romantic fantasy that casts a magic spell on the audience from the moment the heroine expects to fail her test and never let¿s go until the final magical revelation. The story line is fast-paced with an underlying paranormal mystery that enhances the prime romantic plot the fantasy elements provide a unique look at 1882 England as Kathryne Kennedy provides her readers with a wonderful thriller.-------------- Harriet Klausner
I almost didn't get this one. The only other free fantasy-romance I had downloaded was highly disappointing. That one was far more explicit and the plot didn't hold my attention. This one though, was highly enjoyable and balanced the sexuality (nowhere near as explicit as others) with a good story line. Even when I figured out who was the real villain, I kept reading to see how it would resolve. Rates up there with some of the Mercedes Lackey books I've enjoyed in the past. This author is now on my wish list for new ebooks come payday. Truly fun.
I was sent this book by a book club. I thought, 'This sounds interesting.' As soon as I began it, I could not put this book down. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the Relics of Merlin series.
Silly bodice-ripping tale about people with or without magical powers, with lots of sexual longing thrown in. The wedding night scene goes on forever. I can not believe Barnes & Noble chose this for a Free Friday. At least it was free - it borders on erotica or hard-core romance. Nothing historical about this romance.
I have to admit, I look forward to the free Friday download and this is where I found this story. Though not a book that I normally would purchase, I decided why not? I really did enjoy this book and would consider purchasing more of Kathyne Kennedy's work. The story moved along well and was not predictable and I enjoyed the fantasy aspect. The only thing keeping this from being a five star in my opinion is that I wish that more of magic than the romance was pursued. It was worth reading.
Having never read any of Ms. Kennedy's books, I was pleasantly surprised to find I really enjoyed this book. I thought the concept of the British Royals and such being the keeps of magic was fun and made for a good read. The romance portions are similar to all of the "bodice ripper" books and was well written, sexy as well as funny. I've down loaded the next two books in this series, "Double Enchantment" and "Enchanting the Beast" and I'm sure they will provide as much enjoyment as Enchanting the Lady has and just think... it was free!
Is just that, very cute. It is a little predictable and really not very complex, yet it is very engaging and cute and it makes you smile and want them to love each other. It is very entertaining.
I got this expecting it to be a bit ridiculous, despite my love of romance novels and fantasy but I was surprised to find that I didn't want to put it down! The fantasy parts were written in a way that made sense and were not over-done and while its relatively predictable, it still has a bit of mystery and adventure to keep it interesting. Most of the negative reviews seem to be about how its a.) fantasy b.) romance c.) contains sex. If you don't like that, you won't enjoy this book [and I'm not sure why you would think you would since its in the Fantasy Romance category...] I enjoyed it enough to buy the rest of her novels and think that its a very fun merger of the fantasy and historical romance categories.
When I am searching for books to buy I pass up this genre. I loaded on my nook only because it was free. I will soon be buying books from this genre. This was a fantatstic book. I loved the fantasy, love story and especially the ending. It moved along at a good pace. One person is looking for a relic another person cannot figure out why no one pays attention to her. She finds out the shocking truth in the end.
Somewhat predictable romantic plot but well written and enjoyable. Some unusual twists keep you entertained.
A sensual fairytale for adults who still have a whimsical soul. I devoured the book in two days cause I had a hard time putting it down. It's so nice to read such a unique romance, with the blend of history and fantasy (and a not sure who done it) that made it so much fun. Uh, just to note, guys like romance too!
It seems to me that Kathryne Kennedy doesn't have just an enchanting titled but that the title matches the content. I think it is very insightful and fun to read. It is vivid but not obsene, it is fascinating and just a fun book all around.
I could not put this book down. Fantastic, extremely descriptive. I felt as though I had to use little imagination to put together scenes. A definite recommendation for a reader who loves a good love novel with a fantastic plot.
Really sweet, fluffy romance. Pretty sure I downloaded it for free, so it was very much worth the price. Will look for more by this author, even if I have to pay for them! Set in a Victorian London where magic is an accepted part of the world - charming.
Felicity had grown up knowing that it was her heritage to have wonderful magical abilities, but instead was doomed to insignificant mediocrity by both her lack of ability and absence of beauty.Baronet and were-lion Terence Blackwell lived his life in service and guardianship of the powerfully magic prince of his land. It was his duty and obsession to seek out and destroy all of the relics of Merlin that could threaten the empire. When Terrance senses the presence of one of the evil relics on the person of the newly tested and failed Felicity Seymour he is struck at once by both her beauty and innocence, unsure if either are the true soul of the girl before him. Determined to know the truth Terence decides to woo the lovely failed enchantress, but once discovering Felicity's charm is unsure if he will discover her culpability or lose his heart instead.This tale is a pleasant and quick read of politics, family, witchery and love. I felt that the romance progressed nicely from their initial attraction and enjoyed the interactions between Terrance and Felicity. I was amused how he couldn't seem to stop himself from bumping into her all the time. It was funny to imagine a man dressed as a lord head butting a lady like a common housecat. The plot did have a bit more action than a regular Victorian romance and it was interesting to see this author's view of a magical London through the eyes of her characters. Although I felt it was pretty clear from the onset who the culprits were, I didn't find this foreknowledge ruinous to the story. Certainly this is a very pleasant paranormal romance I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
While refreshing to see a standalone novel, I was kind of hoping for more. There is nothing too crazy going on in this book. The characters, though not complex, are thoroughly enjoyable and relatable. On the other hand, the magic system and using it to appoint the aristocracy is fascinating! I would love to read more on that. Overall, a fun, fast read.
Reviewed by Crystal Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Enchanting The Lady is a magical story and I’m trying to come up with words to do justice to such a wonderful book. While it took me a little bit to get into the story than I thought it would, once the story picked up, that was all it took. There were so many enchanting things going on in this story. I loved how the author described every detail and made it very easy to imagine what was being said in the book. Oh, to be able to have the magical ability to conjure anything that anyone’s imagination could come up with. To be able to look at water and see a dragon come up and fly around and have fire coming from it. *swoon* I would love to meet Terence and see him as he shifts into a lion. I just imagine him running from rooftop to rooftop. I could see myself turning into a lion and leaping into the air, feel the air running through my hair, feeling free. Since magic has no effect on Terence, his job is to find the relics that Merlin hid. Relics are evil and need to be found before they get into the wrong hands. Terence senses the relic’s powers on Felicity and vows to get to the truth. I felt so sorry for Felicity. I couldn’t imagine going through life knowing that I was supposed to have magic and wasn’t gifted with it. To know that my title and everything that went with it would be forever lost to me. To have people sit on me and run into me because they couldn’t see me. Felicity and Terence made a great couple and what started as a flirtation ended up being more. The more time that they spent with each other, the more that Terence forgot why he was courting her in the first place. They both are social outcast since she has no magic and he is a were shifter. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves fantasy and a great romance. You will be taken on a magical fantasy adventure. If you want to find out if Terence chooses love, the relic, or finds a way to get both, you will have to read Enchanting The Lady.
Great altered history/fantasy romance. I thought the sex scenes were tastefully done and no where near erotica. The plot moved along and at steady pace and kept me thoroughly engaged. Didn't want to put it down!