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Ratings and Book Reviews (8 18 star ratings
8 reviews
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4.6 out of 5
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    Who could resist such an anthology!

    So far, I’ve had the pleasure of reading only THE MAD COUNTESS by Erica Monroe, and this novella alone is worth getting the MYSTIFIED anthology. THE MAD COUNTESS by Erica Monroe The Mad Daughter, that’s how they call Lady Claire Deering behind her back. Claire believes she is cursed: her mother and aunt both finished their days in the Ticehurst lunatic asylum. Claire, along with her faithful maid Kinney, is travelling to Castle Keyvnor to hear the reading of a will. The castle is reputed to be haunted and there’s a witches’ coven nearby. Claire is hoping, and not hoping to see her old friend Theodore “Teddy” Lockwood, however she didn’t know he was coming. She’s in love with him, but won’t do anything because of the madness in her family. Teddy doesn’t like change of any kind, and is quite mystified at being the new Earl of Ashbrooke, a title which he recently inherited. Teddy is attempting to conquer his various fears, he’s trying to be daring and it is, to say the least, trying! Teddy has been in love for ages with Claire, but he’s afraid she’ll refuse his marriage proposal, and he’d rather keep her as a friend than be turned down. Erica Monroe is one of my favourite authors, I have always loved her writing, and in THE MAD COUNTESS, Ms. Monroe shines as never before. Her prose is more subdued, even richer and more nuanced, the surroundings appear in all their finest details, the touch of paranormal feels totally real, and the dialogues sound natural, as always. Ms. Monroe is a wizard at creating convincing characters, I love her heroes, and Teddy might be my favourite so far; he is quite the surprising fellow! As for Claire, I thought it rather extraordinary, but the character is so meticulously crafted that when reading her dialogues, I knew precisely how she sounded; her voice was translated so well in words, that I could hear her, and this happens very seldom indeed. THE MAD COUNTESS is full of unexpected plot twits, and the romance is almost too gorgeous for words. THE MAD COUNTESS is in some ways a bit of a departure for Erica Monroe, and it is a resounding success. THE MAD COUNTESS is a most wondrous, beautiful, and touching love story; just wonderful! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Erica Monroe in exchange for an honest review.
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    Like completing a jigsaw puzzle.

    Quite good. I think I may prefer to have a more conventional method of story telling, but will wait to decide this until I have read the last anthology.
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    Three great romantic stories

    ​This is one of four books about Castle Keyvnor. Each book contains three romantic stories set against the spooky background of the Castle. The stories are slightly intertwined, yet each can be read as a stand-alone story. Erica Monroe's The Mad Countess Lady Claire has lived with the fear that she will go mad like her mother. It makes it hard to tell the man you love that you want to be more than friends. Teddy Lockwood, Earl of Ashbrooke, preferred books and research above all else. Instead of being a barrister as was his plan as the "spare heir", he found himself as the earl upon his brother's death. When it comes to light that Claire's family is cursed, rather than mad, they work together to find a solution. But when witches are involved, what will happen? Jerrica Knight-Catania's Possessed by the Stranger Chadwick Kendall finds himself at the castle in his father's place. Chad doesn't want to leave him because he is dying, but he cannot refuse his father's wishes. Lady Samantha Priske is attracted to Chad, but knows her parents would never approve of the marriage. The two of them can't stay away from each other, but a ghostly sighting causes Chad to hurry back home. How can the two of them find their HEA? Renee Bernard’s The Sweetest Curse Miss Elethea Fairfax is the daughter of the local doctor with witch blood in her. Blade Hambly, heir to the new Earl of Hambly, is more interested in science and his machines than the fact he will be an earl someday. As he falls sick in town, Elethea is the angel who heals him. However, her father won't allow people to know that it was his daughter and magic that provided the cure. What will happen? Will Blade be able to accept there is magic in the woman he loves? ​I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ​
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    A Hauntingly Good Time

    For this 3 sets of stories we start out with Claire and Teddy. Teddy and Claire have loved each other for as long as they can remember but have yet to tell each other. Claire has lived with the fear that she will suffer the same curse her mother and aunt did of going mad. We meet the witches in this story and see how Claire and Teddy's dreams are made! Next Sam and Chad meet at the family gathering and fall in love. Sam's family has her destiny already decided when she takes matters into her own hands. Chad is immediately smitten with Sam and wants her for his wife, but he's had to attend the reading of the will with his loving father at home on his death bed from cancer. Their story wraps up with Sam standing on her own and Chads dream of her meeting his father before he dies. The last story in the book is about Blade and Elethea. She's a witch and he's a man of science. Blade becomes sick on the way to the gathering and Elethea treats him as her father is the country physician. With her grandmother being the head of the coven that is responsible of stopping the curse, a father that's set on keeping his daughter under control, and a witch who's in love with a man of science, everyone has to be on their toes!
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    Fun Hauntings x 3

    The Mad Countess – Erica Monroe She’s going to go insane. For most of her Lady Claire Deering has known this will be her fate; after all her Mom and her aunt suffered, and died from, this curse. A curse put on the family by a spiteful witch long before she was born. Knowing her fate Claire has determined she will remain a spinster, never falling in love. If only she wasn’t already in love with her best friend. Theodore Lockwood’s, Earl of Ashbrooke, friends encourage him to go after the woman he has loved since childhood. When the reading of her great-uncle’s will, who also happens to be related to one of his closest friends, Theodore takes the opportunity to tag along, conquer some fears and convince the lady he loves that together they can make things work. Claire’s conviction that she will suffer the curse and her desire to protect the man she loves to her hope and desperation that maybe things can turn out differently are very well written. Theodore’s skepticism to his determination to make things work and his willingness to do whatever it takes to make Claire had me falling in love with him. Toss in the curse, a spell breaking ritual, and a huge surprise and you have an excellent read by Erica Monroe. Possess by the Stranger by Jerrica Knight-Catania The very last place Chadwick Kendall wants to be is a haunted castle at a will reading for a friend of his father’s. He’d much rather be by his father’s side as he lay dying; the man who has been there for him and loved him enough for a father and mother. Torn between staying with his father or following his dying wish Chad makes his way to Castle Keyvnor to what may be the best thing that happens to him when he sees the image of a red-headed angel. Lady Samantha Priske can’t wait to explore what’s reported to be a haunted castle, if only she can escape her mother’s harping. If her mother is not complaining about one thing it’s another – her sister’s belief that she’s sees ghosts, Samantha’s red hair, her lack of conducting herself properly, etc. When she’s finally able to slip away from the latest tirade she makes her way to the turrets to view the beauty of the landscape below; a landscape that includes the sight of a man that makes her heart race more than the eerie sounds from close by. A first encounter that has Samantha literally falling to each meeting thereafter is filled with longing and despair (as Samantha knows her parents will never approve). Add in a meddlesome little brother, a determined hero, a heroine who follows her heart and a surprise and you have another excellent story by the talented Jerrica Knight-Catania. The Sweetest Curse by Renee Bernard Miss Elethea Fairfax has lived her entire life caught between being the daughter and helper of the local doctor and the daughter/granddaughter of a “witch” with healing properties of her own. No matter the situation she allows her father to take all the credit when it comes to healing; something that recently hasn’t felt right; especially when the new heir presumptive falls ill practically at her feet. Determined to do all she can to save his life she does her best to not fall in love; after all, he’s from a different class and can never be hers. Not to mention his family suffers from a curse because of a witch and blame has be laid at her grandmother’s coven. Heaven help her if he or his family ever finds out she is the one who tended him and he dies. And if he survives can she forsake him to break the family’s curse?
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