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    Can give you chills

    The Mad Countess by Erica Monroe This is one of my top three in The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor anthologies! I was so engrossed in it that I read it in about an hour. I loved that they had been best friends forever because it made the story even better and everything happens at a great pace because of it. The rain in the maze scenes are my all time favorites and what some dreams are made of. I loved the detail that went into the witches and everything when breaking the curse (another favorite scene). Finding out a bit more about her mother and aunt was great especially finding out it was a curse and why the curse was put on them. My favorite lines included unicorns. Claire's heart is in the right place at all times. She thought she wasn't strong, but she was because she visited her mother when most wouldn't and she didn't run from anything. I loved her spirit and how close she was to her maid. Teddy is someone you fall in the love with from the start. He is not your typical hero he has many fears, loves to learn, and when he sets his mind to something he does it. I loved everything about him from the way he did things to the openness of his heart. He never lied or brushed off anything without proof and wanted to help. The ending was amazing! I wasn't left wondering about anything. Possessed by the Stranger by Jerrica Knight-Catania This was a great read. The beginning with Chad will pull at your heart and you will feel for Samantha from the start. Little Toby was once again driving his sisters crazy by trying to protect them. I loved how they first saw each other and were drawn to each other so quickly. There is so much to love about this one from seeing the gypsy wedding to the ending that leaves you wanting more because it was fantastic. Samatha is different from her sister. She always seems to say the wrong thing but doesn't shrink away from anything. I loved how she tried to be like her mother wanted, but her true self always showed. When she set her mind to something she meant it. Chad is someone that I don't think could ever make someone mad. He is just so sweet and loveable. I loved how close he was with his father and that he didn't care about titles. He understood her when no one else did. You will love this one. The Sweetest Curse by Renee Bernard The beginning will suck you thinking the curse has struck someone else. I loved seeing a bit more about the coven and the small battle between science and magic. Elethea's father and grandmother are both very different in how they want her to be, but they both want her to be happy. I loved the parts where she used her touch to heal! This was a little fast paced, but it still was a great story. Elethea seems like a very quiet girl that does as she is told but she does have a mind. I was not expecting her to stand up for herself when she did and it made me love her even more. She was very sweet and loved to take care of people. Blade's name draws you to him. I loved that he didn't try to explain away what he saw or was told like most men of science would. He tried to avoid the past and the curse out of fear of what his mother had said before she died and how his father raised him. The ending was perfect.
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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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    Mystifying and enjoyable!

    Book 3 of 4 in The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor (4 Book Series) by Renee Bernard, Erica Monroe, and Jerrica Knight-Catana. Wow! Another great read in this intricately woven series of "The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor"! **"The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor includes twelve Regency romance novellas. Don’t miss the anthologies Vexed, Bedeviled, and Spellbound."** Renee Bernard’s The Sweetest Curse. Blade Hambly believes in only three things: science, logic and he has a notion that if a man stays focused, and keeps looking forward, he won't get tripped by his past. But, he finds his logic might be a bit faulty when he meets, Miss Elethea Fairfax. A woman who can heal with just a touch of her masterful hands, she talks to nothing, and radiates with magic just by fluttering her eyelashes. What, can she be a witch? How can a man of logic and science fall in love with a woman whose possibly a witch? There must be another scientific explanation, or is there? An intriguing and masterfully fascinating story. What a great read! ~~~~ Jerrica Knight-Catania's Possessed by the Stranger. Is a new author to me, but I was impressed and captivated by her story. Meet, Lady Samantha Priske, yet another relative of the late Earl of Banfield. And, Chadwick Kendall, a stranger whose not a relative but must be present for the reading of the blasted will, while is father is dying, he desires not be away from home. Who cares what the blasted Earl may have left him, until he meets and becomes captivated by the redheaded Lady Samantha. Can these two people find their HEA at the Castle Keyvnor? Another great addition to this amazing Anthology. ~~~~ Erica Monroe's The Mad Countess is one of my favorite Regency authors and she never disappoints her readers. Meet, Theodore Lockwood, Earl of Ashbrooke, he has been in love with his best friend, Lady Claire Deering, for what seems like forever. But Lady Claire refuses to act on her regards and secret desires for Theodore due to a dreaded curse, placed on her family by a witch, resulting in madness. Together, can they break the curse to find their HEA? Or will all be lost to a curse placed by a witch? Awesome, just awesome! ~~~~~ WOW! Here are some compelling and captivating characters, intriguing storylines and some most satisfying reads! Each story was a Novella, and quick reads to me. Each has a satisfying ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this Anthology by these masterfully and talented authors. I also was thrilled to find a new author. A must read! What a great addition to any Regency Romance library. I received a complimentary copy. Overall rating: 5 Heat rating: Mild Reviewed by: AprilR
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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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    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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