Review of A KISS OF FATE by Mary Jo Putney (see her website)
Ballantine Books, July 2004
Guardians are charged with protecting the people, reducing the damages from war, and following the orders of their council. Although Gwynne Owens is a guardian, she lacks the magic that makes guardians so powerful and is surprised when first her late father's lord and then (after his death), powerful weather-guardian Duncan Macrae seek her hand in marriage. Although her body and soul respond to Duncan's magnetic touch, she feels an air of a horrible fate when he kisses her. Their relationship will be surrounded by suffering, death. Still, when the guardian council begs her to marry Duncan, Gwynne agrees.
The two arrive in Scotland just as Bonnie Prince Charlie's rebellion begins. Although Duncan has sworn the guardian oath, he's a loyal Scot. The Hanovers are horrible kings--and their rule over Scotland has been heavy-handed at best. Would it be so horrible to have a Stuart king in Scotland again? Despite the guardian council decision to support Hanover, Duncan's heart inclines to Charles Stuart--and his weather-magic just might provide the difference in the rising.
Although their passionate love for one another draws them together, their political differences push Duncan and Gwynne apart. Gywnne's vision is of death, rivers of blood, complete destruction if the Stuart cause is victorious while Duncan sees only the possibility of his nation ruled again by its hereditary kings. The disagreement leads Gwynne to consider an ultimate betrayal--one that will shatter their love and marriage. Can love possibly triumph when the world races into the madness of war and when both sides are so completely unattractive?
Author Mary Jo Putney (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Putney) adds paranormal elements to her strong historical voice in an intriguing tale of romance in one of the most horrible and darkly romantic periods of Britain's past. Her exploration of the growth of Gwynne's 'enchantress' magic and of the guardian system deepens the appeal of a well-written historical.
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