The Witching Time” by Fayrene Preston

Something strange was going on in Hilary, Virginia — Noah Braxton felt it the moment he arrived when a golden-haired, blue-eyed witch cast a spell and stole his heart! RhiannonYork beguiled the slightly staid but definitely sexy New York lawyer with her bewitching eyes and her scent of exotic spices and wild flowers. Her touch of fire melted Noah’s hard edges and made him long to lose control in her arms, but was the sensual web she wove only a tantalizing illusion that would disappear with the dawn? Trailed by a black cat whose blue eyes shared Rhiannon’s hypnotic power, Noah tried to uncover the mysterious secret that had brought him to the small town, but he kept coming back to the lady whose lips tasted of moonlight. He’d shattered her peace, but Rhiannon feared he would never belong. Could the fiery enchantress teach Noah the joy of believing in dreams come true?

Except that the only enchantment here is just the age-old magic between a studly guy and a drop-dead sexy lady that only happens in romance novels, the only hypnotic power just the one that a beautiful woman can have over a man out of his element and feeling off-balanced in a strange situation. Rhiannon isn’t even a practicing witch, even though she looks the part, down to having a pet owl she named Merlin and that mysteriously-appearing black cat that is probably the only magical creature in the entire story.

Still, this novel has a place in the collection exactly because it doesn’t have those magical or hypnotic elements, rather, because of how is makes use of those elements in the advertising ‘flavor’ text on the back of the book to help sell it and to help set that image in the reader’s mind. Sure, this is a stereotype, and a pretty strong one at that, but just because it is a stereotype doesn’t mean I should ignore it.

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