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REVIEW

"You'll be Charmed!"

Anyone who knows me, knows I never go anywhere without a book. I left for vacation well fortified for the long plane flights and the lengthy car rides between points in our itinerary. Imagine my surprise and delight when I turned to the Prologue of the soon to be released 'Prince of Charming' and read................

'Your charm won't help you this time, Robin Goodfellow. You'll remain trapped for the rest of eternity.' Titania finished her spell, her arms slicing the air for emphasis'.

'Puck as a romantic hero?', you ask incredulously. Well I can only say that I've seen Robin played by everyone from a sprightly red headed eighth grader, more suited to play Peter Pan, to the balding middle-aged gent of the movie version, so I was totally open to Ms. Fox's wonderfully handsome and charming fellow, after all as Robin himself puts it -- Shakespeare did not treat him kindly.

'What did the Fairy Queen do to Robin?', you ask. Ah well, I'm getting there but first you must meet our heroine, Kate Carmichael.

Kate had been the only child of two loving parents, until her mother died of a lengthy illness which absorbed all of the family's funds. Kate's father too was a man of charm and the fairy sight, or so he said. Shortly thereafter, leaving Kate in the care of a kindly family friend, he ventures forth in hopes of tricking the fae out of their gold, to settle their debts. Kate had once been a great believer in magic, but as the years pass and her father doesn't return she loses faith in it. Worse yet she's lost faith in herself.

Twelve years have past. Kate has grown into a woman, but not the kind that men favor. She is too tall, and big boned like her father. Her only relationship had ended in insult. She has determined that her father must indeed be dead, for the alternative hurts too much. Could it be that he too was ashamed of her?

Kate's guardian has recently passed away without leaving a will. Kate is stunned for the woman had loved her, and Kate had cared for her during her illness. The woman had promised that Kate would always be taken care of and Kate had assumed that she would inherit the Victorian house in which she'd been raised. She is shocked to learn that her home is now the possession of the woman's next of kin. The man wants her out, pronto.

With a mere week to find the will, Kate wastes no time searching, but to no avail. Her last thought is the library. She is determined to search through every book if necessary. There an old portrait catches her eye. The subject is handsome, so beautiful in fact with his curly dark hair and mischievous eyes that he had spoiled Kate for any man of substance. She had spent her childhood confessing her sorrows to that image. On the slim chance of finding the will behind it, she turns the portrait and finds not the will but he words .... ROBIN GOODFELLOW. As she reads them she wonders aloud if that is the name of the man in the picture -- and she gets an answer!

Behind her as real as she is stands a man who is the very image of the man in the portrait. In fact he claims that he is, which of course is impossible for the painting is centuries old. Kate concludes he must be a thief, but soon is convinced otherwise.

Though Robin's gift is charm, it is nothing he's done which has incurred Titania's wrath, it is that he is. Fairies are immortal and as such have no need for children to carry on their legacy. In order to have one, a fairy must mate with a mortal. King Oberon had had the desire to taste fatherhood and an affection for a certain mortal woman as well. They had had a son, and he was born immortal. That in itself might have angered Titania if she actually loved Oberon, but it is greed that is her motivation. Oberon had given the woman one of Titania's crowns, her plainest, thinking it would not be missed. Oberon did not know his queen well.

Oberon had given his son the task of monitoring the deeds of the mortals, rewarding good and punishing evil. But Robin grew weary of the mortal world. His mother had grown old and died, as eventually did all whom he befriended. He could charm any woman into his bed, but cared for none of them. He wanted to go home to the fairy realm, he wanted to be with his father. It was a grave mistake, for Titania discovered him first. Now the fae can not destroy one another, however perhaps Robin's fate was even worse. She had cast him into a painting from which he could watch the world but not live in it. He would stay there for eternity.

Oberon is not without love for his son and though he can not break the spell, he could alter it a bit. He scrawls Robin's name behind the portrait. Only one with the fairy sight can read the words, and saying them aloud free Robin. Hundreds of years had past, with Robin trapped within, until Kate had freed him.

Robin is grateful, but also a bit sad. He had watched Kate grow from a little girl to a beautiful woman. He had listened to her confessions, of sorrow and joy. For the first time he really cared about someone. For the first time he felt that he had a friend. But she is mortal, and he knows it is best to leave now, before either one of them should get hurt. Therein lies the rub. No longer tied to the painting, Robin finds that the spell isn't really broken. Now he is tied to Kate! Each time he ventures beyond a certain distance, he finds himself back by her side. This little provision lends itself to incredible humor throughout the tale as one would imagine!

Kate had no choice but to accept the magic. Having no choice but to stick together they promise to help each other. Kate will help Robin find a way to free himself. Robin will help Kate search for the will. In no time at all a different kind of magic takes hold, but Robin is reluctant to act on it. Kate has been his only friend, more precious to him than fairy gold and he knows that he will have to leave her or watch her grow old while he stays forever young. Kate loves Robin as well, he had given her back her confidence in herself, his gift of charm extends to all, he has a way with children and she knows he'd make a wonderful father. But he is immortal and she knows it cannot be. She had promised to find a way back to the fairy realm to gain freedom for her fairy prince and she will not let him down. That's not going to be easy though, for Titania has gotten wind of Oberon's little escape clause and she isn't done with Robin. Not by a long shot. The trouble has only begun!

Ms. Fox has penned a delightful tale full of warmth, wit, and passion. This story was great fun. Robin was indeed charming, who wouldn't love a man who could see one's imperfections as assets? Beside being gorgeous and passionate, he is kind and loyal to a fault. Kate's metamorphosis was an inspiration. Is it any wonder that the base word of lovely is love? In Robin's eyes and through his love she becomes the beautiful woman on the outside, that she had always been on the inside. Karen threw in a little surprise at the end that put the couple's happiness over the top. Nope, I'm not telling. You'll just have to read the book. And if you like it as much as I did, get psyched because there will be another! This time the fairy will be a female in search of a mortal prince.

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted July 19, 2001

SUMMARY

A man trapped in a portrait by an evil spell.

A woman losing her home.

Boy, could we use some magic now.

Kate Carmichael has not had an easy life. After her mother's death, her father left her in the care of a kind friend while he attempted to settle his debts, but he never returned. Now, twelve years later, Kate's guardian has passed away. And without a will promising her the Victorian house, the guardian's next of kin is ready to take possession and throw her out on the street.

With only a week before she's evicted, Kate must find the will. During her search, she inadvertently frees Robin Goodfellow from the portrait he has been magically trapped in for the past two hundred years, but the spell isn't completely broken. Some mysterious force compels Robin to remain at Kate's side. And even as they agree to help each other, a different kind of magic takes hold--leaving them spellbound in love...

 

Prince of Charming
(Fae Romance: Book 1)
by Karen Fox

Jove (Magical Love)
December 1, 2000
Available: November 6, 2006
ISBN #0515129747
EAN #9780515129748
272 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Karen Fox

Witch High
A Touch of Charm
Impractical Magic
Cupid's Melody
Buttercup Baby
Grand Design


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