Title: More Than Magic
Author: Kathleen Nance
Published in March 1999 by Leisure/LoveSpell
Isis Montgomery is a woman seeking answers. She has a nose for scent, and has parlayed it into a boutique business offering candles, soaps,oils, perfumes, and other aromatherapies. Unfortunately, it’s only a part of what she had before her so-called partner and ex-fiancé, Ben Fontenot, branded her as crazy and took off with the formulas for her best perfumes. Magic and her family's over-protectiveness and inability to cope with her problem is to blame. Being the object of scandal and humiliation isn't her idea of a business plan, but she has recovered somewhat, and is determined to find the 'perfect perfume'. Driven to succeed, Isis has tried to put the past behind her, but her father and brothers make it difficult. They still can't seem to forget.
But there is still a bit of magic in her life. Her Aunt Tildy is a wonder at causing the downfall of many a charlatan who preys on those innocent and gullible enough to actually believe that real magic exists. It doesn't, Aunt Tildy thinks it might exist, but Isis knows better. She has learned that lesson the hard way with Ben's help and betrayal. She enters the alley where destiny awaits. She often takes the alley short cut, but there is a difference, a subtle tickle of something.... a scent on the air that is familiar. One that has haunted her dreams. One that seems to draw her toward the dinghy shop that she hasn't remembered seeing here, a magic shop!
Darius is beautiful, sensual, haughty, totally arrogant in the way of his kind, utterly masculine, and a Master of Ma-at, the djinni magic. Long ago he was chosen and groomed for his role as Protector, Guardian of the Ma-at. Now it is his duty, and joy to provide this protection for his people, the Djinn. Kaf is a realm where magic reigns supreme, and is highly celebrated. His duty is to insure that the forces of ma-at remain in balance, to right any mistakes made by those learning, and punish misuses by those who crave more than they were given. Ma-at has a delicate nature, and understanding this, Darius is quite disturbed.
Always he had control. He controlled every nuance and current with ease, assurance, and unequalled mastery...until recently. Never before has the ma-at slipped from his control as it is starting to do now, and he is worried. Why him, and why now? The only answer he can find is in an ancient prophecy that speaks of a divination, a path of power and control. He doesn't like the implications, but he has to act...immediately! He is the Protector, and there is no one trained and/or ready to take his place. He has to solve this problem, or the people of his home could be endangered. He has to find the woman of the prophecy, a Daughter of the Line of Abregaza. Isis Montgomery, a woman of Terra! The one he has to join with for the sake of ma-at, the djinn, and to his ultimate dismay...himself.
Once again Kathleen Nance has taken us into her imagination and shares another of the stories to be found there. More Than Magic, the story of Darius and Isis, takes us once again into the steamy heart of New Orleans, and the arid but beautiful landscapes of Kaf. From a perfume passed down and remembered from childhood, to the destiny of a world, they will be at odds and yet drawn together to forge a bond that will unite them. Isis is bound to become successful. To her, that means make money like her father and brothers, make it big in the competitive business world. Darius doesn't see things that way. He sees whom Isis really is inside, and although his ma-at has no effect on her, he finds that she is an effective conduit through which ma-at will flow smoothly, powerfully, and in perfect control. He will need that, but their path is not smooth. I found Kathleen's sense of humor subtle, enhancing, and as always right on the mark. Not only that, but we meet a couple of old friends from Wishes Come True, and a truly dangerous enemy in Pari. If you want that touch of magic to tickle your heart, then More Than Magic is number one on your list. By the time you are finished with it, Kathleen's new offering, Enchantment, will be available. Then you can follow Isis' brother Jack into his misadventure with Leila. I know I can't wait! More Than Magic is available now; Enchantment is coming in the fall/winter offerings from Love Spell.
Yours in good reading,