Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Awards
Under a New Year’s Enchantment took third place in the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Awards.
Title: Under a Christmas Spell; Under a New Year’s Enchantment, (Wicked Christmas Wishes Duet)
Author: Barbara Monajem
Genre: Regency Romance
Story Setting: England, 1815; 1816
Publisher: Harlequin Historical Undone (November 1, 2013, January 1, 1014)
Pages: 43 pages; 55 pages
ASIN: B00E1V9SQG/ B00F93X82U
Back Jacket Text of Under a Christmas Spell
English Country Estate, 1815
Dissolute aristocrat Lord Valiant Oakenhurst hides a sexy, supernatural secret—as a powerful incubus, he is able to influence others through erotic dreams. At an exclusive Christmas house party, his latest mission is compromised by the beautiful but deadly succubus Lucille Beaulieu. Though still drawn to his former lover, Val cannot forget her betrayal….
Hoping to atone for her past, Lucie uses her seductive powers to help couples find happiness. But she is distracted from her task by her own delicious dreams of the dark and dangerous Val.
As the riotous festivities begin, their passion is reinvoked, but can a little Christmas magic restore their lost trust?
Garrick, Lord Westerly, has forbidden the hanging of mistletoe, yet the holiday house party at his country estate sizzles with sensual desire. And though Theodora Southern decided long ago never to marry, she has been enjoying the erotic fantasies that haunt her each night—fantasies featuring her handsome, brooding host….
Since returning from the war, Garrick has been in no mood to celebrate. But suddenly the nightmares that plague him are making way for much more pleasant dreams—dreams in which his childhood friend Theodora is very much a grown woman. The question is, has he fallen in love—or fallen under a wicked spell?
Review: The Undone series must be hard to write because the author is limited to a certain number of words to tell a story. Ms. Monajem does a marvelous job making every word count.
Her stories were fun, particularly with the paranormal element. She took a childhood memory and brought it to life in both books. The characters are charming, yet complex. Where did she get the idea of writing this frolicking duet? Here I quote her Author Note found in Under a New Year’s Enchantment.
When I was a child, our whole family stayed up late on New Year’s Eve, and at the stroke of midnight, we all went onto the front porch and banged pots and pans. While staying up late was in itself a real treat, getting to make a huge racket in the middle of the night was fabulous. I never questioned why. It was fun and therefore good.
It turns out we were driving away evil spirits, whether or not we knew it or believe in such things. I learned this while researching English Christmas customs, and since I enjoyed this event so much as a child, I put it in both stories of my current duet. In Under a Christmas Spell, the evil spirits are driven out of the house on New Year’s Eve, just as in my childhood. In Under a New Year’s Enchantment, the pots and pans (and a volley of gunfire) are part of the custom of wassailing the apple trees on Twelfth Night—giving thanks for the current crop and driving the evil spirits away so the tress will produce well again in the coming year. The tradition of wassailing the apple trees is still alive and well in parts of England today.
The idea of incubus and succubus got me reading more about English folklore. I learned that this idea of the demonic type creatures are scattered through fiction and even used in video games. Barbara used the idea as more flirtatious characters who were very sensual who had the means to project sensual dreams to someone who is sleeping.
Whenever I read Barbara’s Undone series, they’ve been funny, light stories and yet I see that Barbara has taken great care in providing entertainment and food for thought.
Author Bio from web site embracingromance.com: Barbara Monajem is the award-winning author of the Bayou Gavotte paranormal mysteries, as well as nine Regency novellas (some with magic, which she finds irresistible). She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays. She loves to hear from readers. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and of course her website.