Again the Magic (Wallflowers #0.5)

Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5)Again the Magic Summary:
She gave him her innocence…

Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class. Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father's estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable—John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the countryside…an exile from London society.

…and he took her love.

Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned—more boldly handsome and more mesmerizing than before. His ruthless plan is to take revenge on the woman who shattered his dreams of love. But the magic between them burns as bright as ever. And now he must decide whether to let vengeance take its toll…or risk everything for his first, and only, love.

Again the Magic Review:
Again the Magic the prequel to the Wallflowers series because it is the story of Marcus’ sisters. The book has the love story of both his sisters, Olivia and Aline. Aline’s love story is with McKenna, which is the main love story and the in the summary. Livia’s story is with Gideon Shaw who is the best friend of McKenna. Both were really sweet stories and had just enough development to show the love. Could it have been longer? Of course! A story this good could have been extended a little to show us a few more sweet moments.

From Dreaming of You, you can see that Kleypas found her place in HR. There is not a moment in this book where you are bored or feel separated from the story. Kleypas is one of the few authors that makes you feel in all of her stories, and this one was written spectacularly. It didn’t have the fluff that comes with romance, instead used the romance clichés to write a heart melting romance.

While we had two separate stories, you can see the connection (not only the obvious one) between them and also see the contrast (obviously). One is more of a lighter love (no less serious) while the other is dark and revenge filled. Without Aline’s story we wouldn’t see Livia’s. And without Livia’s ending, Aline wouldn’t have done what she did. The interwoven stories really heightened the enjoyment for each of them.

All of the characters were spectacular and real. Many romance novels tend to make the endings and characters fluffy, almost like a fairy tale. Here they chose to make decisions that we would make in their situations. The only character that is weak at times is Aline. She was irritating but with McKenna, Olivia and Marcus helping her out, she became a strong heroine. McKenna was her polar opposite. Completely revenge filled, ambitious and angry, it definitely raised some questions on how he would fall in love with Aline. The change from angry man to doting lover is spectacular.

The other two are Olivia, who is recovering from the loss of her husband. We get to see her come out of her shell and fall in love with a man who doesn’t always have the best principles. She is really sweet but not stupid or naïve. Aline can be looked as a bit stupid in the beginning. Livia is her contrast because she is practical in what she wants and will fight for what is right. That includes pushing her sister to choose McKenna and realize her mistakes. Gideon was the opposite everyone. An alcoholic rake who doesn’t place much value on life. He is one of my favorite characters here because he wasn’t irritating or stupid in the beginning. And he changed for the better without anyone else near him.

“She watched him without blinking, rapidly calculating…yes, it had been six months, almost to the day. But Gideon had made it clear that he wouldn’t come for her unless he was certain that he could be the kind of man he felt she deserved. And I’ll come armed with honorable intentions, he had written—more’s the pity for you…A slow smile began on Gideon’s face, and his blue eyes sparkled. With a shake of his head, he put his hand on his chest, as if the sight of her was more than his heart could bear.”

The last character I have to mention is Marcus. While we don’t see him very often in this book, we can already see he is an amazing character. He is a sweet, protective brother and a man of unquestionable honor (considering how he was raised). He knows when to follow the heart and when to follow logic.

"Marcus did not believe in aristocracy of any kind. He would have disclaimed his own title, were it legally possible. It was not that he minded responsibility, nor did he have an aversion to inherited money. It was just that he had never been able to accept the concept of one man’s innate superiority over another. The notion was inherently unfair, not to mention illogical, and Marcus had never been able to tolerate a breach of logic."

The romance and relationships avoided the fluff that is so common in romance, leaving us with a beautiful show of reality. When Aline finally tells McKenna her secret, he does not accept her decision with a few choice words. He yells at her for devaluing him and not trusting their love. It’s amazing to see how he doesn’t let Aline hide her legs and to build up her confidence.

“My God.” The blood rose higher in his face. “What if the situation were reversed and I was the one who had been hurt? Would you have left me?”
“Then why did you expect anything less of me?...
“He shook his head, staring at her like a condemned man who beheld the face of his executioner. "Aline," he whispered, "Do you know what hell is?"
"Yes." Her eyes overflowed. "Trying to exist with your heart living somewhere outside your body."
"No. It's knowing that you have so little faith in my love, you would have condemned me to a lifetime of agony." His face contorted suddenly. "To something worse than death.”

Just as McKenna says his feelings to Aline, Olivia tells Gideon that she won’t be in a relationship with him until he gets over his drinking. It is this kind of response that is real. They both love each other, but she won’t sacrifice a part of their relationship to feed one of his problems. She pushes him to make the right decision but recognizes it was what he wants. She cannot choose for him and by letting him decide what is more important to him shows what a real romance should be about.

“I won’t subject myself to the process of losing you little by little, until you’ve either killed yourself or become someone that I don’t recognize”

The love story between Olivia and Gideon started to overshadows really did start to overshadow the Aline and McKenna's. With the way Again the Magic ended, it was impossible for me to not root for their story a little big more.

Overall, this book is a 5 star read! It is great intro into the Wallflowers and to the location that is pivotal for all the books. The series only picked up in enjoyment from here leaving it as one of my favorite books. If you ever want to read Historical Romance, this is where to start off as it will ensnare you from the very beginning.

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