I’ve been a big fan of Janet Chapman from the very beginning of her career. She’s just one of those authors that I find easy to read, I like her voice and adore how she manages to combine magical, historical and contemporary settings. There is just so much romance and charm in every one of her stories. So it pains me to say this but, I think this was my least favorite of her books to date. Not that there was anything to object to with the writing, I was just bored. I struggled to finish, and that is something I don’t think I’ve ever done with a Janet Chapman romance before.
For the Love of Magic is the story of Rana and Titus. An older, established couple who are the parents of Maximilian and Carolina. Since the beginning of this series we’ve seen them interact with every character, Titus as an integral part of several of the plot lines. He’s always seemed larger than life, a man with godlike powers who just came into being millennia ago, creating both Atlantis and the Trees of Life. I’ve actually been looking forward to this book, because to me sometimes the love stories of established couples working out their problems and getting stronger are just so much richer…. This story almost seemed like filler. An afterthought. Maybe a bridge between this series and the next.
Their book starts off with Rana leaving her husband and moving into a rental to live on her own. No one, not even Titus, knows why she left, but she seems determined to live like a normal everyday woman in the wilds of Maine. In addition to her house, she also buys a rusted out truck and learns to drive, helps out waitressing in the local diner and has a young metal smith teaching her to build pretty statues. After forty years of marriage he knows his wife in and out, but lack of communication and fear have driven his wife away and Titus must woo her all over again, resorting to his old tricks to get back into her good graces. It’s not until the end of the book and after giving her husband a merry chase that we learn why she has moved out and seems to be changing her life.
I think what bothered me is that both Rana and Titus seemed to lose their spark, and Titus definitely became just an ordinary man. I think Ms. Chapman meant to bring them down to earth and give readers a sense of them as regular people, but for some reason I liked the bigger than life characterizations better. There are flashbacks to their original courtship that were lovely, and really the best part of the book. Those scenes were almost more interesting than the present day ones to me. All my favorite Spellbound Falls residents make appearances, the continuation of their stories playing out while Rana and Titus rediscover the reasons they love each other. There were some rather sweet moments at the end that helped recapture my interest and I did like their HEA, but if I was guiding a reader toward one of this author’s books and giving recommendations Titus and Rana’s story wouldn’t be the one I would have them start out with.
While this wasn’t my favorite Janet Chapman novel, I continue to be a fan and she remains an auto buy author for me. Final Grade- C
“I know it wasn’t your intention,” he said, smoothing a hand over her hair, “but these last couple of weeks without you gave me a frightening glimpse of my future and exposed my cowardice.”
H ducked his head to look into her eyes. “I’m afraid, wife, of seeing sunsets you won’t be seeing, of lying in bed listening to rain you won’t be hearing, and of breathing air you won’t be breathing. It will not be life without you–it will be madness. Please, little one,” he whispered against her cheek, “allow me to join you in life ever after.”