Signet, Aug 2002, 6.99, 384 pp.
All her life Lady Leila Staines has felt like an adopted outsider as the only member of the Malcolm women without any magical abilities. Even her hair is not the dark color that every other Malcolm female has. Still, she has done her part by marrying to improve the family fortune.
With her husband dead, she controls the Staines estate as long she lives and never remarries. Leila wants to grow flowers that she can convert into perfumes as she feels she has a nose for this business. However, she needs a land usage expert and turns to agronomist Dunstan Ives, though he is considered a wife killer and her own mother warned her that Ives males are bad news for Malcolm females. Reluctantly, the landless Dunstan accepts her offer though he wants nothing to do with any woman. However, he berates himself for desiring Leila and another lass who looks like her (because of his stereotyping he refuses to realize that his two dreams are one in the same) even as he struggles to learn whom killed his wife.
MUST BE MAGIC is an engaging historical romance that uses a pinch of witchcraft to spice up a tale with a rarely seen uniqueness. The story line mesmerizes the audience as Leila struggles with her “handicap” and her desire to belong while Malcolm battles between desire and not wanting to be burned again. Fans will believe that Patricia Rice must be magical as she spellbinds her audience with a one sitting fun novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner