Title: Seducing the Sorcerer
Author: Lee Welch
Length: 261 Pages
Category: Fantasy Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
At a Glance: The politics and intrigue that bring this story home has such a sweet and surprising resolution, so lovely and heartwarming that it made my heart fizzy and light with happiness. This is such a feel-good story with a little teeth to it to keep things interesting. Definitely a success in the happily ever after department.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Homeless and jobless, Fenn Todd has nearly run out of hope. All he has left is his longing for horses and the strength of his own two hands. But when he’s cheated into accepting a very ugly sackcloth horse, he’s catapulted into a world of magic, politics and desire.
Fenn’s invited to stay at the black tower, home of the most terrifying man in the realm: Morgrim, the court sorcerer. Morgrim has a reputation as a scheming villain, but he seems surprisingly charming—and sexy—and Fenn falls hard for him.
However, nothing is as it seems and everyone at the tower is lying about something. Beset by evil hexes, violent political intrigue and a horse that eats eiderdowns, Fenn must make the hardest choices of his life.
Can a plain man like Fenn ever find true love with a scheming sorcerer?
Review: Hapless, aimless, and friendless are a few more “-less”es that can be added to “homeless and jobless” to describe the dearest, sweetest Fenn Todd, and Lee Welch doesn’t waste a moment in garnering sympathy for her character when his story begins. Fenn is as down on his luck as a man can possibly be, sleeping wherever he happens to lie down on any given night, drinking himself into a stupor when he has a coin or two to spare, and taking odd jobs here and there to earn that coin. In fact, when the story opens, that’s where we find Fenn—hungover and unkempt, waking up in the woods after sleeping off a drinking binge and wondering if life is even worth the living anymore. When he winds up being offered a random job digging a cesspit on a farm he comes across in his wandering, the offer of a meal, a bit of pocket money, and the promise of a horse thrown into the bargain was too much to resist in exchange for a few hours’ manual labor. Despite the fact he knew the offer of the horse was too good to be true and he was going to get cheated.
And the horse? Well, it is unique, to say the very least. Whether he was cheated or not plays out as the story unfolds.
As protagonists go, Fenn isn’t the run-of-the-mill sort, and I loved him for that all the more. He is rough around the edges, but a gentle giant, humble, kind, and though he might not have thought this about himself, he is honorable through and through, regardless of an incident from his past that still dogs his footsteps. He loves horses to a fault, which plays into who Fenn is to a great extent—the levels to which he cares for and adores them figures prominently in the story in a lovely moment of vulnerability for him—and so his horse, which is held together by nothing more than magic and thread, a horse that eats old sack cloth, eiderdown blankets, dirty socks . . ., while not one he is proud of at first (in fact, he’s downright humiliated by it) becomes beautiful and special and irreplaceable to him for a variety of reasons. The horse also becomes a sticking point between Fenn and Morgrim, the court sorcerer.
The charm and adorability of this horse is, frankly, off the charts, and Lee Welch put her whole imagination into it, and the story overall. There’s more to this very special equine than meets the eye, and Morgrim is the one who tells Fenn precisely what it is, though Morgrim can’t fill in all the blanks in its origin story, which is an enticement of sorts for Fenn because Morgrim has an abundant library and how can people not bond over books??? Impossible. The two men meeting for the first time isn’t what anyone would call love at first sight: there’s too much suspicion and mistrust there on Morgrim’s part (rightly so), and no little of it on Fenn’s too (rightly so), considering all the rumors he’s heard about Morgrim over the years.
The beauty of this romance is watching Fenn and Morgrim begin to thaw and to trust each other and, of course, their attraction to each other builds exponentially along the way. But there’s a secret Morgrim has been keeping that will eventually trigger a literal flight response in Fenn, and the political friction that’s been festering eventually boils over, which impacts both men and drives the point home that their relationship has become about far more than their physical compatibility. Even the intrigue that brings this all home has such a sweet and surprising resolution, so lovely and heartwarming that it made my heart fizzy and light with happiness.
Seducing the Sorcerer epitomizes the definition of a feel-good story, but with a little teeth to it to keep things interesting. Definitely a success in the happily ever after department.
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