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Crescent Blues Book ViewsBerkley Sensation (Paperback), ISBN 0425199401

The three Fyne sisters in the country of Columbyana live under a curse. Years ago a scorned wizard cursed all Fyne women so that they may never know true love. Now one sister, Sophie, sets out to defy the curse. She dreams of a green-eyed man and finds the wounded rebel soldier, Kane. One time together must be enough for them, for Sophie refuses to burden Kane with the weight of the Fyne curse. But Kane cannot forget the woman who came to him. He searches for her, yet remains unprepared for what he finds. He never expected for her to have borne him a daughter, or to refuse his honorable offer of marriage, or to lead him on an adventure of magic and passion.

Book: linda winstead jones, the sun witch

The Sun Witch, the first book in the "Sisters of the Sun" trilogy by Linda Winstead Jones proves a fanciful tale -- part romance, part fairy tale. Jones blends magical elements together with just the right touch of more everyday concerns. Sophie and Kane emerge as engaging characters, as do a whole host of secondary players. The country of Columbyana takes on an atmosphere of its own, and Jones skillfully weaves a subplot of civil war and dynastic succession into her romance story. I can easily see two more books involving these characters and places.

I resist giving this book a perfect recommendation because of two irregularities in the plot. The first involves a scorned suitor of Sophie's. Out of spite he kidnaps her daughter and uses knowledge of the identity of Sophie's own father to try to force her to marry him. But we never learn how he came by that information when even Sophie doesn't know her father's name. Also, during Sophie and Kane's journey to rescue their daughter, a shapeshifter kidnaps Sophie, who he mistakes for his fated mate. The episode serves no purpose except to foreshadow the second book in the trilogy. I wish Jones provided a more subtle link between the two books.

I make much of these irregularities because the rest of the book reads so well. Jones crafted a sensual, adult fairy tale about the power of love, family, and kindness. Readers looking for a definitive happily-ever-after ending must wait until the end of the trilogy. But they should enjoy this first installment.

Kathryn Yelinek

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