The Marriage Spell by Mary Jo Putney is a paranormal Regency romance. No relation to her Guardian series. Strictly a standalone book.
One of the Duke of Wellington’s most respected officers, Jack Langdon, Lord Frayne, takes his family’s honor very seriously. He also hides a shameful secret: a talent for sorcery he has been raised to suppress and openly reject. But after an injury lands Jack at death’s door, his only chance at survival lies with Abigail Barton, a peer’s daughter and a skilled wizard. Her price: Jack’s hand in marriage. It isn’t long before Jack feels an irresistible attraction to his forthright new wife, whose allure is as intense as the reawakening magical abilities he can no longer deny.
Abigail had to make a great sacrifice to perform a spell powerful enough to save Lord Frayne, and although she cannot help but be drawn to her reluctant husband’s surprising sensitivity and kindness, she knows all too well his distaste for magic. Once she has Jack’s name and the child she has always longed for, she is determined to live apart from him so that he can preserve his reputation–and so that she herself can stay true to her gifts.
But neither Abby nor Jack reckons on the deep, long-simmering passions her spell ignites. They challenge each other’s extraordinary powers and deepest desires for the sake of a love that may cost them all they cherish most.
I really enjoyed The Marriage Spell. It's simple, but incredibly sweet. I also liked how MJP didn't use the Big Mis as a plot element. Abigail and Jack are some of the more open characters I've read about. Yes, the story shows their developing romance, but they go about it in a very real manner. I also really liked how magic is added into the mix. I much preferred TMS to Second Sight, which featured a similar paranormal element. Although I thought Jack got over his problems a bit quick in the end, I also did believe in the end.
I'd say The Marriage Spell is a great book if you're looking for something sweet and simple. And I don't mean simple in a bad way. More that there's not a lot of dark conflict and it's not that complex. It's just a great romance. With some nicely added magical elements. And a rather nice cover, too.
It had been awhile since I read Mary Jo Putney and I think I'll have to start reading some of the books I've missed since I stopped.