Author: Marissa Day
Published: June 5, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Publisher (Berkley Trade)
Reviewed by: Marq
Favorite quote: “One of the most powerful ways for a Catalyst to transfer power to his Sorceress is through the sexual act.”
summary from Goodreads
Pleasure was an elusive dream...
Alicia Hartwell has never experienced the pleasure of passion. Despite all her efforts to comprehend the notion of romantic love, it has remained an utterly foreign concept to her. Resigned to the life of a spinster, Alicia is therefore stunned when she receives a marriage proposal from the highly eligible bachelor, Lord Carstairs. ...until she met him. But Lord Edward Carstairs is not a normal nobleman. He's a Catalyst--able to draw magical power from the natural world for use in spells by human Sorcerers. He senses that Alicia is a victim of enchantment, one that has suppressed her erotic urges. Powerfully attracted to her, he's certain that he's the one to help her experience pleasure for the first time. But as Edward and Alicia's mutual passion burns hot, their fragile love and trust could be threatened by family secrets and a new magical intrigue neither imagined...
Edward Carstairs is not only a high ranking member of English society but he is also part of a secret group of magic users who help protect England. As a Catalyst Edward can gather magic from the earth and send it to a Sorcerer to use to battle the Fae. Edward’s main goal is protecting England but society pressures that he marry so he picks the one woman who no one else wants Alicia Hartwell. Alicia is perfect for the loveless marriage Edward is after but soon after their engagement he discovers Alicia is not the ice queen everyone believes she is but she is under a powerful enchantment.
Alicia Hartwell is shocked when Lord Edward Carstairs asks her uncles for her hand in marriage or she would be shocked if she could actually feel any sort of emotions. Alicia has struggled for as long as she can remember to trying to understand people’s feelings and pretend she has some herself. Edward is the first person to make her feel anything and he awakens memories that she has long forgotten. The marriage may not have started as one set out to be full of love but the more Edward helps Alicia break her enchantment the more feelings they both start to have for one another.
I was very excited and pleased when I stared Fascinated since it has everything that I love: magic, English society and a lot of dirty sex. The beginning of the book is great and I couldn’t put it down but as it progressed it lost me. I finally figured out halfway through that this book is part of a series which is why I was slightly lost for a long time. Once everything is explained it’s very easy to follow but I wish that I had read the books in order.
Alicia is under an enchantment where she can’t feel emotions but one of the things that brings out some feelings is by watching others have sex. Once Edward discovers this he uses it to try to get Alicia to feel and break her spell. The first half of the book is so good because of the spell breaking and Edward’s techniques to try to break it. There are some very heavy and wonderfully dirty sex scenes and it’s very entertaining to watch Alicia discovers the art of sex and the emotions that goes with it.
After the spell is broken (sorry for the spoiler) is where the book lost me. I wasn’t as big of a fan of Alicia once she could feel and i felt that she lost some of her edge. I understand she was going through a lot but she went from being very strong to a very weak person and I hated the change. Edward changed too after the spell was broken and not in a good way. His lack of faith in the woman he was supposedly falling for was a big turn off and it soon seemed her only wanted Alicia for sex and not who she actually was.
By the end of the book I was very bored and very ready for the story to end. I almost took a couple of breaks but I knew if I stopped I would never want to pick it back up again. I was very disappointed at how things progressed after such a great start and I never reconnected with the characters or the story. Good book but not a great delivery.