A KISS OF FATE by Mary Jo Putney


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An English enchantress in love with a Scot, circa 1745.

Gwynne, Lady Brecon, was briefly married to one of the elderly Guardians, supernatural beings who live among humans. Now, newly widowed and still young, she has come to understand that she, too, has magical powers, even though her mother was only a “mundane,” as the Guardians call ordinary mortals. Her late husband loved Gwynne dearly, though he left her a virgin at his death. Her serene beauty, intelligence, and golden eyes now attract the attention of Duncan Macrae, a Guardian with the ability to call down storms from the heavens (or arrange for clear skies, should milady wish to go riding). Gwynne finds herself inexorably drawn to the darkly handsome man known as the Lord of Thunder, though she fears his strength and the strange energies that intensify whenever they meet. But she understands that marrying him is her destiny—and, oh! the sex! Heights of transcendent rapture alternate with blood-drenched visions of war, and then it’s back to sublime passion and volcanic explosions of. . . well, it gets a little silly. Even Putney, a lyrical and imaginative writer with a talent for fantasy, can’t make woo-woo cosmic sex sound particularly believable. And history keeps getting in the way: didactic dialogue explains centuries of conflict between England and Scotland, right up to Jacobites versus Hanoverians. The psychic powers possessed by Duncan and Gwynne come and go according to the needs of the plot, and these powers are also discussed at length in somewhat confusing detail. Empowered by her ever-growing supernatural wisdom and her realization that Duncan is doomed if he attempts to change the course of fate, Gwynne locks up her outraged husband. Will he forgive her for his missing the Battle of Culloden?

Not Putney’s best, but entertaining nonetheless.

Pub Date: June 29th, 2004
ISBN: 0-345-44916-9
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2004


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