At First Sight
: Lady Aline Marsden always knew what was expected of her: to marry into her own class and have a bunch of well breed children but, at eighteen, all Aline wanted was to be with McKenna former stable boy turned footman that grew up with her (mostly) under the care of the Marsden's housekeeper Mrs. Faircloth.
Even with the difference in their stations, Aline always knew McKenna was the man she loved and that he loved her right back, but it was a rather impossible situation that was further complicated when Aline's father found out about their relationship and sent McKenna away.
Over 10 years later, McKenna returns to Stony Cross Park as a wealthy entrepreneur to discover Aline is still there, still unmarried and that much as he would like to say otherwise, he still loves her.
The years haven't been particularly kind to Aline, who suffered through a bad accident that left her legs scarred, but she has now settled into a comfortable life with her sister Olivia and older brother Marcus (now the earl of Westcliff
) at Stony Cross. She never expected to see McKenna again, due to some things she was forced to tell him to ensure his safety all those years ago.
: I've often found that not a lot of people like Again the Magic
or that, if they do, they feel more drawn to the story of Aline's sister and McKenna's business partner Gideon Shaw. But I'm not one of those people.
I genuinely like this book and I like it because of McKenna - I like Aline just fine too, but she does let her fears dominate her actions for a lot of the book. He's a bit ruthless, and he does and says some pretty questionable things because he thinks he wants to ge revenge on Aline for the things she had to say to get him to leave (her father had threatened to kill him if he ever came back to Stony Cross and Aline knew that if McKenna believed that she still loved him, he would have come back), yet underneath it all, he's a pretty decent guy, and I love his relationship with Mrs. Faircloth whom he never forgot and now wants to take care of like she took care of him when he was a kid.
As you can probably tell, Again the Magic
is a story about second chances - a trope that I do love - and I appreciated the difficulties Aline and McKenna had to go through to get to their happy ending. Aline was very traumatized by her accident and feels no one will ever 'want' her because of the state of her legs, and McKenna has to get over his bitterness over events neither of them could really control.
The secondary story with Oliva and Gideon - both of whom have their on tragedies - was a nice B story that perhaps ended up taking a good chunk of the page time, but I don't mind it. It is pretty interesting even if the approach to Gideon's alcoholism is a bit too modern.
: A lot of people like to think of Again the Magic
as a sort of prequel to the Wallflower Series
but I've always enjoyed the story on its own - though it is fun to see Marcus before meeting Lilian - I really like McKenna and Aline, and I enjoy re-reading this book every once in a while. I don't believe this is The Best of Lisa Kleypas, but it's one of those books I go to when I'm in a bit of a slump.
Oh, and the book has one of my favorite reveal scenes ever because of McKenna's initial reaction. I'll put it on the Favorite Quote bit, but it happens near the end of the book and as such it can be spoilery.
“What did you think I meant when I said that I loved you? Did you think I would give a damn about your scars?”
Stunned by his reaction, Aline responded with a single nod.
“My God.” The blood rose higher in his face. “What if the situation were reversed, and I was the one who had been hurt? Would you have left me?”
“Then why did you expect anything less of me?”