The Lure of Song and MagicBy Patricia Rice
Publisher: Source Book Casablanca
Release Date: January 1, 2012
The Little Angels Childcare Center in El Padre is the last place one would expect to find Dylan Ives “Oz” Oswin, successful Hollywood producer, but that’s exactly where he is. He has come to this unlikely place hoping that Pippa James, children’s author and illustrator is the former singing sensation Syrene who disappeared nine years earlier. It’s been more than a year since his son Donal disappeared, and Oz is desperate to find him. If the enigmatic “Librarian” with his mysterious email message is right, Syrene can lead him to his son. However remote the possibility that the former star’s singing the “Silly Seal” song can reunite Oz with Donal, it’s a chance the frantic father is not willing to pass up.
Oz’s appearance threatens the peace that Pippa has found in a new career and a new town. Syrene is her past, and Pippa is determined that she’ll stay there. She’s content writing and illustrating the children’s books that emerge from her fertile imagination and using her voice only in private where the destruction that its unleashed power provokes can be contained. She refers Oz to her agent and refuses to be part of the TV show that is his ploy for approaching her.
But Oz refuses to take no for an answer. Nothing’s more important than finding his son, and when he sees the effects of Pippa’s voice in locating a missing child, he begins to believe that the Librarian was right. Pippa knows from experience what it is to be a small child separated from parents, and the thought of Donal gets past the barriers she has in place. She also finds Oz difficult to resist; the chemistry between them is explosive. She finds it impossible to resist Oz and her own heart.
I requested this book from the publisher via NetGalley hoping that the use of “Magic” in the title meant the book was connected to Rice’s Malcolm and Ives books, which I remembered fondly. Although Lure has a contemporary setting, I was delighted to find that there is a connection which plays a significant role in the plot.
Pippa and Oz are both compelling characters, and both have sound reasons for their opposing positions. It’s difficult to see how both can achieve their goals, and yet the reader is sympathetic to Oz’s determination to find his son and to Pippa’s desire for a peaceful life. The conflict kept me eagerly turning the pages.
The fantasy is central without overpowering the romance, not an easy balance to achieve. I found Pippa’s siren voice with its potential for good and for destruction fascinating, but it never distracted me from her relationship with Oz. The book also has some interesting secondary characters who deserve their own stories. I found Pippa’s mother and Oz’s brother especially interesting. Some key questions remain unanswered, and I hope they signal that Rice is planning a series. If you are looking for something a bit different that still offers great contemporary romance, I recommend The Lure of Song and Magic. You can read the first chapter here.
What’s your favorite blend of fantasy and romance?