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Review: The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups by Shannon MacLeod

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The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups
Author: Shannon MacLeod 
Release Date: Dec. 31, 2012
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Arcana Love #1
ISBN: 978-1616504298
Genre: Fantasy Romance with Paranormal & Suspense elements
Format(s): paperback (400 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

      Sometimes, love lasts lifetimes.
      Lily’s whole life is planned out. She’ll live, if not happily, at least ever after. Working as an insurance agent with her college sweetheart and longtime boyfriend, Lucas, she’ll eventually marry him and together they’ll take over the family agency. Then she and Lucas will start raising little insurance agents of their own. But something is missing…
      At her best friend’s urging, she decides to do one last wild thing before committing her life to a future of policy endorsements–she takes a part time job reading tarot cards at a local Renaissance Faire theme park. Lucas is completely unimpressed and disdainful of her fascination with the mystical, but has no doubt she’ll settle down once they’re married. Enter Ian Kelly, mural painter, actor and…witch. He and Lily have a chance meeting at the park, and the attraction is immediate. They have a history…a lot of history. Several lifetimes of it, in fact, and their business together is unfinished.
      All three have secrets, one of them deadly. Add in heaping helpings of magic, mayhem, Cuban sandwiches, one large Irish family and one very demanding feline for a story of love so strong, it’ll take more than one century to contain it.

What VampBards talking about:

      Always a sucker for foreign languages, I found Celtic Knot:  Suit of Cups to be a nice, light read for a cold winter’s afternoon.  Full of suspense elements and flashbacks, Ms. MacLeod has crafted a tale to entertain and lift up the reader.
      I always like a story wherein love transcends time.  I always like a story with foreign languages…especially Gaelic.  However, what I liked the most about Celtic Knot:  Suit of Cups was the Realization factor.  Where Lucas realized that Lily wasn’t his anymore (or actually didn’t…), where Ian realized he loved Lily, and when Lily realized she was head-over-heels, I-wanna-have-your-babies in love with Ian.  And they’ve been in love for more than a lifetime. HEAT INDEX: 2.  Not the hottest, but it’s a sweet read in that area.
      The beginning of the story finds Lily in a relationship with Lucas, her boss and long-time boyfriend.  They both wear promise rings – promising to retain their virginity until they’re married.  Lily, however, feels as though the ‘promise’ is on her side and Lucas is getting action on the side.  When Lily meets and falls in love with Ian, it’s obvious that she’s totally over Lucas.  However, it seems as though Lucas is a bit unstable.  It seems as though Lily is looking for the right time to tell him they’re over.  Lucas seems to completely lose it when she does tell him.  The simmering anger, masked with hurt, is his helm.  He also steeps his resolve to win her back with the facade of her returning to him after she gets the Irishman out of her system.  What I hate most about Lucas, though, is the over-the-top crazy he exudes throughout the story.  The dude is DANGEROUS.  It was interesting to me, finding the clues pointing to Lucas’ insanity.
      Lily’s realization that she was attracted to Ian was a revelation for her.  She’d been with Lucas since high school, and she got virginity ring when she was 13.  She didn’t have much experience with men, except for Lucas.  In her mind, she expected to marry Lucas and live happily ever after.  Until she realized that to Lucas, she was a possession.  Ian showed her the erroneous thinking, and from that point, there was no looking back.  Lily realized that Ian SHOWED her how much she was loved by his deeds and the way he expressed his love.  His actions, his emotions.  By giving of himself.  That, she realized, was the way she wanted to be loved.
      Ian realized that he loved Lily, and he found that he was simply miserable without her.  Even though he thought that he wasn’t ready for commitment, he realized that he wasn’t capable of the alternative:  life without Lily.  Through a couple trials and tribulations, hospitalizations, Ian and Lily persevered.  Ian realized that he was being loved from the depths of Lily’s soul.  He realized that she was part of who he was, and was destined to be with her.
      I realized that the flashbacks were actually memories of former lives almost immediately.  I enjoyed the way the memories evolved over the course of the book.  I enjoyed the way the memories were anchored in the present.  I also thought that the flashbacks were an excellent method by which the author used foreshadowing in this story.
      Over-all, I really enjoyed Celtic Knot:  Suit of Cups as a light, yet complicated enough to not insult my intelligence title.  Kudos to Ms. MacLeod for finding the perfect balance between love, paranormal and suspense while keeping things light!  The next title in the Arcana Love series is  The Gypsy Ribbon: Suit of Wands, coming 2014, and is about Ian’s brother, James…the rock star.  I’m definitely getting my hands on this title!

VampBards Rating:

Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)

Purchase Info:

The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups
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