Disclaimers: I purchased this book new when it was first published in 1994. I met the author Coral Smith Saxe at several RWA conferences and enjoyed conversing with her. We also corresponded via email and various online forums in the 1990s. As far as I know, I've had no contact with her in at least 15 years.
This book has one of the single most beautiful covers ever. Period. I bought the book for that reason alone before I'd ever heard of, let alone met, the author. This cover is glorious.
But I don't reread books because of their covers. I reread Enchantment because while I remembered the general plot of the story, I wanted to refresh the details. I admit I did so with some hesitation: Would I enjoy the story, the writing, as much as I did in 1994?
In fact, I did.
This is the delightful story of Bryony Talcott, the would-be "Hag of Cold Springs Hollow," and Adam Hawthorne, the self-appointed unmasker of frauds. Bryony laments the fact that she has none of the magical powers that her family has for generations used to bring prosperity to the farmers and villagers in the hollow. Adam tries to enlighten her to the fact that there is no such thing as magic.
What I loved most about this book -- well, after that scrumptious cover -- was the seamless plot. There were no eye-roll-inducing contrivances, and the characters had great internal motivation. Their conflict -- a complete clash of philosophies -- drove both a superficial accommodation and a much deeper, harder-fought resolution. This made Adam and Bryony characters the reader could really care about and believe in.
I rated this 4 stars when I listed it on Goodreads, but having reread it, I'm bumping it up to 5. And I recommend it for anyone who loves a heart-warming historical romance, and especially to those writers who are looking for an example of one that's perfectly plotted.