The Fiend of White Buck Hall

The Fiend of White Buck Hall - Penelope Marzec This book, which takes place in 1890s New Jersey, has the usual characteristics of a historical romance, but adds a dash of magical mystery. It is pretty clear from the beginning that there is some connection between the white buck that roams the grounds of White Buck Hall and Thomas Hillyer, an albino wizard. The most obvious connection is that Thomas shape shifts into the buck but things aren't always what they seem. Molly is a fugitive on the run from false accusations and is headed to White Buck Hall to apply for a secretary position. She stumbles into the white buck as she is walking through the woods. The buck saves her from a hunter but is also injured. So starts the relationship between Thomas and Molly.White Buck Hall is occupied by a variety of interesting characters including a dwarf clown, a deaf and mute giant, and a bearded lady. Thomas wants Molly to leave but at the same time he is intensely attracted to her. Molly is independent and stubborn. She refuses to leave seeing this situation as her only option to escape her pursuers and instead decides to convince Thomas that she should stay and help with his research.The story proceeds to unwind the mystery behind Molly's fugitive status and Thomas's magical connection to the white buck as the attraction between Molly and Thomas grows.Molly starts to have visions of the white buck and has a lot of fainting and dizzy spells, which I assume is related to the visions, as I do not recall it really being explained. I was not clear on the magical worldview in this book. It seemed that Thomas used his magic pretty freely, and at times in public, yet I didn't get the sense that this was a world where magic was openly accepted. The occupants of White Buck Hall and the servants in his other residence in Philadelphia -- where the story goes at a later time -- seem to know about and accept his magic, but I didn't get the feeling that magic was widely accepted or known in the general population.Overall I like the story but I didn't have any strong feelings either way. Though the story kept my interest enough it seemed to plod along occasionally. There was some awkward scene staging at one point and more typos than I would expect from a small press book. The sex in this book is infrequent and more on the sensual than spicy side--nothing too explicit and language is more euphemistic than direct or graphic. If you like historical romances with some magical elements added in you might like this one. Typos found: 14Note on print book formatting: font character spacing was set very close and was uncomfortable to read.