When You Believe

 
Reason to Believe
by Jessica Inclan
(Berkley, $13.00, PG-13) ISBN 0-8217-80824
****
Reason to Believe is the second in Jessica Inclanís planned trilogy about Les Croyants du Trois, a group of powerful telepaths and healers. Rufus Valasay wakes up in an Edinburgh doorway with no memory of who he is or how he got there, just with a feeling that something has gone terribly wrong and he has grievously hurt someone close to him. A young woman sees him, and thinking there is more to Rufus than an ordinary drunk, offers him temporary shelter.

Fabia Fair works at a local clinic. She is also a croyant, and her ability is that she can hear the thoughts of the Moyenne, or ordinary people. However, Fabia canít hear the thoughts of this man, making her suspect that he is also a croyant. Is he a member of the renegade group headed by Quain Dalziel, who believe that all Moyenne should be subjugated? If so, why does she have such a feeling of familiarity with him?

Rufus canít contain his attraction to the beautiful, blonde Fabia. In her physical proximity, his memory starts to return, and the more intimate they become, the more of it floods back Ė and the more they can share their thoughts effortlessly. For Fabia, who has only experienced this intense linking with her twin brother, Niall, itís unsettling. For Rufus, his memory is a double-edged sword; in Fabia, he feels a soul mate and an inexplicable sense of having known her for a long time, but the danger facing him is very real.

Powerful forces are working to destroy Rufus and other croyant. His older brother, Sariel, is the person Rufus was trying to help when he was hit with a powerful enchantment. Just as Rufus and Fabia are on the brink of real intimacy, Niall disappears. Rufus is reunited with his mother and his younger brother, Felix, and soon Niallís abduction is confirmed. Rufus, Fabia, and their allies work to find Niall, but they are up against magic that may be too powerful to overcome.

This was a riveting story. I missed the first book in the trilogy, When You Believe, but Iíll have to get a copy. Even though I missed out on the first installment, the world of the Croyant and the Moyenne is easy to follow, and the sorcery and magic are inventive in places. Rufus and Fabia, for instance, end up under a spell that separates them in place, but not time, and the way this is resolved explains much of the instant attraction between them so that it becomes much more than a tired romance plot device.

Reading the TRR review of When You Believe, it sounds like the author is messing around with her chronology. Sariel, when found, is alone and coming out of an enforced involvement with the evil Kalliope, and the heroine of When you Believe isnít even mentioned. I canít quite make this fit. Maybe itís explained better in the first book, or perhaps Reason to Believe was written first and intended to be the starter book.

At any rate, the fine romance between Rufus and Fabia builds from an unusual introduction to a tentative friendship into a white-hot love, and itís a great journey. If youíre looking for an excellent paranormal romance, Reason to Believe is a perfect match. In a word, itís rather magical.

--Cathy Sova


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