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Oct 31, 2011

Moonlight & Illusions by Diane Wylie

Title: Moonlight & Illusions
Author: Diane Wylie
Author Website
Buy Link:
Genre: Romance/Paranormal
Reviewer: Rie McGaha

Cover: 5
Presentation: 5
Editing: 5
Story: 5
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Card Rating: 5 & RTP

The Book:
In 1889, Stephen Elliott is an illusionist on tour around the world, and makes his final stop in Mexico City. He's accompanied by his wife, Ruby, and their son, Calvin, and the family is looking forward to the final act that will end the two year tour, and allow them to travel back home to Boston. Stephen performs flawlessly but the finale is so convincing, he is arrested as a sorcerer and tossed into a Mexican jail. While trying to figure out what happened, Stephen withdraws a piece of candy from his pocket along with a small stone given to him by a strange old lady in the market. His Spanish is almost non-existent but he understood enough to know she said the Mayan stone was to never be in moonlight. Stephen should have listened.

The story moves forward to WWII where we learn Stephen has outlived his wife and son, and is wallowing in grief, drowning his sorrows in liquor. He then decides to join the Army and winds up gravel injured in battle, and wakes up on a hospital ship being cared for by 28-year-old nurse, Anabel Bernier, and the attraction is obvious. Anabel has been hurt by a boyfriend who left her for another woman, and Stephen feels guilty for the death of his son and wife. Even so, they strike up a conversation as Anabel has a cigarette on the ship's deck one moonlit night. Spying the watch on a chain around Stephen's neck, Anabel asks to hold it because it looks like a watch her father once owned. But before Stephen can stop her, she opens the watch and the small stone is exposed to the moonlight yet again, and causes Anabel to faint.

New York City 1966 – Stephen is know only as The Illusionist as he performs amazing feats of magic while traveling around the country. Anabel is visiting her friend on the occasion of her 50th birthday and winds up at a magic show. It's been a long time, but Anabel recognizes Stephen, and from there the plot thickens. Stephen is nearly killed during a dangerous illusion and Anabel rushes to his side. Unable to deny they have more than mere attraction in common, they realize the Mayan stone holds the key to their future and perhaps, their very lives.

The Review:
Diane Wylie has written another winner. From the first page Moonlight & Illusions held me riveted. I simply could not put the book down until I had devoured every word. I literally had to force myself to stop reading long enough to take a shower! Although I wasn't sure where this story was going to take me, I had no idea the trip would be so fraught with danger, adventure, and passion. Ms. Wylie's characters are not only believable, but so real you soon find yourself completely wrapped up in their lives, rooting for them throughout the book.

Ms. Wylie has obviously done her research into Mayan myths and legends. She takes a small stone and turns it into a magical object that holds secrets no one can quite figure out. Not only has she brought rich details to this story that will make you hold your breath as you wait to find out what will happen next, she puts the reader right into the surroundings with the colorful descriptions of the people and places. With brilliant dialogue, a storyline that will leave you breathless, and two people who have much more in common than they know, will make you swoon with every glance.

This is a definite must read and will go on the keeper shelf to be read again and again. Dian Wylie is one of the finest writer's I've ever read and you will not want to miss Moonlight & Illusions.                       


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