THE EARL AND THE ENCHANTRESS by Paullett Golden brings to life the 1790s in this historical novel with a touch of romance.  As an English professor at the American Military University she has decided to become an author as well. In this debut novel her heroine lives in King Arthur’s birthplace, while the hero lives where King Arthur supposedly died.  Throughout the story tidbits of King Arthur are weaved as the mystery develops regarding the hero’s haunted past.

“King Arthur just came to me as a symbol.  It was not a preconceived idea.  Sebastian reached a turning point in his life where he needed an idol, someone to look up to.  I wanted a male figure to guide, motivate, and inspire him. I mixed into the reality, the legend. I think it was in my subconscious since I had taken an Arthurian legend course during my doctoral degree.  I went to England for the summer and studied King Arthur from scholars as well as visiting all the places associated with him.  I guess all that was turning around in my head.”

The heroine, Lizbeth Trethow, is a “determined spinster and future lady’s companion.” She is resolute not to marry unless the relationship has equality, admiration, and passion. She meets Sebastian Roddam, an Earl who seems to match her in wit, intelligence, and opinions.  Neither wants a relationship based on status and wealth. They also have in common a damaged past. Although she has met her demons Sebastian has trouble communicating his fears, guilt, and emotional trauma. Their future depends on Lizbeth slaying the metaphoric ghost that battles Sebastian as she unravels the truth.

“I wrote the relationship where Lizbeth teaches Sebastian how to communicate.  As their relationship develops he becomes more open and trustful.  By the end of the book I am hoping that when he is worried or depressed he turns to her and says ‘I need to talk about this.’  Since she listens with compassion they can work through it.  Hopefully it is implied he will become a fantastic husband. They believe in a pragmatic romance based on the passing of knowledge, equality, and inspiration along with respect and affection.”

Anyone looking for an author that weaves into a story, realistic characters, a powerful setting, and historical facts should read Golden. The only disappointment in this book is that it ended and people have to wait a few months for the next installment.