"Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic charm, you’ll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island series." (#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout )
“A fresh twist on the Southern Gothic—haunting, atmospheric, and absorbing.” (Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU and the Evernight and Spellcaster series )
"COMPULSION is a stunningly magical debut with a delicious slow burn to be savored. I want to live in this story world!" (Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy )
"A star-crossed romance, lush gothic plantations, and an island full of intrigue—COMPULSION was a heart-pounding race to the finish! A thrilling debut!” (Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder series )
"Beautifully written, with vivid characters, a generations-old feud, and romance that leaps off the page, this Southern ghost story left me lingering over every word, and yet wanting to race to the compelling finish. Martina Boone’s COMPULSION is not to be missed." (Megan Shepherd, author of THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER )
"Martina Boone's COMPULSION is the perfect Southern family saga: charming and steamy on the surface, with cold-blooded secrets buried down deep. Feuding families, sinister curses, hidden things behind locked doors! What more do you want? More time to read it, that's what." (Kendare Blake, author of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and ANTIGODDESS )
"A shivery, delicious Southern Gothic with feuding families, dark spirits, ancient curses... and caught up in the middle, a young girl learning to live and love for the first time. Atmospheric and suspenseful, COMPULSION will draw you in and hold you until the very last page." (Leah Cypess, author of DEATH SWORN )
"A little bit Gone with the Wind, a little bit Romeo and Juliet...Boone’s debut mixes a Southern gothic setting with fantasy and romance for an engrossing...mystery."
(School Library Journal)
"A paranormal Southern gothic with decadent settings, mysterious magic and family histories rife with debauchery." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Delivers a compelling mystery about feuding families and buried secrets, not to mention a steamy romance." (Booklist)
The death of Barrie Watson’s shut-in mother forces the seventeen-year-old girl to relocate from San Francisco to her mother’s small South Carolina hometown—where people believed that Barrie’s mother died in a fire twenty years ago and had no idea of Barrie’s existence. Aunt Pru nonetheless welcomes Barrie into the expansive but crumbling Watson plantation with open arms, but she has less enthusiasm for talking about the past. Handsome Eight Beaufort and the stunning but mercurial Cassie Colesworth, however, are more than happy to fill Barrie in on the details of a curse brought down upon all three of their families by the spirit of a Cherokee witch, leaving each generation with its own unique tragedy. Barrie’s not especially surprised by the supernatural goings-on—she’s always had a knack for finding lost things and she can see the yunwi, the Cherokee spirits that haunt Watson land- ing—but she’s more concerned with the various secrets her forebears kept and how they might relate to her mother’s life and death. The atmosphere trades too heavily in stereotypical aspects of Native American mysticism and elements of voodoo, while the storytelling leans too much on expository dialogue from conveniently knowledgeable characters to move the plot along. That’s not to say the story isn’t compelling, and readers may forgive the book’s flaws as murder, mayhem, and lost loves take center stage. Fans of Moore’s Amber House trilogy (Amber House, BCCB 12/12), another tale of a cursed home with some serious secrets, will likely feel right at home here amid the Spanish moss and ghostly spirits. (Bulletin December 2014)
Following the death of her reclusive mother, seventeen-year-old Barrie moves in with an aunt she had not known existed, on the South Carolina family plantation her mother had left years before under a shroud of lies. This plantation is on Watson Island, and the heirs of the founders of this island are made up of three intertwined families, each with their own paranormal gifts and curses. Barrie is the last of the heirs on her branch of the family, the Watsons. Their gift is finding things that are lost, but each of the families finds that their gifts are so powerful they become painful compulsions. Soon after arriving, Barrie finds herself in a feud with a cousin and her bloodthirsty father who want to use her gifts for their own gain. She also encounters family secrets, ghosts, and a young Southern gentleman named Eight, with whom she quickly falls in love.
This is the first book in a planned trilogy. Despite the nearly 450 pages, the events that occur in the final chapters seem rushed and unsupported by previous plot development. In the beginning, the protagonist seems to have the “kitchen sink” of misfortune thrown at her, then events are resolved in a flurry as the book draws to a frenzied close. Fans of Southern gothic fiction or paranormal romance with a heavy dose of melodrama will find a couple to root for in Barrie and Eight.—Sherrie Williams. (VOYA December 2014)
Following Compulsion (2014), Barrie juggles future plans with handsome Eight while dealing with the possibility of ending the Colesworth curse.
When Barrie returns from San Francisco after her godfather’s death, her home’s been besieged by paranormal investigators drawn to the Fire Carrier legend. Worse, Eight knew but didn’t tell her. Also straining their romance is his decision about what college to attend (will he follow his dream of going far away or stay local for Barrie?), and Barrie must decide if he loves her or if he’s being compelled by his Beaufort gift. Multiple encounters with shadowy, mysterious Obadiah—who reveals a personal connection to the gifts and Colesworth curse—lead Barrie reluctantly to her treacherous cousin Cassie. But Obadiah’s of uncertain trustworthiness, and the magic he unleashes has unexpected consequences. Meanwhile, Cassie’s desperate to save her home by finding its legendary buried treasure and brings in an archaeological team. She also experiences the onset of PTSD as a result of a traumatic incident in her past—one echoed in a ghostly flashback she and Barrie experience of the Colesworth plantation during the Civil War, a painful moment in the family’s history. While the multiple storylines and subplots help perk up the slow pace, they’re unbalanced and result in a lackluster climax that doesn’t resolve the more interesting questions.
Uneven but also atmospheric and packed with magic and mysteries. (Kirkus August 15, 2015)
About the Author
From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, a tuxedo cat, and a new Sheltie puppy, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she'd love to visit. When she isn't writing, she's addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.