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Spellbound: A Paranormal Historical Romance (Magic in Manhattan Book 1) Kindle Edition
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“[… A]n exciting plot paired with fascinating magic makes this a solid and enjoyable start to the series.” - Library Journal
“I am so delighted I could shout… Perfect escapism for lazy summer days by the water, or long trips, or to read by a fire in the middle of the woods.” -Olivia Waite, Seattle Review of Books
“I loved this book. I adored both MCs and the badass women who run their lives. I loved the world building (both in terms of 20s NYC and the magic). I’m so glad to see it’s the first in a series.” -Cat Sebastian, best-selling author of the Sedgwick Series, Regency Impostors & the Turner Series.
"This was delightful. The world building impressive, and if you have a thing for big overprotective soft-hearted heroes. This one will hit the spot."
-Adriana Herrera, author of American Dreamer
"When I turned the last page, all I wanted to do was to jump back into Rory and Arthur's world. I can't wait for the sequel."
-Jenn Burke, author of Not Dead Yet
"Everything about this book: the 1920s NYC setting, the wonderful (and diverse) cast of characters, the magical elements, the pacing, the suspense, the villains, the ROMANCE, the humour, the writing, the acknowledgements, the font...all perfect. PERFECT!"
-Rachel Reid, author of Heated Rivalry
"Magical mayhem in 1925 New York! You need this book in your life!" – Jordan L. Hawk, best-selling author of the Whyborne & Griffin series, the SPECTR series & the Hexworld series
Spellbound is an engaging tale with humor, drama, and super characters that have room to grow. The paranormal element truly kept me spellbound within the pages. I look forward to reading others in the series.”
“A strong and compelling début. Unique, and sometimes dazzling, it kept me entertained and eager for more of its magical, supernatural world – and hopeful for better yet to come.”
—All About Romance
“Therin’s storytelling transportive, and its characters a diverse and delightful mix of wonderful.”
—The Novel Approach
“With humour, sass, peril, and betrayal, this book had it all for me. Highly recommended, and when is book two coming out? Absolutely brilliant.”
—The Romance Reviews
“Allie Therin built a world that came alive and flew off the pages. […] I loved this book and can’t wait to read the next in the series.”
—Gay Book Reviews
About the Author
Erik Bloomquist trained classically at the London Dramatic Academy and holds a degree in theater and dance from Trinity College. He was nominated for a New England Emmy(R) Award for his performance as Allan Archer on the nationally syndicated series The Cobblestone Corridor. A member of Actors' Equity Association, Erik has extensive screen and stage credits, including stints on/at: PBS, Lifetime, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel, Hartford Stage, and Ivoryton Playhouse. Erik is also a notable (and Emmy Award-winning) writer/director, Halloween enthusiast, and member of Connecticut Magazine's 40 Under 40: Class of 2019. --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B07MY6FSZH
- Publisher : Carina Press (July 29, 2019)
- Publication date : July 29, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 787 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 252 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #40,180 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I've been watching the exciting hoopla on social media lauding this book, and pre-ordered because it is everything I want in a book: diverse romance, PNR, 1920's, and I wasn't disappointed (*aside from the lack of sexy times on page because I think it would have helped the relationship building*).
Even with that caveat, SPELLBOUND was...immense. Arthur and Rory were wonderful--characters I want to read a multi-book series about, BUT the side characters also had so many neat facets and quirks that I wasn't merely invested in the primary romance; I was invested in the entire world (and that matters more than the missing sexy times--gasp--if you knew me, that is pretty huge for me to concede!).
I loved the elegant weaving of backstory and the subtle world-building. Rory's gift is terrifying and we understand it simultaneously as he is given clues about how it works and why it is important to be working for the good guys. He is grouchy and wounded and desperate to be loved, and he resonated so well for me. Arthur is destined to have all sorts of backstory that will likely come out in future books, but for now, we know he is family-oriented and willing to put himself and his needs as secondary to keep the rest of his powerful family safe. But he comes across as nearly as wounded in a way I love: the hero who thinks he has enough privilege not to whine over the things he is missing. (Desperately missing! Ahem--RORY)
Rory's aunt and Arthur's friends were fleshed out just enough for a first-in-series with hints of SO MUCH MORE that I almost wish I had been able to wait until they were all published so I could gobble them up at once. But not really, because this book was truly excellent. The good guys weren't perfect and the antagonists are definitely the heroes of their own stories, and the combination of 1920's NYC, suave rich men, vague but ultra-menacing lurking villains, and gorgeously imperfect Rory who I wanted to bring home and feed soup to, was a mass of sheer perfection.
Bravo, Allie Therin. I am standing and applauding this one. It's lived up to the hype.
And then some!
It’s 1925 in New York City, and wealthy man-about-town Arthur Kenzie, age 28, is on a hunt to find and contain magic relics. His search will lead him to Rory Brannigan, a 20 year old psychometrist (he can see an object’s history when he touches it) in hiding. Rory is inexperienced, and doesn’t know much about either his own powers or the general paranormal world. Arthur has no powers, but has hooked up with a group of other paranormals largely (it seems) on the basis of his money and connections, and his deep, driving need to protect people. Rory and Arthur have a great vibe together, especially if you like a slight age gap/protective (without being a jerk) romance, which I do. There are lots of great secondary characters, too, who get a good amount of page time without overwhelming our MCs. Jade, Arthur’s BFF, who is a Black telekinetic speakeasy owner, is particularly fun.
This book showcases a diverse New York - sexually, racially, socioeconomically, and ethnically - although not in a grim or grittily realistic way. The overall vibe of the book is historical-light, spiced with magic. Nothing is historically incorrect or under-researched (I’m a big stickler for that) but realism is not the primary goal here. The world-building around the particular magic/paranormal system in use is competent, but not deep. This is definitely a character romance, not an immersive universe. The writing is really solid, though, especially for a debut novel. It flows well and never feels clunky; I didn’t notice any glaring technical errors.
The biggest minus for me was the the love story did feel a bit saccharine by the end. Arthur and Rory sleep together one time and then there’s pet names in Italian and magical soul bonds. It’s really, really sweet, but I’m not sure it lives up to the snarky Moriarties-in-love vibe the blurb promises. As I was reading, I originally had this book rated at a 4.5 star, but the turn in the romantic vibe in the last third or so of the book tweaked that downward, for me. I like a little more tension in my romantic pairings, especially ones that are billed as a slow burn.
Additionally, there was a decent amount of backstory explanation necessary of the various villains and their motivations. Some of it I didn’t quite follow, or found contradictory. I’m curious to see if some of the backstory for Gwen, in particular, gets a bit more attention in the second book.
Beyond general magical kidnapping shenanigans like you’d expect from a book in this genre, there are no real content warnings for Spellbound - even the period-typical homophobia isn’t terribly emphasized. No bad language, or overly graphic sex (all of the sex scenes arefade to black - I’d rate the heat level in this “warm”)
Overall, a fabulous debut novel, despite some weaknesses. I’ll definitely be preordering book 2, due out in 2020!
Top reviews from other countries
This book hit a note with me. An author friend recommended it and as I was in between books - so to speak - I decided to give it a go.
Oh My Gods! I couldn't put it down. I almost took time off work to finish it.
The story is extremely compelling - I do love a paranormal romance - and the worldbuilding is done exceptionally well. The characters are fully rounded and consistent. The developing romance is believable and the progression of the story doesn't jarr but also makes you care about what is going to happen.
The amount of times I was frustrated at one of the protagonists was almost ridiculous! Loved it!
An additional point that made the book stand out for me was the lack of very minutely described sex scenes. Yes, there is sex but not in spite of a good story! It works well but it's not a thing per se. It just add to the story of the people we're reading about in a somewhat organic way.
The unfolding backstory of the various elements is also done well and in a seamless manner.
My only "gripe" if you will is a pet peeve, and that is referring to paranormal powers such as telekinesis or psychometry as "magic" I'm being persnickety here, and that is just a personal peeve.
I can't wait to pre-order the second book and see where the story goes from here.
I ended up re-reading it 3 times to now and will probably do a fourth pass as I would like to illustrate some of the characters.
The characters are vibrant and fleshed out. The settings are clear and evocative of a different time. At the beginning I was a little confused about how was who and what was going on but things became clearer as the book progressed. Some of the villains felt a little cardboard in their depth but I enjoyed them.
It was a bit more insta-love than I usually like but the story was compelling. The more adult scenes are not at all explicit but still manage to be hot and steamy. All in all, a wonderful read.
Looking forward to reading the next.
It reads like the first in a paranormal series, but of course you add the 1925 historical setting and the further 'historical' information given to the scrying objects, and then add a forbidden romance between 2 men and you have straddled several genres. Nicely done. Next book out in 2020!?!? 😩