Review: Spellbound by Allie Therin (2019)

“Besides, what’s your rush for me to pair up again?” he called after her, as she went through the open pocket doors and into the adjoining parlor to answer the phone. “You didn’t even like Lord Fine.”

You didn’t even like Lord Fine.”

Arthur made a face, but she wasn’t wrong.
Spellbound, Allie Therin

Rating: ★★★★½
Genre: Historical Romance, Paranormal
Categories: M/M, magic

Description: Set in prohibition-era New York, Rory Brodigan has the magical gift to “read” the past of items that he touches. He keeps to himself and hides his abilities until the tall, dark and rich Arthur Kenzie steps into his life. The two get involved in a plot to save the city from other magic-users trying to seek out and abuse the powers of magical relics—which of course involves getting very involved with each other.

Being with Arthur is dangerous, but Rory’s ever-growing attraction to him begins to make him brave. And as Arthur coaxes him out of seclusion, a magical and emotional bond begins to form. One that proves impossible to break—even when Arthur sacrifices himself to keep Rory safe and Rory must risk everything to save him.

Impression: Spellbound is a book that had me grinning to myself and quoting passages out loud to my wife on both first and second read. If you’re in the mood for a “just get together already!” read with charming main characters set against a magical and lively backdrop, I found Spellbound to be quite satisfying. I particularly enjoyed Rory’s abilities and how much they factored into the plot and the relationship and am curious about how sequel books will dive deeper into the world and its magical abilities.

There were some aspects that didn’t quite hit the right chords for me—it felt like there were not very many barriers to the characters getting together, or at least, the ones that were existed were resolved very quickly. [minor spoilers] Twice, there were almost-going-to-kiss moments that got interrupted by a loud noise or someone walking in, which really took me out of the (otherwise quite smooth) pacing of the story. The novel also rides the line between ‘mature’ and ‘FTB’ with things get a little heated before the scene changes; I felt that since the attraction and magnetism between Arthur and Rory was the strongest thing about the story, it felt a little bit like a let-down to shy back from the resolution of those sparks. [end spoilers]

Overall, I very much enjoyed the read—I’m happy I picked it up and am looking forward to whatever Allie Therin writes next.

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