Title: Spell Bound
Author: Stephanie Julian
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Darkly Enchanted #1
Publisher: Moonlight Night Publishing
Number of Pages: EBook Novella
Source: Sent to me by the author
She's running from fate...Shea Tedaldi is the only thing standing between her six-year-old brother and the men who killed their parents. Descendants of the ancient Etruscan magical race, Shea and her brother keep powerful secrets that make them the targets of the evil Malandante. They've been looking for a safe haven but the bad guys are gaining on them and Shea needs a hero, a guardian who won't falter in the face of danger...He's looking for the key to break the spell...Gabriel Borelli is a warrior born to protect the Etruscan witches living under a curse. He's dedicated to breaking the spell and avenging the murder of his father by the Malandante. He won't let anything--or anyone--get in his way. Not even the one woman who may hold the key to his quest...and his heart.(from amazon)
When I started Spell Bound I didn't know that it was supposed to draw on all three series that Stephanie Julian has written about and creates a new world in the process. This made me confused for the first part of the book, but once I figured out that the story moved really fast and didn't slow down. How can you not love a novella that has cursed witches, almost immortal bad guys, a heroine on a run and a hero bent on getting revenge against the guy who killed his father while having to protect cursed witches at all costs??
What I really enjoyed about Spell Bound was that there were three intertwining stories: The romance between Gabriel and Shea and the mystery of solving how to break the curse of the witches & finding out who was after Shea & her brother. The three stories worked well together, and I liked how the mystery of the curse gave Sorcha and Quinn a chance to be apart of the action, and I loved their romance almost more then the main one of Gabriel and Shea. Quinn was a nice compliment to Gabriel, and I liked how Shea and Sorcha didn't sit back and let them take charge.
Shea has some problems with Gabriel, mainly because it's his way or no way, and I love that she gives him crap for that attitude. Gabriel admires her for standing up to him, and the two learn to work together not only to find out who the bad guys are after Shea and her brother but to see how to break the witches curse. Sorcha was just as stubborn as Shea when it came to her romance with Quinn, and I have a feeling that their story might be the next one in the series.
Even though both Shea and Sorcha were strong and independent I had a hard time connecting to them-especially Shea. However, my problems with them were pretty much the same thing. I hated that it took them so long to realize that Gabriel and Quinn were the right guy for them, and then they couldn't get enough of them. My being annoyed with them though could have something to do with the fact that Spell Bound was about the fifth or sixth paranormal romance I read in a row and I always have little patience left for characters when I read that many books in a row in the same genre. (I'm a quirky reader.) Gabriel and Quinn more then made up for them though, and I loved how the ending made me want more of this series.
Curran Crush Meter: Medium
Martini Sigh Meter: Medium
Barrons Hero Hotness Meter: Medium
Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: Low
Finn Sidekick Meter: High