Title: Spellbound (Magic in Manhattan #1)
Author: Allie Therin
Publisher: Carina Press – HARLEQUIN
Publication Date: July 29, 2019
Genre: MM Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy
Length: 75,000 Words / 243 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
To save Manhattan, they’ll have to save each other first…
Arthur Kenzie’s life’s work is protecting the world from the supernatural relics that could destroy it. When an amulet with the power to control the tides is shipped to New York, he must intercept it before it can be used to devastating effects. This time, in order to succeed, he needs a powerful psychometric…and the only one available has sworn off his abilities altogether.
Rory Brodigan’s gift comes with great risk. To protect himself, he’s become a recluse, redirecting his magic to find counterfeit antiques. But with the city’s fate hanging in the balance, he can’t force himself to say no.
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.
♦ Personal Thought ♦
What do you know, this book hit the spot just right!! Allie Therrin’s debut and first in a new paranormal LGBTQ romance series “Magic in Manhattan” is off to a good start. Set in alternate 1920s New York, SPELLBOUND is a blend of heterogeneity. It brought the least likely pair together; a grouchy and prickly young paranormal in hiding and a former WWI soldier who happened to be the youngest scion of the city’s well-known and wealthy family.
Rory Brodigan hid his true self and was redirecting his magic to find counterfeit antiques. Arthur “Ace” Kenzie accidentally found out the truth when he ask the shop where Rory worked to scry a supernatural relic. When another powerful relic arrived in New York in the hand of some corrupted and dangerous people, Ace and Rory must find a way to intercept it.
I‘m strangely not too fond of books (or movies) with prohibition era setting. Strange because I don’t drink, so I can’t say I empathize with the characters to be devoid of alcohol. Although, I made a few exception when the storyline or characters clicked with me. This is one of those instances. I truly enjoyed Therrin’s writing style; the pace of the story, the character and world building, all done meticulously in phases.
The book started slowly and pick up the pace as the anticipation built toward the peak of the action. The dynamics between our two leading men were nothing if not swoon-worthy. Rory was so suspicious and irritable while Ace was indulgent yet overprotective. The back and forth between Rory and Ace as the later coaxed the other out of his reclusion, the growing trust and lingering doubt, even their disagreement had me smiling like an idiot with the cuteness of it all. It’s been a while since I read a couple with equally adorable yet maddening impact that hit just right. What’s more, it’s early day for Ace and Rory yet, they still had more to learn (and adjust) about and with each other.
I mentioned earlier the heterogeneity of this book. Not only it shows from Ace’s cabal of talented paranormal associates, the premises made the situation glaringly real and evoked (reader’s) feeling …even toward some underserving ones. Jade and Zhang especially stole point with their unusual courting.
All things said, I did have a tiny miff with the way Ace and his crew handling the case – at least I wish they were better prepared. I’m off two minds about it really as on the one hand I still loved this book as it is. But really, the way Ace and Jade had been at it, I thought they had better plan!! Granted, what transpired fit the plot nicely (well, duh of course!). Still, having basically taking a leisure walk to up and sprint at the last few chapters was so not good for my poor heart. This niggle aside, I’m glad to find this gem of a story and absolutely can’t wait for the following sequels to be released!
Copy of this book is kindly given by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.