REVIEW: Spellbound (Magic in Manhattan #1) by Allie Therin
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.
Dear Allie Therin,
Stumbling upon your book was a wonderful surprise and now that I finished it, I cannot wait to see what you will write next. I am guessing a sequel to this one, but I will be eager to try no matter what story you decide to publish next.
The setting of the story is New York at the time of Prohibition.The first world war took place in this world as well, that much we know because several characters fought during the war and obviously experienced significant trauma and some even died. Besides that I am not sure which features of the historical world in the 1920s that the author decided to have in her world, but one thing we know that magic users (aka paranormals) are very important part of this world and not everybody welcomes them with open arms.
Rory is twenty and at the moment he is working in the antique store whose kindly owner pretty much gave him a home. Rory already endured a lot due to his unusual abilities and other things, so he is happy to hide behind the walls of the antique store pretty much and thanks to him the antique store’s owner kindly Mrs. Morrigane obtained a reputation of always assessing correctly whether antiques are real or forged. Rory can *see* the past of the objects once he touches them you see.
Arthur Kenzie aka Ace and a couple of his friends are hunting magical relics in NY city and other places in order to protect the world and specifically magic users, because when relics became active they could be very dangerous for magical and non magical folks alike, but magical folks would suffer more, that was my impression anyway. Arthur is rich, several male members of his family are in politics, but he is also a decent soul who wants more than anything to protect his friends and any vulnerable soul he meets on his way. I am trying to give you a set up just a tiny bit more detailed than the blurb without going into any spoilerish details.
Rory meets Ace when Ace gives Ms. Morrigaine a job – to check whether certain objects are real and he needs the job done in one night . What Arthur really wants is to test Mrs. Morrigaine whom he thinks is a magic user to see if she can see the past – if she can do the job fast she obviously can. This is all first chapter stuff, so I am not giving you any real spoilers at all.
Of course he doesn’t know that Rory is the one who works actual magic and after the job is done without getting any real answers , Ace takes Rory out for drinks hoping he will loosen his tongue and talk more about his boss.
What Arthur does not realize of course that he is trying to have an actual magic user drunk and apparently alcohol is a very bad thing for paranormals in this world, it makes them lose their control on their abilities. When he realizes what took place he is full of remorse and is trying to fix the mess he made.
““Dunno. I never drank before.” Arthur went still. The weight sank his stomach to his shoes. “You said you had.” “I did say that,” Rory said, with an emphatic nod, and Arthur almost felt better until he added, “But I lied.” Arthur’s eyes widened, but Rory went on, “Like when I said I was—” He squinted behind his glasses. “Twenty-six? Also lie.” He held up two fingers and waved them around. “Twenty.” Twenty. And only fifteen when Prohibition started.”
“Rory screwed his eyes shut. “What’s the year?” “You’re in 1925.” Arthur squeezed his hand until Rory’s eyes flew open with another pained gasp. “And you’re going to damn well stay here.” He stood, pulling Rory upright with him, and kept a vise-like grip on that hand as he maneuvered them until his arm was around Rory’s waist. The slight body was almost dead weight against him. Don’t think the d-word. You’re going to fix this. Benson was hurrying over. “Help,” Arthur said baldly. “A private exit, a private car, and no one asking questions.””
““Tell me who and where you are,” he ordered Rory, as Benson took them through a door and past the dressing room. “You’re very strong,” Rory said instead. “Strong and bossy.” “Strong and bossy enough to handle a mouthy brat who defies the laws of man and nature.”
Arthur had to believe that was true. He had to make it true. He yanked Rory closer with their interlocked hands. “Now stay out of those visions and tell me your name.” Rory blinked up at him, brown eyes hazy and shiny with drink. “Which one?” What?”
So Rory ends up in his apartment and no, they do not have sex together thank goodness. There is one or two sex scenes in this book which happen in the last third of the book and I thought they were placed well.
The story is a fantasy/adventure, but it is also a beginning of the romance. Can it be called heist? I guess so, because at least some attempts at theft did take place – I will leave you to find out how successful. I thought men had great chemistry and their banter was often amusing without overwhelming fast moving plot. Was the attraction a little fast? Maybe, but in the adventure story I sometimes don’t mind and this is one of those occasions.
It stops rather abruptly, but on the cliffhanger and quite satisfactory. I am looking forward to book 2.
Darn on the cliffhanger meant to say without the cliffhanger – will edit later.
This sounds wonderful, and I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the review, Sirius.
My jam, this sounds like. Except … only 20? I suppose Rory had to grow up fast, but… I do hope this is addressed?
@hapax: Sorry, not sure I understand how should Rory’s age be addressed? You mean that he is not 21? It had been almost a month or more since I read the book but no I don’t believe so. Other guy is 28 just FYI in case it is an issue @Kareni: It worked very well for me , hope it works for you too.
I know that 20 is a legal adult, but sheesh, that’s younger than *my* baby, and he sounds so very very young in that excerpt. And the set up sounded like Arthur is much older and more experienced.
But if it didn’t trigger any alarms for you, I will absolutely try it. I pretty much like everything you like, after all. :-)
@hapax: Hard to say whether it will work for youI! I mean I know you liked a lot of what I recommended, but no for me it did not raise any triggers. Yes, Arthur does act older and more experienced and Rory calls him on it – he is not that much older. I would say that this is the most vulnerable for Rory because Arthur was the reason he is in this vulnerable situation and Arthur acts even more protective than how he usually acts. They both made sense to me and Rory is certainly no damsel – Arthur’s desire to protect notwithstanding you know? But once again hard to say – I didn’t stop to think about their age being an issue for a second.
I know it’s been some time since this review but I finally got this one read and I really loved it. Thanks for the review! I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series.
@Kim W: YAY I loved this book enough to put on my Best of list and definitely looking forward to the next one. Thanks for letting me know.