Blessedly Bound by Lucretia Stanhope was such a fun read! I really enjoyed it right from the very first page. I loved the characters, the storyline, and the fun paranormal and witchy elements!
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.
I really liked the main character, Gwen. I thought that her powers from the start were really interesting as she was able to see visions or transport herself to the past through another type of vision. I was surprised that during the transports, she could be hurt. That was an interesting twist to other similar tropes I have read, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops later on.
I also really enjoyed seeing her character learn more about herself, her family, and her powers as the story moved on. I will admit, the whole woman who is oblivious to the magnitude of her powers trope has been a bit over done for me, but in this case it was absolutely perfect. I loved that Gwen had to really practice and that most things were very overwhelming and exhausting for her. This made it much more believable. And there wasn’t a moment when she suddenly had perfect control and clarity of her powers, which I really appreciated. I really liked that she still needed a lot of help from Lewis and Sebastian.
Speaking of, Lewis and Sebastian were two lovely paranormal characters. Lewis was her familiar who transitioned between his forms of raven and man. From what we learned about him early on, he had the ability to heal others and played the role of Gwen’s protector and teacher. But for some reason he was holding her powers back and only teaching her very basic magic. He was also a very jealous character that had a strong love for Gwen, and repeatedly mentioned how he could never actually romantically love her.
Sebastian was Gwen’s neighbor and her grandmothers best friend. He was also magical, but as a reader we didn’t find out why until much later in the book. When he told Gwen exactly what he was, it shook their relationship.
There were also many side characters that lived in the small town that I enjoyed a lot! I am definitely interested to see if they play roles in the rest of the series because I would love to see them further developed.
One character that gave me the willies from the first meeting with Gwen was Curtis, the local cop. He was always so odd. The author wrote his persona so wonderfully! His dialogue really got to me, as most of it was degrading. For example:
She finished her food and coffee and left a tip under her cup. “I should go, I have an appointment,” she said and felt her breath suck in. She really needed more practice on her thought to speech filter.
“Oh, getting your nails done,” he said, his tone flat as if he assumed that was the extent of her appointments she could possible have.
The storyline itself flowed so well! I really enjoyed that we seamlessly read thoughts from each of the characters perspectives all on the same page, rather than the book being split into chapters for each.
The suspense factor that was woven in was perfect; not too much, but certainly enough to really get my heart pumping. I also love that there was a lovely small town vibe, which I’m always a sucker for. Needless to say, this book was really difficult for me to put down!
Beware, the (slight!) negatives:
There were some issues with punctuation, grammar, and wording. Examples:
- “…more time slipped from away her.”
- “She brought in what needed put away immediately and left the rest for later.”
- “Why did his tension pulsed so strong, and how it connected to her family?”
- “It certainly needed addressed very soon.”
There was a bit of repetition that was a little bothersome to me, but as always, that’s just my reading irk. I just felt that there were many topics that were repeated too frequently for my preference. For example the pull that the characters felt for one another, or why they shouldn’t feel that pull.
The ending seemed a bit rushed. My first thought was “Wait, what? What about the Fannie threat?” It was like they solved one of the issues and immediately forgot about the second. The more I thought about it, the more questions I realized were left unresolved. Loose threads like this usually make me a little angry, but in this case I only thought: “Well, guess I’ll have to snag book two soon to find out what happens!”
My Favorite Passages from Blessedly Bound
“Sometimes the only reason is that life is awful and people do things that don’t make sense.”
His office was a mess, papers everywhere, smelled like smoke, and had overflowing ashtrays lying about on top of the papers. Was it even legal to smoke in offices anymore? Gwen wondered. It was too classical a representative of a burnt-out detective.
The scent of books added to the warm, welcoming feeling. In her mind, she could almost hear the sound of an old book opening and sending out its welcoming scent.
Her unhappiness and the magic it called on filled the night and beckoned him to her. He watched in awe as the sky responded to her sorrow. Little beads of despair turned to frozen drops that clung to her hair. They looked like pearls on the black strands. Even in her absolute sadness, he found her more beautiful than anyone he ever laid eyes on before.
His mind easily drifted to how her presence felt and he smiled as the memories danced across his thoughts.
My Final Thoughts on Blessedly Bound
This is definitely a book that will hook you right from page one and not let you go! So make sure to pick it up on your day off! If you enjoy small town stories filled with paranormal features and a slight romance element, go pick this one up. I would highly recommend it; Four stars!