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Spellbound – Sylvia Day

on December 2, 2013

SpellboundSpellbound
Sylvia Day
Penguin Books AUS
2013, 177p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Victoria St John is a Familiar. Her kind are bound to warlocks to enhance their power but for the last several centuries, Victoria has been alone since the death of her warlock and great love Darius. Warlocks and Familiars are matched by The High Council and it is generally a strategic match, designed to enhance power. However Victoria and Darius found a great love as well and Victoria has been grieving ever since he died. A Familiar who is not bound is in danger of going feral and Victoria’s mischief has led The High Council to send warlocks after her in order to collar her and she has dispatched every single one of them.

Until now.

Max Westin is a Hunter and they don’t take Familiars. But he agreed to take on the assignment to bring her to heel, to tame her before she went completely feral in order for her to be bound to another warlock. The alternative, if he cannot tame her, is to vanquish her which is what The High Council would probably prefer. It only takes one look for Max to see that he doesn’t want to do that. He’s sure that he can tame her.

But Victoria is not a natural submissive and Max is going to have to work hard in order for her to see that it’s what she needs. Familiars need love and care, feeding and stroking but also strict discipline and domination. Darius was gentle with her and in the long time she’s been alone, Victoria has become wilder and in need of more stricter treatment. And although she wants Max, she’s not going to make it easy for him.

Max knows he’s the strongest warlock and he can tame her. But is he going to be able to walk away from her and allow her to be bound to another? Or will he claim her and make outcasts of them both?

Spellbound is an anthology of three short connected paranormal stories one of which has not previously been released. Victoria is a Familiar, a cat who also takes human form. Because she is grieving for Darius and has not been bound to another warlock since his death centuries ago, Victoria has not had anyone to care for her, something that is necessary to a Familiar’s wellbeing and happiness. Max recognises this straight away and he chooses a different method of taming Victoria, cooking her dinner, feeding her, taking care of her and looking after her. There’s scintillating chemistry there as well and he is also looking to dominate her and tame her in that way as well but the more time he spends with her the more a bond begins to open up between them and the more he can read her and sense her loneliness and sadness. And the more he realises that he’s going to find it hard to leave her and hand her over to The High Council for them to choose someone else for her to be bound to.

Sylvia Day would have to be quite honestly, one of the most prolific writers around at the moment. She has a large number of titles that are being published by various publishers in various formats all around the world. In just over a year, I’ve read 8 titles by her some contemporary, some historical and two that are paranormal/science fiction. For me, her strengths are her contemporaries which allow her to devote a lot of time, as she obviously likes to do, to long and languorous sex scenes. When the setting is unfamiliar to the reader, more word count needs to be devoted to building the world and the creatures within it, be they fully human just in a different setting or whether they also possess other abilities, such as in this novel. The three stories within this volume are all quite short and are probably best read all together.

Victoria is a very strong and assertive character – although the reader doesn’t witness it she has already dispatched any number of warlocks who have been sent after her by The High Council in an attempt to collar her and bring her to heel. The gist seems to be that Familiars, like cats left unattended and not looked after, will go wild and feral and Victoria, who has already been on her own for a long time, is more than halfway there. But Victoria had a love match with her previous warlock, a man named Darius who probably didn’t wield quite as firm a hand over Victoria as most would, out of love and respect for her. Darius was killed and Victoria blames The High Council and wants them to pay. Max is a Hunter, an incredibly powerful warlock who is tasked with bringing back rogues to The High Council or if they can’t be captured, exterminating them and therefore, the threat they pose.

Victoria and Max are well matched – Victoria is much stronger than the average Familiar thanks to a parting gift from Darius and she is able to amplify and increase his already significant abilities. She wants to help him and fight by his side, something that Max protests because he wants to care for her and keep her safe. Although I am a bit tired of men telling women they “need” or “want” to submit to them deep down inside, they just don’t realise or want to acknowledge it thankfully this novel didn’t go too far with that particular story line. I was interested when in the final novella, Victoria (under a negative influence) appeared to want to turn the tables. I felt as though that could’ve gone a lot further and been explore more but Day wrapped everything up rather quickly.

These quick stories will suit erotic romance fans who are more interested in the sexual connection between the two main characters and don’t mind a paranormal twist. Those who predominantly look for that paranormal connection probably won’t find a deep enough exploration of characters and their gifts here for them to be fully satisfied.

6/10

Book #303 of 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 responses to “Spellbound – Sylvia Day

  1. Grace says:

    This looks interesting. I’ve never ready any Sylvia Day before and am new to reading erotica in general, but I like books that combine erotica with SF/F. Thanks for the review. 🙂

    • I think if you are new to erotica/erotic romance then Sylvia Day is a good place to start because her stories are quite spicy but also conventional in that there aren’t really fetishes or anything like that. It’s just super hot sex. If you are a fan of the blend with the paranormal then you should enjoy this one, if you’re not after anything too long or detailed.

      • Grace says:

        I never thought I’d enjoy erotica, but I took a class on genre fiction when finishing up library school and ended up doing a lit guide on erotica. I started reading some to get some background, and found stories with a lot more depth and character development than I expected. I completely underestimated it as a genre, and I’m slowly adding more of it to my TBR pile. 🙂

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