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Spellbound (Once Upon #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  7,212 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
Leave it to number-one bestselling author Nora Roberts to spin a tale that blurs the boundaries between reality and fantasy, modern-day mishaps and ancient curses, obsession and undying passion. She’ll have you cheering for love to win the day as a man and woman discover just how deep their bond lies—and how some dreams are meant to be…

While on a much-needed vacation in I
Mass Market Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by Jove (first published January 1st 2005)
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Spellbound by Nora RobertsPossession by A.S. ByattFallen by Lauren KateThe Fallen by Celia ThomsonBlindsight by Robin Cook
Overworked Titles
1st out of 339 books — 21 voters
Aunt Tilda by Deborah McClatcheyThe Enchanted April by Elizabeth von ArnimThe Enchantress Of Florence by Salman RushdieElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
Charmed, I'm sure
45th out of 60 books — 27 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 25, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
I bought this for a few reasons:

1)I was trying to read 100 books in 2006 and this was thin and looked fast.
2)I didn't have to pay for it.
3)I thought it would be a good excuse to dip my toes in the pool of romance books written by Nora.

I have to say it was better than I thought. Having shelved her books on bookstore shelves aproximatly 4 million times in my life - I always wondered at her success. I think she might even have more novels out than Daniel Steel - which is kind of amazing when you t
Apr 07, 2011 Amy rated it did not like it
Shelves: own-it
Spellbound – Nora Roberts – Spellbound follows world-famous photographer Calin Farrell on his much-needed vacation in Ireland. While there, Calin becomes bewitched by the ravishingly beautiful Bryna Torrence, even if he refuses to believe in the spell that has brought them together-and could destroy them both.

I finished the book, all 1447 pages of it and I am unfortunately disappointed. I had high hopes for this book, it has magic, love, adventure and written by the famed Nora Roberts. I don’t
Cindy Christiansen
Sep 16, 2013 Cindy Christiansen rated it liked it
As a reader, I liked this book. It's not really my genre, but I was curious to read a Nora Roberts' book and found it interesting. Her writing style in this book was kinda over the top for me. In comparison, it reminded me of the spoofs they do on old detective shows where it is so obviously over dramatic. That's how this book hit me--over dramatic. But, it was still an enjoyable read.

As an author, it amazed me that a top author like her could break so many writing rules. I stand by the fact tha
June Stevens
Sep 30, 2011 June Stevens rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I never thought I'd "one-star" a Nora Roberts book, but there it is. I didn't even finish this one. Barely got past chapter 1. I had a hard time with all of the sexual metaphors. Though that is something I usually like (I'm no prude), they were so cheesy and I felt like many of them were inappropriate, like the "cat rubbed seductively on his leg" or "stroked the cat to ecstasy". I'm paraphrasing, of course, but those are the basic words. One or two like that are one thing, but he also felt a "st ...more
Andreia Silva
#SeptemberReadingClub - Conto
Feb 22, 2011 Agnes rated it did not like it
I really expected more from Nora Roberts. I did not expect this fantasy world that Cal and Bryna were in. Yes I see the love story within but I personally could not get passed the dreams and powers.
Melissa Coy
May 23, 2011 Melissa Coy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow...this is just bad. Not awesomely bad, just stupidly bad.
Jul 09, 2010 Margaret rated it did not like it
This book was terrible, but at least it is mercifully short.
James Perkins
Oct 16, 2011 James Perkins rated it did not like it
I thought I'd give a writer I hadn't tried before an opportunity to impress me with her story-weaving skills. Unfortunately, I was sadly disappointed. This book is an attempt at a sweeping saga in short form; instead, it comes across as pretentious. Unrealistic, cardboard characters who speak trite, B-movie dialogue coupled with sword-and-sorcery cliches missing almost any dramatic tension snowball into a predictable, dull story: it contains almost everything you shouldn't do to create a quality ...more
Oct 24, 2014 Karen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is just stupid and silly. I feel sorry for the people that pick this book up as their first Nora Roberts book. It would make you not want to read any of her other books. Big disappointment.
Oct 04, 2014 Marian rated it it was amazing
Really loved this book.
Mar 03, 2015 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Calin Farrell has been haunted by his dreams since childhood by a woman that he has never met. As an adult, Calin travels to Ireland and to the Castle of Secrets where he meets Bryna, a witch, and the woman that has haunted his dreams. Calin soon learns that he and Bryna were once lovers in a life past and they must race against time to stop their archenemy from destroying the world. There are only ten chapters in this book and people should expect a fast paced storyline.

If you've never read a N
Virgínia Mareco
Sep 18, 2015 Virgínia Mareco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um conto celta, com bonitas imagens de Irlanda.

O que caracteriza o poder literário de Nora Roberts é a conjugação de histórias maravilhosas, cheias de imaginação, com a sua cultura geral bem explícita nas descrições minuciosas de culturas, História, natureza e sentimentos. Foi um conto curto, lido sem esforço. Mas não é dos mais belos da autora. O título original é «Spellbound».

A Celtic tale, with beautiful images of Ireland.

What characterizes the literary power of Nora Roberts is a combination
Elaine Dowling
Apr 04, 2010 Elaine Dowling rated it liked it
A novella that should have been a novel. Interesting legend, I would have liked to have read the whole story.
Aug 17, 2014 Hazel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction
This is more of a short story than anything. It was okay. But because of the length everything happens at an accelerated pace. Which doesn't always do much for the believability of a story. I didn't totally buy the story because of that. A thousand year old spell, reincarnation, a witch, a warrior? Hmmmmm ok. I suppose you could fall in love in one day. But want to risk your life for someone after a day? That's pretty hard to believe even if you were their reincarnated soul mate. I believe in ro ...more
Sara Gonçalves
Enfeitiçado? Mas quem é que foi enfeitiçado aqui? Nem a feiticeira nem o seu guerreiro no tempo presente ou há mil anos atrás foram enfeitiçados! Realmente traduzir Spellbound por Enfeitiçado é algo curioso... até porque há realmente uma ligação criada por magia mas ninguém é enfeitiçado. Aliás, a premissa da história é que o guerreiro no agora terá que acreditar na magia e na feiticeira com quem tem uma ligação mágica - mas sem o recurso a feitiços ou manipulações! Enfim, enfim... Desta série d ...more
Carla Simoes
May 25, 2016 Carla Simoes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-portuguese, 2014
tendo em conta que isto é um conto e nao um livro normal dou sem duvida 4 estrelas a enfeitiçado.

uma das coisas que mais me irrita nos romances habituais é o facto dos personagens cairem de amores um pelo outro logo depois de se terem conhecido, eu atraçao é claro que percebo que aconteça mas amor eterno logo depois? nao consigo perceber, ja cheguei a conclusao que sou ceptica em relaçao ao amor a primeira vista. mas este livro conseguiu contornar esse promenor na perfeiçao, com toda aquela his
Gina Hott
Nov 10, 2010 Gina Hott rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
Colin has spent his life thinking he was crazy. Throughout his childhood he had a friend no one else could see.
He had dreams of people and places he couldn't have possibly known. It was so very real to him that his parents sent him to doctors and psychiatrists trying to determine why he was 'different'. He started to feel like he wasn't normal - until he stopped knowing these things while he was awake and stopped telling anyone about the dreams.

Then, one day during a conversation with his parent
Apr 25, 2013 Christine rated it it was ok
I plucked this one out of the depths of my to-be-read shelf while looking for a different book and decided to give it a go since it was so short. The premise of the story is promising--two people whose lives and love for each other have been tied together for a thousand years. Bryna Torrence has always been fully aware of their destined connection while Calin Farrell has practically no idea other than the dreams that have haunted him his whole life. They're finally brought together and Bryna has ...more
Natalie Schmidt
Jun 15, 2015 Natalie Schmidt rated it it was ok
This was a quick (1 hour) read which I wanted for my train ride. However, it has to be one of NR's worst books. I agree with a former comment, the phrasing was awkward in some places. He has 24 hours to fall in love? So the "witch" sleeps with him? Great example for young girls. This book maybe had potential if they had drawn it out, but I'm thankful it was short.
Sep 19, 2010 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been meaning to try one of Nora Roberts' books, and this is the first I've read. Honestly, I was surprised at the amount of fantasy that was in the book; I was under the impression that she did only historical and contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense under another name, and I did not expect a story about a witch and reincarnation.

The writing was good, however, and at times lyrical and poetic, but that's kind of what I would expect from a story that is more fairy tale than roma
Aug 18, 2015 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Calin Farrell thinks he is having some sort of breakdown, when in fact he is being called to Ireland by the witch Bryna. There destiny has been tied together for on thousand years and countless lifetimes. They must learn to accept their fate and their love to break the spell. This was really a three and a half star, but it was so short it felt rushed.
Oct 25, 2014 Joanne rated it it was ok
Book was alright but too close to her previous book. In this book Cal has dreams as a child and as an adult decides to go to Ireland where he meets up with Bryna (who was in his dreams). Long story short, Bryna's a witch and it was destined 100 years ago that he should meet at this time and help her fight evil.
Caroline Parker
Sep 06, 2014 Caroline Parker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the best Nora Roberts, but...

It's not the best with this theme that I've read of Nora Roberts, but did manage to read it in a couple of hours. I found other books going more indepth, this one seemed too rushed i.e. not long enough. Perhaps I was craving more? A great afternoon read.
Grisel Aponte-Austin
Good book

I liked this book because it was different, mystical,romantic,and magical. The characters were alluring to each other. Calin was a true gentleman and in the end chose to stay with the woman he had grown up with in his dreams and loved without even knowing he really did love her.
Oct 28, 2010 Manjula rated it really liked it
Hmmmmm, this book is a a fairy tale for adults. Captivating writing the same old story but in a new set up. Trying to merge reality with fantasy. Witch, wizard and the brave man or warrior. Nora Roberts writing draws you deep into the story. Its complete, Bryna the wise, the witch who is spell bound for hundred years times ten waits for her warrior Calean Farell in the modern time to save her from the Alasdair the wizard.
The castle of secrets in Ireland, the cottage near the castle where Bryna l
Oct 12, 2010 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance

TITLE: Spellbound (previously published as a SS in Once Upon A Castle)
DATE READ: 10/05/10
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Romance/1998 in SS anthology & 2005 as stand alone novella/Jove/81 pgs
TIME/PLACE: 1990's NY & Ireland
CHARACTERS: Calin Farrell/photographer, Bryna Torrence
FIRST LINES: Calin Farrell, you need a vacation.
COMMENTS: A little magic/paranormal romance. Calin had recurring dreams as a young boy of a warrior be
Feb 17, 2016 Shinyfox rated it liked it
I liked this book, but I didn't love it. I expected a lot more from this novella because I love Nora Roberts and her writing as J.D. Robb. This one, however, just fell flat. It was an enjoyable and quick read but it wasn't up to par with what I'm used to. A cute idea with interesting characters.
Julian Coleman
Mar 02, 2016 Julian Coleman rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book. I tried. It's been on my bookshelf for a long time. I would read a few pages and then put it down. It wasn't boring. I just couldn't disappear in the plot.

I didn't get a good grasp on the timeless love shared between Calin Farrell and Bryna Torrence. I love Nora Roberts and admire her style of prose. There were a few spots where the sentences resonated and showed why she is an exceptional writer.

However, the scenarios she created in this novel just didn't suspend dis
Jennifer Brown
Oct 29, 2012 Jennifer Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: rwd-bookclub
I read Spellbound for book club. Although I knew it was a short story before I read it I was still disappointed that it was only a short story. I felt like it was a first draft from an author testing out her storyline. I think it would have made a good book. Most in our group scored it 2, but I gave it a 3 because I thought it was good and I would have liked to have seen it more developed.

I also thought it was funny that I had to take a break from reading First Grave on the Right, which was a pa
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Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland. She began writing when a blizzard in February 1979 kept her in her hilltop home with a three and six year old for nearly a week of canceled kindergarten and dwindling chocolate supplies.

During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write a story for her own entertainment. From the first page, she knew it was wha
More about Nora Roberts...

Other Books in the Series

Once Upon (6 books)
  • Once Upon a Castle (Once Upon, #1)
  • Once Upon A Star (Once Upon, #2)
  • Once Upon a Dream (Once Upon, #3)
  • Once Upon a Rose (Once Upon, #4)
  • Once Upon a Kiss (Once Upon, #5)
  • Once Upon a Midnight (Once Upon, #6)

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