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Spellbound Falls by Janet Chapman
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Apr 11, 2012

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When I got the list of books for review from Holly a while back I was pretty excited about this one. It sounded like a fun contemporary romance and I’ve jonesing for contemporaries lately. I didn’t do a whole lot of research to see if this book was in a series or not and I definitely should have. If I had only seen the covers of the first 3 books in this series I would have known that this was a paranormal rather than a contemporary romance. That being said there isn’t a ton of the paranormal in this book but enough to make me scrunch up my face and say, “huh?” About halfway through the book I went to the author’s website and had an “aha” moment when I discovered that this was 4th in a series.

Olivia is a widow who lives with her 8 year old daughter, Sophie, at a camp that is run by her mother-in-law and father-in-law. She didn’t have a great marriage but everyone in town thinks that she’s still mourning her husband’s death because she keeps to herself. She does have some good friends though and with them she’s open and honest. Olivia is working to get the camp ready for the next session but has early guests in the form of Mac Oceanus and his six year old son Henry.

The camp is set up to help kids and parents learn how to communicate and be a family unit and since Mac found out just months before that he even had a son this seems like the perfect place for them. From the beginning Henry and Mac seem to be doing well and Mac volunteers to help Olivia with her work. This provides them a little bit of time getting to know each other and the two know that they will start a relationship but Mac is waiting for Olivia to ask for it as he wants her fully in the moment and not having any doubts.

Olivia is enthralled with Mac’s body but she really likes the man as well – there are just really strange things that happen when he’s around and she can’t figure out why. Eventually some things are revealed but when that happens Olivia isn’t shocked – but she is accepting.

The story is really about Olivia coming into her own as a person and not hiding in the shadows from herself and others – with the help of Mac and a few others. She was an orphan - or so she thought from the time she was 5 and had gotten sucked into her dead husband’s family only to be abandoned by him when he went off to serve in the military. But he was a cheater and their marriage was over long before he died. In the book we see Olivia finally coming to life and making a family of her own – with a little help from real relatives.

Mac and Henry were odd ducks to me. Henry was 6 but spoke like he was about 15. I had a hard time believing his age even when it was mentioned multiple times. There was mention of Henry being born in another century and that Mac and Henry were “settling” in this century but that was never explained.

It turns out that Mac is the son of the man who created Atlantis but we’re only told that Mac is a theurgist (wizard) and not exactly what and who he is. At one time he turns into a “beast” (not an evil one) but the beast is never described nor are we told if that’s his true form or how often he turns into it – no details. He has power but supposedly it was taken away – what kind of power was it in the first place? IDK. I frankly knew very little about Mac even at the end of the book. I’m not sure if he was in previous books and who and what he was was explained in those books and therefore the author felt that no further explanation was necessary? Again, IDK.

The romance in this story is really what saved the book for me. Mac and Olivia were great together and the author had them playing off of each other so well. I loved seeing Mac supporting Olivia and helping to be the strong woman he knew she could be – not that she was simpering to start but the strength just had to be brought to the surface. The romance and the sense of family in this book was the best part, imho.

If you plan on reading Spellbound Falls I would definitely recommend reading books 1-3 first. I’m hoping that would shed some light on book 4 and you wouldn’t be quite as lost as I was.

This review was originally posted on Book Binge by Tracy.
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