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(Magic in Manhattan #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,552 ratings  ·  394 reviews
To save Manhattan, they’ll have to save each other first…


New York

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 psyc
ebook, 275 pages
Published July 29th 2019 by Carina Press
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,552 ratings  ·  394 reviews

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K.J. Charles
A very enjoyable debut with magic in the time of Prohibition and a fun saving-the-world plot. Particularly well drawn and diverse supporting cast that gives a great sense of a larger society and the magical world.

The romance is very sweet, with lots of pining and the only real conflict being the power imbalance (Arthur is older, larger, socially superior, rich, and sexually experienced; Rory is short, scrappy and insecure but has magic). Arthur bends over backwards throughout to avoid exploitin
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is exceptionally good.

It hit pretty much every note I'd expect in a historical paranormal mystery romance, from a great sense of the time period, to a unique interpretation of magic abilities, to a decent set of villains and some sweet relationship development.

My only criticism, and it comes down to personal taste only, is that I really dislike fade to black or sex scenes referenced as happening off page.

It takes away an aspect of relationship development - that of the trust whic
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was hooked after reading the sample, eagerly pressing 'buy' and turning the page. But for me this book proved a huge disappointment. I entered expecting a colourful 1920's world, magical highjinx with romance along the way. The reality is teenage angst and overabundance of manners with very little to determine period or any plot.

The only nod to the era is a visit to a speakeasy, the wearing of cloche hats and occasionally calling women 'doll' this is so random as to be distracting; the first t
Magic, mystery and love in the roaring 20’s!!

The first half of this magically thrilling mystery was sublime. The second half read more like YA.

Maybe it was me, maybe it was the book. Regardless, the pacing slowed up and allowed me to see holes in the story so well laid out in the beginning.

Ok, what I liked:
The setting: 1925! Roaringly awesome 👏
Closeted paranormals
Relics of deep magic
A mortal leading a group of paranormals to save NYC
The tension between our MCs
The status and experience differe
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing novel! A proper review will follow once I’m back online more regularly (I’m currently travelling a bit).

*** Update on Sunday 8th September 2019 ***

I truly enjoyed this first instalment in Allie Therin's Magic in Manhattan series. The novel brings together lovely characters, a great plotline and a wonderful sense of location.

I'm really intrigued by New York in the Roaring 1920s and combining the noises and sights of the lively metropolis with the threat posed by timeless, magical relics
Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)
4 Stars

*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*

Gah, these characters and their romance were so CUTE! They made me smile so much. Can that just be my whole review? It's a really great summary of my thoughts.

Seriously though, I loved this. Rory was so naive in some ways but tough in others, and he was so feisty. He wasn't about to let Arthur walk all over him or Mrs. Brodigan. And Arthur was a lonely hottie with a big heart. He just wanted to help
3.5 stars

I think this is the first time I read a romance set in the US during the Prohibition period and it was a nice change, mixed with the magic system, it made for an interesting and refreshing setting.
I also appreciated the subtle and not so subtle references to how things were for immigrants in America at the beginning of the previous century.
Spellbound put down the basis for the rest of the series, introducing the two MCs, Rory and Arthur, an interesting worldbuilding and a solid cast o
Evie Drae
Have mercy. It’s official, y’all. I have found my new favorite book. Hands down best read of the year. I can’t say enough how much I absolutely loved and adored Spellbound by Allie Therin. In fact, if I sat here and spewed all the fan-girling nonsense my fingers keep trying to type, y’all wouldn’t keep reading. Which would be a disservice to you, me, and this phenomenal book.

So, what was it exactly that had me swooning from page one? I can’t honestly nail it down to one single thing. It was kind
Second read: 3,5 ★

Review: Spellbound by Allie Therin // Or, Never a Better Time to Overprotect Your Paranormal than Now

★★★★,5 | Don’t refuse to help me save Manhattan… You’re so sexy… Aha

“Nonsense is exactly what comes outta my mouth half the time and I don’t need anyone else to hear it”


🔮 M/M Romance; Gay & Bi MCs
🔮 Side Interracial F/M Romance
🔮 Magic in New York, 1925
🔮 Paranormal Investigation
🔮 A Bunch of Misfits forming a little Paranormal Family
🔮 Lots of Banter & Humour

Helen Kord
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Edit: My full review is now up on my blog!

Full review to come closer to publication date but this was magnificent. A very strong debut, with tightly plotted story, two wonderfully grumpy characters falling in love with so much great romantic tension, wonderfully diverse cast that doesn't whitewash history (its set in 1925 new york and you can tell), some great handling of biracial characters and what it means for them in a bigoted society. The magic system was really great too!! I had some minor
Lisa The Novel Approach
Sometimes a book comes along that leaves me digging for all the possible superlatives to describe how exquisite it is, and frankly, I’m at a loss here. My vocabulary is inadequate to the task of articulating how gorgeous this book is. There is no single word I can think of to describe its brilliance, though the title comes close to encompassing it. I am spellbound.

Author Allie Therin introduces a world of magic within the mundane in Spellbound, book one in the Magic in Manhattan series, in a 192
Great beginning to the series.

As you may have realised I love PNR/Urban Fantasy and historical romance so a mixture of all three made my day! I gobbled this one in one sitting.

I loved Ace and sloooowly warmed up to Rory. I eventually understood his need for an armour but prickly/surly/rude people are so not my type of people(even in real life) so I really struggled with Rory.

I don't know if it was his age or something else that was to blame but bless Ace and his overly large heart because I wou
Roberta Blablanski
I got lost in this book. Lost, I tell ya! This story of magic set in 1920s NYC during Prohibition hooked me from the very first sentence, and I had trouble putting it down. The setting is written so perfectly that I felt as though I was running the city streets with Rory, sneaking into a hidden club to have a drink with Arthur, and freezing my butt off at Coney Island. The world-building is phenomenal, the character development is  amazing, and the magic is...well, magical. The book ends on a cl ...more
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
2.5 stars

As a debut novel, this shows a lot of potential, but the execution often left me wanting. It took me nearly a third of the book to get into it, and if this weren't a buddy read, I might have been tempted to DNF. The middle part was better, but the last part lost me again. It wasn't bad by any means, but it could've been so much more than it was.

1920s New York City offers such a rich and vibrant canvas to create a story on. It's the Roaring 20s, the Jazz Age, Prohibition. Sadly, the auth
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a good read but I am in a paranormal phase right now and it has stiff competition in my head right now. I am definitely going to keep reading the series though.

I wish I were a bigger fan of Erik Bloomquist but he tends to overenunciate and it sounds unnatural like it's being read as opposed to being narrated, if that makes any sense.
4.25 stars

Oooh, what an exciting read!! First of all, I don't care if the description says that Rory is a scrawny blond with brown eyes while Arthur is tall, built, with coal-black hair and sky-blue eyes -- but this book has MAGIC, and the name Arthur (and later, Gwen)... and I am TOTALLY imagining this book as a Merlin/Arthur story in Manhattan *laugh*. It makes the book a different way kind of entertaining...

Outside that, I found this to be engaging -- I love to read about magic, and it was fu
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very enjoyable historical fantasy romance. (1920's New York, but with...magic!) I dug the author's vision of prohibition New York with magic and relics running around. The characters were interesting, the developing romance was cute (and if you like big jock-y guys being all caretaking, you'll probably like Arthur.) My only down-point was that both MCs dwelled in "Oh-no-I can't-we can't...for REASONS" on why they shouldn't fall into their attraction to each other, and that felt at tim ...more
Okay, so, let me say: I think the best indicator for whether you’ll like this book is if you like pre-serum Steve/Tony. I’m not saying any serial numbers were filed off in the creation of this book, but it does feel like the author was steeped in that part of the MCU fandom when she wrote this.

This is a fun, light book that shows a ton of potential — it definitely reads like a first novel, but a good first novel, you know? The emotional arc is a little uneven. There’s a chunk missing in the mid
4.25 stars

Heck of a debut novel! A bit of a start/stop at first, but the book finally found a rhythm (or was it me who finally found a rhythm?) and I quite enjoyed this historical urban fantasy. Enjoyable characters, good world building, excellent editing, and a unique view of paranormal people and the magic in their world. Looking forward to the next one.
Author Allie Therin introduces us to the New York City of 1925 - a world of jazz, Prohibition, crime, corruption, speakeasys, skyscrapers ... and paranormal magic. Arthur Kenzie - Congressman Kenzie's son, former soldier, Harvard quarterback - has surrounded himself with paranormals, like Jade with her telekinetic powers and Zhang who is an astral walker. Then Arthur comes across Rory Brodigan, who has the power of psychometry:
"Think of magic as radio waves. Most paranormal powers make magic -
This was entertaining. It's a new to me author with a promising start to a series. I was liking it a lot up until the two main characters got together. I don't know what was what it happened but I lost interest at that point, I recovered a bit at the end, because I love Mrs. B and Jade, but it wasn't quite the same anymore. (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reread 5/20/20 in preparation for book 2--still just as good!

I challenged myself not to buy any new books for the rest of the year, and only read books from the library or off my shelves. And overall I’ve done really well with that! However…you know where this is going…when I read the blurb for Spellbound, I just had to have it. (And honestly, I don’t feel bad about buying books by POC and/or queer authors because I believe in supporting their art!) So I may have hinted strongly to my husband on
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This took me a long time to get through and felt much longer than 243 pages. There wasn’t a whole lotta story until the action near the end. Most of the book concerns Rory and Arthur circling each other with lots of self-imposed and situational obstacles to keep them apart. When they do get together it’s all G-rated fade to black and the tiresome doubts and insecurities continue.

These two men - one a former soldier - come off as teenagers in love. There’s blushing and even an actual foot scuffin
Freya Marske
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A charming, fast-paced adventure romance with some very promising worldbuilding around magic-users in Prohibition-Era New York City. Reminded me of KJ Charles's Magpie Lord books in all the best ways. ...more
This was a solid first novel, and a good start to this fantasy/romance series.

This is paranormal/fantasy romance set in 1925, where some people have paranormal powers but most don't, and magic is a well kept secret. Our main characters are Rory Brodigan, a scryer, who can see the history of any object, and Arthur Kenzie, a politician's son who fought in WWI, and who uses his wealth to employ paranormals to keep the world safe. Rory is caught up in their net when a dangerous magical object is ma
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The synopsis for Allie Therin’s début novel Spellbound caught my attention immediately. Supernatural relics, powerful psychics, romance, magic and an unusual setting -1920s Manhattan – it all looked like a recipe for a great read, and for the most part, it was. The story pulled me in right away, I was impressed by the worldbuilding, the plot is intriguing, I liked the characters, and the setting is vividly described; pretty much everything about the book works, although I had a few issues with t ...more
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

Really enjoyed this one! I liked all of the main characters basically from the moment they appeared on the page and I think that Arthur and Rory had great chemistry. The magic system was very interesting [although I'm hoping it's expanded on a bit more in the next book] and there was a really good balance between the romance plotline and the magic plotline. A really good book in general and even more impressive since it appears to be the author's
This was a slow starter for me, but I'm glad I stuck through it, because I wound up liking it a lot. I'm not convinced I actually understand the magic system, but that's probably okay, I've read through things like that in the past. I thought the characters were well drawn, and though that kind of relationship is not my favorite, I would have had to have been a monster to not like Ace and Rory, and I don't think I quite qualify as that. ...more
3.5 rounded up. The book itself is well done and I suspect that I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't so generally grouchy at the moment. Also, I really hate the "I'm not good/good enough for you" trope, so that didn't help. I'm still looking forward to the next installment when that particular theme will hopefully be laid to rest. ...more
Per author "Spellbound is a Kindle Daily Deal & price-matched at all retailers!
$1.99--TODAY (12/15/19) only!"

💜Queer romance
🗽1925 New York

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The Backlot Gay B...: Spellbound (Magic in Manhattan 1), by Allie Therin 1 10 Dec 19, 2019 10:54AM  

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Allie Therin is a writer and avid reader of sci-fi, fantasy, and romance. She also is, or has been, a bookseller, an attorney, a Parks & Rec assistant, a boom operator, and a barista for one (embarrassing) day. She grew up in a tiny Pacific Northwest town with more bears than people, although the bears sadly would not practice Spanish with her.

When not researching odd questions for her 1920s roman

Other books in the series

Magic in Manhattan (3 books)
  • Starcrossed (Magic in Manhattan, #2)
  • Wonderstruck (Magic in Manhattan #3)

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