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Harlow

Magic-less and descended from the Sinclair coven, I’m nothing but the cure to vampirism. Vampires have hunted my family for centuries and I’m no exception. My dark captor claims to not want my blood…for himself. He’s the devil incarnate, but I can’t bring myself to completely despise him. Not when he tempts me so.

Alec

I vowed to wipe out the entire Sinclair coven after one of theirs took what mattered most to me. She’s all that’s left. Driven by centuries of hate and a long-standing vow, I strike the deal: sell her blood in exchange for her life. It should be simple, until fate intervenes. But then, fate no longer matters...not when my growing feelings toward her outweigh my vow.

Cure Bound is the first book in The Witches’ Bind Trilogy. Cure Bound reads as a standalone, but the trilogy should be read in order due to the overarching series plot. Cure Bound is a dark vampire romance with content some readers may find triggering. Trigger warnings include dubious consent, explicit sexual content, kidnapping, physical violence, swearing, almost-rape, and death.

293 pages, ebook

Published May 20, 2021

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About the author

M.L. Philpitt

13 books187 followers
USA Today Bestselling author M.L. Philpitt writes both dark romance and paranormal romance. When she’s not writing made-up realities, she’s reading them. She lives in Canada with her four pets and survives life with coffee and an obsession with fictional characters, especially the morally grey kind. By day, she masks as a therapist, and is still waiting for her Hogwarts letter so she can be sorted into her Ravenclaw house.

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5 stars
54 (33%)
4 stars
55 (33%)
3 stars
32 (19%)
2 stars
13 (8%)
1 star
8 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 52 reviews
Profile Image for Di Maitland.
258 reviews73 followers
May 9, 2021
Unfortunately this book's cover is the only thing going for it. Even within the erotic fantasy romance genre, it's not great.

The characters are stereotypical and exaggerated. Alec manages drug cartels, motorcycle clubs and mafia families because that's what bad guys do. Harlow has serious Stockholm Syndrome and seems to forgive him almost immediately for everything he does. This includes non-consensual second base and selling her for sex (though he stops this at the last second so of course he didn't really mean it). Excluding Mary, the goddess' daughter, every other female in the story was either a sex toy or a hostage servant.

Plot and characters aside, the ARC I received had a large number of typos, incorrect words and even some factually incorrect information.

I really try to support authors in their work but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
Profile Image for Emily Morgan.
14 reviews
May 9, 2021
Cure Bound is a sweet symphony of intrigue and lust!

Harlow is a witch destined for more than she ever thought possible, and she handles her fate with grace. As the last living witches of the Sinclair bloodline and her blood is the cure. Her life was great living with her grandma and going to college, that is, until she's taken by Alec Dormer, a sexy, brooding vampire hellbent on fulfilling his vengeance.

I could not put this book down! Harlow isn't your typical heroine. She has a classic sense of power about her that shows in the way she presents herself at every turn of events. She doesn't fight through the growing list of vampires who want her blood. Instead, she accepts her fate knowing there's only one way out. Alec.

Holy freaking vampire babies! Alec is something else entirely! Sure, he's a thousand year old vampire seeking revenge on every member of the Sinclair coven because of his long lost love's murder, but there's more to him than meets the eye...or fangs. Though he refuses to accept that the Goddess has a different plan for him, fate has other plans. The more he fights the pull, the deeper he finds himself caring for Harlow- the one person he was supposed to hate.

Cure Bound made me feel like I was in the story. Feeling Alec's constant struggle between love and hate. Harlow's undying passion for freedom and following her heart. I felt every piece of pain, sadness, fear, and love.

Harlow and Alec are beautifully crafted characters who pull you into their world and never let you go. When their worlds collide, it's an explosion of tension and heat you don't want to miss! I can't wait for book #2!
Profile Image for Paula lily.
189 reviews11 followers
November 4, 2021
Thanks #Netgalley for the eArc of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Once again I'm lost for words, it happens quite often when I enjoy something, there are dozens of things I want to say but don't know where to start.

I love enemies to lovers, seeing how the hate turns to fierce love. I'm always here for this. Ah, and there was additionally smut, which was adequate along the way. Also them being mates was cherry on top. From the start to finish I just couldn't stop, I needed to know what happened next.

And I want to add that I'm not big on witches, and honestly I was drawn to this book because of vampires but I enjoyed it a lot.

*chef's kiss* it was that good. I recommend everyone who wants a good enemies to lovers with not overwhelming amount of smut.

And my special thanks to the author for writing this book and making it available as an eArc.
Profile Image for Minnie.
276 reviews16 followers
May 18, 2021
ARC Review

My first paranormal romance book and I loved it.

Alec plans a revenge on witches after one of them killed his beloved. He kidnaps Harlow who has had a normal, human life but knowing she is a witch but unaware exactly of her powers. And the moment Alec takes Harlow, he starts to feel something towards her but he doesn’t know what it is. And from that moment on starts their journey.

I loved the book so much. Harlow was a great character, strong and confident woman who didn’t give up. Alec was a typical cold vampire but throughout the storyline he has showed he’s much more. I loved Harlow and Alec’s story, it had angst and enemies to lovers storyline which are my favourite.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sahar Rajani.
4 reviews1 follower
May 10, 2021
This was my first adult romance book, and the reason I've never read any up till now is that I had read enough Wattpad books till this point to know what a 'smutty' book was. I was naive and immature. I genuinely enjoy this book. It's like an explicit, well-written, Twilight meets Vampire Diaries, with the characters, aspects of the plot, even certain scenes that seem inspired by those from these books/movies/tv shows. Additionally, after having solely read YA for so many years, refusing to stray from my comfort genre, I was accustomed to a particular style of writing, and being exposed to something more sophisticated helped change my perspective on Adult romance!

We are introduced to Alec, a vampire whose girlfriend was killed by a Sinclair witch, which resulted in him seeking revenge by killing her coven and any of her and her coven's descendants. This leads to Harlow centuries later, a Sinclair which and the cure to vampirism. Thus she is kidnapped by this vengeful, brooding, sexy vampire.

A reminder this is a romance;)

TW: sexual assault, almost rape, kidnapping, toxic relationships.

It could be that I have no other adult romance to compare it to, but this book became 4.5 stars for me. The characters have undisputable flaws; however, they also have an equal amount of good qualities that make me more interested in the story. I got so invested in it both the main characters' relationship because of this. The enemies to lovers concept drew me in like no other because they weren't just two characters that disliked each other, they were enemies by nature: a vampire and a witch. Seeing them interact with each other, and come to terms themselves made me want to understand them more, and the only way to do so was to keep reading.

There are a few factors that resulted in it not being five stars. My first put off is that the description within the novel is subpar. It's difficult to thoroughly visualize the setting and characters as the author doesn't put too much time or effort into it. I only got an understanding of how Alec and Harlow looked after the halfway point, and even then all I know is that Harlow is slime with red hair and Alec is Edward (TwilightTwilight) and Damon's (The Vampire Diaries) love child. Even the setting; I know it mainly takes place in a castle on an island, and I know how certain parts of it look, however, a proper image was not provided. This and a little dragging is the reason I concluded on four stars.

I highly recommend this book to those shifting from YA to adult. It is simple yet well written, the character and their relationship with one another are adorable, the plot is interesting and wonderfully steamy. It comes out May 20th!
Profile Image for C Exley Books (Cassandra).
712 reviews62 followers
May 19, 2021
Cure Bound by M.L. Philpitt is a paranormal romance and is the first book in the Witches Bind trilogy with this book being about witches and vampires.

Triggers: sexual assault, almost rape, kidnapping, toxic relationships.

Debut? Really no way. This was an awesome story by a new author I can't wait to read more from her. This is the story of Harlow and Alec. I could not put this book down!

Harlow isn't your typical heroine. She is a witch destined for more than she ever thought possible. The last living witch of the Sinclair bloodline and her blood is the cure. She has a classic sense of power about her that shows in the way she presents herself at every turn of events.

Alec is a thousand year old vampire seeking revenge on every member of the Sinclair coven because of his long lost love's murder. The more he fights the pull, the deeper he finds himself caring for Harlow, the one person he was supposed to hate. Alec was a typical cold vampire but throughout the storyline he has showed he’s much more.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Paranormal Romance, enemies to lovers or anything Vampire or Witch. I can't wait to read the next book.

I received an advance copy of this book. I am voluntarily giving my honest review, and I plan to buy this book when it becomes available.
Profile Image for Rachel.
362 reviews13 followers
May 19, 2021
Do I keep her? She isn't mine to keep.

TW for rape and trafficking.

I love when the worlds of vampires and witches collide. I love it even more when they are meant to hate each other but there is just this *something* that continues to draw them together. Alec's character grew on me throughout the book-to be honest, when I started reading it, I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through because he was so frustrating. Harlow...she was a little bland for my taste. I really could never get a sense of what she wanted out of the arrangement. Safety, sure...but it was almost as if she wanted Alec to immediately give in to her.

The spice scenes were *chef's kiss* perfect and there was enough that I wanted more, but wasn't so much that it felt that it was the entire plot.
Profile Image for Eli.
311 reviews3 followers
May 11, 2021
Trigger Warning: sexual assault, almost rape, kidnapping, toxic relationships, and blood.

The unraveled story between witches and vampires in this book had me interested from the start. Harlow and Alex made this enjoyable on different levels and I don't want to give any spoilers because I want people to want to pick this up and discover the reasons why on their own.

Harlow and Alex are two characters that pull on each other's emotions, trying to pull the other into their world and heart. I loved the dynamic between the two and seeing their hate grow to something beautiful was something I enjoyed while reading 'Cure Bound'. This enemy-to-lovers story shows you that the deepest feeling of hate can transform into love and passion without even realizing it.

Although the smexy level of this book was below the spectrum of what I'm used to, I was easily entrapped by the characters and the development between them. I enjoyed the journey of Alec seeking revenge after his girlfriend was murdered by a witch, only to discover Harlow - the cure to vampirism. To find his revenge, he kidnaps Harlow and the story unravels.

Thank you #NetGalley for this eARC and a special shout out to the author for giving us this story between witches and vampires. It reminded me at times of Vampire Diaries which is my favorite pastime of mine, so being able to step back into my fang bang years was a plus!
Profile Image for Marisa.
595 reviews30 followers
May 16, 2021
This book reminded me a darker beauty and the beast retelling. I think the author put an interesting twist on these two supernatural types and the epilogue hinted at the next book and supernaturals involved. I’m interested to see how the author puts their stories together.

The beginning of the book lays the foundation for the rest of the book by starting in the past and introducing some of the key characters, events and potential futures. I think this was a great way to introduce the MMC because it makes it easier to understand his actions, emotions and reasons.

The dynamic between the main characters evolves over the course of the book fairly quickly. I think you just need to keep in mind that supernatural magic/relationships always has them move faster than a regular relationship would in general and especially under some of these circumstances.

Overall, this was a good first book in the series and for the author as well. Looking forward to the rest of her work.
Profile Image for Madeleine.
3,060 reviews10 followers
May 15, 2021
This is my first book by this author and I have one word. Phenomenal. I love PNR!! So this book was a no brainer when it came to wanting to read it. I loved the two main characters and the struggles that they go through. Harlow who’s a Sinclair witch and Alec who is a vampire are mortal enemies. But fate is a funny thing. What will happen to these two? Can’t wait for the next book.
Profile Image for Nicola.
71 reviews95 followers
May 17, 2021
I loved this book and am so excited that it is only the first in a series, and can't wait for the tale of the next couple! This book is a sexy, hot and dark paranormal romance. I was caught up from the prologue and couldn't wait to read more and was turning the pages as fast as I could read every moment I had some spare time. This book has some very dark scenes and the warnings should be read and taken seriously, if your ok with all that then you must read this book for a sexy hot and page turning ride.

I love vampires and I love witches and I love a dark romance so I knew this book was going to give me everything I crave and love and I was not disappointed. Yes Alec has some predictable bad boy/vampire traits but I wouldn't expect anything else with his character. He is hot, dangerous, sexy and wicked. I like Harlow as a heroine though I do think she accepts some if the stuff Alec did to her ( not giving spoilers here so being evasive) a little to easily it didn't take away from the story for me and an easy 4.5 stars. Super excited for the next story as i LOVE shifters even more!!
Profile Image for Christina ( The MasqueReader ).
535 reviews59 followers
November 9, 2021
DEVIOUS! DELECTABLE!! DEADLY!!!

Oh man! ALEC ALEC ALEC!!! Oh how I wanted to throttle you at some points but you proved to be absolutely delicious in the grand scheme of things! How lucky for you that you had Miss Sinclair to handle things! I adore...and I mean 100% FREAKING ADORE a strong and feisty heroine! Harlow is all that and so much more!

I had no expectations going into this book except that I didn't get to read it in October during my spooky reads month and I'm still craving more dark & delicious in my world. Cure Bound has just fed that craving and instilled a deeper need! So I'll be rolling straight into Moon Bound, book 2 of The Witches' Bind Trilogy! It is a trilogy and each book can be read as a standalone HOWEVER if you plan to read all three I highly suggest reading them in order so you can understand the underlying plot best!
Profile Image for Basic.
231 reviews3 followers
May 16, 2021
Cure Bound by M.L. Philpitt is a paranormal romance, first book in the Witches Bind trilogy, this book being between witches and vampires.

Alec is a long living and very powerful vampire, who through an unfortunate series of events, has been hunting down and extinguishing the Sinclair line of witches.
Harlow is a seemingly ordinary girl, with the blood for a vampire cure, who has been prepared for a vampire attack for as long as she can remember, and yet is no match for Alec.

This story was good, a neat take on witches, and a brief look at their history as well.
There's drama, hate, steam and a little good old fashion violence.
Profile Image for Evelyn Jane Thorne.
693 reviews10 followers
May 20, 2021
Vampires vs witches but add in a strong dose of fate, a vampire who craves revenge on the bloodline that took everything from him, a witch who is being held captive by said vampire in order to sell her blood to other vampires because plot twist her blood is the cure for vampirism and what do you get? A twisted, intense and messed up paranormal romance that I was totally here for.

I love Alec and Harlow because I found them to be completely different from each other. Alec was intense, vindictive, heartless and had a craving for revenge. While I found Harlow to be a bit naïve, kindhearted and incredibly fierce (as the story progressed). I was definitely rooting for them even though their whole situation was extremely messed up.

I’m so excited to see whose story is next in Moon Bound.

I recieved an advanced copy for free, and this is my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Heather❀Kiss The Pages❀.
703 reviews268 followers
May 21, 2021
This was a fabulous dark and sexy enemies to lovers romance bewteen a vampire and a witch.

For centuries our vampire hero Alec has sworn to bring down the entire Sinclair witch clan. When he meets a Sinclair witch Harlow, he's not happy about his attraction and fights it with everything he has. There was amazing chemistry with a HATE- TO- LOVE you vibe that brought on all the sexual tension!

Alec is the dangerous but sexy anti-hero you can't help but be drawn to. He is not the good guy but of course I ended up loving him! In the first half of this book he is extremely cruel to Harlow but in his defense he felt that it was necessary to bring retribution to someone he loved dearly. He does eventually redeem himself although I thought Harlow was a bit too forgiving at times.

I absolutely enjoyed this world of magic, witches and vampires. I loved the intricate details of their history and how their bloodlines intersected. The fated mates trope in this book was also a favorite with great steam and a beautiful romance.

4 Stars
Paranormal Romance
Heat Level: Moderate
HEA: Yes
Profile Image for Jeannette dods.
101 reviews4 followers
May 21, 2021
A different type of paranormal romance. Harlow, a human/witch is abducted by a vengeful vampire named Alec. The story never dragged on and was very entertaining. It was dark at times, but was expected. There is a trigger warning at the beginning of the book.
May 25, 2021
Cure Bound is M.L. Philpitt’s debut novel and the first book in The Witches’ Bind Trilogy. Alec has vowed revenge on the Sinclair witches after one of them killed his wife/girlfriend in the sixteenth century. Since that time he has hunted down all Sinclair witches and this coven has basically ceased to exist. Through his sources, Alec comes to know of a remaining Sinclair witch by the name of Harlow. On a quest to complete his vengeance Alec kidnaps Harlow. Although Harlow is a witch, after years of reproducing with humans the only thing that makes her special is the fact that her Sinclair blood is the cure for vampirism.

This book gave me Vampire Diaries vibes. Alec was much like Damon. The typical mysterious, cold, vengeful, and brooding vampire. Harlow was like Elena and is portrayed as a strong and confident witch/human. Vampire and Witches are enemies and there were so many factors that came into play when establishing the initial “enemies” relationship between Alec and Harlow. Although these two are supposed to be enemies there was something that kept drawing them together eventually resulting in love.

I loved the PNR aspect of this book and incorporating both Vampires and Witches. M.L. Philpitt did a great job of setting up the conflict and creating interesting characters. This was an addicting, well-written book with lots of twists, tension, and action-packed events. As with many books, there were flawed characters, and I wasn’t a fan of some aspects of these characters, but that didn’t take away too much from the overall vibes of the book.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Profile Image for Jess Ostrander.
273 reviews31 followers
May 27, 2021
Harlow is a witch descended from the Sinclair coven, with no magic of her own. Her blood is the cure for vampires, turning them back to humans. Alec is a powerful vampire who wiped out almost the entire Sinclair coven. Harlow is the only one left. He's driven by centuries of hate and a long-ago vow but strikes up a deal. Kidnap Harlow, sell her blood for a few years, and then he can finally kill her. But fate seems to have other plans for the witch and the vampire.

This was a steamy, dark paranormal romance. I'm all for vampires and witches. I liked the integration of them in the modern world. Harlow is a fierce and determined MC and I liked her a lot. I also really liked Alec. He starts off as a total jerk but grows on you quickly. I liked the way they developed a friendship first. Even though he's her captor, it didn't feel too icky. There are some potentially triggering scenes though, so be aware. I also think this was an interesting take on the fated mates trope. Overall, I enjoyed this one. It was steamier than I expected and definitely kept me hooked.
Profile Image for ☆Angel☆.
438 reviews37 followers
August 12, 2021
3.5 Stars
Can sworn enemies become mated? This is the problem that Harlow, a witch, and Alec, a vampire dead set on destroying Harlow's bloodline, is facing.

I have to say, the concept is quite interesting. When I first started this book, it was giving me Beauty and The Beast vibes. Later in the story, there are references to this as well so I suppose that is exactly what the author was going for.

Alec is one hundred percent alpha male, fighting his feelings constantly. Even though the romance between them is a slow build, the passion comes quickly. Harlow is stubborn, yet obedient. Her life was turned upside down but she easily adapts.

I can't say that I was completely obsessed with this book, but it definitely held my attention. Just like their romance, it was a slow and steady read for me, but sometimes, that's exactly what I need. Recommended!
Profile Image for Colleen Oppenheim.
414 reviews33 followers
June 10, 2021
Um, how is this ML Philpitt's first book? I read Cure Bound in one sitting! I was so involved in her words that I didn't even feel the time pass me by. Give me a witch story and I will read it. BUT it's not every witch story that I LOVE. And love this one I did. Sexy, stirring, intriguing - Cure Bound checked all my boxes!
Profile Image for Ashley Carr, LSoR.
3,877 reviews45 followers
May 22, 2021
This is the first book I’ve read by this author (because it is her debut) and I will be checking out more of her work. Her characters were well developed in the storyline intriguing and drama-filled. Alec is a powerful vampire that has been tasked with hunting down and extinguishing the Sinclair line of witches. A Sinclair which took everything from Alec and he is seeking revenge. Harlow, a seemingly ordinary human, when in fact she is a Sinclair witch and has blood that cures vampirism. Alec fights the attraction he feels towards Harlow because hello- sworn enemies. Will Alec let his walls down enough to let Harlow in?
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
29 reviews3 followers
May 20, 2021
Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC!

I'm always a fan of a good enemies to lovers story and this book certainly served. It was a quick, easy read but the whole time I was reading I was hoping for more meat in the story. Alec felt like a stereotypical vampire and there were several times I hated him more than I liked him. Harlow had a lot of potential too but I felt like she shed her skin and became someone completely different half way through the book. The story was excellent and had a lot of potential itself but I think it was passed over in favor of expediency and romance. I loved the idea of a witch being a cure for vampires, and I'm always game for a good mating bond but unfortunately there was a lot that fell flat to me. Starting the book felt like I started in the middle of a story - I had no time to get attached to either Harlow or Alec and my first impression of Alec was not good, nor was any of the following interactions with him any better. Overall, excellent bones but it lacked in the execution.
157 reviews1 follower
May 22, 2021
This book blew me away. Again, we have a great story of Vampires and Witches. This is book 1 and I can't wait for Book 2 due out in August. I didn't see a warning about the scenes that could be rape triggers. Those scenes made me uneasy so I can't imagine what a survivor would feel. All in all, a very good story with lots of suspense and action.
1,346 reviews2 followers
May 28, 2021
A fantastic, riveting read. Deliciously dark and dangerous. Great characters, well written storyline. Would recommend, will read more from this author

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
9,632 reviews101 followers
June 29, 2021
Totally different genre for me. Intriguing characters, witches and vampires. Fast reading.
2,402 reviews12 followers
May 22, 2021
An intriguing story line with plot, drama and romance with great chemistry between the main characters. I received a copy and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Colleen Daley.
247 reviews31 followers
June 6, 2021
OMG I don't typically read supernatural, vampire stories, but this book was absolutely amazing! I loved Harlow's smart, independent character. She is slightly damaged already from having to always live in fear of vampires coming for her. But the psychological torture she has to endure during the book is enough to break even the strongest of women, but not Harlow, she comes out even stronger than before. You want to hate Alec for everything he puts Harlow through in the beginning but his broken soul keeps you from truly despising him. This book touches on some sensitive topics but I think the author does a great job at pushing the line without going too far so that we can understand the pain and struggle the characters must go through to find themselves and each other in the end. I would highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Angele | adominiquereads.
737 reviews104 followers
June 4, 2021
"Forever came sooner than either of us thought. But fate has given me a new forever.

I received an e-ARC copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Content warnings: kidnapping and abduction, sexual assault, Stockholm Syndrome

Cure Bound had that promising potential to appeal to my love for dark, sultry romance novels, and even the addition of a forbidden love between vampires and witches into the story - my weakness. But aside from that context and the alluring cover, it just really fell short for me, and I was totally underwhelmed.

The plot itself was pretty straightforward and expected. While it did try to go in the direction of a much more sinister and darker tone, which it did at the beginning, it just started to get confusing as it reaches the ending. Nothing about the story progression really got me excited and looked forward to, and the twists in the story wasn't really shocking.

The world-building and laying out of the creatures involved in this book was too vague and didn't really provide any clear explanations or further details. While I pretty much admired how the history of the witches and vampires developed in this book, there wasn't really anything else to go on with. Both witches and vampires' descriptions were pretty bland and stereotypical, and I just really wanted something a little bit more. There was also one character that absolutely made no sense for me to be in the story. I know she's an important figure in it, but it just felt to me that she was an unnecessary addition to the tale, and I could have done much better without.

Harlow and Alec were promising characters in the beginning - especially if taken by themselves - but they just also fell too flat, predictable, and highly threadbare. My brain also hurt a tiny bit at how hot and cold their relationship was, and it felt so superficial. A lot of things could have gone right between them if they just learned how to communicate. I didn't really got immersed in their relationship, especially with just how toxic it was from the very start. Stockholm Syndrome at its finest, but at a more superficial level. I don't really mind content warnings about relationships in books, but I do draw the line at rape (or even the possibility of rape).

Over-all, this book was just not for me. There were a few redeeming parts, but mostly it gave me a lot of downsides. I do hope others would like this book more than I did.
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