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Spellbound

Magic in Manhattan Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Erik Bloomquist
Series: Magic in Manhattan Series, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.3 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

To save Manhattan, they'll have to save each other first....

1925 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 psychometric...and the only one available has sworn off his abilities altogether.

Rory Brodigan's gift comes with great risk. To protect himself, he's become a recluse, redirecting his magic to find counterfeit antiques. But with the city's fate hanging in the balance, he can't force himself to say no.

Being with Arthur is dangerous, but Rory's ever-growing attraction to him begins to make him brave. And as Arthur coaxes him out of seclusion, a magical and emotional bond begins to form. One that proves impossible to break - even when Arthur sacrifices himself to keep Rory safe and Rory must risk everything to save him.

Contains mature themes.

©2019 Allie Therin (P)2019 Tantor

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting story

Enjoyable story with likeable characters. Narration was a little bland though. Hope there is more to come.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story.

I adored this story. it was well written and pacy with none of the long info dumps and purple prose one finds in so many books nowadays. My only issue was with the narration which sounded nearly robotic at times. The lack of discernable accents made it tricky to know whose dialogue the narrator was reading sometimes. its a shame as the story itself was wonderful and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel in May 2020.

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Profile Image for A.E. Bross
  • A.E. Bross
  • 11-12-19

So Glad I Picked this One Up!

It has been 47 minutes and 22... 23... 24... 25 seconds since I finished listening to the audiobook of Spellbound by Allie Therin. I know this because I now mark time by what happened before I was able to experience this book, and how my life has been utterly and irrevocably changed by having finished the experience. This book is... it's finding that last piece of candy at that bottom of your jacked pocket when you thought you were all out (and not the gross, old piece, but a beautifully wrapped, shining piece of your favorite sweet, still glistening within it's beautiful wrapper, filled with sweetness, saltiness, and a taste that you want to remember for the foreseeable future). Can you tell I really liked this book? Perhaps it's the books I have been reading recently, which I have enjoyed JUST AS MUCH as this book, but which present emotions in different ways. Perhaps it's my own writing, which is set in a world that acts as a heavy weight before the characters can even get to explore their own emotions. Whatever the reason, the naked sincerity and bold openness of Rory Brodigan stole my breath away (much the same effect it seemed to have on Ace, really). Part of the reason it took me longer than usual to finish this book was that I was constantly worried that something would happen to Rory, the adorable, rough-tough-cream-puff that he is, to rob him of that vulnerability. I can understand Ace's want to protect him, as it surged within me every time Rory might set off on his own or faced something down that was entirely terrifying. I won't lie, ALL of Therin's main characters shared the same level of depth. The ever worrying, compassionate Arthur, the sarcastic, confident, and quick-witted Jade, the caring, stubborn Mrs. Brodigan... I could go on and on, but I really only had eyes for Rory, and let me tell you, my big sibling senses were going CRAZY for half of the book! Characters aside, I loved the magic system presented. It added so much to the overall story that it became a character in and of itself. It made villains identifiable and, dare I say, sympathetic? It made heroes vulnerable and brave and sacrificing in a way that no other setting or environment could have. I don't know if I can recommend this book highly enough. It's a great adventure in 1920s New York, full of magic, mystery, and love. I have to take my hat off to the author. From the first moment I began the story, she had me... (should I do it? Should I? Oh, I'm going to do it, you watch me.) ...Spellbound.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-07-20

Recommend

The story is really good, with real chemistry between the leads. This is definitely on the less explicit side of the MM spectrum, so wouldn’t recommend this if that’s what your looking for. But the plot and characters are great, so if you’re more interested in that go ahead. I was slightly put of by the narrator at beginning, but he really grew on me.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Gerald McKay
  • 14-01-20

Wearhouse 13 in a tux

The set up is a copy of Wearhouse 13. Some of the nineteen twenties detail was way off. If the author doesn't know what a fountain pen is, all else is suspect too. The reader sounded a bit like Rex Reed (Google it if you're under forty.) The performance is greatly helped by speeding it up. I got this as a recommended example of Decopunk without knowing it was a gay romance; this is the last time I ever use a credit on the strength of a recommendation alone.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gwen
  • 05-10-20

Spellbound, equal opportunity magic, mystery and romance..

The story and these characters in this time and place appear to have been written with a lovingly realistic nostalgia for the era, the result is especially charming. However after reading the book and looking forward to the audio version I was initially put off by the sample of the narration. I sometimes read other Audible customers reviews of selections I am interested in and one in particular recommended revisiting Spellbound and changing speed and suggested that the narrator and narration improved over the course of the full listen.. l took this advice because the story is worth it, and I'm glad that I did, the narrator improved from doing a dry reading of material to performing with the warmth and emotion that the story and characters require.....The improvement continues! in Starcrossed..Thanks Audible ..Gwen S.

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  • Erin S.
  • 30-08-20

Bound to Cast a Spell on You

I adored this book. It took a little bit to adjust to Erik's narration. I wasn't terribly fond of it at the start, but that could also be due to coming off a narrator I very much enjoyed. Once my ear adjusted I liked the narration very much, so in the event anyone finds the audio a little off putting I would suggest giving yourself some time to get used to it, as the story is wonderful. I loved the snark and sass of Rory contrasting the sophisticated and duty bound character of Ace. I'm much more a fan of a slow burn rather than an instant ignition, so Rory snarking about and Ace being a mature, responsible adult was a great way to make that burn happen. And, once they do give into their feelings, their easy chemistry is so enjoyable. The story is also very interesting. So often we just see a backdrop to a romance, but the story itself is enthralling. You want to know what will happen next as much as you want to see Rory and Ace get together. The conclusion of the book feels well paced, and complete, but still allowing for a clear continuation. I was sorely disappointed to see that the next book was not available on audible at the time of this review.

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  • AllAboutThoseBooks
  • 29-07-20

Audiobook Review

This is a review of the actual AUDIOBOOK, because way too many of the existing reviews only talk about the printed book, which I found completely useless when trying to decide whether or not to spend a credit on it. Yes, yes, the book is a five stars if you like paranormal gay romance at all. But we've all read books we love, then go to buy the audiobook so we can enjoy it again hands-free, only to find it ruined by a dreadful narrator. In this case, the review of the narrator is especially important because the sample is NOT impressive. The guy sounds like he's never been so bored in his life. I am relieved to say that the full reading is better than that. Kudos to the reviewer who said that the reading is greatly improved by boosting the speed. This is, I think, critical to enjoying it. I liked it at x1.25, and that was still a pretty relaxed read. The narrator doesn't have a wide range of voices, and Mrs. Brannigan sounds like something out of a British 70s sitcom, but it's amusing rather than annoying. (Really. She's very likable and she's read that way.) Even though the range of voices was less diverse than I like, I never struggled to tell which character was speaking. After a minute or two of listening, as another reviewer mentioned (see how important it is to talk about the narrator in an audiobook review??) my initial misgivings about the narrator faded, and I forgot about him and enjoyed the story. Is that a glowing review? No, that's why I gave the book 5 stars and the audiobook 4 stars. Authors don't always have control over who reads their book, and new authors don't always get a Joel Leslie or Michael Farraiuolo. This guy is OK, like, "I can live with this" OK. No more, no less. I realized after I looked him up that he read another series for which I own all four books. I felt similarly about his work in that series, too. He'll probably read the next in this series, and I'm happy enough with the work to know I'll buy it, too, because he does OK with a great story. I will almost certainly listen to this one again as the next in the series are released. Short version: 3 stars performance, 5 stars story, up the speed for better enjoyment.

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  • Evie Drae
  • 06-07-20

Utterly fantastic - an absolute must "listen"

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 of everything. I’m not sure about you, but as a reader who is also a writer, there’s always a thing or two that rubs me the wrong way—after all, not everything is for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay! But with Therin, I couldn’t find anything to fault. Everything from her writing style to her characterization to her plot had me all heart-eyed and happy, heavy sighing. If you know me at all, you’re aware I’m generally not a fan of historical or paranormal. Both genres truly have to be written at the top of their game for me to enjoy them. So what does that say when I’m proclaiming this historical paranormal as my new fav?? The setting of this book was absolutely superb. Therin captured all the literal and figurative magic in her fictional depiction of 1920s Manhattan. She included just enough nods to history that it felt accurate and genuine, yet didn’t overburden her scenes with excessive details that overshadowed the story. And her characters—every dang one of them, from the MCs to the supporting cast—were woven with intricate and heartfelt brilliance. I fell hard and fast and didn’t want to let go. Then there was the plot and the awe-inspiring twist on the paranormal that had my eyes wide and my readerly heart beating staccato the entire read. Both times. (Because, yes, I’ve already read this bad boy twice and have no doubts it’ll be a frequently repeated go-to feel-good part of my life.) The love scenes are all fade-to-black yet so insanely emotional and steamy, they will undoubtedly satisfy all levels of romance readers—including those on both ends of the sweet romance/erotica spectrum. It’s magic, I tell ya. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book that shows so little yet provides such a solid sexy punch. I would recommend this book to ANY romance reader. Period. I don’t care if you aren’t a proclaimed historical fan, or if paranormal isn’t your gig. Heck, even if you haven’t ventured into the MM romance world, this would be a sensational introductory read in any of those genres. This book is so full of heart and passion and jaw-dropping intrigue, it’ll have at least something for everyone.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • neichan
  • 15-01-20

I had to listen a 2nd time

There were a few hiccups in the tale, but all in all I enjoyed it quite a lot, I definitely plan to read the 2nd when it comes out. On the characters, I did feel they were developed pretty well. The universe...I found myself momentarily puzzled from time to time. The villains, sigh, I didn't ever really get a hand on. I guess overall, I'd give the book just under 4 stars. The narrator was good, but there were moments of mispronunciation, and a strong lisp, even so, I mostly appreciated him. His delivery is slow, almost stately, on a few occasions the pace was too slow, ponderous. The early 1900s was reasonably described, indeed.