Spellbound (Magic in Manhattan #1) – CrabbyPatty’s Review

Title: Spellbound (Magic in Manhattan #1)
Author: Allie Therin
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: July 29, 2019
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance
Page Count: 243
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


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 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.

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 – most powers transmit. But magic also broadcasts its own signal, and some powers receive. Your psychometry receives magic into your mind from the objects you touch.”

The author does an admirable job of world building as Arthur (also called Ace) and his band of paranormals try to find out the who, what, when, where and why of a mysterious shipment arriving in NYC – a relic, an “object that’s become a vessel for magic,” something with unknown destructive power. In the midst of saving NYC, Arthur uncovers Rory’s secret past while Rory rails against Arthur trying to help him, in my opinion, for far too long. There’s building sexual tension, and then there’s endless variations of Rory taking exception to almost everything Ace says and does. But finally, finally Rory and Ace become lovers (in mostly fade-to-black scenes) but there is a palpable attraction between the two.

The plot is innovative and interesting, and the stage is set for the continuous of the series with lots of unanswered questions and adventures. The relationship building is a bit too slow for me personally, and as a result the pace of the story feels slow at times. But the suspenseful ending really brings everything together and I”m looking forward to reading the next book in this series. 4 stars.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Spellbound (Magic in Manhattan #1) provided by Carina Press, via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader
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