Spellbound
Hazel Abbot spent her whole life unaware she was a witch. When a spell thrusts her great-aunt Sarah Hutchinson forward from the Salem witch trials of 1692 and lands her in Hazel’s bookstore, everything Hazel thought she knew about herself changes. Complicating matters, Raven Dare, a supernatural hunter, informs her that they’ve all been summoned by the Queen Witch, Morgan le Fay.Morgan compels Hazel, Sarah, and Raven to correct the shift in the realms of good and evil by ridding the world of the evil that followed Sarah into modern day. If they fail, the forces of white magic will be extinguished forever. But completing the perilous mission, convincing Sarah to return to Puritan life, and resisting their growing attraction for each other might prove more difficult than Hazel and Raven ever anticipated.Cover Artist: Tammy SeidickGenres: Fantasy / Romance Tags: New Orleans, Time Travel, MagicWords: 80,000

Spellbound Details

TitleSpellbound
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 2020
PublisherBold Strokes Books
ISBN-139781635555646
Rating
GenreFantasy, Magic, Romance, Lesbian Romance, LGBT, Paranormal

Spellbound Review

  • Lex Kent
    January 1, 1970
    I hate to say this but this was only an average read for me. Paranormal is my favorite category and I love witches, so I had some really high hopes for this. I didn’t dislike this, it was only just alright. I do want to make clear that I seem to be an outlier here. The early ratings and reviews are all very good with 4 to 5 star ratings. This has happened to me before with paranormal books that everyone loves and I’m left scratching my head. I sometimes wonder is it because this is my number one I hate to say this but this was only an average read for me. Paranormal is my favorite category and I love witches, so I had some really high hopes for this. I didn’t dislike this, it was only just alright. I do want to make clear that I seem to be an outlier here. The early ratings and reviews are all very good with 4 to 5 star ratings. This has happened to me before with paranormal books that everyone loves and I’m left scratching my head. I sometimes wonder is it because this is my number one type of book to read that I’m too picky and maybe I’m a paranormal snob, I don’t know. I also hate to write a lower review for paranormal books because I want them to do well so authors keep writing them. But I have to be honest and I can’t pretend that this book really grabbed me when it didn’t.One of the strikes the book had right off the bat was so many main characters and POV shifts. As someone who loves first person, I’m not big on books with many POV’s. This book had what I would consider 5 main characters with I think three revolving POV’s, plus who I would consider the “bad guys” and their POV. I had trouble keeping them apart so I think I was only in one “bad guy” POV but it might have been more. And I get that since this book was written by 2 authors that it made sense they would each write at least 2 POV’s and 4 or 5 characters each, I just felt I could not connect with anyone. I think when you have so many main and strong secondary characters, that it helps to have a book on the longer side. The Priory of the Orange Tree had 3 or 4 main POV’s, but that book is a tome. There was plenty of time to know and connect to the mains. Spellbound was average length for a lesfic book and I felt like I didn’t have enough time with each individual character. The one character I found most interesting was written in a way where she was unlikeable and actually annoying at times so I was a little disappointed with that too.This book does have a romance and actually two couples are falling for each other. I thought the romances were fine and sweet. Romances are always harder for me when I don’t really connect with the characters so I didn’t enjoy them as much as I hoped but they were decent. I did think one was better done than the other though. One romance felt very fast moving where the other the characters had feelings for each other for a while so that one appealed to me more.When it came to the paranormal aspects I was a little disappointed. There was a lot of things that just were, without much explanation because they were paranormal in nature. For instance, a character has a problem she’s spent her whole life dealing with… then all of a sudden and out of the blue there is a paranormal fix for her problem. I don’t like where there is a random magic item or power that will fix everything. Just like the newly awakened witches who had an incredible gasp on their newly found powers after a 5 minute learning session and a 5 minute practice section. Not even mentioning how one character randomly became super powerful because it was convenient for her, but again how and why? I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out what the realms with an “s” are that the characters had to save. I apologized to the authors if that was explained but I never saw an explanation about how many realms or what they even were. But let’s be honest here, not everyone is going to be bothered by these issues like I was. I know this is the paranormal fan in me wanting more world building and information that I can understand what makes this paranormal word go round. If you are just looking for pure entertainment, and can go with the flow, none of these issues might pop up for you. But, as a self-proclaimed paranormal connoisseur, I can’t read a paranormal book without noticing these kinds of issues. If you enjoy witches, books with multiple main characters, and good vs evil, this book may be for you. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this like I wanted too, but even with all my issues I would still give this an average score since the storyline was entertaining. Since I’m an outlier on giving this book only an average rating, I would suggest reading other reviews since you might enjoy this story a lot more than I did. A copy was given to me for a honest review.
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  • Jude
    January 1, 1970
    4.5*The blurb intrigued me, the result was even better than I expected.Raven Dare is a shadowhunter, bound by a curse on her family to Morgan, the Queen of Witches. Her job is to help Morgan keep the balance between realms, by fighting demons, hellhounds and other nasty creatures. So when Morgan sends her to Salem, Massachusetts, she goes, unaware of how this new mission will change her whole life. In Salem, she meets Hazel Abbot and feels strangely attracted to her. Little does either know that 4.5*The blurb intrigued me, the result was even better than I expected.Raven Dare is a shadowhunter, bound by a curse on her family to Morgan, the Queen of Witches. Her job is to help Morgan keep the balance between realms, by fighting demons, hellhounds and other nasty creatures. So when Morgan sends her to Salem, Massachusetts, she goes, unaware of how this new mission will change her whole life. In Salem, she meets Hazel Abbot and feels strangely attracted to her. Little does either know that Hazel is a witch, from a long line of witches. Things get even more mysterious when one of her ancestor, Sarah Hutchinson, fleeing the Salem witch trials of 1692, ends up in Hazel’s bookstore.Spellbound is a very exciting read, fast-paced, thrilling, funny too. Morgan is a fantastic character, self-centred and powerful, she’d make a great villain if she wasn’t fighting for good over evil (or, rather, the balance between the two). As Sarah and the woman she couldn’t love in 1692, Ayotunde, try and adjust to life in the twenty-first century, their discoveries and fascinations bring a sense of ludicrousness to an already gripping story. I also love how Hazel’s optimism and will lead Raven to open herself to the idea of love, despite her conviction that she’s doomed to a life of loneliness because of Morgan’s curse.The authors mix politics and the fight against patriarchy with time travel and witch fights with brilliant results. I’d love to see more of all these women, so I’m crossing my fingers for a sequel.I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
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  • Lexxi Kitty
    January 1, 1970
    Heh. It took me forever to read this book (well, longer than normal), then it took me forever to write the tiny bits below. As in, it took me several days. Pathetic. heh.---While I was reading this book, I was thinking that I’d include three specific issues/problems I had with the book in a review. I’m not sure if I’ll remember the third.There was a television show that was on the air for six seasons called Grimm. There’s a specific thing about that show that corresponds to what I dislike about Heh. It took me forever to read this book (well, longer than normal), then it took me forever to write the tiny bits below. As in, it took me several days. Pathetic. heh.---While I was reading this book, I was thinking that I’d include three specific issues/problems I had with the book in a review. I’m not sure if I’ll remember the third.There was a television show that was on the air for six seasons called Grimm. There’s a specific thing about that show that corresponds to what I dislike about this book here. During the opening credits they had a split second view of Hitler – morphing into one the creatures on the show. It always annoyed me when I saw that because the implication was that one of the most evil humans that ever lived . . . wasn’t actually human. It’s like a free pass given to humans. Humans can be evil. Don’t fucking try to ‘pretend’ that isn’t the case. A similar thing happened in this book here, though I cannot actually recall what initially made me have this thought. Other than ‘the current president’ being in power because evil put him there. As opposed to, say, humans. So that was one of the issues I had with the book. Hmm. This was a better issue to make back when I was reading the book. Stupid faulty memory.A second issue I had with the book is the part wherein it wasn’t exactly easy to tell the good guys from the bad. Arguably the ‘big good’ was much more in the ‘evil’ column than the ‘big evil’ dude. That big good, the leading highest level Queen White Witch (or however that was worded), wasn’t a lead character, but she sure was important to the story. That’d be Morgan le Fay. You know, from King Arthur. Hmm, until this very second, I had not realized that the early stories had Morgan le Fay as ‘generally benevolent and related to King Arthur as his magical savior and protector’. Eh, whatever. Morgan in this story here is a sexually abusive slave owner (‘technically’ Dare isn’t a slave, but, in actuality, she is). Petty, demanding, abusive, all around hard to tell her apart from an evil person. The ‘big bad’ is a power hungry demonish critter, but we don’t know enough about Blaise to see them as anything more than a stock figure from a bad horror film. His underlings have more personality and character, and have power-hungry deeds/thoughts heavily laced with misogynistic ideas. Eh, whatever.I do not recall what the third issue is/was. So I’ll go with something I noticed. The ‘bad guys’ was a mix of men and women. The ‘good guys’ were all women. There were some ‘dudes’ who showed up to drive the women around, big beefy looking guys, but . . . I’m not sure they were real. They either didn’t talk or only grunted (I forget now which). And when the ‘good guys’ needed ‘more man-power’, that just meant that Morgan joined in on the fun. But none of the men got involved. So they might have been something like golems. Or something. Meanwhile, other than having mixed men and women, the bad guys also had demons and hellhounds to fling at people. Though, again, they seemed to be rarely used effectively (the bad guys were kind of stupid with plans; meanwhile the good guys were . . . stupid with plans – there’s one ‘mission’ where they split up and had issues because they split up; a second mission had Morgan say something like ‘we can’t split up’ (~79% mark “I wouldn’t advise splitting up this time,” Morgan said). Three seconds later . . . she had them split up (again ~79% mark: “Raven and Hazel, check the buildings. I’m going to go with Ayotunde and Sarah, make sure they stay out of trouble.”) Sooo . . . they can’t even follow plans ‘in the moment’). I think that was my original number three – the book has a lot of occasions wherein it appears the people in it cannot recall what they did three minutes ago; and or have people who change their minds often (considering the character type Morgan has, that’s quite possible, but still, it doesn’t read like a change of mind, it reads like the authors forgot what was said three pages before the change).Oh, and there’s also a bunch of stuff like “We’re rescuing humanity from themselves, that’s no mission for sissies.” Sissies? Really? Right, so. This book is written by two different authors. Jackie D. and Jean Copeland. I’ve never read anything by Copeland, and I’ve read one book by D. I enjoyed that book by D, and I’ll probably try another by her, and I’ve not written off attempting another book by Copeland & D. It was quite difficult to get through this book, but still, I’d try another. Well, at least the authors solo work.Hmm. I just remembered another thing that might have been my ‘third issue’. Eh, can’t mention it, it’s a spoiler. (view spoiler)[For most of the book, it was stated that both of the women from 1692 would have to return to their own time, at some point. For most of the book, it seemed more like Morgan was being a massive bitch, and/or had massive jealousy over Sarah/Ayotunde having time travel ability. Then, at the last second, there was a reasonable reason that could have been mentioned right at the beginning, as to why the two would have to return (or, at least, Sarah). It seemed vaguely confusing why this reason wasn’t mentioned earlier (hide spoiler)]Rating: 2 starsJanuary 24 2020
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! When Jean Copeland and Jackie D. work together, they can write some amazing stories. Spellbound is a wonderful example of their collaboration.This is a fantasy story that has everything. There is time travel, good and bad witches, white and black magic, voodoo high priestesses, and not only one, but two romantic couples as main characters. The settings of this tale vary from Salem, Mass. during the witch trials of 1692 to modern day New Orleans. The story is a mixture of history and present Wow! When Jean Copeland and Jackie D. work together, they can write some amazing stories. Spellbound is a wonderful example of their collaboration.This is a fantasy story that has everything. There is time travel, good and bad witches, white and black magic, voodoo high priestesses, and not only one, but two romantic couples as main characters. The settings of this tale vary from Salem, Mass. during the witch trials of 1692 to modern day New Orleans. The story is a mixture of history and present day, fantasy and real life, and is really well done. I especially liked the biting humor that pops up occasionally.The characters are vibrant and likable (except the bad guys who are really nasty). There is a good deal of angst with both romances, but a lot of ‘aww’ moments as well.This is my kind of fantasy. I love how the fantasy is mixed into real life. I love the characters and the story. I couldn’t stop turning the pages, and kept wanting to go faster to see what would happen. If you love a good fantasy with excellent characters, settings, and story, then grab this book.I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books, for an honest review.Rainbow Reflections: https://rainbowreflections.home.blog/
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  • Kitty McIntosh
    January 1, 1970
    Hazel Abbott has no idea she is a witch or descended from Sarah Hutchinson, a woman imprisoned during the Salem witch trials of 1692. When Sarah suddenly appears in modern day Salem, she sets off a series of events that neither could have imagined. Raven Dare, supernatural hunter under the employ of Queen witch, Morgan le Fay, becomes embroiled in their adventure and the women must work together to save humanity and bring balance to the realms.The story is imaginative and brings in elements from Hazel Abbott has no idea she is a witch or descended from Sarah Hutchinson, a woman imprisoned during the Salem witch trials of 1692. When Sarah suddenly appears in modern day Salem, she sets off a series of events that neither could have imagined. Raven Dare, supernatural hunter under the employ of Queen witch, Morgan le Fay, becomes embroiled in their adventure and the women must work together to save humanity and bring balance to the realms.The story is imaginative and brings in elements from historical Salem and a very convincing present day dilemma, with parallels to something we will all recognise. It is exciting and thought-provoking and cleverly marries a link to history, witchcraft and present day political machinations. There is, of course, a love story or two in the tale and they are very much integral to the story. Hazel becomes more and more attracted to Raven as she begins to learn who she really is. Raven is trapped by duty and family obligations and has to begin to consider that there is a different way to live. Sarah has been catapulted into modern day America, and it is so different. But in some ways things always stay the same. People are people and the pedantic Puritans of her age are not so different from certain sectors of present day society. Sarah’s feelings for another woman begin to make sense to her though and that was a fascinating element of the story. Morgan le Fay is selfish and unsentimental and determined. Will she ever be able to see the point of view of those around her? As the group battle for what is right and good, we see that their fight is timeless. So much depends on them defeating evil. The thing is, I know it’s a fantasy story, but there is one particular hypothesis in it that makes perfect sense. I really wouldn’t be surprised! Once you read it you’ll know exactly what I mean. A wonderfully enjoyable book and highly recommended. I was given this Arc for review.
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this story. Even though I like time travel stories, this one was a bit different because of the witches that is. I didn't like Morgan on the beginning but in the end she grew on me. The plot is very interesting.It has bits of humor in it, mixed with old English which makes it the more fascinating.I liked the hints of current political climate, I thought it was neatly implemented into the book and so very true.Overall, I liked this story.
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  • Colleen Corgel
    January 1, 1970
    Even though I enjoy urban fantasy and paranormal fantasy, this one was just an average read for me. One knock on this is that it does jump points of view a lot - three of the leads each gets her own chance to narrate the story. I don't know, but for me, especially with stakes that are as high as these are supposedly are having to move from individual to individual actually felt like it lost some of the urgency we're supposed to feel. I also have some serious doubts about the baddies - like they Even though I enjoy urban fantasy and paranormal fantasy, this one was just an average read for me. One knock on this is that it does jump points of view a lot - three of the leads each gets her own chance to narrate the story. I don't know, but for me, especially with stakes that are as high as these are supposedly are having to move from individual to individual actually felt like it lost some of the urgency we're supposed to feel. I also have some serious doubts about the baddies - like they were struck down way too easily for me. There was also the way Raven's story wrapped up, it was too easy and neat, I was expecting it to be harder, especially since Morgan seemed to want to hold on to Raven much harder than she ultimately did.Now that I have some of the nit picky things out of the way - I have to give the writers props for sticking with an older English dialect for both Sarah and Ayotunde. I also enjoyed that Sarah never really gave up her background. Even for someone as resourceful and progressive as Sarah, she was still very much a product of her time, and having a reminder of it every once in a while was a nice bit of detail. I also thought that all the characters were interesting, but I enjoyed Sarah's and Ayotunde's relationship the most. I was surprised as to how much their relationship resonated with me - perhaps it was because Sarah didn't have a name for her feelings until later, or that they were the closest friends before they realized their feelings, either way, I enjoyed their journey. Some paranormal fans may not like the villains' lack of magical use - they really don't use much by way of supernatural powers to get people to do what they do. Others might feel like its more grounded, especially since the events in the story lean heavily into the current US political climate. I personally enjoyed some of the historical nods that were thrown in, since the book does like to draw parallels between current events now and the environment that helped create the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-93. Overall though, this is a completely average read for me that might resonate more with other readers. I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Les Rêveur
    January 1, 1970
    This book is fast-paced and a true romantic thriller that deals with the love, feminism, the patriarchy and the wrong doings of the past. I really don’t think Spellbound can end here because it’s the perfect opening to so much more from Sarah, Hazel, Raven and especially Morgan! The world needs more Morgan… Check out the full review of 'Spellbound' through the link below:https://lesreveur.com/2020/01/27/spel...
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  • Sharon Tyler
    January 1, 1970
    Spellbound by Jean Copeland and Jackie D was released on January 14 2020. Hazel Abbot spent her whole life unaware she was a witch. When a spell thrusts her great-aunt Sarah Hutchinson forward from the Salem witch trials of 1692 and lands her in Hazel’s bookstore, everything Hazel thought she knew about herself changes. Complicating matters, Raven Dare, a supernatural hunter, informs her that they’ve all been summoned by the Queen Witch, Morgan le Fay. Morgan compels Hazel, Sarah, and Raven to Spellbound by Jean Copeland and Jackie D was released on January 14 2020. Hazel Abbot spent her whole life unaware she was a witch. When a spell thrusts her great-aunt Sarah Hutchinson forward from the Salem witch trials of 1692 and lands her in Hazel’s bookstore, everything Hazel thought she knew about herself changes. Complicating matters, Raven Dare, a supernatural hunter, informs her that they’ve all been summoned by the Queen Witch, Morgan le Fay. Morgan compels Hazel, Sarah, and Raven to correct the shift in the realms of good and evil by ridding the world of the evil that followed Sarah into modern day. If they fail, the forces of white magic will be extinguished forever. But completing the perilous mission, convincing Sarah to return to Puritan life, and resisting their growing attraction for each other might prove more difficult than Hazel and Raven ever anticipated.Spellbound is a book that I wanted to love. I thought the premise was great and some of the character and world building caught and kept my attention. I liked Hazel's story, and Raven's. I would love to read more about their adventures (before and after this story). I thought the use of Morgan's character ad the ties of multiple mythologies and legends. I would enjoy more stories about this world. However, there was something about the voice that just did not speak to me. This was particularly true when it came to Sarah. I think the attempt at innocence and speech patterns from 1692 did not come off as intended. At first Sarah seemed not just naive, but not all that bright even though later it is revealed that she received a better than expected education from her father. Once the story got moving and there were plots, relationships, and commentary on the state of the world to unravel I was more engaged. So much of this story was exactly what I wanted, and I wanted to love it all. I think maybe it was just a disconnect for me with the writing style of the authors that did not let me get fully invested in the story. It had so much of what I was looking for, and think others will enjoy it. Spellbound is a book with a lot going on, and I think it will appeal to many that enjoy the urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a witch leaning.
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  • Kristy Drexel
    January 1, 1970
    I really didn’t know what to expect from this book as I usually don’t read this genre but I was very shocked by how much I like this book it’s got everything Shadowhunters and witches from 1600 even voodoo that will blow your mind. It had adventure intrigue romance and awesome characters. The storyline flowed well throughout the book and kept me totally invested. I feel that Jean an Jackie did an amazing job bringing the past into the present. there is so much going In this book that you can’t I really didn’t know what to expect from this book as I usually don’t read this genre but I was very shocked by how much I like this book it’s got everything Shadowhunters and witches from 1600 even voodoo that will blow your mind. It had adventure intrigue romance and awesome characters. The storyline flowed well throughout the book and kept me totally invested. I feel that Jean an Jackie did an amazing job bringing the past into the present. there is so much going In this book that you can’t help being pulled into the pages of this awesome story.As I read this story I keep finding myself trying to figure out which author wrote which part, you cannot go wrong with this book so hurry on over and get a copy I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I have. I received an ARC provided Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Periodically, I take a chance on reading a Mystery that has a side of Romance in it. Normally my beating heart can't take too much stress (smile). Anyway, I enjoyed Spellbound. Not only is there mystery, there is a side of two romances going on here. I mean can you really beat that? I found that the mystery portion is not over the top, but it does involved evil and some fantasy. Spellbound is well written, is packed with action that is easy to follow, love, sex (but not overly done) and mystery. Periodically, I take a chance on reading a Mystery that has a side of Romance in it. Normally my beating heart can't take too much stress (smile). Anyway, I enjoyed Spellbound. Not only is there mystery, there is a side of two romances going on here. I mean can you really beat that? I found that the mystery portion is not over the top, but it does involved evil and some fantasy. Spellbound is well written, is packed with action that is easy to follow, love, sex (but not overly done) and mystery. I would say that angst is medium, but it needed for this type of book. I enjoyed all of the characters, but Morgan Le Fay did get on my nerves at times. I just think her being a good witch should have lighten her up some. On the other hand, she has lived a long time so maybe her actions were justified because of the things she has seen in her life.Anyway, I give this one 4.25 stars.This arc was provided by Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review.
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  • Rebecca Goss
    January 1, 1970
    The Salem witch trials are retold in this time traveling paranormal story. I love stories of magic but don’t usually care for time travel. The witch travels have always fascinated me and did in this book also. It is always inspiring to have such strong female characters who can defend themselves. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Angel
    January 1, 1970
    Oh wow! I don't know if my review will do this book justice but I'll give it a crack so here goes. I LOVE Hazel, Raven, Sarah, Ayotunde and even Morgan (although I'll be the first to admit that it took me a while to actually warm up to her. These quirky women entertained me long into the night with their humorous wisecracks and I really wished they were real because I would have loved to have them as friends. I fell in love with their delightful personalities and their bravery in the face of so Oh wow! I don't know if my review will do this book justice but I'll give it a crack so here goes. I LOVE Hazel, Raven, Sarah, Ayotunde and even Morgan (although I'll be the first to admit that it took me a while to actually warm up to her. These quirky women entertained me long into the night with their humorous wisecracks and I really wished they were real because I would have loved to have them as friends. I fell in love with their delightful personalities and their bravery in the face of so many unknown variables. I also enjoyed the wild romp through time from 1692 to our present day and I must say that these authors have done a fantastic job of bringing the Salem Witch Trials and the plight of those women who were wrongfully accused, to life for me because Sarah and Ayotunde's anguish were so palpable. Right now, I am raising my coffee cup to these talented authors because I had a hard time putting this book down so that I could do adult things like going to work for instance. I hope there will be more great stories from them because I can't wait to devour another story like this one!
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