SPELLBOUND: CARA LYNN SHULTZ
· Reading level: Young Adult
· Paperback: 352 pages
· Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (June 21, 2011)
· Language: English
· I received this from: NETGALLEY
Not since “Twilight” had I wished a book boyfriend was real (Edward..Oh my Edward..you HAVE been REPLACED!)
Brendan Salinger & Emma Connor’s relationship had been doomed from the start. Not only was Emma the new girl that did not fit in with the rest of the perfect “Gossip Girl” type characters in her new school, the elite “Vincent Academy”, she was also the reincarnation of Gloriana, a peasant wife of the rich & powerful Lord Archer, Earl of Aglaeon.
When tragedy struck & Gloriana died violently the Earl Archer made a deal with the Devil (so to speak) Only he did not think his request through (he requested his future life force be a blood descendant, rich, handsome, strong, etc. selfish requests according to the witch casting the spell) and the deal was “tainted” by the witch, despite being made from a place of true love. He would meet up with his true love and know her by the family crest he re-designed for his wife after her death (she would be wearing it).
It would not be a life of long happiness and growing old together however. It would be a passionate, troubled, love affair to end in tragedy time and again.
Fast forward to Emma & Brendan.
Emma’s Aunt Christine took Emma in after her Mother had passed away, her step brother had died earlier from Meningitis & her Step Father, Henry, was proven to be a very abusive drunk that hurt Emma.
A fresh start ahead of her Emma was naturally nervous but optimistic about her new life.
Her first day of school she is the center of attention, especially Anthony’s. The school’s golden boy jock with an ugly side. Attention from Anthony is NOT what she wants. Anthony not used to being rejected makes it his mission to make Emma miserable.
Immediately Emma notices the beyond handsome Brendan Salinger. The enigmatic boy whom does not date many girls and is a bit of a loaner. Kristin, the school Queen Bee, notices Emma’s interest in Brendan & is not happy to see he is interested right back.
Life plods along as normal until Anthony hurts Emma’s sweet, younger cousin Ashley. Vicious rumors and getting a bit rough with her, pushes Emma to the edge. A showdown that humiliates Anthony takes place in the school. Brendan hops in to save Emma from a physical beating by Anthony.
Meanwhile Emma has discovered the meaning of the mysterious necklace/ crest she has been wearing that was a gift from her deceased twin brother. She is a bit scared of the story she has learned (the deal of Lord Archer) and wonders how it applies to her.
Signs begin manifesting that warns her of impending danger. Her friend Angelique helps her discover her true “identity” and helps her with a protection spell and a spell to enhance her natural witch powers.
Brendan, being a descendant of Lord Archer, remembers jokes about a family curse about doomed lovers. He goes to his Grandfather to learn the truth behind the jokes. Armed with a sketch of Emma’s necklace/crest he talks to his Grandfather and studies up on Lord Archer’s curse.
Both realize they are this generations doomed lovers and so begins the fight to save their love and their life’s in the process.
It will not be easy to fight a force so strong, almost stronger than their love. Both have to face unbelievable odds to survive. Couple that with the petty jealousies of Kristin and the cruel, bruised, ego of Anthony and they were in for a whirlwind of a time.
There is a way to “break” the curse for this generation but it would take a truly selfless soul to do it. A lover willing to make the ULTIMATE sacrifice for his/her soul mate.
The showdown between Anthony, Emma, and Brendan during the school dance was the curse putting them all to the ultimate test. As Emma watched the crest roll away after it was snapped off her neck during a struggle with Anthony (a sign the “end” was near) she passed out thinking of Brendan and hoping he was safe. Brendan catching up to them fights to the near death to protect Emma and their love. It was an intense, physical and emotional battle both took part in.
There were no casualties. The curse, it seems, was broken, for now..
Anthony is on the run and presumed out of the country..
Are Emma and Brendan truly free?
Emma is NOT your typical teen girl (being born a witch put aside). A breath of fresh air is what she was to me. Strong despite a hard life, not cynical either, she had a funny sarcastic side to her, sweet, loving and loyal to her friends and family. Emma was what you wish your daughter or sister or BFF to be like.
Brendan was not obsessive, clingy, or pathetic when faced with losing Emma. He manned up and jumped in with both feet. He fights the good fight and was willing to sacrifice whatever he had to. Good looks and obscene wealth aside, he is a sweet boy who had no problem admitting his flaws and mistakes from the past. He also took it one step further, he made a choice not to be a certain way (like Anthony for example) knowing he could have any girl, with a snap of his fingers, did not make him delusional or turn him into a ego crazed man whore. The fact he showed strength and vulnerability and did NOT run when things got tough (AHEM EDWARD..AHEM) made him even more swoon worthy in my eyes.
The books has a few amazing characters in it-
The schools “Queen Bee” Kristin, jealous of all the attention the new girl is getting she allows her insecurities to bring her to a place that gets people hurt. In my eyes she is a redeemable character. I am curious to see where she ends up in the sequel (please tell me there WILL be one).
Anthony, the schools golden boy jock who swears he is the end all be all for every teen girl in Vincent Academy. Anthony has a very dark, twisted, ugly side to him that could be fatal for the wrong person.
Ashley, the sweet, supportive, younger cousin of Emma. A fun girl who is all about the romance of Emma & Brendan.
Angelique, the school’s witch who is stereotypically made fun of for being different. She proves to be an invaluable friend and a source of much needed information.
Cisco & Jenn are not main characters but they prove to be invaluable friends for Emma and Brendan. I think Cisco could of used more “face time” seeing as he was technically her first best friend/confidant that was responsible for getting Brendan and Emma to connect outside of the school.