Spellbound is the first book in Allie Therin’s Magic in Manhattan series of m/m historical romance novels. As soon as I heard about this book on Twitter, I made a request on Netgalley, and was thrilled to pieces when it was approved.
First of all, most of the m/m historicals I’ve read have been either Regency-era or Victorian. I don’t think I’ve read anything else set in the 1920s, so my interest was already piqued based on setting alone… but then Therin is throwing MAGIC into the mix?
Sign me up!
Rory and Arthur come from completely different worlds. Rory is a scruffy orphan who works in his aunt’s antique shop, and Arthur is the wealthy son of a congressman. There’s also a bit of an age difference- Rory is 20 and Arthur is 28. Their paths cross when Arthur discovers that Rory has the ability to “scry”; he can touch an object and see its provenance. They don’t get along very well, but they are going to have to work together if they are going to defeat the magical threat before it destroys the city.
Needless to say, as Rory and Arthur begin to spend more time together, the former realizes that the latter isn’t so bad, and there is a lot of shy looks and second-guessing of feelings, and oh my goodness, the slow burn was exquisite!
Unlike some m/m historical paranormal series, magic doesn’t play a large role in Spellbound/Magic in Manhattan. This is ironic, given the series name, but seriously- there’s an undercurrent of magic throughout New York, and many of Arthur’s associates have abilities, but that’s just correlation. The general population has no idea that magic/extraordinary abilities are real. In fact, there are several instances in which uncanny happenings are attributed to drunkenness… which reminds me- 1925 means Prohibition- and that certainly added an interesting element to the story.
This book combines tropes: enemies to lovers and slow burn. The former isn’t too pronounced; there isn’t true animosity; more like preconceived notions, especially Rory regarding Arthur. But oh my gosh- the slow burn was amazing. The reader knows that Rory likes Arthur and vice versa, but they both doubt their own feelings for more than half the book. So, there may have been some actual squealing on my when they finally kissed.
I would absolutely recommend Spellbound to fans of m/m historical paranormal series. Even if you’ve only read regular m/m historicals, I would still recommend this book as a good introduction to the paranormal genre. I’m so pleased to have discovered Therin, and I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.