Jane Paris is everything a young woman should be: polite, charming, and obedient, with a glowing reputation and a good man all but begging for her hand in marriage. If she has any doubts about her role in life, they’re easy to push down. But when she takes a fateful shortcut through the woods, her idyllic life is threatened by an attack from the fabled beasts who stalk the trees. Fortunately, she’s rescued by the equally fabled witch who lives there. Unfortunately, the attack has left injuries that only the witch can heal. Jane is forced to stay with her until she recovers.
This poses a problem, because the witch, Adelaide Thompson, is everything that Jane is not: blunt, abrasive, and unapologetic. But there is more to the fabled woman of the woods than meets the eye, and her harsh exterior belies a gentle kindness. As they grow closer, Jane’s attraction to both magic and the witch herself get harder to ignore. But can a life with Adelaide alone and cut off from society truly fulfill her, or will she be forced to compromise on her happiness no matter her choice?
Much thanks to the authors for providing a copy of this for review. This did not affect the content of my review in any way.
If you’re in the market for a slice of life fantasy romance novel–have I got the book for you! Spellbound is the second book I’ve read by Ophelia Silk and I’m coming to appreciate the authors’ writing–especially with the characters because that’s where things really shine.
Now, if you’ve been reading my reviews for a while then you know I love characters above everything, so a large part of my enjoyment here was through the two main characters. One of the things that is done so well here is showing characters that are conflicted and maybe a bit gruff on the outside but are really supportive and caring partners. Conversations are had! I am so not a fan of the whole ‘miscommunication’ trope and it’s refreshing to have characters actually sit down and discuss their feelings. That’s how they learn to work through overcoming obstacles and not only that but also learn more about themselves through the process. Adelaide is that gruff character hiding a soft underbelly–living alone in the forest she’s isolated and you can tell that she’s really longing for company. When Jane stumbles into the forest they both find exactly what each other needs. Jane is so unsure, confused between what she wants and what she feels obligated to do according to her family and society. They really play off of each other well and it was a joy to see their relationship unfold. If I had any small bit of criticism when it comes to the characters it’s that I wish some of the side characters had been a little more flushed out–instead they seem to exist just to reinforce good or bad choices that one of the main characters has to make.
I thought the relationship element was really great. The romance developed naturally over the course of the book and there was plenty of tension leading up to Adelaide and Jane discussing what they were feeling. I wasn’t a huge fan of the way that Jane always handled things, but there does need to be conflict coming from some where. And since this is a relationship focused book that would be where the conflict usually arises from. I really loved that this was more of a slice of life story. We get the daily routine of Adelaide and then Jane living in the cottage, taking care of day to day needs, spending any downtime, etc. If you go into this expecting a lot of action or adventure you may be disappointed but I loved how low-key everything was. Of course, for Jane and Adelaide the personal stakes here were very high! The fantasy elements were not a huge focus but I did enjoy learning about Adelaide being a witch and that not all the magic is inherited–some can be learned!
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It was a breath of fresh air as far as the romance is concerned and the characters were a delight. I will definitely be looking forward to the next Ophelia Silk book. 4/5 stars.