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Bespelled by Dani Kristoff
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Even though I’m a scientist by day, I don’t mind a little magic in my reading. I love to wonder ‘what if’ and secret witch covens living amongst the ordinary folk of Sydney got me hooked in this delightful, fun and sexy read. (Although it’s put me off love spells for the immediate future – it seems that the beloved can be a little too clingy and starry eyed for my liking).

Bespelled by Dani Kristoff is a ro-magic novel that was a great pick me up for my midweek slump. It’s funny, with super sexy parts, some high drama and a sweet ending. It packs a lot into the story besides the romance too, such as family secrets being revealed for both hero and heroine. Our heroine is Elena, a half-witch whose mother disappeared when she was a child. Elena’s kind of felt a little on the outer since then, even though she has a great relationship with her aunt and cousin. She knows she’s not much of a witch, being able to do only simple spells and her family haven’t put much into her witchy training as a consequence of her half blood. She does excel though in the real world and that’s why her cousin Grace has asked her to negotiate with hotshot Sydney lawyer Jake on her behalf. Jake has no time for romance – he’s all about the work and the profile. He meets Elena and he is stunned – literally. He’s been hit by a love spell and now he only has signs for Elena. Elena decides the only thing to do is to take Jake home with her to keep him safe until the spell can be reversed. Of course, it’s not easy having a love god with eyes only for Elena in the house, which makes for both funny and sexy moments. As Elena aims to find the love spell perpetrator, she finds out several family secrets. She also finds herself in some crazy situations – stripping on a skyscraper roof to stop Jake ending it all as despair takes over from the love spell is just one of them.

I really liked Elena. She was incredibly disciplined, not taking advantage of love-struck Jake despite his desperation to show his love in any way possible (which were comical at times). Although she was disappointed in her lack of witch powers, she didn’t let it overwhelm her and simply got on with life. I did think that her reactions to some situations were a little rushed, but this book does contain a great deal in addition to the romance, so perhaps there wasn’t time for full reflection. Plus, one of the other things I enjoyed was how the plot didn’t let up for a minute –it’s all go. Jake was hot, but with a sad history that was explored well when the spell wore off. The differences between Jake under the spell and normal Jake were very clear, but his essence shone through all the time so he didn’t seem like a different person.

I’d love to see some more stories set in this world – the magic elements are fascinating without taking over the plot and the romance. An enchanting read.

Thank you to Escape Publishing for the eBook. My review is honest.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Jan 31, 2015 |
Bespelled by Dani Kristoff is a paranormal romance novella by an author who has had less racy books/stories published under the name Donna Maree Hanson, including Rayessa and the Space Pirates, which I reviewed last year.

Elena Denholm is a mild-mannered half witch. As a favour to her cousin, she agrees to meet with top Sydney lawyer, Jake Royston, to negotiate a property deal. Sparks fly immediately, but before they can even take a sip of wine, let alone explore where the sizzle might go, Jake is hit by a love spell and is helpless against his feelings for Elena.

Jake may be at her mercy, but Elena is keeping her hands off — exploiting humans is a no-no. But Jake’s good looks and powers of persuasion are breaking down her resolve, and Elena knows she must do something fast.

Desperate to set things right before her resolve crumbles, Elena begins a frantic search to find the witch or warlock who hexed Jake and return him to his right mind, even if it means breaking her own heart...


I have to admit, my eyes skipped passed this cover entirely the first time I saw it because it looks like a straight Romance and the title doesn't suggest paranormal that strongy (although yes, it's implied, especially in retrospect, but it's not like "witch" is in the name). And, thinking about it, those models look nothing like the characters, especially the guy who spends a lot of time in a suit in the book. If you're curious, I don't have much interest in reading straight Romance, because I prefer to have some spec fic elements to add something extra to the plot. Bespelled does this admirably. Although the romantic element comes in at full throttle fairly early in the book, it does so for magical reasons (a malicious love spell) which remain central to the plot throughout.

I liked Elena, the main character. I found her relationships with people in her life, particularly her family, to be believable. She was abandoned by her mother and spent the first thirteen years of her life raised by humans, until her aunt found her. Then, as a half-witch, she doesn't fully immerse herself in coven life. She has a pro-human activist streak in her, but it wasn't exaggerated or very prominent to the story, which I liked. It adds to the layers of her character. Jake was a bit less developed, mainly because he spent a large portion of the book under a love spell and hence out of his mind. But he does end up having some unexpected development. I won't say more because spoilers.

There are a lot of steamy scenes in Bespelled and I found them quite well-written. Sometimes the language in detailed sex scenes can be unintentionally comical — ruining the moment — but I didn't find that to be the case in Bespelled. I was generally impressed with the book overall. I would recommend Bespelled to all fans of paranormal romance, especially those that enjoy some coherent plot between the sex scenes.

4.5 / 5 stars

You can read more of my reviews on my blog. ( )
  Tsana | Mar 7, 2014 |
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