Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Tour Review: Bound by Duty by Stormy Smith

Title: Bound by Duty (Bound #1)
Author: Stormy Smith
Publication Date: July 24, 2014
Publisher: Perfect Storm Publishing
Pages: 390
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I received this book from the author 
in exchange for an honest review.

Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and she doesn't even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky Southern girl and to fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is and not what she'll be.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head or her heart win the battle?

Okay, I'll admit I didn't expect to love this book. Don't ask me why - I just didn't go in expecting much.

I was wrong. 

Bound by Duty was amazing from start to finish. There was romance, action, and magic. And it worked. The author writes beautifully and I was pulled into the world from the first page. Speaking of the world of the Bound series, it's unique! There are no vampires, werewolves, or fairies. There are mages. For those of you who aren't 100% sure where mages fall on the paranormal spectrum, have a couple definitions!
  • A magician or learned person.
  • An archaic word for magician.
  • A skilled magic user who, unlike wizards and sorcerers, needs no staff as an outlet of his magic, but instead uses his hands.
  • Wizard class in most role playing games.
So mages are wizard-like magical beings who have powers but do not require a wand. Alright, I can live with that. In this series there are Mages, Animages, and Hunters. The Animages turn into animals so they're like... weremages? And the Hunters work for the evil queen. Ah, yes, the queen. Well, she's bad, she's kind of a psycho, and she wants to use our heroine, Amelia, to secure her place forever. But Amelia is a badass who cannot allow this to happen. "How will she stop it?" you ask. Better read and find out, I guess. 

The best part about this book is that the characters are believable, sympathetic, and they're all well written - even the secondary characters. Amelia is a strong heroine who must choose between love and duty as her mother did before her. She's likable and, most importantly, she's not whiney! Her best friend, Bethany, is equally lovable, though her "oh, honeys" started to grate on my nerves by the end (I was born and raised in North Carolina and people don't really talk like that in the South). The men in their lives, Aidan and Micah, were the kind you wouldn't be ashamed to bring home to your dad. 

I did have the whole betrothal and mate thing pegged from about halfway through the book, but it certainly didn't detract from the story. When the end came I was at 94% on my Kindle, so be forewarned. I thought I had 6% of the story left to go when, suddenly, the "Acknowledgements" page was smacking me in the face. I'm not sure when the second book in the Bound series is going to be released, but it is definitely at the top of my to-read list.  

About the Author
I was born in Southeast Iowa, in a tiny town without much to do. I came to love reading honestly, with a Mom that had an entire room devoted to books. We read together until I could read alone, and then
we often shared books. We talked stories and favorite characters, even shared tears over the best ones. I made friends who also loved books and we grew up with the likes of V.C. Andrews, L.J. Smith and Anne Rice.

 I live in central Iowa now, and went into marketing because I could use my love of words and head for branding. I married a guy who hates fiction and loves video games, but we compromise with great movies (often my book adaptations) and live music. We have two crazy cats that constantly walk across my key board or curl into my lap for naps while I write.

 I love chocolate peanut butter and mint chocolate chip ice cream and Sauvignon Blanc wine, though not at the same time. I always have music of some sort on and someday I'll convince my husband to move to the ocean. Someday.

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