Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Tour Review: Bound by Spells by Stormy Smith

Title: Bound by Spells (Bound #2)
Author: Stormy Smith
Publication Date: March 19, 2015
Publisher: Perfect Storm Publishing
Pages: 472
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Review for book 1

Aidan Montgomery hadn’t been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn’t expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he’s embracing it — finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia’s best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.

Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen’s mercy, she spends her days with Micah — an ally she still holds at arm’s length — struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia’s true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she’s willing to sacrifice.

Will Aidan get to Amelia before it's too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart? 
Last summer I was lucky enough to participate in the Bound by Duty blog tour. Here was a book I had never heard of and really went into blindly, but came out totally in love! But... you know how it is when you read a book right when it comes out and then have to wait seemingly forever for the next one? Well, thank goodness book two didn't take a full year! I was so psyched when I found out Bound by Spells was being released that I absolutely had to get in on the pre-release events! And this one was totally worth the wait.

Bound by Spells picks up right where Bound by Duty left off - with Amelia amongst her enemies and Aidan unsure of how to help her. Not only that, but Aidan's also fighting an internal battle with himself since discovering his animage powers... and his inner wolf. Amelia is also learning to control the torrent of power that has been released within her and trying desperately not to give in to it completely. But the very best part is that the location shifts for book two, to the magnificent home of Micah's mother. While I definitely liked the college setting of book one and felt like it was a perfect way to get to know all of the characters, I loved getting to explore this new place with Amelia and Micah! Especially the library...

I fell in love with the characters of Bound by Duty and they continued to wow me throughout book number two. I so loved watching as Aidan discovered things about himself and came to terms with them. He definitely became my favorite character in the series for so many reasons, not least of which was his stepping up to the plate when he could have said no. Amelia too made some amazing choices in Bound by Spells - some that I wanted to beat her over the head for, but still... And, well, Micah was still Micah. I liked him for sure, but he definitely isn't the main man!

The action in this book, while a little scarce, was still exciting and moved the story ahead at a good pace, never dragging like some middle books do. My only complaint is that Amelia and Aidan are not together (well, not really) for most of the book. It's a little bit of a pet peeve of mine when characters spend an entire book trying to get back together (see my review for World After). Luckily though, Bound by Spells made up for it in another way, so it wasn't as bad as it could've been without that small, spoilery detail.

Overall, I really liked where this book took the series. Stormy Smith has written a fantastic story with amazing, strong characters who have held my attention from book one, page one. She has been on several of my top ten lists over the last year and, after finishing book two, I can confidently say she'll be in a lot more of them. I can't wait to see where book three goes (and I'm really hoping for a lot more Aidan/Amelia moments)!

Through our first month of class, I sat back and observed the quiet girl who moved with the same weighted motions I did. She understood loneliness. It was clear in the way she would brighten at an instructor's question, but dim as she refused to allow herself to answer. The way she moved with awkward grace, always bumping into things, but never people. I had overheard her and Bethany talking, and I knew she would be at that party. It was why I'd gone. But I felt like a creeper. I had been hiding out, berating myself for being there, when she came flying down the stairs.

I watched Amelia leap from the bottom stair of the deck like she could fly ― all of the awkwardness gone and her movements fluid and beautiful. She pushed her way into the oncoming tide. She was lit up in the moonlight as her head dropped back and from my angle, I could see her smile. I was an intruder on the moment, but her smile broke something open inside of me. She was content and I was jealous. I wanted to know her secrets. I wanted to know how she found that place. She was my beginning and my end. Because now that she's gone, I'm some kind of magical freak and I'm alone — again. (Aidan)

About the Author

Stormy Smith calls Iowa's capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.

Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn't be stopped. When she isn't working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy's favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

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