Review: This book had many clichés that might have made me dislike it - girl with a tragic past, an elite private school, a super-ultra-extra gorgeous guy, almost instant attraction, mean girls, gossip, ... But yet, Cara Lynn Shultz uses said clichés well and created a fascinating story, that I ended up enjoying so much.
Emma, as the protagonist, was quite believable. There's a balance between the tragic side of her, having been through so much, and the teenage side of her, where she frets over a boy, and is vulnerable and insecure. But she also packs some strength of character, as seen in the scene where she defends her cousin Ashley and in a scene towards the book's end.
Brendan was also a surprise. He fits the "tall dark and handsome" bill, but as we see him through Emma's eyes, he actually gains some substance, and it becomes lovely to see them interact. Both Emma and Brendan are so obviously teenagers when we see them falling for each other, and yet they have to deal with something else, something much more serious.
That is the book's mystery, and I'm afraid I can't write much about it, as I would spoil it entirely. I was somewhat spoiled by reading the stupid blurb in the book's back cover. The book's description is safe to read, though.
Back to the mystery and the supernatural part of the story, I liked that it was a bit "outside the box". It made for a fresh take on paranormal romance. I loved to read Lord Archer and Gloriana's story, and how their story was so important for Emma and Brendan's story. Not all things are answered right away, but as there is a sequel planned I didn't mind.
I also loved to read the short story at the end of the book, in Angelique's POV, as it gave me an insight into her thoughts - she is a very interesting character, so it was nice to read her snark. Also, we got a peek into another story in Hadrian's Medieval Legends, a book mentioned in Spellbound, and that was crucial to its story, so it was nice to see such book featured.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen