Author: Sylvia Day
Sylvia Day is quite prolific at the moment with her books being released in rapid succession, though I am still quite new to her work with this being only the second one I have read. It seems all her work has an erotic flavour though it falls into different categories. She writes contemporary, historical and paranormal erotic fiction; both of the books I have read are paranormal.
Spellbound is a collection of three connected short stories that have been brought together for the first time in this volume. The first two stories have been published in anthologies but the third is previously unreleased. It is glaringly obvious that these three tales were written as stand alone stories and originally published separately because there is significant rehashing of previous events in each story. If I was reading these stories at different times and in different publications that would be a welcome refresher but collected in one volume dedicated to Max and Victoria it was unnecessary and repetitive, especially in a volume of less than 200 pages in total.
Victoria is a Familiar, a magical creature who can transform from feline to human form and is always bound to a Warlock. The matches are generally made by the High Council to enhance the power of the Warlock but sometimes the match also brings a great love. This was the case with Victoria and her first Warlock, Darius, a loss she has never recovered from after his death almost two centuries ago.
A Familiar is at risk of going feral if they are not bound, like all felines they need to be looked after. The High Council have been sending Hunters after Victoria for years, trying to tame her for retraining and reassigning to a new Warlock. With his dying breath Darius bequeathed Victoria his power, making her the most powerful Familiar the Council have come across and very difficult to tame. She has managed to break every Hunter they have sent her way – until now.
Max is a Hunter, unrivalled for power and success rates. The Council are thinking about recruting him to their ranks and they always save the most difficult jobs for him. He often gets the assignments they don’t think are rehabilitatable and will require assassination. His reputation for success sees the Council sending Max after Victoria, fearing her higher power level and the ease with which she has broken the other Hunters.
Hunters don’t take Familiars, though they are a fabulous and steamy way to enhance power they can also be used as a weakness so it doesn’t happen. Hunters track and break ferals before returning them to the council to be bound to another Warlock, moving onto the next job. Never getting attached and never connecting with the Familiar they work with. It would be interesting to see what would happen if this were one day to change and a Hunter found they couldn’t give up the Familiar they had rehabilitated and retamed…
All of this taming and binding is done sexually with the Warlock placing his Familiar in the role of submissive. He dominates in every aspect and keeps firm discipline of his Familiar, because the match between Victoria and Darius grew into one of love that balance of power shifted a little and he never made her the submissive he was supposed to. Add to that her 200 years of freedom and she is unwilling to submit to another Warlock.
Max knows that he is going to need to approach this case with care, Victoria isn’t going to respond to his usual tactics so he comes at it differently and takes care of her first, then moves to the sexual domination. He feeds her and grooms her and makes her feel safe before taking her to the bedroom.
This is a short volume consisting of three short stories so there is not a great deal of world building, very little in the way of exploring the characters and the paranormal elements of the world. There is a definite storyline to follow and a cohesive plot but the bulk of the pages are filled with raunchy sex scenes and due to the nature of the relationships explored much of the sex is of a BDSM nature. We are back to many different words being used to keep up the variety and that brings the C word back into rotation but in this case it was usually only if the word was being spoken, when describing a scene it was usually one of a few other words but in dialogue it was the C word and I think that grated on me even more than usual. But as I have said before that’s my personal aversion to the word and when reading books of this genre that word can definitely be expected.
For a quick hot read this is definitely an enjoyable option though not necessarily a good indicator of the quality of Sylvia Day’s writing.