ShadowboundShadowbound (Dark Arts #1) by Bec McMaster

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SynopsisWhen a powerful relic goes missing from a secret society that dabbles in the occult, Miss Ianthe Martin is charged with finding it at all costs. She needs help, but all clues point to someone on the inside being the thief. The only sorcerer she knows that can’t possibly be involved, is the very man she saw locked in Bedlam a year ago…

The mad, bad, dangerous Earl of Rathbourne.

When the seductive Miss Martin appears in his Bedlam cell, Rathbourne fears he’s finally lost his mind. The devilish sorceress played a hand in his incarceration, and now she comes asking for help? Perhaps she should begin by begging for mercy…

But Ianthe’s offer of freedom is one he can’t refuse, although he has a clause of his own to add. She may bind him with her power–the only way to still the demons haunting him–but for every day spent under her command, the nights will be his… to wreak delicious revenge on her willing flesh.

Review: I did enjoy the story and I will most definitely read more from it, but I don’t yet love it like London Steampunk. Initially, this series didn’t grab me like McMaster’s London Steampunk series. It starts out a bit slowly but it does pick up. There was something about the characters and conflict that didn’t have the spark and flair and depth that Blade and Honoria and their crew had. Except for Sebastian and Cleo. They stood out more than Lucan and Ianthe.  The story does pick up and gets interesting the more Cleo and Sebastian come into play. Ianthe and Lucien also grow stronger as characters and as a couple when they begin to share secrets and trust. Throw in a demon, the Prime discovering that the son thought dead is alive and that he loves a woman who risks her very life to help him, and the story definitely picks up and gets stronger. By the end of book 1, I am definitely ready for more. The conflict and villains were well thought out and strong, they are formidable and daunting enough to make the battle to win believable. The final battle is big and dramatic. Lots of pieces moving in tandem and all coming together to make an enjoyable story. The series has potential.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book

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