Monday, October 30, 2017

Book Review: Damned (Blackwell Series, Book One) by Alexandrea Weis ~ Paranormal Romance/ Supernatural Thriller

Blackwell Series
Book One
Alexandrea Weis

Release Date October 3, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Supernatural Thriller

Word Count: 108,000

Publisher: Vesuvian Books

About the Book:

Over a hundred years after the death of Magnus Blackwell, Altmover Manor sits abandoned.

Lexie Arden and her fiancé, Will Bennet, are determined to rescue the neglected Mount Desert Island landmark. They want to make Altmover Manor their home. But Magnus has other plans.

A spirit bound to his former residence, Magnus finds himself inexplicably drawn to the young woman. She has a supernatural gift; a gift Magnus wants to exploit.

As Lexie and Will settle in, secrets from Magnus’s past begin to surface.

Compelled to learn all she can about the former owner, Lexie becomes immersed in a world of voodoo, curses, and the whereabouts of a mysterious dragon cane.

Magnus’s crimes won’t be so easily forgotten, and what Lexie unearths is going to change the future … for everyone.

Bound to a spirit with a sinister history, a woman with a dark power will battle to rule the realm of the dead…

When Lexie Arden and her fiance, Will Bennet, arrive at the historical manor in Maine Will just purchased, the division in levels of excitement is clear. Will is excited and can't wait to begin restoring the old, rundown manor and Lexie finds the place unnerving and creepy. You can tell right away that there is something "otherly" about Lexie because she no more than steps into the manor for the first time and otherworldly phenomena begins. Will, who doesn't believe in ghosts doesn't support her reports of strange happenings, furthering Lexie's discomfort with the house. 

Lexie takes it upon herself to learn about the previous inhabitants, especially Magnus Blackwell. She learns a lot about the deaths of Magnus and his wife, along with other deaths that have happened in the house. When she visits the local historical society and is presented with a box of possessions bequeathed by the previous caretaker, Emily Mann, Lexie learns that her new home is a hotbed for voodoo activity - if the evidence in the box of possessions is any indication.

Damned is a book that will pull you in from the beginning and have you reading until wee hours of the night. Will is a non-believer in the supernatural. Lexie, on-the-other-hand, has a gift. I do not like Will one bit. He's condescending and uncaring when it comes to Lexie and her discomfort with the house and the caretaker he's employed to help with the manor. I'm not a believer either but if I was with someone who was having the experiences Lexie was having I would stop and think about whether keeping the manor and restoring it was worth it or not. He's very insensitive through a good portion of the book. Lexie is an interesting character who is tolerant of Will even as she's being tormented by ghosts in the home.

The progression of Damned involves a trip to New Orleans to investigate Altmover Manor and its relation to the voodoo paraphernalia left to Lexie and Will by Emily Mann. The connection between the house, the ghosts haunting Lexie, and the caretaker all revolve around voodoo. Lexie learns quite a bit of information pulling everything together. 

The book progresses at a steady pace and is very engaging. The world building is well developed and I was able to visualize everything in the book. The way the author described the manor was vivid and I fell in love with everything about it regardless of the evil surrounding the manor. The character development was done well and I was able to connect to the characters. The author did a great job writing believable characters in a creative setting.

The only odd thing about the book are the sex scenes. They just didn't really work for me in the story. I understand the premise behind them but I really think the book would have been just as good, or better, without them. The ghost worked his magic in other ways that fit with the story.

Damned is a great paranormal romance, supernatural thriller. The unique plot was enjoyable and the story that Alexandrea Weis told was fresh and different. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good ghost story.

There are adult scenes not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book.

My Rating:

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