This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Second in the Sisters of the Heart paranormal romance suspense series and ninth in the Sea Haven series. The couple focus is on Stefan Prakenskii and Judith Henderson.
Oh boy, lots of conflicts going on in this one. The “sisters” are worried that Lev’s presence will anger Jackson and they’ll be forced to move from their refuge; Judith is resisting Stefan’s overtures; La Roux is fixated on Judith; Stefan has fallen so deeply for Judith and yet, he doesn’t know where he stands with her nor does he know if she knows about the microchip; the “sisters” are very worried over how quickly Judith seems to be falling in love; and, Stefan isn’t sure how much he can trust the brother he hasn’t seen in decades, especially after the training they received as children.
For all the action, there is a lot more introspection going on and it got rather tedious trying to read through it all. A lot of repetition. A lot of omission going on between Judith and Stefan.
I do love all the talk about art, creating it, preserving it, the descriptions of Judith’s two studios. I especially loved Feehan’s explanation of how Judith creates her kaleidoscopes and the uses they can be put to. Quite inventive.
A number of sweet bonding moments between brothers, sisters, and couples. And Stefan learns the hard way about honesty and relationships.
Lucky for Stefan that he’s sharing a French prison cell with Jean-Claude La Roux as it provides another step in the path Stefan has been following for the past five years tracking down a very valuable microchip. This Judith Henderson about whom La Roux is obsessed could very well hold the key to finding it. It certainly explains why La Roux is so desperate to keep track of Judith.
Since she learned the truth about La Roux, Judith has locked her gift down. The massacre when Jean-Claude was taken, after her brother was killed, has affected her and Judith is terrified of her abilities. Instead, she transfers her angers to a single painting in a single room. A debilitating choice as it shuts off half of Judith and the emotion that once splashed across canvases no longer lives.
In the meantime, the “sisters” are worried about Jackson’s response to Levi in Sea Haven. Will they be frozen out of Sea Haven because of Lev’s possible complicity in Stavros holding Elle (see Hidden Currents)?
Stefan is using his Thomas Vincent persona in Sea Haven to look into buying the gallery from Frank as his excuse to get close to Judith and be in place to protect his brother. If he was still alive. It doesn’t take long before Stefan has his first encounter with the assassin sent. Nor does it take more than a millisecond for Stefan to realize that Judith is his woman. And that he will do everything and anything he can to protect her from Ivanov or La Roux.
Judith Henderson is a world-renowned artist, maker of award-winning kaleidoscopes, a world-class conservator of paintings, and a survivor. Paul Henderson was her only family, tortured to death by Le Roux. She has formed a new family of sisters. Six women who have survived a violent past. All who have some elemental power. Together they purchased a farm in Sea Haven as a refuge and place of support. Ariana (Air), Rikki (Water), Blythe is a Drake cousin, Lexi (Earth), and Lissa.
Stefan Prakenskii is one of seven brothers orphaned when Russian soldiers murdered their parents. The boys were taken to separate camps and trained through torture to become the elite spies and assassins they are. Stefan is the third Prakenskii to show up in Sea Haven, I wonder if it’s something in the air…
Frank Warner and Inez Nelson want to consolidate their lives together. Frank, fresh from prison, wants to sell the gallery and then he will help Inez runs the village grocery. Bill is a homeless man for whom the village of Sea Haven protects and cares. Jonas is the sheriff in Sea Haven; well-trained, he’s married to Hannah Drake (Safe Harbor).
Jean-Claude La Roux is a master criminal who tortured Judith’s brother to death. He also stole a microchip that Russia wants back. Mike Shariton is the photographer La Roux has been paying to take pictures of Judith. Petr Ivanov is a Russian assassin, trained like the Prakenskii brothers. His handler, Sorbacov, has given him a double mission in Sea Haven.
Theodotus Solovyov and his bodyguard Gavriil Prakenskii, Stefan’s brother, were attacked for the microchip Solovyov carried. Joely Drake is married to Ilya Prakenskii (see Turbulent Sea). Levi (Prakenskii) Hammond is married to Rikki (see Water Bound). Elle Drake is married to Jackson (Hidden Currents), a sheriff’s deputy and the man the “sisters” believe will drive them out of Sea Haven.
The Cover and Title
The cover is purples with a thoughtful Judith in Stefan’s favorite pose on the beach. She’s wearing a short tank top displaying that thin slice of flesh that Stefan aches to caress and blue jeans. It’s such a beautiful and peaceful cover that is ruined by the author’s name in a very eye-catching holographic.
The title is true enough for Judith is Spirit Bound. Afraid to use her power, binding it down so as not to hurt anyone.