#Indie Intro

#Review: The Spellbound Spirit by Lana Hart

5 Stars for engagement and plot
3 Stars for execution

The plot is a haunting, murder mystery, erotica hybrid with a triangle of lead characters: Misty, Jack and Cassie. We all know the power of the triangle, especially where passion is involved. The murder victim also plays a key role in the events which unfold.

During horrific descriptions there is an engaging use of language which incorporates the senses to good effect. At times though it is somewhat clichéd. Some of the turns of phrase are lovely with a clever twist on well used phrases: “She wasn’t about to look a gift ghost in the mouth.” But it is during erotic descriptions where I’m less convinced. This is because it tips into Barbara Cartland mode at times.

The author negotiates big themes of loss, grief and familial mental health with great sensitivity. Misty’s fears regarding these issues feel authentic and are described with an accuracy which suggests the author has an intermit knowledge.

Sections where Jack and Misty are investigating are very engaging as is the dialogue between them as they negotiate old grudges and lingering feelings of attraction. Their characters are well realised and motivations believable.  Dialogue between characters is sometimes over long and at one point there is an overabundance of dialogue back to back which serves as exposition.

The book’s premise is what drew me to it in the first place. However, the main issue I have with it is that it cannot decide whether to be erotica or horror. There is no problem with a hybrid text but unfortunately the erotic aspects do not meld seamlessly with their horror counterpart.

The typography of the chapter headings and end chapter decals was also a touch distracting. Unless I’m reading a graphic novel I feel these to be unnecessary. The book could also have benefitted from a second set of eyes as there are some editing issues. There are also a couple of shifts in point of view which I understand were necessary to help move the plot along but jarred with the rest of the book as the majority of it is from Misty’s perspective with italics for her inner thoughts.

Overall this was an enjoyable read even though I anticipated some of the events which played out at the end. I look forward to reading more of what this author has to offer in future.

Other books by Lana Hart


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