Sixteen year old Arelia LaRue lives in New Orleans where the music is loud, voodoo queens inhabit every street corner, and the ghosts are alive and well. Despite her surroundings, all she wants is to help her Grand-mere Bea pay the rent and save up for college.
When her best friend Sabrina convinces her to take a well-paying summer job at the infamous Darkwood plantation, owned by the wealthy LaPlante family, Arelia agrees.
However, at Darkwood strange things start to happen, and gorgeous Lucus LaPlante insists that he needs her help. Soon, the powers that Arelia has been denying all her life, come out to play and she discovers mysteries about herself that she could have never imagined.
As soon as I received this book to my kindle and started reading I was hooked. The writing is so rich and absorbing that it was difficult to put it down even for a few minutes!
Firstly the main character, Arelia, is someone I can relate to. From a poor background she and her Gran-mere have had to work hard just to keep a roof over their heads. Everything in Arelia's life is about survival so its no surprise when she decides to take the job offer of summer work at the Darkwood Estate.
Her best friend, Sabrina, comes from the other side of the fence, the rich side. While Arelia is very proud and would never accept any monetary help from Sabrina, her best friend still shows her kindness in different ways. Yes, Sabrina is spoiled beyond belief. Her work ethic is nonexistent and she has only one wish. To meet and eventually marry the heir to the Darkwood estate. The only problem is that Lucas, gorgeous and mysterious as he is only has eyes for Arelia. But why?
The characters in this story are brilliant and well developed. Ivan, the most annoying waiter, the irritating guests such as the Dumpty's, and Ms Mae and her secrets. All of them pop out of the book with such life that you feel like you're really in the house experiencing it all first hand.
And I can't not mention the food! I'm from England. I've never been to New Orleans. I have no idea what a pain perdu, buttermilk drop, shrimp gumbo, or any of the other delicious sounding foods are. I had to google them just to see pictures. The mentions of the food made even my mouth water!
The scenery of the Darkwood Estate is described exquisitely and was such an excellent backdrop for this amazing book. Arelia has a mysterious past that she has little knowledge of. Spirits talk to her as though they've known her for years, yet she doesn't understand why they come to her. Lucas singles her out and pays great attention to her. But he has a mysterious past too. And only Arelia has the ability to discover the truth and help him.
What I liked most was the fact that the author had clearly done a huge amount of research about Voodoo, the Spirits and the history that comes with it, especially that of the slave trade.
All in all, I loved Bound. I'm now reading Punished (Book 2) and I can't wait to find out what happens next! And Lucas? He can have my heart any day!! This is a must read for anyone who loves Paranormal Romance.
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