Binds - Rebecca  Espinoza

Ophelia is a trophy wife, married to Donovan who is as power hungry and as abusive as it gets. He is the kind of character that will find his place in history books, named as one of the monsters of humankind. His portrait would look really good (sorry for being cynical!) next to those who came to political power and destroyed lives just because they could. Kinda funny that he himself is nothing but a puppet himself, controlled by his father who is the real monster behind the scenes.

 

Unexpectly captured after attending a dinner, being always the dutiful wife even against her own will, Ophelias´ life turns around quite a bit and discovers she is actually a Mage. A race who goes through horrible times but with magical powers.

 

Responsible for her kidnapping is a small cast of Mage rebels who are not willing to be victims of Ophelias´ tyrannical husband, Donovan, and fight the good fight against the dictator. Ophelia knows nothing about this world or the war that is raging, and most of her new allys don´t trust her, seeing her as the wife of the dictator they despise only.

 

Spencer the arrogant and cocky rebel leader, and Reece the soft, sweet, gentle guy who wants to keep Ophelia safe are the ones who care the most. They all have their own secrets, and so it´s never quite clear what to expect, and even more so whom really to trust. A triangle, a good guy vs bad guy romance in the making? Psst! I won´t tell. ;-)

 

Ophelia is quite a strong heroine and even the situation she finds herself in seems bizarre she is determind to make the best of it, and becomes more confidental with every turn of the pages. Love also the snark and her wit, and Ophelia is really everything but a doormat. Ophelia seems very real to me. A longing to be respected as equal, to be cared for but also not taking shit from anyone anymore. Mixed emotions as they are so much of a part of a daily life of everyone. And no, I won´t call this moody! We all have our insecurities, but also our hidden strength we know nothing about and only learn how much we are able to bear and actually to do when we are confronted with situations where one simply has to act. And that´s what I love about Ophelia. A believeable, likeable character that grows mentally. That is what I call character development.

 

Urban fantasy with an underlying mystery, a hint of romance too but the whole story is like a puzzle, or like a journey one makes. One gets more hints without seeing the real, the bigger picture until one is finally able to connect the single dots. And that makes Binds that good. Nothing is revealed right from the start, nothing is as it seems on first glance. It takes some work and some patience probably, but it is a marvelous and intriguing world Rebecca has created, fully and well developed characters and a pacing that is just right. A good mix of action, an extremly good ear for funny dialogues and an unpredictable storyline keeps the book together. Just gorgeous. And every time I thought I figured everything out came another twist, another turn of events that caught me off guard, and kept me reading coz my curiousity got the better of me. 

 

It is just that good!

 

Of couse I am also biased in that sense that I freaking love the name Ophelia. Sue me! Seriously. I love the name so much that I already decided that my first born daugher will be named Ophelia. I am not kidding! We all have our little obsessions I guess, and this is one of mine. Hah! I said it. So of course I was pleasantly surprised to find a character named Ophelia (see how often I type Ophelia just to name the name again!) who is awesomesauce.

 

Rebecca is also one of the nicest gals around, even I don´t remember anymore if I chatted her up after reading Binds, or if I read her debut novel after I met her. Not that it matters. I do trust Rebecca that she will make the right decisions and the magical world she so wonderfully created will continue to grow, to expand and hold its powers over me.