Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Bewitched by Laura Thalassa
Series: Bewitched #1
on April 18, 2023
Genres: Fantasy Romance
At age twenty, Selene Bowers desperately hopes to be accepted into Henbane Coven, an academy for young witches. Since one of the requirements for entry is to connect with her powers via a quest through the wilderness, Selene books a trip to South America. When a nefarious supernatural force tries to drag her plane from the sky, Selene's magic awakens to save her life―at a cost. Using her powers devours her memories, one by one.
Worse, when Selene braves the jungle and discovers the source of the attack, she finds herself awakening an ancient evil, Memnon the Cursed, who mistakes Selene for his long-dead wife. The wife who betrayed him. Selene manages to escape and begin her studies at Henbane, but when Memnon turns up at the coven and witches are found dead across campus, Selene becomes entangled in a dangerous plot. Accused of the murders on the basis of her memory loss, Selene must rely on Memnon's help for answers―and his plans for her will change everything.
Bewitched is the first book in the new Bewitched series by Laura Thalassa. I have enjoyed the way Laura Thalassa has written antihero male characters in the past and looked forward to a brand new series with another questionable male lead. The Bargainer series has been a favorite of mine and I loved the dark male lead of that. Bewitched seems promising in that regard too, with another male lead locked away by magic for millennia supposedly by the woman who loved him.
Selene has magic and at the tender age of 22 she has been trying to get into the esteemed Henbane Coven for years. To be accepted, she went on a magic quest and while there found a familiar, a very cool one, and possibly woke up her husband from a previous life that she herself trapped. Thing is she has no memory of her past life; she barely has memories of her current life since her magic steals memories from her life as payment.
Memnon, trapped for millennia has plotted his revenge for years against his love that bound him. He wants her to pay for her betrayal, but he didn’t plan on this woman that doesn’t remember him at all and seems innocent of the crime he has accused her of. They play a game of cat and mouse as he tries to tease memories from her. He wants her to remember him and the love and passion they share before he breaks her the way she broke him. She will pay for her betrayal.
As a first book goes, this sets the stage well. Selene and her unusual magic, mystery from her past to be solved, current mystery of who is murdering witches and why does she seem to be in the middle of it all, sexy man from her past she can’t remember. The story builds until the reveal at the end which made me wonder what direction Laura will take in the next book.
Memnon, I’m also on the fence about. I can see why he has this great need for revenge and how he is torn, but sometimes he is just a jerk. Is it warranted or is he just a megalomaniac bent on power? Hard to say without knowing the story of their past. I look forward to having more of that past story revealed and seeing if this is a love that will conquer all of time or if Memnon can’t be redeemed and Selene will have to figure out how to destroy the man she loved in a past life.
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