Jefferson McCoy and Odelia Hatfield met in college and fell madly in love. Unfortunately, though, their families have been feuding for as long as anyone can remember and will never accept the two of them together. Not to mention, they both had a celibacy spell cast on them by their wacky aunts and uncles so that if they make love before being married, there will be dire consequences. Jefferson and Odelia are finding it increasingly difficult to wait, so they're planning a surprise wedding to coincide with their graduations. But when both sides of their family get wind of their relationship, can they make it to the altar before disaster strikes?
Spellbound was an interesting romantic novella that wasn't quite like anything I've read before. It was a fun, rather madcap story in which we get modern-day versions of the Hatfields and the McCoys, except in this scenario, they're African-American practitioners of voodoo magic. Jefferson and Odelia, the hero and heroine, met at college and fell in love despite their feuding families, and each of them have eerie commonalities in their backgrounds which form a yin and yang of sorts. They both also have a celibacy spell over their heads, so that if they make love without being married, one or both of them it seems will die (I wasn't entirely clear on that part, though). They're having an increasingly difficult time waiting, so they're planning a surprise wedding to coincide with their families being in town for their college graduations. The only problem is that when their families find out ahead of time, they start working spells to keep them apart.
Because of the brevity of the story, we don't get to know Jefferson and Odelia very well. All we really learn about is the feud, the commonalities I spoke of, and that they're quite simply madly in love and want nothing more than to be married. However, they seem like a very sweet couple, and because of the celibacy spell, it appears to be implied, though not outright stated, that they're both virgins, which is pretty unusual in a romance. I was certainly rooting for them to make it to the altar before disaster struck. I liked both of their grandmothers, who are from the Robinson and Jones families and had children who married into the feud. They really go to bat for their grandkids and although the Hatfields and McCoys do stir up some trouble, I loved the way their spells backfired on them, which was really funny. The only thing I had difficulty with is that it started to get confusing with so many characters in such a short story. Otherwise, though, I enjoyed Spellbound and can recommend it.
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