Favorite Quote: “..he was drowning in the need to be a better man.”
Stefan Prakenskii is working undercover in a french prison, trying to uncover the location of a secret microchip. He believes his cell mate, Jean-Claude LaRoux, stole the microchip but that’s not what interests Stefan. It’s the hundreds of pictures of a single woman that decorates the cell. A beautiful solitary woman who speaks to Stefan through the photographs. When his mission ends, he is contacted to find this woman and gain her trust in any way possible. His superiors believe that La Roux will contact her and led them to the chip. Stephan believes that his superiors want him in Sea Haven for another reason. Something to do with his brother Lev who died there. He comes to Sea Haven and begins to set his trap.
Judith Henderson lives with her “sisters” in Sea Haven creating her art. A renowned artist, she had an affair with La Roux until she witnessed a devastating crime and realized that La Roux was an insane dangerous man. Her talent over whelmed her,creating danger to all around her, so she fled to Sea Haven and begins to rebuild her life ruthlessly cutting out all emotion. When she meets a man who wants to purchase the gallery she can’t believe the connection she feels to him. Her senses come alive for the first time in years. A single glance binds her to him but she refuses to allow herself the fall.
Spirit Bound is the second in Ms. Feehan’s Sisters of the Heart series. This series is a direct spin off of her Drake Sister series and there is a strong character and arc overlap that is present in the background. You can start with the first of this series but you would get a better overall understanding if you started with the Drake Sister series. Spirit Bound picks up where Water Bound left off.
Judith Henderson is an elemental spirit. She is able to transmit and imprint her emotions on other people. She chooses to now ‘live’ through her art to avoid hurting anyone. In the beginning I found her to be strong and interesting character. I soon realized that she is easily influenced. Once she met and fell for Stefan it was like she was absorbed in to him and while she voiced her opinions and thoughts, he steam rolled right over her and she sighed like a love sick teenager. She doesn’t like conflict which made me want to bang my head on my desk as I watched her gloss over and ignore certain situations. She completely embodied the term that love forgives all.
I did like Stefan in the beginning. Stolen from his family at a young age, he was molded into the ultimate weapon-a human chameleon. He is frank in his thoughts about what he needs to do and why and I respected that. The problem came when he meets Judith. When Stefan acknowledges he has fallen in love with Judith but starts to make excuses for his continuing to lie, omit, and makes decisions for her, all justified because of his love and childhood, I got disgusted. I felt like his love was nothing more then a gilded cage that he builds around Judith. He violates her privacy, lies to her, omits things from her, and at one point does something that completely shocked and horrified me. But what horrifies me more is Judith just lets it go with a tiny slap on the hand and a minor sulk session.
The chemistry is very sensually written, Ms Feehan has a gift for making a trip to the grocery store an erotic experience, but there is a lot of emotional pontification in here that drags the story down. I felt like Ms. Feehan was trying too hard to convince me they were made for one another. Their dialogue, both internal and external, is almost bi polar in its revelations. The plot and main conflict suffer because of this. Both were underdeveloped and completely buried under the romance of the story. We see the main villain once in the beginning, then once in the end. With the build up in the beginning, I expected more of a fight out of him.
The secondary characters were better. Personable with deeply developed characterization, their presence helped to calm the story down and bridge certain areas allowing for comprehension. I loved seeing the sisters, especially Rikki and her husband. The ending comes hard and fast, leaving me feeling like I missed part of the story.
I think the main problem I have with this story and Feehan’s work in general is that her heroes fall into two groups. Always mega alphas, they will either be calm and view their females as an equals, or overly dominate and force their will upon their females. You never know which type you’re going to get from book to book and it makes for uneasy reading. This one fell under the second category of heroes and was disappointing.
Overall Rating: D+