Book Review: Entangled by Nikki Jefford
Spellbound Book 1
Nikki Jefford, February 2012
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From the author—
Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body.
Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she’s stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn’t half as bad as hanging out with Charlene’s snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.
The “normals” of McKinley High might be quick to write her behavior off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.
Now Gray has to solve the mystery of her death and resurrection while working out a way to disentangle herself from Charlene’s body before she disappears for good.
I suspect one of the hardest things an author has to do—or should do—is make a familiar theme fresh, different from the pack, and I admire those who pull it off. I have to give credit to Nikki Jefford because she did indeed come up with a new idea. Maybe I should say it was a new idea to me but I suspect many readers have had the same feeling.
Stories about twins aren’t unusual, even stories in which the twins dislike each other, but I don’t know of any other stories in which one twin dies and then wakes up in the other’s body. Kat Zhang’s book, What’s Left of Me, features two sisters occupying the same body but it isn’t because one died and came back in the sister’s body. What Ms. Jefford has done is very imaginative and I found myself really engaged with Graylee while she learns how to cope with “living with” the sister she doesn’t much like. I especially enjoyed watching Gray having to re-make herself in Charlene’s image every other day.
That in itself, the every other day part, is one of Ms. Jefford‘s ideas that sets Entangled apart. Imagine being yourself in manner, dress, friendships, food likes, etc., on Monday, Wednesday and Friday but someone else entirely who just happens to look like you physically on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The trouble that can cause is self-evident but, in the author’s hands, it also becomes a comedy routine and I found myself smiling and chuckling a lot.
Then again, there are some serious problems here, such as the fact that a teen died for no apparent reason, she has been resurrected by magic, and the local witch coven has issues with the whole situation. Throw in a potential romance with a guy who has his own problems—but thank you so much, Ms. Jefford, for not dropping them into the dreaded insta-love—and you’ve got an entertaining tale.
The third book in the trilogy is coming out in April and I haven’t read the second book yet. I guess I’ve got some catching up to do before spring.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, December 2012.
Excerpt from Duplicity by Nikki Jefford
Spellbound Book 2
Nikki Jefford, May 2012
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From the author—
If Graylee Perez thought sharing a body with her twin sister was bad, dealing with a duplicate of herself is two times worse. Gray the second doesn’t seem to get that Lee’s boyfriend, Raj McKenna, is off limits. Then there’s the problem of Adrian Montez. He expects one of the Grays to be his.
Nearly a year later, the council is onto them for past misdeeds; Lee, along with the rest of the coven, has lost control of her powers; and Gray is being stalked by what looks like the Grim Reaper.
If they work together, they may stand a chance of setting things right and making it out alive.
Two Grays Are Better Than None (Duplicity, Spellbound #2)
IN THIS SCENE: Gray and her duplicate must abstract blood from the avenging warlock Adrian in order to remove his powers. Adrian isn’t aware that Gray is back in town or that there are two of her. Gray walks into his shop invisible, and the other Gray (“Lee”) enters in her new *supermodel* body.
Time to go. Gray had ignored the voice at Gathering. She wasn’t making the same mistake twice. Gray caught up to Lee and tugged at her arm, but Lee yanked it from her grasp and took one of her giant steps forward.
“I don’t know who you think you are, Adrian, but I have zero interest in you. And to answer your earlier question—yes, I do have a boyfriend!”
Adrian whipped around, grinning. “Adrian? Have we met before?”
Lee, realizing her mistake, attempted to shrug. “I’ve heard of you.”
Adrian grabbed her arm so quickly, Lee had no time to react, but Gray did. She snatched Lee’s other arm as Adrian snarled, “From whom?” His expression changed when Lee was yanked away from him, but Gray hadn’t pulled hard enough to free Lee fully from his grasp. Adrian’s grip tightened and they played tug-of-war for several seconds. “Who’s with you?” Adrian demanded.
Gray leaned backwards, pulling Lee with her.
“Show yourself,” Adrian said. “SHOW YOURSELF.”
Yeah, right, freak. Gray pulled Lee out of Adrian’s grasp while he was shouting and pushed her forward toward the door. The girls made a run for it, but Gray, being behind, felt fingers grasp at her blouse and pull her back. She screamed when a second hand dove down the front of her shirt.
Adrian screeched and retracted his hand. Blood trailed down his arm where Gray had bitten him. Gray looked at the blood wistfully, but it was time to make her escape. The bell above the door had already signaled Lee’s departure.
She never expected Adrian to make such a quick recovery. He lurched forward and got hold of her—sight unseen—threw her to the ground, and straddled her from above. She felt him grope around for her arms and pin them above her head. At least he couldn’t see the terror on her face. She tried to squirm and kick him, but he had her pinned down between his thighs.
“Who do we have here?” Adrian said. His breath emerged hot and heavy over Gray’s face. “Feels like a woman.” He leaned down. “Smells like a woman. Does she taste like a… ah… ack!” Adrian’s hands shot up to his head and he began madly scratching his scalp.
Maybe not as impressive as being able to fling someone halfway across the room using their mind, but the itchy spell still came in handy.
Coming in April 2013—Enchantment by Nikki Jefford
Spellbound Book 3
Nikki Jefford, April 2013
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From the author—
In the third and final installment of the Spellbound series, Graylee Perez (the duplicate), goes to Spain for a summer of escape. There she meets new friends and comes face to face with her old adversary, Adrian Montez.
When Gray tries to setup a spell that will banish Adrian from her life, she inadvertently falls under a love spell instead.
Charlene returns, having hijacked a new body, for one final battle between the twins.
Make The Girl Love You (Enchantment, Spellbound #3)
IN THIS SCENE: Adrian’s grandmother returns in book three, accompanying him on his magic tour in Europe.
“This food no good.”
Adrian’s Nan glared down at the plate of paella the waiter had set before her.
They were seated at an antique marble table attached to legs made of curly cast-iron supports. It was only noon, which made Adrian and his Nan the first lunch customers of the day. The Spaniards wouldn’t be out for their mid-day meal till closer to two.
Adrian was already three bites into his dish. “There’s nothing wrong with the food, Nan.”
“Food better in Paris.”
“Spanish food is fine. You just miss the pastries.”
“What wrong with pastries?”
Adrian grinned. “Come on, you have to admit it’s good to get out of the apartment.”
Nan scowled in answer.
His Nan had barely stepped foot outside since arriving in Barcelona two weeks prior.
“Why we come to Spain?”
“I told you. I had an opportunity to perform.”
“Perform!” Nan spat on the ground then tossed up her arms. “You perform plenty in Paris. I know why we come to Spain. The girl.”
Nan missed the look of warning on Adrian’s face.
“You almost kill yourself for this girl and still I no meet.”
“I did not almost kill myself for her. It doesn’t matter, anyway. She hates me.” She probably hated him even more after last night. It was of little consequence. Adrian had not expected to see Graylee Perez again, at least not this soon. Her mother had forbidden it. He smirked at the thought. No one forbade Adrian Montez anything.
Nan huffed. “Love. Hate. Doesn’t matter. You powerful warlock. Make girl love you.”
Adrian wasn’t above manipulation or the use of magic to get what he wanted, but in this instance the mere thought of it made him physically recoil. “I am Adrian Hedrick Montez. I will have a woman’s sincere love or I won’t have it at all.”
Nan huffed again.
Adrian smiled slowly. “Besides, I already have the love of a good woman.”
Nan came the closest to a giggle as Adrian had ever heard. Her lips puckered into a brief smile and she actually took a bite of her food. But as soon as she’d swallowed, she leaned forward and asked, “When we return to Paris?”
It was like dealing with a four-year-old.
How does it all end?
Find out Spring of 13!