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Spellcaster

Spellcaster

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Spellcaster

évaluations:
4/5 (37 évaluations)
Longueur:
396 pages
7 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Apr 1, 2012
ISBN:
9781459225725
Format:
Livre

Description



After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although it's not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a seventeen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the painespecially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close .

But something dark and hungry is using Emma's and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in überspells may not be enough to keep them safe or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Apr 1, 2012
ISBN:
9781459225725
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Cara Lynn Shultz is the author of Spellbound and Spellcaster. She's a proud graduate of Fordham University and her work has appeared in Teen People, Alternative Press,The Guardian UK, and countless posts on Facebook (Facebook.com/CaraLShultz) and Twitter (@CaraLynnShultz). She lives in her native New York City with her husband, cat, and eight million other people. 


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Meilleures citations

  • Even though your feathers have totally been sliced, diced and put through a blender.

  • I’d forget my eyeballs if they weren’t stuck in my head.

Aperçu du livre

Spellcaster - Cara Lynn Shultz

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Prologue

You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you. And you and I have a common enemy. How do you feel about getting a little revenge on Brendan Salinger and Emma Connor? You’re just the person to help me hit them where it hurts…

It had been only two months since I sent that email, and now, with our plan about to go into action, I couldn’t believe I’d almost abandoned my idea and deleted the message. I didn’t think anyone even remotely connected to Vincent Academy would want to associate with me. But I took a shot, and I did hit Send.

And now everything I could ever want was at my fingertips.

I hung back, following Brendan and Emma as they walked to the Eighty-sixth Street 6 train stop, passing an ice cream cone back and forth between them. Sharing an ice cream, really? What was next, holding hands and skipping through a field of daisies? Sliding down a rainbow? These two were idiots. I guess that’s what true love will do to you—turn you into a fool.

Revenge was the bait I used to lure in my partner-in-crime, who relished the idea of terrorizing Emma. And watching her, blissfully happy, I could understand the hatred. Why is she so damn special? Here she is, basking in the throes of true love, not a care in the world. When Brendan looked down at her with this nauseatingly happy smile, I had an overwhelming desire to snap her neck.

I really didn’t believe that old stupid legend was legit until I saw these two idiots in action—this was really true love. And this was going to be so…satisfying…to destroy. Oh, you have no idea, you weak little girl. You have no idea how I’m going to torment you, bit by bit. I hope you’re enjoying your time with your precious boyfriend, Emma. Because you’re going to run from New York. You’re going to be terrified. You’re going to be screaming—and Brendan won’t be around to save you.

Because tomorrow everything changes.

And then, I’ll be unstoppable.

Chapter 1

They’re not looking at you. Those girls haven’t noticed you, Emma. You’re stealthy like a ninja. They’re not looking at you. I repeated the mantra in my head as I pretended to study the beverage selection in the glass case before me, but a quick glance to the left told me I was lying to myself.

There, three girls in private-school uniforms similar to my own black, navy and green plaid one, were alternately staring at me and whispering to each other. I grabbed some iced tea out of the case and hurried to the cashier before they could say anything.

It’s fine, Emma. They’re not going to say anything, I silently promised myself, nervously tapping the sole of my Mary Janes against a rack of candy as I waited in line. You really need to stop lying to yourself, Emma. They’re so going to say something to you.

Hey, are you, um… I’m not sure how to ask this, the tallest girl, with black hair extensions that seemed as long as her legs, asked as she scrutinized my face. I wished I were wearing sunglasses. And a hat. And a ski mask.

I sighed, having been through this before. Yes, I’m Emma Connor. I’m the one whose boyfriend, Brendan, risked his life to save me in an epic battle with psychopathic classmate Anthony in Central Park after the winter dance. But what you don’t know is I used some of my secret magical powers to save us and you’re totally making me late for my spell classes with my friend Angelique. She’s a witch like me. That about cover it?

Okay, maybe I’d leave that last part out. Even I couldn’t believe it, and I’d lived it. And I really didn’t want to rehash the details of that night with some snooping schoolgirls.

What she means is, interrupted the shortest girl, who shot Extensions Queen a nasty look as she toyed with the glittering platinum-and-diamond pendant around her throat, are you that Emily person? The one from Vincent Academy that was in that big fight a while back?

I opened my mouth to correct them—a few papers had gotten my name wrong—but then a brilliant idea came to me. Lie. Of course. Why don’t I just lie?

You know, I get that a lot. I laughed casually, darting a quick glance out of the street-facing windows. Brendan was out of sight, talking to a basketball teammate on his phone around the corner. Liam had called him with some kind of crisis, forcing Brendan to wait outside while I grabbed a drink—ice cream made me thirsty. I think it’s just that we both have long dark hair.

But you know her, right? Shorty pressed. I mean, you go to the same school.

I was about to lie again, but then I remembered that Brendan had lent me his basketball team sweatshirt, since it was chilly out—and it bore the blue-and-gray Vincent Academy insignia.

I’ve seen her in the halls and stuff. I shrugged, feigning indifference. "I don’t know her-know her." And then a flash of inspiration came to me.

But I’ve heard she’s cool, I said. I briefly considered constructing some elaborate story about Emily saving orphans and nuns and kittens and maybe even a baby panda bear from a burning building. Instead I went with, She’s supposed to be really nice.

She’d have to be. Shorty—clearly the ringleader of this little trio—sniffed in a knowing tone before leaning in to me conspiratorially. "That’s how I knew you weren’t her. I saw the pic the Post ran. You’re, like, way prettier than that Emily person. Not like that’s saying a whole lot."

I grimaced internally as Shorty threw her head back and laughed at her own joke, her dirty blond curls bouncing with every cackle. A few papers had run our photos along with the story—the pics from our school IDs. The horrible, slack-jawed photo made me look like a zombie who just staggered out of a George Romero movie. Brendan, of course, looked like he casually sauntered out of some carefully cast reality show about high school rock stars. And I looked like I wanted to eat his brains. Fantastic.

She’s so much cuter in person, I muttered.

She’d have to be! Shorty snickered and leaned closer again with a confidential whisper, as if we were best friends, all of a sudden. I mean, that guy Brendan is hot as hell. He hooked up with my friend at a party last summer. That Emily girl was nothing special.

The trio laughed as I bit back a snort. Nothing special? How many newbie witches have you met in bodegas, Shorty?

Yeah, I guess. I excused myself as gracefully as I could, the girls’ gushing about Brendan’s finer qualities mercifully silenced as the sticker-covered door to the bodega slammed shut behind me.

I took a swig of my iced tea, checking my reflection in the store window—I know someone who thinks you’re special—before rounding the corner to meet him, more irritated at the reminder of Brendan’s past conquests than anything.

My little storm cloud of anger dissipated as soon as I saw him leaning against the rough brick building behind him. He had just gotten a haircut, but I only knew this because he’d told me. His thick black locks were as unruly as ever, hanging into his piercing green eyes.

There’s my girl, he said, the corner of his mouth pulling up into a sly, sexy smirk. Even though there was a slight chill in the March air, thanks to a forecasted rainstorm, Brendan kept his black wool jacket hanging open, the school uniform’s white button-down shirt concealing all the goodies that were underneath. I flicked his black tie away impatiently and rested my hands on the line of white buttons, trying not to think about how much more I liked this shirt when it was crumpled up in the corner of his bedroom two weeks ago. I couldn’t help it: Brendan was abs-olutely pec-tacular, horrible puns intended and very accurate.

Everything okay with Liam? I asked, and Brendan nodded, an amused smile breaking out across his face.

So you know how he got into a fight during last night’s game? I nodded as Brendan chuckled at the memory of how he and another player, Frank, had to hold Liam back from a mouthy player from Xavier High School. Well, it was just some overheated shoving match, but little ol’ Liam’s freaking out. He thinks Coach Dunn’s going to kick him off the team or suspend him or something.

Do you really think he could get kicked off for that? Liam was one of the few sophomores on the team, but he was still pretty impressive on the court.

Nah, he’ll be fine. Brendan shook his head dismissively. Maybe he’ll get benched for a game, that’s it. He’s just worried ’cause he’s pretty new to the team. I mean, I got into a full-blown fistfight this year and I’m still on the team.

Brendan paused, then added smugly, That was before you moved here. I knocked the guy out with one punch, you know.

I smiled indulgently. Yes, I heard all about it, Braggy McBraggerson.

Hey, that guy tripped me and then took a swing at me! I was merely acting in my own defense. Brendan pretended to be offended, holding his palms out innocently. Liam will be fine—besides, it wasn’t his fault. So after I told him to stop acting like a whiny little girl, I told him what to say to Coach Dunn, and to go right ahead and use me as an example. After all, Dunn only suspended me. It’ll work out—if not, I’ll go to Dunn myself and threaten to quit or something.

You would do that for him? My jaw dropped. Brendan was definitely one of the best players on the team—and he absolutely adored playing. It was one of the only things he liked about our school. As wealthy as his own family was, Brendan disregarded most students at Vince A, considering them all to be arrogant social-climbing snobs. And for the most part they were.

It won’t come to that, but why not? He’s a good kid. He shrugged nonchalantly.

I couldn’t help it, a big goofy smile spread across my face at the kind way he’d taken the sophomore under his wing. Aw, look at you, I murmured, tugging on his black tie. You’re so cute.

Ugh, come on, Em. Don’t call me cute! Brendan wrinkled his nose up, saying the word as if it pained him to pronounce it. You say it the same way you talk about baby otters and those kitten videos you like. Guys don’t like to be called cute.

I rolled my eyes. Okay, you’re so awesome and can bench-press a bus and do a billion push-ups, I drawled. You’re not cute or sweet at all. Better?

So much better. He chuckled, and I continued teasing him.

You’re the original badass. You can roundhouse kick a quarter and get five nickels. I held my fists up in the pose I’d learned from my kickboxing class, which I’d started taking after I healed from the winter dance, and pretended to kick Brendan.

Oh, check it out, the mini-ninja has jokes, he teased, blocking my weak, halfhearted kick with his forearm. Are you done making fun of me yet?

No, but I’ll be nice and let you continue your story where you’re not at all cute or sweet about Liam. The horror! I stood back upright, grinning as Brendan gently tugged on the cowlick in my bangs.

You’re too much, he said, shaking his head at me and smiling. And so what if I’m friends with Liam? He’s a good kid. Brendan tilted his head, giving me one of his signature flirty smiles. You know, you really should stop making fun of me, because it’s all your fault, anyway.

What’s my fault?

Me, actually liking people at Vince A.

What a tragedy, I deadpanned.

Oh, it is, Brendan insisted, his eyes open in mock horror. I’m losing my cred. Next I’ll be voted prom king. He shuddered at the thought and I laughed at the mental image. If that crown was placed on his unruly dark head, the heavens would open up and he’d get trampled by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Hey, don’t blame me for making you want to be nice to people. I laughed, poking him in the chest. He grinned, grabbing my hand to kiss my fingertip, before dropping his hands to my waist, and drawing me close.

I want to be nice because I’m happy, Brendan whispered in my ear, his breath sending trembles across my skin. And it is all your fault, because you’re the reason I’m happy. He touched his lips underneath my ear, and I forgot that I was supposed to be avoiding the annoying girls in the bodega. I forgot that I had somewhere to be. I’d forget my eyeballs if they weren’t stuck in my head.

Maybe it’s because Brendan was smart, sweet, supportive and—let’s face it—smack-yourself-in-the-face hot. Or maybe it was because he could win a gold medal in making out. But most likely, it was because he’s my soul mate. My honest, true soul mate—reincarnated over a thousand years, only to be reunited and ripped apart, generation after generation, thanks to a curse set in motion by a brokenhearted ancient lord. When his beloved wife, Gloriana, was murdered, Lord Archer thought he was securing their reunion in another life. He made a deal with a witch: his and Gloriana’s souls would reunite in another lifetime—one where Archer would be reborn into a rich, handsome and strong descendant.

But Archer’s goals shouldn’t have been so selfish, so focused on his own glory, as the witch cruelly reminded him when she granted his proud wishes. When you make a deal with evil, there’s always fine print. The witch doomed our souls with a never-ending curse: after we reunited, Archer would relive the loss of his soul mate as she suffered an untimely, tragic—and brutal—death. Over and over again, lifetime over lifetime, condemning me from the moment I met Brendan. But after Anthony attacked me at the winter formal, Brendan risked his life to save mine—the key to unlocking the curse started by his selfish past life.

The fight also confirmed that I had some seriously untapped witch powers—Gloriana had practiced witchcraft, and that magic stuck with her soul, magnifying as the years passed. My late twin brother, Ethan, was able to warn me of the danger, through dreams and some seriously scary signs, of the impending doom. But when I was somehow able to summon his spirit to help me pull Brendan from an almost-certain death, as he clutched on to the rocks high above Central Park’s Turtle Pond after knocking me out of Anthony’s path, we realized I had some major magical talent flowing through my veins. Before I moved to New York, I had no idea that I was what Angelique called a born witch.

In the four months since we broke the curse, Brendan and I have been blissfully happy—and the only things threatening us from being with each other were my pitiful Latin grades (yes, we had to study Latin at Vincent Academy, a language deader than caveman grunts) and his socialite mom, Laura. She was proving to be almost as big a barrier to our happily ever after as the curse. Laura wasn’t too thrilled that her son risked his life to save mine. I had a sneaking suspicion that she wouldn’t have minded Brendan saving blue blood from being spilled—but I was a transplant to New York’s posh Upper East Side, living with my aunt Christine after my alcoholic stepfather, Henry, made life in Keansburg, New Jersey, hazardous to my health. Still, Laura’s disapproval didn’t deter Brendan from bringing me around his family. Like last week, when I joined them for Chinese food. Although when the Salingers get Chinese food, they don’t order in from the local Happy Joy Kitchen—they go to Mr. Chow, where they know the owner. Where the bill is three figures. Where a Grammy winner might be at the next table.

Sure, it was the best Chinese food I’d ever had, but Laura could make anything unappetizing. She should rent herself out to anyone wanting to lose weight. At least Brendan’s dad, Aaron, wasn’t a problem: he liked me. He also understood that I was Brendan’s soul mate—and that I wasn’t just some fleeting crush of his son’s. After all, the curse had come from the Salinger side of the family. But Laura…she frowned so much in my general direction I thought her chin might fall off. Impressive, I thought at the time—she’d had so much Botox for the grand opening of one of her husband’s hotels that her face was about as flexible as a brick.

But all those concerns always melted away the second Brendan touched me. His lips left a featherlight path of kisses from my ear to my mouth. Even after months together and a billion make-out sessions (that’s a conservative estimate), every kiss kicked my pulse—and other parts of my body—into high gear. I clasped my hands around the back of his neck, eagerly returning his kiss before a wailing ambulance, heading to nearby St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, reminded me of our location. Whoa, I said, pulling away. We are in the middle of Ninth Avenue here.

We’re not the most scandalous thing someone’s seen in the middle of Ninth Avenue, I’m sure. Brendan smirked, his green eyes sparkling mischievously. Besides, no one’s watching.

Don’t be too sure. I groaned, reminded of my encounter in the bodega. I cast a quick glance over my shoulder to see if the annoying trio of girls was still around.

Yep. They were. And they noticed whom I was with—and what I was doing with him.

What’s wrong? Brendan’s jet-black brows furrowed with concern.

Nothing. Let’s just get out of here, okay? I ignored the furious texting from their perfectly manicured fingers.

What, is some old creeper watching us make out or something? Brendan asked, protectively throwing his arm over my shoulder and ushering me down the block toward Tenth Avenue.

No, nothing like that! Some people recognized me, said some things…blah, blah, blech. I waved my hands dismissively, omitting the part about his old hookup. Soul mate or not, I didn’t exactly break into a happy dance every time I heard about his previous—and prolific—conquests. Before me, Brendan got around more than the crosstown bus. So I could think of better ways to pass the time than discussing his past, like slamming my face into a drawer—repeatedly. But part of the curse was that Archer be handsome when he was reincarnated, and Brendan was, indeed, magically delicious. And girls most definitely noticed.

What did they say to you? His green eyes glinted angrily as he turned his head to glare at the clique, but I grabbed a fistful of his sleeve, pulling him forward.

Please, just let it go. Please? I pleaded. Brendan took in the exasperated expression on my face and sighed, resigned.

I’m sorry you have to keep dealing with that, Brendan apologized guiltily as we continued walking away from the bodega toward Tenth Avenue. The Salingers weren’t just rich, they were one of those families—the kind that had scholarships named after them. The kind that had buildings named after them. So when he fought off psychotic schoolmate Anthony after Anthony attacked me last December, of course it made headlines in New York gossip blogs. The only downfall for Brendan was that every now and then, some alpha-male tried to start a fight with him to prove how tough he was.

It’s not your fault. I quickened my step to get more distance between us and the gossipy trio. I just don’t want to keep being reminded of everything that happened.

My dad’s lawyers think Anthony’s father has him holed up somewhere in Europe. Anthony’s not coming back—we’d have heard something, Brendan reminded me. Anthony was also from a powerful family, and his father had him hidden well—a little too well for the private service Brendan’s father, Aaron, had hired after the fight. He’d even arranged for some security for Brendan and me in the weeks immediately after the attack.

Brendan continued, his voice grave and low as he pulled me closer. Don’t worry about it, Em. If he tries to get anywhere near you, I’ll end him.

I didn’t doubt Brendan’s sincerity—especially after what had transpired on the rocks. But the lethal tone in his voice caused me to stop in my tracks.

Please don’t talk like that. I don’t want you getting hurt or—

Come on, Emma. Brendan interrupted me, throwing his head back in a laugh. He picked me up—overstuffed backpack and all—and planted a quick kiss on my nose. I’m a little offended by your lack of confidence.

He set me back on my feet and I smoothed out my skirt, trying not to roll my eyes at Brendan as we resumed walking.

Besides, he continued. Don’t you remember what happened last time? I can handle him.

I remember it very well, I said quietly. I remember thinking you died when you went barreling off the rocks.

I didn’t, though, he reminded me, sliding an arm around my shoulders. That’s all behind us.

I hope so. I sighed, looking up at him. I just worry.

You know I feel the same way you do. That night, when I couldn’t find you… His voice trailed off, and Brendan just kissed me softly on the top of my head. I understand feeling protective—trust me, I get it, he added with a humorless laugh. Just please don’t worry so much that you don’t talk to me or tell me things because you’re trying to protect me or stop me from going off. Even if it comes to some idiot girls running their mouths in a bodega, okay?

Okay, I agreed with a small smile. I pulled back from him reluctantly when I felt my phone vibrate in my sweatshirt pocket.

Where R U?

Well, I should definitely get upstairs, I muttered, texting Angelique back. We had just gotten to her family’s apartment building on Tenth Avenue and Fifty-first Street, and I was already running late due to a Latin study session after school. Honestly, a few stolen kisses along the way contributed to my delay; with my new afterschool job in the library, witch classes with Angelique, my weekly kickboxing classes, basketball season in full swing—and, of course, SAT prep—Brendan and I hadn’t had much time together outside of school. I’d missed him.

Still, Angelique had insisted that we have a lesson today. She and Brendan weren’t exactly best friends—or friends at all, for that matter. She had dismissed him as an overprivileged rich jock; he had written her off as a self-important, bratty witch. Well, they were both right about one thing: Brendan was rich, and Angelique was a witch. She came from a family of witches, actually. She was also a burgeoning empath—she could sense people’s emotions. So far, her talent was unpredictable, but getting stronger every day: some days she could sense everything—she was in tune with the world. Other days, nothing at all. So I helped Angelique cultivate her empath skills, and Angelique helped me develop my newly discovered abilities as a born witch.

But after a successful initial run of spells, all I’d done in the past month was create some very smelly potions—one of which burned a hole in Angelique’s rug—and levitate a yellow highlighter. And that was only for a few seconds. Angelique kept telling me the key was controlling my emotions, but I’d either get too frustrated when something didn’t work or too excited when it did and screw it up—badly. Hence the hole in the rug.

So what was so important that you had to have witch class today? Are you still—what, spellblocked? Witch’s block? What’s the magic equivalent of writer’s block? Brendan asked, arching one black eyebrow as he walked me up the concrete steps framing the plaza surrounding Angelique’s apartment building. Although he’d initially balked at the idea of me being a witch, after the fight, Brendan was all for anything I could do to protect myself—be it the pepper spray he bought me or something magical in nature. He even taught me the kind of fighting I wasn’t going to pick up in my Beginner’s Kickboxing class—all the dirty, street fighting tricks he’d learned over the years. But we found out the hard way that I had a pretty good right hook when he got, um, a little distracted during one lesson. I’d apologized a billion times, but Brendan assured me it wasn’t his first bloody nose, and likely wouldn’t be his last. I just had to promise to stop wearing low-cut tank tops when we sparred.

"Witch’s block is a good term for it—and yes, I’m still witch blocked like crazy. I sighed, running my hands through my hair and tugging at the strands. I can’t seem to focus on anything. It’s killing me. I don’t know if I should just give it up, or what."

You’ll get there, he said supportively, kissing me on my forehead before tilting my chin up to steal another kiss.

Nice try! Stop trying to make me later than I already am, I said, pushing him away with a laugh.

"You’re always late. To everything. And you’re here already. So what’s another ten minutes?" Brendan argued, trying to slide his arms around me again.

Thanks a lot, I replied sarcastically, using his joke about my tardiness as an excuse to pull myself from his arms, however unwillingly. I’m being rude. Besides, spring break starts Wednesday, and we have all day together tomorrow. We were both taking art history this semester, and tomorrow was an end-of-week class trip to the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s medieval branch in upper Manhattan.

Fine. Brendan sighed in mock annoyance, releasing me from his grasp. Have fun. Play nice with the other witches.

I promised him I’d text him when I got home, and I headed up the concrete steps into Angelique’s apartment building.

I’m sorry I’m a little late, I apologized as soon as Angelique answered the door. I had Latin review after school.

Yeah, Latin review is why your lip balm is smudged, Angelique said tersely as she shut the door behind me. That first declension really screws up your makeup—as if I needed lip gloss all over your face to know what you’ve been doing. She shuddered in a melodramatic way.

Empath skills rearing their ugly head? I asked as I sheepishly wiped my mouth with the heel of my hand. I felt like Aunt Christine had just caught me making out with Brendan.

Big time. Angelique grimaced as if she’d just smelled something gross. I guiltily hung my head as I followed my friend down the apartment’s cheerful, yellow-painted hallway to her more dramatically decorated bedroom.

But then again, you seem to have that effect on me, she added dryly, and I ducked my head a little more. Angelique had always been able to read auras, but meeting a fellow witch like me had somehow triggered her latent empath talent. Although she was still learning how to harness it, Angelique could always read me crystal clear. It’s like your emotions are in HD, she’d complained. That’s how I was able to help her develop her talent—I’d think of something that evoked a strong emotion, she’d guess what I was feeling. We were like a really bizarre supernatural game show—Stump the Empath.

How come your hair is wet? I changed the subject, noticing that Angelique’s damp, jet-black hair was leaving little wet spots all over her oversize, comfy-looking burgundy T-shirt. She was naturally a blonde, but dyed it dark, save for the occasional colorful streak.

Oh, my cousin Miranda’s on spring break from college, so she came over and helped me touch up my roots, she replied, pointing to her scalp with a charcoal-gray-painted nail. We added a few streaks of purple and blue in.

Angelique loved being a witch—and she positively adored dressing the part. Her Goth attire hadn’t won her many friends at Vincent Academy, where the aesthetic was more Chanel than Charmed. But her flair for the dramatic was one of my favorite things about her. The rest of her witchy family—the ones I’d met, at least—didn’t share her darker sense of style.

So what are we working on today? I asked, kicking off my beloved, but ridiculously scuffed, Mary Janes. After taking a swig from my still-cold iced tea, I sat cross-legged on Angelique’s bed, fighting the desire to just sprawl out on it and stare at the glow-in-the-dark stars stuck all over the purple walls. She had the most comfortable bed in the world—thick feather bed topped with a black velvet comforter. It was like lying in a gigantic plush marshmallow.

Are we doing potions? Spells? Maybe some kind of magic to fix my witch’s block? I asked, glaring at my backpack on the floor. Maybe Angelique’s presence can help you successfully pull off a little spell… .

Emoveo! I yelled, pointing at my backpack as it sat upright in the middle of the floor. And then my jaw dropped, practically falling onto her bed as the bag slid, slowly along the linoleum—to Angelique, who had dragged it closer to where she was sitting cross-legged on the floor.

She gave me an entertained look, shaking her head.

"Did you think you moved your bag?"

Kinda, I admitted, embarrassed. I started inspecting my dark nail polish so I wouldn’t have to look at her. I didn’t have to see her face to know she was frustrated with me. I could hear it in her voice.

You’re not concentrating nearly hard enough. Born witch or not, you’re new to this. Just shouting out spells isn’t going to work, she said sternly, adding, as I’ve told you about a thousand times.

It did in the beginning. I sulked, thinking of some early spells that I’d successfully pulled off. It’s probably because the spell is in Latin. And you hate Latin.

Well, your focus was a lot better then, she retorted. I looked up as Angelique stood and tossed the bag on the bed next to me, adding, And the spell is a repulsion spell. It’s meant to make something move away from you, not go sliding across the floor to you.

She took an oversize blue pen out of the bright yellow souvenir Florida mug on her desk and cleared a space for it on the messy surface.

Watch, she instructed, turning to her desk with her eyes slitted in concentration. She held her left palm out and took a deep breath.

Emoveo, she whispered, her fingers splaying out as she focused.

My breath caught in my throat as the blue pen twitched.

Emoveo! Angelique repeated more forcefully, holding her arm out straighter, locking her elbow at the joint. The pen flung backward as if someone had tugged it off the surface with an invisible string. It hit the wall before falling down behind her desk.

She turned to me with a self-satisfied smile while my eyes were about as wide as bagels. Angelique rarely flaunted her skills just for the sake of showing off. Sure, her empath side would occasionally get slammed with someone’s mood on the subway—and she’d elbow me with a whispered They totally just did it and nod toward two people sharing shy glances—but generally, Angelique thought it was an abuse of the craft to just show off.

Have you always been able to do that? I asked, awed at her display.

Of course not. I wanted to show you what a little practice can do, she said, her voice dripping with a nyah-nyah-nyah-I-told-you-so tone.

Message received. I bowed slightly to her. I’ll practice on focusing my emotions more.

Good,

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  • (5/5)
    I really love your story, it deserves a lot of audience. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to hardy@novelstar.top or joye@novelstar.top
  • (5/5)
    This was seriously a really good book. I love this series and hopefully it goes on because it doesn't seem like it has ended yet. I just really need another book in this series it's killing me! Ughhhh!!!! Well, I'll be waiting until then.
  • (4/5)
    When I saw this in NetGalley (along with Goddess Interrupted), I may have squeed. It's possible. Anyway, I read the first book, Spellbound, late last year. I totally didn't expect to like it; I mean, the soul mate plot line is so overdone. However, Cara Lynn Shultz proved to me that it can still be done well!

    Reading Spellcaster after Goddess Interrupted definitely created an interesting juxtaposition. In the latter, Kate constantly whines about not being told anything and has to be protected; I don't think she'll be that way in book three, but in this one, oy. Anyway, Emma definitely does not do that. I mean, she cries sometimes and does like that Brendan's protective, but she also fights and hard for herself, her friends and her love. She doesn't just complain; she gets things done.

    Even the soul mate thing could be really disgusting, like it is in a lot of YA books, Shultz deals with it gracefully. I actually like Emma and Brendan, and their relationship. In spite of the soul mate thing, they do have issues. Plus, I like that they're not rushing into everything. Even thought they've been through so much at the beginning of this book, they still haven't had sex, because Emma's not ready yet. I love that Shultz is showing that every relationship is different and that, no matter how in love two people are, that doesn't mean they're ready for that step. It's such a good, non-preachy message.

    Much as I do like the characters, what really makes Shultz's books shine, though, is her fresh, funny voice. I laughed so many times during this book. Pretty much every quote I marked as I read through was one that made me giggle or snicker, as did the one I finally selected as my favorite. (Gotta love a heroine who knows her grammar!) The characters banter like real friends do, and I love it so much. Plus, Shultz's humor keeps the whole soul mate thing from being too serious, because even Emma and Brendan know it's kind of ridiculous, just like life.

    Spellbound is an incredibly clever, humorous series. If you're looking for some fun YA books, look no further.
  • (1/5)
    Had a hard(ish) time getting through Spellbound...it felt formulaic and it felt very much like Twilight, despite the different setting and paranormal element. I like Twilight, but I also like to read different books and I want strong female protagonists. Spellcaster just didn't hold my interest. DNF.
  • (2/5)
    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: An unnecessary sequel that improves in a few ways on the first book — more action, tension, and romance than in Spellbound. Opening Sentence: “They’re not looking at you.” The Review: For those of you who thought Spellbound was a stand-alone, you aren’t wrong. This story picks up four months after the end of the first book and is very different. There’s no carry over, no “oh you thought you were free but really…”, it’s a new plot. Frankly, I wish that Shultz had left our couple alone and started a new series. Brendan and Emma deserve a break! In Spellcaster we have an unknown enemy who uses Brendan and Emma’s fears against them. Emma steps up her spell-learning lessons, which means we get to see more magic, but their enemy is still ahead of them and ready to destroy them. Brendan and Emma’s storyline is solid. I was so, so glad Shultz added drama from outside of the relationship instead of trying to make them break up with each other via doubts and internal drama. Jealousy is overwhelming as girls who wanted Brendan hate on Emma for being with him. It was all very Mean Girls-meets-Gossip Girls and could’ve been toned down. We know they’re jealous, but I didn’t want to hear about it every few pages. What their relationship has in this novel that wasn’t in the prequel is the feeling of “We had no choice in this.” Yes, they’re reincarnated lovers who have just broken free of a cycle of tragedy — but I don’t want to feel like Brendan is stuck with Emma or vice versa. Which I did at more than one point. Backstory is also dropped in every few pages. As in, you really, really don’t have to read book one, because Shultz tells you absolutely everything that happened in this installment. I could’ve done without having the whole thing rewritten in this book. Another writing point that really bothered me was the split POVs in Spellcaster. Spellbound didn’t split POVs — it was all Emma all the time — but this book did because Emma finds herself in situations where she can’t tell us what’s going on. We switch over to Angelique at random points, which felt like a cop out. The tension in Spellcaster is much, much better than in Spellbound. Even though the stakes aren’t as high as they were in book one, Shultz does a much better job of bringing the story together. She also makes Emma into a stronger heroine — putting her right in the thick of things instead of relegating her to the sidelines. Part of this is that her magic helps her defend herself, and part of it is what’s going on with Brendan in this book. The villain is supposed to be a secret, but frankly the character screams “antagonist!” and that aspect of the plot doesn’t begin until halfway through the book. Unless you were a die-hard-must-have-more Brendan and Emma fan in Spellbound I say leave the characters in their happy place and skip this book. Notable Scene: “Let me put it this way. It’s all related,” Angelique explained. “Your attack. My feeling of dread. How tonight, I couldn’t feel certain things, as if there were holes in what I was sensing. And now, Ashley being sick. It’s all related.” “And it’s all my fault,” Brendan added. “You were just trying to push me out of the way,” I said, taking his hand and he ran his fingers over the Claddagh ring he gave me. “No, he has a point,” Angelique said ruefully. “The blame does, essentially, go back to Brendan.” I twisted my head to look at him and he nodded, shutting his eyes. And that’s when I noticed that his black lashes were a little damp.FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Spellcaster. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
  • (4/5)
    True love has triumphed over an evil curse, and Emma and Brendan are free to enjoy being soulmates. Well, sort of. It turns out someone is out to kill Emma...again. This new person definitely means business. Emma has a few new tricks up her sleeve however. She's been practicing magic with her friend Angelique. As motives come out into the open, Emma will have to use all she has learned to save her life.I was very interested to see where the author would go with a sequel, and I was not disappointed. All my old favorites were back (and some of my not-so-favorites). When you throw off an ages old curse in the first book, it would seem there is not much else to do. Luckily the author is able to take a different approach. Emma must once again figure out who is after her, but the truth is not exactly what she expected. It opens up some old insecurities of hers. Emma though has some new skills in her arsenal. Seeing Emma become more confident in her abilities was very fun. I liked that it gave her a chance to grow. Emma and Brendan are still a pretty fun pair. I thought their "made-for-each-other-ness" would wear on me, but it didn't.My favorite character was Angelique. She and her cousin were able to provide a bit of comic relief and move the plot along at the same time. I loved the chapters from Angelique's point of view. They provided a much different perspective, and it was fun to read. Overall I was very pleased with this sequel. It was fun to come back to familiar characters, but I also enjoyed seeing them grow some more. Fans of the first book will have a great time with this one, but it's also an easy book for readers new to the series to enjoy too.Galley provided for review.
  • (5/5)
    I've been anticipating this book since falling in love with Spellbound last year. I was devastated when I finished the Spellbound, as I didn't want Brendan and Emma's story to be over. Imagine my excitement when I learned that there would be a sequel and one where we see more of Emma's witchiness! Cara Lynn Shultz has more than met my expectations with Spellcaster and its enchanting world of witchcraft and true love.Emma and Brendan are as in love as in book one, and their relationship hold strong through all the hate-glares that Emma has been receiving and the rumors spreading since Brendan saved Emma's life at the end of book one. They are adorable together. With no curse holding them back, they are free to be together and express their love in the open. The two make up one of my favorite YA couples.Romance isn't all there is to this book. There is suspense and tension with the threat of attack. Someone wants to hurt the happy couple, and there are others who would help. Although Brendan wants to protect Emma, she has been learning more about her powers and taken up kickboxing classes, rising up to challenges that come their way. She is an independent girl and will do anything to protect those that she loves, even if it means withholding critical information from them.Cara Lynn Shultz wraps up Brendan and Emma's story in this brilliantly written sequel filled with magic, witches, and romance. The sweet couple has stolen my heart time after time across the two books. Emma's friend Angelique and others steal some of the stage for themselves in this sequel, further developing Emma and Brendan's world. Once you finish the series, reread it again if you love it as much as I do!
  • (4/5)
    I loved the first book in this series, Spellbound, so I was psyched when I saw this book go up on Netgalley. I could not get wait to back to Brendan and Emma and see what the after effects were from the previous book. I had originally thought that Spellbound was a stand-alone, but was happy to come back to this world again. We meet back up with Emma and Brendan living in bliss thinking the curse is finally over and they can just enjoy each other. The only problem? Angelique is getting that feeling of dread again and thinks that Emma and Brendan have a world of trouble heading their way, soon. When Emma is attacked and Brendan is set up for supposedly selling drugs, they start to worry that someone is after them. The plot is driven by trying to discover the identity of the mystery person who is after them. We did get a sneak peek into the head of the bad guy in the prologue, which was interesting, but there was no way to identify them on their thoughts alone. There is also an accomplice that is a lot closer to Brendan and Emma than they think. I enjoyed trying to unravel the mystery behind the evil after them. The challenges that person throws their way were quite devious and my heart went out to Brendan and Emma as they tried to cope with all the complications they were forced to work through. Cara did a nice job of keeping the suspense alive for the duration of the book.My favorite part of this book though, was that it did not fall into what I like to call “second book syndrome.” Many times when reading young adult books the second novel is where the author puts some kind of obstacle between the two main characters at the beginning of the story and they are apart for the duration of the novel. I really hate that because when they break up it is usually over something unrealistic and it just doesn’t make sense. I am so happy Cara did not take this route. Brendan and Emma are so much stronger together and we have already established that they are soul mates, so being apart would just be counterproductive. Don’t get me wrong, they have their problems, which are all valid, I am just glad they are facing them together and the source of the tension in this book is not their relationship, but the evil that haunts them. I also enjoyed seeing more from Angelique. We even get to see the world from her perspective a couple of times. I loved her in the first book and getting a chance to see inside her head and have her contribute more to this book was delightful. She and Brendan are like oil and vinegar, their only common denominator is Emma. They put up with each other because of Emma, but in Spellcaster they are forced to work together on multiple occasions I found the outcome to be quite surprising. I am not sure if there will be another book in this series, but I would love to see a spin off with Angelique as the main focus. The magic and stories behind everything that happens in these books is also fascinating to me. Cara delves into some new stories from the book that contained information about the curse that was originally cast on Emma and Brendan and I relished having new mysteries to try and decode. The answer is always right there in the story it just takes a little time for me to riddle it out. These elements enrich the story and add another layer that kept me engaged and very interested to see how it would all work out. Overall, this is another solid addition to this series. I was satisfied with the ending and I do not need to have another book, but would always welcome one. Cara has wrapped up many of the loose ends, but has left herself the opportunity to write more if she chooses. I would recommend this series to any lover of young adult paranormal romance. I am excited to see what Cara will bring us next.
  • (4/5)
    Original Review on YA Sisterhood Blogspot Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn ARC received from Harlequin Teen via Net Galley Release Date: 3-27-2012 The Sisters Say: A breathtaking blow by blow of bewitchment and beguiling romance! If you liked Spellbound, you are going to LOVE Spellcaster! I couldn’t put it down! Cara Lynn Shultz definitely upped her game with more magic, more mystery, and more mahem! (Not to mention more make-out scenes)!!! I really loved to see the characters develop even more in this installment—especially Angelique! She is so much fun to read about—so much attitude that she had me laughing out loud at times. But then we also get to see a more sensitive side of her that we didn’t see in Spellbound. We also meet her cousin, Randi, a fellow witch who has some enjoyable moments as well. Emma definitely undergoes some changes through this novel, too. That confidence that we begin to see at the end of Spellbound really takes off, which I love (because who doesn’t love a kick butt heroine), but I also like that her struggles were realistic (if you take out the fantasy part…hehe). I mean, it’s not like she snaps her fingers and all of a sudden she’s one of the Charmed ones. She has to work on her spells, and it’s really captivating to see her ups and downs as she struggles with this new aspect of her life. And then…the best part—Brendan. We see so much more of him in Spellcaster. He’s just as overprotective in this installment, and it makes me love him so much more! Just like Emma, it’s great (and heart breaking) to see him struggle with the idea that all the danger Emma finds herself in is his fault. He’s the guy that every girl wants—compassionate, completely devoted, and overprotective to a fault—not to mention that he’s stunningly handsome. I absolutely adore him and can’t wait for more! The scenes between Emma and Brendan are a little more hot and heavy (but I still wish Cara Lynn Shultz would dive in with the details), but still PG, with one scene that hints at some PG-13 related content, but it’s still not extremely specific. I actually really enjoyed the villain in this book, too—truly evil with a vendetta that, if you’re like me, might cause your heart to speed up (and for you to look behind your shoulder when walking anywhere alone). I won’t tell you any more, but I will say—I didn’t see this villain coming! Oh…and Kristin? She’s still there with a vengeance…but trust me…you’ll want to read this to see what Emma has in store for her! What bugs me? I wish Cara Lynn Shultz would add an umbrella conflict to the series—a storyline that reaches from book to book, instead of just focusing on a different conflict for each book. Overall, Spellcaster is a must read for those of you who enjoy paranormal romance novels. The action was fun and exciting with no dull moments! It comes out Tuesday…so go get it!
  • (4/5)
    I was a bit skeptical to see where Emma and Brendan end up in Book 2 since everything appeared mostly peachy keen at the end of Spellbound, but channeling the reliability of Kim Possible with a dash of charm from a naked mole-rat named Rufus, Cara Lynn Shultz has delivered an impressive sequel that is sure to delight readers.THE GOOD BITS{Different focus than Book 1} Spellbound had been all about the forbidden romance where Emma and Brendan had to figure out if they could be together. Once that drama was squared away, Cara Lynn Shultz was able to take Spellcaster in a new – and dare I say, BETTER – direction. With the romance angle dialed down to simmer, the heat gets cranked up for some delicious stew of trouble! Vengeance is the name of the game, and Emma and Brendan have to figure out who is out to take advantage of their true love.{And the award for best lines goes to…} Seriously, it has been a while since I have encountered a book that makes me laugh out loud because the writing is just ridiculously fun. Despite the suspense and dark undertones of Spellbound, Cara Lynn Shultz somehow sneaks in some marshmallowy lines that I have to share with you, dear Readers, because they make the story all the more memorable. From page 12 :: ARC :: I couldn’t help it: Brendan was abs-olutely pec-tacular, horrible puns intended and very accurate. From page 82 :: ARC :: As much as I wanted to support Gabe, Brendan and I avoided school functions like the plague. Hell, the fact that you just got mugged, attacked, demonically assaulted, whatever that was, on a school trip proves that you and school functions go together like peanut butter and razor blades. From page 132 :: ARC :: Brendan, to Emma :: “[T]his is your life, not an episode of Kim Possible where we can bring the bad guy to justice in thirty minutes.” From page 139 :: ARC :: Brendan, to Emma :: “You’re a diamond and she’s…a Twinkie wrapper.” THE BAD BITS{Predictable villain} If you like to be in utter suspense like an Agatha Christie mystery, then Spellcaster will not be to your liking. The villain was more or less obvious early on in the story, so while Emma and Brendan seemed surprised or obliviuos, I was already yelling at them. In a concerned citizen sort of way, of course. The more important thing, though, is that the ending was NOT predictable – Cara Lynn Shultz left enough room to bend the story to where she wanted it to go without choosing the obvious solution.{One random change in POV} Angelique takes over one chapter of Spellcaster, and readers get a glimpse inside her head as she recounts what happened when Emma was incapacitated. Not a bad thing, and there is a fair warning that Angelique will be telling a story. Furthermore I cannot think of any other way to divulge said information than how Cara Lynn Shultz does it. Then again, after reading from Angelique’s POV, I almost expected her or Brendan to jump in on the first-person narrative a few more times during Spellcaster – but that does not happen.THE OVERALLWhile I may not remember the exact details of Spellbound, this was not terribly necessary to enjoy Spellcaster. Cara Lynn Shultz’s writing continues to sparkle in a most delightful manner, and she has definitely earned a spot on my permanent must-read list.
  • (3/5)
    Spellcaster picks up a few months post Spellbound. Emma and Brendan are in love and inseparable. That is until Emma gets attacked at field trip to a museum. She, thankfully, was able to fight off her attacker and with the help of witchy friend, Angelique, they are able to discover that the blood of “true lovers”, like Emma and Brendan, is an incredibly potent ingredient used in spells. As more people, around Emma, become endangered, they must try to find who is responsible and figure out how to stop him/her.Spellcaster tries hard…but it just doesn’t have that “sweep you off your feet” kind of feeling that Spellbound did. I like Aimee Carter’s writing, but feel Spellbound should have been a stand alone book rather than the beginning of a series.There were a couple of areas where we shifted to Angelique’s perspective, which kind of felt like “filler” to me. We didn’t learn anything new or exciting about Emma or Brendan. Emma consistently kept info from Brendan, Brendan repeatedly asked her to include him, and Emma would continue to lie and go off without him. I did enjoy the introduction of Angelique’s cousin and her knowledge of magic…plus her incessant flirting with Brendan made me chuckle.
  • (5/5)
    Spellcaster was a great sequel to Spellbound. After the actions and excitement of the first story, Emma and Brendan deserve some time to be young and in love. Unfortunately, a hidden enemy has other plans to disrupt their lives. Emma and Brendan's relationship isn't perfect. They are soul mates who have finally broken a curse that had lasted for about 1000 years. Now they have to get to know each other and deal with each other's pasts. Emma's is easier; she just had one friend turned boyfriend back home in New Jersey. Brendan's past was more flamboyant and it is right there. Emma is constantly tripping over girls who had at least brief relationships with Brendan. And most of them want him back in a more permanent relationship. At school, Emma deals with the taunts of Kristin who is one of the school's golden girls or, in her case, orange girls as Emma and her friends constantly make references to her fake tan. Emma and Brendan also have their relationship questioned by the aunt that Emma lives with and by her best friend Angelique. Neither one feels that they are old enough to be as committed to each other as they are. And Angelique really doesn't like Brendan. I really liked Brendan. He was so devoted to Emma. He is also tall, dark, handsome, rich, and lonely. He is the quintessential "poor little rich boy"; his parents are mainly absent leaving not quite 18-year-old Brendan on his own most of the time. He is a little quick with his fists but his devotion to Emma and his desire to keep her safe and happy is commendable. And I loved Emma. She had such a terrific way with words. I often found myself chuckling at her turns of phrase. She is coping with a lot. She has recently lost her mother and brother and has left her drunken stepfather to live with an aunt in New York City. She is upbeat and pro-active. She is bright but still an outsider at her fancy prep school. She is learning to be a witch. She is also completely and hopelessly in love with Brendan.The way Angelique, Emma and Brendan deal with the problems in this one is very satisfying. Emma has to work through some moral dilemmas and Angelique and Brendan come to much more of an understanding. The book has a great romance and a lot of danger too. I recommend it to fans of paranormal romance. Emma and Brendan are a great, romantic couple.
  • (4/5)
    I loved Spellbound, and I loved Spellcaster even more! Ms. Schultz has created characters you can really relate to despite their paranormal abilities. Emma and Brendan speak and act like normal teenagers which is what I love the most about them. The relationship between Emma and Brendan feels genuine and real. I never once doubted their feelings for each other in either book. As most of you know, I tend to lean more toward the action in books and treat the romance as just another plot point or obstacle, but in these books the romance is what drives them. This is a romance series that I can proudly stand behind. It’s real, and that’s what I love about it.In Spellbound Emma and Brendan lifted the curse that plagued them for years — a curse which forced them to be reincarnated and to fall in love over and over only to have Emma ripped away from Brendan. With the curse officially broken, the only thing bogging down these soulmates is the media attention surrounding them after the brave heroics of Brendan in the first book. That, and the snotty mean girls at their posh private school, but those are minor things. This all changes when Emma’s friend Angelique does a spell which reveals that Emma and Brendan are in grave danger. A malevolent force is out to destroy them, and if they thought breaking the curse was difficult, they are in for a huge shock this time around.What I love most about these books is that the first book could have easily been a standalone. I didn’t feel like I was left hanging, though I definitely wanted more of these two. This book contains a whole new mystery that does build on the first book, but it is a story of its own.I particularly love Ms. Schultz’s writing style. She obviously cares deeply for her characters and she knows them well. They are so well-drawn. I also love how the story flows — pieces fall into place at exactly the right time and I never felt like it dragged at all.Spellcaster is a well-written tale of romance and mystery and I highly recommend it. If you’ve not read Spellbound I urge you to check it out.
  • (5/5)
    FROM GOODREADS:“Finding your eternal soulmate – easy.Stopping a true-love-hungry evil – not so much…After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although…it’s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close….But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan’s deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma’s crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own”MY THOUGHTS:I really enjoyed Spellbound and was very much looking forward to reading Spellcaster.I was not disappointed! The story again takes place in NYC about four months after where Spellbound left off. The action and suspense takes off right out of the shoot. We see a stronger, more confident Emma while still being as funny as ever. I chuckled out loud a few times while reading this book. We also find a lot more of Angelique who has really found her voice. Most of the characters from Spellbound return and a few new juicy characters are introduced.While the mystery of the story is solved well before the end of the book, I preferred reading it this way. I was able to enjoy the more suspenseful scenes without trying to figure anything out. Emma, with the help of Angelique, becomes a strong capable witch and quite the fighter! While witchcraft is a major part of the story, the romance between Emma and Brendan is hotter than ever! There is a lot of “will they or won’t they” throughout the book and great romance scenes. You can tell they are best friends as well as a couple.Spellcaster does take place during high school and a lot of issues relatable to teens are touched upon in the story. Shultz brings up realistic issues such as stalking, bullying, gossip, sex, homosexuality and underage drinking.All in all, I think Shultz does a very good job of providing a strong plot line along with a fun story and likable characters. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of paranormal romance.
  • (4/5)
    The story picks up a couple of months after Spellbound. Emma and Brendan are semi-celebrities due to Anthony's attack on them, and all seems rather well. A little sickeningly, I have to admit. Although it did set the mood for what was to come later. As you may have guessed, the happy ending was certainly not permanent, because the oh-so-doomey-doom was nearing on the horizon. And I'm not even kidding concerning the dramatics because the whole book is quite dramatic. Spellbound was as well, so maybe it's just the author's style. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, because there is enough fluff and funny scenes to balance out the drama - somewhat at least.Now, I found both Emma and Brendan too sacrificing for normal teenagers. Yes, I know eternal love, fated soulmates and whatnot. I guess that is the explanation for it. It just felt off to me nonetheless. Sure, dreaming of such a love is nice and well. But again, the image this sends to tweens and teenagers? It's okay to die for your boyfriend, to deliberately hurt yourself for you boyfriend? I would not be comfortable in recommending this to a young girl. However, it was exciting, it kept me turning pages. In the middle, I think it's kind of slow for a while. I thought a couple of times "Well, that's it?" because the reader is led to believe that the conflict is already resolved. As soon as those few chapters are over though, the action starts again believe me!
  • (4/5)
    You all know me. If I read the first book and get hooked on it, I must read the second book. So without a doubt, I knew I had to read this one. This book did live up to the hype I expected, though I could have use a little more love in it, it still made me smile.I loved the plot line of this book. There is so much going one with magic and power that it leaves your fingers tingling! I really loved the growth of both characters and facing the past. Having a past that you are not proud of that comes back to haunt and hurt you in any way is hard. I like that through out the trails that stuck by each other. That right there is true love.So the love interest in this book turn so many different directions. One thing I loved about it is the way they work together. Even when one of them wanted to give up, the other just pick the other up and kept going. I admired their strength together. This love really define what loves is. Being there to pick up the other while they are down. Not mattering what happen in this past but what you can do about it now. Such a great sacrifice!Overall, Spellcaster is an fantastic sequel. With magic flowing through the pages, Spellcaster is a worthy sequel. Elegantly put together, Spellcaster is compelling.
  • (5/5)
    Wow. I thought that surely Shultz outdid herself with Spellbound, but I was wrong. Spellcaster is fantastic! It picks up where Spellbound left off, with Emma and Brendan dealing with the fallout from Anthony's attack. Anthony is still MIA, and the police believe that his father is hiding him somewhere in Europe. However, no one is sure where Anthony really is. Also, someone is out to get Emma and Brendan... again. These poor kids can't get a moment's peace. Spellcaster is an extremely suspenseful read. Emma and Brendan have to battle new and old enemies, and the novel is packed full of action, romance, adventure, and mystery. This is one book you do not want to miss. Spellcaster has everything I loved about Spellbound, but the pacing is faster. Spellbound started off kind of slow at first, but Spellcaster jumps right into the action. We find out pretty quickly that something is after Emma, but we don't know what it is. Even after we find out who is behind her attacks, there is still a mystery surrounding who is helping Emma's attacker. While I had a good idea who was helping Emma's attacker, I wasn't 100% sure until it was revealed. Shultz leaves hints along the way, but she does a good job at keeping you guessing. Emma's character has grown so much since Spellbound, and she grows even more in Spellcaster. She still has her sarcastic sense of humor, but she is much more mature. She has a lot of difficult decisions to make in this novel, and some of her decisions really surprised me... in a good way. When I finished this book, I was very proud of the character she's become. Emma is a strong heroine who fights for those she loves without sacrificing who she is. She won't let anyone push her around, and I really admire that about her. Brendan is just as sweet as ever, and if you didn't completely fall in love with him during Spellbound, you definitely will in this book. He goes to great lengths to ensure Emma's happiness, and it's obvious that he's become her best friend as well as her soul mate. They make a great team, and their interactions show that they are growing as characters together. They have a healthy and respectful relationship. I wish more YA books had characters like these two. A cool thing Shultz did in this book was tell a couple of chapters from Angelique's perspective. This really allows the us to get to know our favorite goth girl a bit better. Angelique has some new powers that she's learning to deal with, and her POV made the story more complex. We also find out what her problem is with Brendan and how she's working to overcome their differences. Angelique was one of my favorite characters in Spellcaster. There is a lot more magic in Spellcaster than there was in Spellbound, and I really enjoyed that. Emma is learning how to be a witch, and while she has some problems focusing her emotions, her powers always seem to work when she needs them most. We also get to meet Angelique's cousin, Miranda, and she's an interesting addition to the book. The plot, as I stated, is a page turner. It's quick moving, and the pacing is perfect. The ending wraps everything up nicely, but there is room for a sequel. I hope this series is at least a trilogy because I love the world that Shultz has created. Spellcaster will entrance you and keep you under its spell until the last page.
  • (5/5)
    Spellcaster is a spellbinding intensely action packed magical tale of suspense, danger, and love at its inner most core. It is dark and hungry, filled with primal urges, impending danger, hidden secrets, and evil forces hell bent on taking unsuspected powers for their own. In the center of the story, is the sweet and engrossing tale of two soulmates - Emma and Brendan - who are incredibly amazing enough not to take their relationship at face value, as they delve more into the nature of their history. Shultz does a wonderfully brilliant job of evoking such deep seeded fears, the unveiling of innermost secrets that could harm, and threats to damage the trust these two have placed in one another. There are so many incredibly twists and turns throughout this story that are enough to keep readers guessing and craving the answers. Shultz writing style is focused on all of the right elements that it should be. It's a perfect balance, between attention to detail, story arcs, and character development. Emma is such an endearing character, who seems to have grown stronger and a bit more brave than she was in Spellbound, which has a way of making her even more likable. She's just as independent, caring, and loyal as she always has been, but with even more depth and courage. Brendan, on the other hand, is still just as mysteriously handsome and brave as he was before, but he's also a bit more secretive and cryptic and a little bolder. I personally enjoyed the few intense moments that both Emma and Brendan shared and the fact that they actually had to work at making their relationship work and creating a deeper meaningful connection. Spellcaster features an interesting and cleverly written take on reincarnation and soulmate mythology, that seems to give it a more modern edge. The story arc was beautifully fleshed out and the imagery was well written. The execution of certain moments, scenes, and powerful forces at work was off the charts amazing. There were also many interesting supporting characters that managed to bring their own unique quirks and facets to the story. It has this way of asking; just how far one person would go in terms of faith and loyalty, for another. Throughout the story, both Emma and Brendan's strength of courage, loyalty to one another, and faith are tested over and over. It's enough to leave readers entranced and wanting more. Spellcaster is a richly compelling novel that will hook readers even more as they delve further into the story. It is phenomenally gripping; action packed, and filled with incredibly tension and sweet romance. It is a virtual thrill ride that is full of action, danger, and an interesting and unique take on reincarnation and the love of two soulmates. Vastly clever and highly suspenseful, fans of Shultz first novel Spellbound will fall even more in love with Spellcaster.
  • (3/5)
    The continuation of Emma and Brendan’s story begins in New York four months from where Spellbound left off. Still in love, and still fighting to be together without all of the drama. This of course, doesn’t happen. Emma, a newbie witch, needs Angelique to help her hone her skills in order to survive the latest attack on her true love. Seemingly an untalented witch, Emma learns that with the right spell mixed with just the right amount of anger can knock out any opponent. Unlike Spellbound, Emma is determined to keep Brendan out of harm’s way and try to end the threat to their love once and for all. In this installment, Emma is unremarkable. Brendan is lust worthy, but uninspiring. I found Cara Lynn Schultz’s writing to also be unremarkable. Compared the Spellbound, I found Spellcaster to be sophomoric. Cara’s first book used beautiful description, strong characterization and included humorous dialogue. This time, instead of telling a story that produces vivid images in the reader’s mind, I was inundated with cheap catch phrases and goofy descriptions. The reference to Freddy Krueger’s basement was just plain off. As much as I loved Spellbound, Cara’s sequel left me wishing there never was a sequel.
  • (4/5)
    Synopsis:Finding your eternal soulmate - easy.Stopping a true-love-hungry evil - not so much…After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although...it's not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close....But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.Review:When I read Spellbound I only gave it a 3 out of 5. I think I should have given it a 4. Firstly what struck me overall about this book is that the premise of the story is incredibly simple. Once we figure out who the evil witch is, most of it is plain sailing from there. There aren't that many twists and turns, but the writing is beautifully done and the romance between Emma and Brendan is wonderful, pure (they are soul mates after all), and a delight to read. There is no bickering, or arrival of another teasing male to form a triangle, its exactly what a gorgeous romance should be. And neither characters deviate from their feelings which, again, in the YA age of unpredictability is a good role to teach teens.In this episode of the series we get a lot more 'witchy' which (!) I loved. We have more Angelique and her great cousin Randi (both witches). But the witchyness isn't OTT. And Angelique and Brendan bury the hatchet and actually get nice with each other.The main character, Emma, left me disappointed in the previous book. I just felt she was lacking and a tiny little bit wussy whereas here we get a much different and more grown up version. I liked her a great deal more and by the end I thought she was amazing.This is a great follow-on from Spellbound. If you had any misgivings towards the first book then this one will capture you in.