Friday, April 3, 2015

Compulsion by Martina Boone

Compulsion by Martina Boone
Heirs of Watson Island Series
Available Now
To Buy Links- Amazon/ Kindle/ MP3 CD/ B&N/ BookDepository/ Indiebound/ Kobo

Goodreads- Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

I believe timing is everything. The first time I tried to read Compulsion I put it down after the first couple of chapters. It just wasn't the right time. That was last Fall when it came out. But I picked it up again and was able to breeze right through it. Now, it isn't without it's problems, but I could let those problems slide for the sake of the story. 

Compulsion is set in the South, an island off of South Carolina, one of my favorite settings. Everything is slow and sultry and the author does a great job of making me feel the humidity and the warm breezes of summer. Too bad I didn't pick this up on a snow day! I didn't feel that this had a gothic feel to it but there are definitely ghosts and skeletons in the closet. Any old Southern family has some of those in their closet, I suppose.  But I'll start with, I couldn't tell for sure because of the vagueness, but I think Barrie fell in love in less than a day. Yes, so if you have a real problem with insta love, forget this book. She was already worrying about Eight leaving for college after two or three days. Yeah, so there is that, but....if you can overlook that, there is a really great story in there.

First there is a great family story that unfolds about the heirs of Watson Island, The Colesworths, The Beauforts and  The Watsons. There is an interesting mythology surrounding the original owners and their heirs and  there is a mix of ghosts, Gullah and voo-doo lore. If you live along the Southern Coast, South Carolina to Northeast Florida- maybe to St. Augustine, you take for granted the lifestyle and the pace of the area. And the stories of how the areas were inhabited and still inhabited by ghosts and spirits. There are so many traditions and superstitions and generations, it's really hard to keep things straight but it makes for a great story, especially if your family is part of that story. Regardless of what God you believe in or don't, it's hard not to believe in some of the superstition and stories being told and that's exactly what happens to Barrie, only she can see it with her eyes. She has a gift for finding lost things, a pull towards those lost things like a yearning, and if she doesn't go find it, it becomes insistent almost to the point of pain. The Beauforts have their own gift as Barrie finds out belatedly. And the Colesworths have one as well, an unfortunate one.

This story is kind of meeting the family and introduction to the island kind of story. Oh, yes, there is a big action scene and mystery that gets taken care of but there are some very big loose ends that need to be taken care of in the next novel. Barrie's gift is interesting and one that definitely can be exploited by the wrong sort if she lets them. Luckily, Eight seems to be her protector right away even if Barrie doesn't want a protector. She doesn't quite sell me on that point. But I do see how Eight could be a little infuriating. And Barrie, for getting thrown headfirst into a situation she knows nothing about and is forced to swim through secrets and lies and betrayal looking for the truth, I'd say she's a strong character. She does not get rescued by Eight, but rescues herself so that is a commendable aspect of her personality. She's level headed even when she's falling apart. Even when I'd be shrieking ( I can only take the ghost thing so far). And she is very kind. To her Aunt Pru who does deserve it. To her cousin Cassie, the jury is still out on her. And in general to the people on Watson Island and even the spirits. She falls in love with the place, the place her mother grew up, and I think she learns to forgive and understand her childhood there.

You really should read it if you are into ghosts, and Southern folklore and curses. Yes, there is insta love, but it's almost part of the curse, they are just destined to love each other, it's always been that way. Why fight it? Especially when Eight makes Barrie so happy, and his gift is was it is. So forgive the insta love and read it. It's worth it. I really do recommend it! Especially if you are still in a part of the country that is thawing out!!


  1. Oh I love the gothic sound and atmosphere to this book. I also get it when a book just hasn't got it's timing just right. Glad you ended up enjoying it!

  2. I am with you, I liked this one, but I didn't love it. I don't remember it too well as it obviously didn't leave a lasting impression. I did like the Firewalker and the creepy atmosphere, but the ending left me wanting. I am not sure if I will continue or not.


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