Bonded by Crimson by Zrinka Jelic caught my attention and held it all the way through with its vivid imagery, unique storyline and captivating characters. It read almost like a fairytale – the story simply revealing itself effortlessly throughout the book. I began first wishing I understood more but when I relaxed into the story, I enjoyed the telling. In fact, I enjoyed it enough to rate it high even though it had a high amount of grammatical errors. Those who read my reviews will understand how much this means… what’s my mantra… edit, edit, edit and then edit some more.
The characters are multi-dimensional; with a depth to make readers feel as if they’ve known them forever. First there’s Kate, rebuilding her life after a failed marriage, who takes a nanny position to three little boys. Kate is gentle, caring and nurturing with the boys. I dare anyone not to like her. She’s self-reliant, bright and strong. Given all those qualities and some trauma from her own past, she attaches to boys quickly – and they to her - though she’s rather nervous around their distant father, Matthias.
Matthias, a handsome (of course!) three-centuries-old immortal, lost his wife years ago right after the boys were born. He recognizes he’s not the father his wife would’ve wanted for the boys but seems lost as to how to parent. Actually, he seems lost all together and it’s great to see Kate bring him out of the gray fog he seems to live in. Kate works some magic in getting Matthias more involved in the boys’ daily lives as well as teaching the boys to be more self-sufficient. She endears herself to this family.
Now enter in the spirit who seems to be pushing Kate towards Matthias and his family. Though unsure of it, Kate finds herself compelled by the immediate attraction she feels for Matthias. For him though, the attraction is a betrayal of his dead wife. He’s tortured by letting her go and moving on but the connection with Kate is far deeper than readers will first believe. They are drawn together and it is incredibly romantic. Matthias is sweet to her, romantic, a true gentleman - so different from today's average hero.
Then add in the stranger now stalking Kate back and forth in their travels between their main house in Canada and their vacation home in their homeland of Croatia. Life as they once knew it shifts - the past crumbling and pushing them to create a new future. But as in all love stories, it comes down to trust. And for Matthias, he must also be willing to love again.
Nothing is rushed which means it feels very natural watching the two fall in love. Secondary characters add to the storyline, enhancing it, as does the book thread *I’ll let you read this part for yourself*. The graduated revealing of details may cause some readers to complain but I believe it added to the feel of the book. I’d recommend this to my friends. Well done.
RATING: 4 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
This book was given to us by the author. Many thanks.