Sunday, December 25, 2016

Book Review ~ Once a Gypsy (Irish Traveller, Book #1) by Danica Winters @DanicaWinters #TeamDanica


Book Information:

Title: Once a Gypsy
Series: Irish Traveller, Book 1
Author: Danica Winters
Kindle File Size: 3115 KB
Print Length: 290 pages
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
ASIN: B01K82O078


Goodreads Description of Once a Gypsy:

Even for a clairvoyant, the future is never a sure thing.

Helena has always struggled to fit in with her Irish Traveller family. It’s not just her opposition to getting married or her determination to attend university; Helena also has one talent that sets her apart from the rest of her clan―the gift of the Forshaw, the ability to see the future.

Graham is the groundskeeper at a manor in Adare, Ireland. Though the estate appears idyllic, it holds dark secrets, and despite his own supernatural gifts, Graham can’t solve Adare Manor’s problems by himself. Desperate for help, Graham seeks out a last resort: Helena, whose skills are far greater than even she knows.

When he promises to teach her to control her powers, Helena resists, afraid both of the damage her abilities might do and her increasing attraction to the handsome groundskeeper. Her entire way of life is at risk: Any involvement, especially romantic, with non-Travellers like Graham is forbidden. But Helena’s future is anything but certain, and fate has other plans for her family, her powers, and her relationship with Graham.

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My Review:

Helena is a gypsy traveller in Ireland.  She lives with her family; a drunken mother, protective father, and several siblings. Helena doesn't accept the typical role of a female gypsy - arranged marriage, gypsy lifestyle.  She's been studying hard to take the entrance exam to university even through the opposition and obstacles her mother throws her way.  When Helena realizes that her paranormal ability is being able to see into the future, she tries to keep it hidden.  There are a couple people who know that she has the ability, though, and she finds herself sought after by a non-traveller.

Graham spends his time maintaining the grounds at an Ireland manor.  The manor houses secrets that intertwine with Graham's life and his abilities aren't strong enough to fix the problems.  He seeks out Helena for help, as her abilities are much stronger than his.  Unaware just how strong her abilities are and uncomfortable with lot she's been cast,  she initially declines Graham's offer to help her hone her skills.  She soon changes her mind, especially when she learns he's offering her a paid position, which will help her family.  

There was definitely a connection between Graham and Helena during their first meeting.  Any type  of romance is forbidden since Travellers are supposed to marry within the clan.  This doesn't stop Graham from trying to get in Helena's good graces.  He wants to nurture her abilities and encourage her desire to attend university.  Helena is definitely unsure about a relationship with Graham but she can't help the feels he invokes in her.  Can she be her clan's means to knowing the future and love a "gorger?"

Helena's character grew so much in Once a Gypsy.  She was mousy and shy at the beginning and obviously scared of her new abilities.  By the end, Helena was more assertive and, while still being respectful, was able to stand for herself in ways that she wasn't able to do before.  Graham is a strong character and he had a lot at stake in the novel.  Helena was his final chance at dealing with the issues at the manor.  His character is very kind, caring, and understanding.

Once a Gypsy is the first book in a brand new series by spectacular author, Danica Winters.  I've been a faithful reader of her novels since The Nymph's Labyrinth came out in 2012.  Her stories are imaginative and well written.  Each book has a strong plot, excellent characters, superb character development, and world building that is smooth and constructive.

Once a Gypsy is an engaging novel with likable characters.  The descriptions are vivid and the reader will be able to visualize Ireland as it is in the novel.   There are some tense moments that will have the reader feeling the same things that Helena feels; frustration, anger, and unfairness.  When her life is planned out for her in the exact opposite way from what she wants you feel her anger and displeasure just as if it were you.  The chemistry and budding relationship between Helena and Graham are realistic and believable.  The paranormal elements are light and refined as opposed to totally engulfing the entire novel.  The abilities that Helena and Graham have are important but so is the interaction between the  characters.  I found Once a Gypsy to be an entertaining and enjoyable read.

I voluntarily reviewed an author-provided copy of this book.

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