RYAR Review: COMPULSION by Martina Boone

Previously published on


COMPULSION by Martina Boone
Series: The Heirs of Watson Island #1
Published by Simon Pulse on October 28, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Provided by: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars



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.


COMPULSION is a gorgeous and fascinating read with characters who you can’t help but either love or hate and a wonderfully delicious pace that sets the mood for this story that is steeped in romance, mystery and intrigue. With a setting that invites exploration, a backstory that piques curiosity, characters whose abilities and motives are suspect, and a swoon-worthy, roller-coaster of a love story, this first book in the Heirs of Watson Island series will completely captivate.

Add in magic, a curse, mysterious disappearances, ingrained hostility that goes back generations, undeniable attraction, treachery and danger, a lovable and endearing heroine and a magnetic and incredibly charming male protagonist, and you have a book that will be unputdownable.

Barrie Watson led a very sheltered life with her recluse of a mother and her well-meaning, larger-than-life godfather. But when her mother dies after learning of his illness, she is sent to live with an aunt she never knew she had, to a place that has kept her family’s secrets for ages.

Torn between wanting to return to the only family she has ever known and wanting to stay and help her aunt, Barrie discovers that leaving Watson Island might not even be an option. Not when the pull she feels toward her new home makes the idea of leaving terrifying. Not when the boy she met seems as drawn to her as she is to him. Not when the promises she made might prevent her from leaving.

Martina Boone did an amazing job introducing readers to the incredibly alluring world she created in COMPULSION. It is a place shrouded in secrecy, rich with history, interesting lore, and a dark past. She created appealing characters who are funny, sweet, cruel, infuriating, sexy, sympathetic, evil, mysterious, adorable, creepy, redeemable. And she teased just enough to draw readers in, get them invested in her characters and their outcomes, make them want to learn more about their families’ histories, and leave them anxious for the next installment.

COMPULSION is a beautiful and breathtaking story, beautifully written. It’s the start of a series that promises to be even more enchanting and exciting. It is suspenseful, romantic, dark and spellbinding. It takes readers to a world that feels like it’s set in a different time and will keep them riveted. It is a must for those who want to be transported, to be immersed, to be thrilled, to be brought to the edge of their seats, and to be left eagerly awaiting what comes next.

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