Series: Irish Traveller #1
Published by Diversion Books on November 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Romantic
Sexual Content: Kissing, brief sex scenes
Reviewed by: Kate
Thrilling and romantic, Once a Gypsy starts a brand new series from award-winning author Danica Winters.
“A haunting and fresh voice in paranormal romance. Be prepared for Danica Winters to ensnare you in her dark and seductive world.”―Cecy Robson, author of the Weird Girls series and 2016 Double-Nominated RITA® Finalist
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.
ONCE A GYPSY was an interesting paranormal romance read that suffered from a little too much going on. The setting and characters were fun, and the writing was good, but there were just a few too many bad guys.
I really liked Helena, the heroine of ONCE A GYPSY. She had a strong backbone and was willing to stand up for what she felt was right. Unfortunately, her opinion of right was sometimes colored by her family and their traditions. I loved watching her relationship develop with Graham, and even though he was kind of a jerk at the beginning of the book, I came to really like his character. He was just trying to do what was best for his family as well.
One complaint I have is that the portrayal of the Travellers made the culture feel a little flat. There was a lot of focus on the family, and Helena was frequently justifying actions by saying she was doing it for her family. It seemed there could have been other aspects of the culture that could have been pulled in. Of course, I don't have experience with this culture so I can't say for certain how accurately it was portrayed.
My other complaint was the pure amount of villains in this book. It seemed whenever Helena and Graham turned a corner there was a new bad guy to contend with - Helena's mom, Graham's step-dad, the mysterious possible murderer, evil spirits, and the list goes on. It seemed like overkill. Any one of those people or things could have been a good impediment to the relationship between Helena and Graham, but we had all of them, at once!
The first book in the Irish Traveller series, ONCE A GYPSY held my attention with the sweet romance at the core, but ultimately had too many distracting elements. I am curious to see where the series goes, and I will definitely pick up book two, because I enjoyed the characterization and am hoping the next book is a little more focused.Series Titles:
- Once a Gypsy
- Always a Wanderer
- For more paranormal romance set in Ireland, check out the Cousins O'Dwyer trilogy by Nora Roberts.