“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.
A fair old chunk of this book is devoted to showing the reader the lifestyle of Travellers. If like myself, you've ever watched My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding with wide-eyed fascination, then you will already be somewhat acquainted with their opinions on Gorgers (non Gypsy) and their occasionally strained relations with the Law and settled communities. Distrust and prejudice are unfortunately all too real on both sides and Ms Winters does a very good job of making Helena and her family feel vibrant and real. I particularly liked that the author has clearly researched their culture and language and brings it all into play in this story.
Once a Gypsy is clearly the first in a new series and not a standalone novel and unfortunately, does suffer because of that. Helena has gifts she is trying to understand whilst at the same time is being pulled by her family commitments and her obligations. It's a way of life that is hard to leave and yet Helena struggles to get an education but a chance meeting with Graham (love interest) is perhaps far more orchestrated than she realises.
The romantic elements felt forced to me but the mystery surrounding those at the Manor was intriguing, although there's a certain character I frankly do not trust and have serious doubts about. Add in the awful home life Helena is subjected to and honestly, I'm unsure where this series is going. I'm not sure this is what most expect from paranormal romance so perhaps Ms Winters intends it for a younger audience. I did like the central character, Helena, but I am undecided if I will continue this series but will check out the synopsis on the next book carefully and then decide.
I was gifted a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review