Early Book Review: Once a Gypsy (Irish Traveller) by Danica Winters

Once a Gypsy is the first book in the Irish Traveller series by Danica Winters and is currently scheduled for release on November 1 2016. 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 is a contemporary fiction book with a touch of romance and more than a hint of fantasy or paranormal. Helena is a strong woman, raised as a Traveller and proud of her heritage but not blind to its faults. In fact, she wants to break tradition enough to forestall marriage and go to school, which is unheard of. When her fathers is released from prison and they are both offered jobs at Graham's estate she is suspicious and cautious, which is a good idea because there is far more going on than she could know. Graham is a good guy at heart, but trying to keep the necessary secrets while helping his family. The attraction between the two is a complication for them both, and distracts them from the trouble that is surrounding them. There are a good number of twists and turns, many of which I saw coming, and lots of room for whatever comes next. I did feel that while Helena started as a strong woman, there were a few too many times where I felt like she let doubts or someone else make her decisions for her. I could understand that on occasion, but by the end of the book it was what I remembered most about her, which did not make me like her as much as I had initially.

Once a Gypsy is a decent start to a series, but it did not wow me. I thought the characters and cultures had the groundwork laid well for future installments, but some of the paranormal aspects and personal connections between characters did not completely reel me in. 
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