It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that really shredded me, for lack of better terminology. There are just some books that you read, howl, bawl and cry over. Then go back and re-read passages, go back and re-read the book before it, and then finally re-read the entire book again. These are books I named my blog after; I basically walk around in book hangover from them. Hi, my name is Kristin and I’m a total book geek over this series and especially this book…
I absolutely fell in love with the Weird Girls series by Cecy Robson last year. The first book in the series, Sealed with a Curse, was such a winning debut for Ms. Robson that I was a little fearful of the dreaded “sophomore slump” that accompanies some second books in a series. I can unequivocally (yes, I did have to look that word up) say that this book, A Cursed Embrace, at least for me, blows the first book out of the water, throws it down the hill, ties it up on the railroad tracks, waits for the train to go by, and then beats the ever-loving socks off the first book. Okay, I over-exaggerate. But I actually LOVED Embrace better than Sealed!! Here’s why…
Let me start with the supporting characters first. I love living, err, reading about these sisters! I love Taran and her “I’m sex on a stick walking” -vibe she gives off. Who wears high heels to track bad guys in the woods?? Shayna is the tomboy little sister that might have picked up a opossum on the way home from school and wanted to keep it as a pet because it was “fluffy and white”. Emme is just so gosh darn cute and you know she’ll grow up to be an elementary school teacher. Seriously, I know these girls – these characters are plenty fleshed out.
And then there is Celia, one of my favorite tortured heroines of all time. She’s been cursed to live with a tigress inside her that she can shapeshift into. But her strong, fierce personality leaks out and scares off any potential friends or suitors of the human variety. On the other side, to the supernatural Were community, she just isn’t good enough to be dating their potential leader. Her and her sisters are considered freaks. This affects Celia the worst out of all the sisters because if there’s any race that could relate to her, it’s the were community. Either way, she’s been alone for a long time. She’s spent her years looking out for her younger sisters without regard to her dating needs.
Aric, the object of her affection, is the alpha of all alphas (at least that’s what I think). He happens to be one of the few pure-blood weres left in the world. Unfortunately for him, the elders get cranky when he dates non-pure bloods and they really blow a gasket when he takes an interest in Celia. Aric is young, cocky, extremely alpha, and he is truly possessive and protective of what he deems is his. He’s one of the few who can handle and respect Celia’s strength.
But there is another who respects and wants Celia. Misha is the master vampire living in the Tahoe area whom Celia has helped in the past. Of course he’s hot. Of course he’s always there to protect Celia when she needs help and to get under Aric’s fur…. skin, whatever.
To say that there’s a love triangle in this book is not entirely accurate. Celia knows who she wants. And she makes it clear to everyone involved on several occasions. I’d ruin the story if I discussed the non-triangle further (I’m such a tease, no?)
Ms. Robson has written my personal favorite type of book: an urban fantasy with romance that is weighted 50/50 for each. The urban fantasy genre, for me, is mystery, conflict, action, with a bit of supernatural gore thrown in for good measure. But you have GOT to have good writing to make sure the reader understands what the author is trying to convey in the scene. Bad writing, and this all ends up a hot mess of confusion. Ms. Robson does an excellent job writing these scenes and putting the reader right there in the action and all the emotions.
Speaking of emotions… it’s in the romance half of the story that my soul was utterly ripped to pieces. I’ve read emotional love stories before; heck, I cried for a few of the Brothers in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. But something about this story really gets to me. If I comment any more than that, I might be giving something away so I’ll just shut up now. I’ll just say that I absolutely loved the ending (as a reader) and I don’t think you can get a better last sentence for a book than what Ms. Robson wrote.
Ms. Robson, you ROCK! A Cursed Embrace is definitely on my list of Best/Favorite Reads of 2013, if not at the top.
Yup, I kind of liked this book.
Review appears on My ParaHangover