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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Review: Curses

by Cindy Spencer Pape

Some people really are cursed when it comes to love! For innkeeper and witch Melissa MacRae, a family curse means that falling in love is the ultimate bad idea. Author Jonas Pierce is a werewolf, who has seen too much evil to even consider passing on his curse to another generation. So why does a hot summer fling have them both thinking about happily ever after?

Curses is the kind of book you curl up with in your favorite chair with a fuzzy throw and a mug of cocoa on a chilly day. Not because the setting is particularly wintry, but because Mel and Joe are warm, friendly, and down to earth people who happen to have some extraordinary abilities. People like this make for the best kind of comfort read.

Some readers might see Mel as a bit of a Mary Sue, though. Generous, good-hearted, unselfish, almost always does the right thing. And Joe’s almost too perfect for words. Not only is he a hot guy, but he’s responsible, artistic, intelligent, and culinary. Interestingly enough, both Mel and Joe have the same flaw: they both see their respective powers as traps they can’t control, as something they must endure the way their parents endured them and they’re too focused on that to even consider how their own free will might influence their lives. They have to learn how to get out of their own way before they can move on with their lives, whether they end up together or not.

Ms. Pape creates a realistic small Midwestern town around the two of them, complete with the big business vs. little business plotline that creates most of the external struggle throughout the story. I was a little bit disappointed to have figured out the big twist at the end way before I actually go there, but it was a logical ending, well set up and thought out and made for a satisfying experience.

Curses was a delight to read, and I look forward to seeking out more titles by Ms. Pape. Fans of the more nitty gritty stuff might find this one a tiny bit tame, but contemporary romance readers who like to dip a toe into paranormal once in a while will love it.

Review by Daisy