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Monday, August 23, 2010

Heiress to a Curse by Zandria Munson

Heiress to a Curse by Zandria Munson
Publisher: HQ Nocturne
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (281 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

He had to kill her. Yet one look at Alexandra Barret and Marius Drakon was a man possessed by a hunger he'd never known. Keeping his family curse a secret from the woman whose death would end it would take all of his stone-cold strength, and protecting his family's enemy might be the death of him. But protect her he must.

Alexandra's charismatic new neighbor intrigued her as no man had. What secrets was he keeping, and what did he know of the mysterious winged creature rumored to be haunting the night skies? The truth would be her undoing—or her destiny….

Get ready to find out what happens when a man of mystery mixes with a woman who has a centuries old magical ticking time bomb destined to go off inside of her.

Poor Alexandra. She finally meets the man of her dreams and even in her dreams he’s monster. What’s a girl to do? Heiress to a Curse has a pretty interesting twist to the old Wicked Witch of the West curse; no dogs in this one though. I was introduced to how it all began way back when and the author did a pretty good job of hinting that all was not as it appeared and someone was getting the short end of the stick. It was actually an important depiction of character because the caring and forgiving man in the beginning isn’t the same one I met at the end. I felt bad for him, even worse when all was revealed. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First I want to talk about Alexandra. A reader gets a feeling that despite some bizarre goings on in her psyche, she’s level headed and has a great friend in the secondary character, April. Alexandra doesn’t shy away from her problems nor does she resort to escapist dependency like alcohol. She just visits her therapist and as nice as he is, he’s just a guy without an open mind. She’s has no idea what a roller coaster ride her brain is in for when she gets the wet dream of her life. That was a pretty kinky moment for sure. Alexandra has an unusual talent that complicates her life and in fact contributes to some very intense scenes during the story. It also propels her headlong into a desperate attempt to prevent a terrible tragedy despite the personal cost. Ms. Munson has created a very strong character with a caring heart and a sincere personality. It came through clearly.

Marius is the hero that starts off very anti-heroic. His duty makes him the bad guy but his growing feelings prevent him from falling off of that cliff. He is so wrapped up with his internal struggles, which are staggering, that he is not able to verbalize what it is that’s going on with his heart. He acts on it though which endeared him to me. Not all of his choices are right nor are they all smart but he’s a man torn between two worlds and it made for great reading. What is he going to chose to do and what price is he willing to pay? Marius’ ultimate decision made for fast flipping of pages and a bit nail. That was intense.

There were quite a few secondary characters. Some, like April, directly interacted with Alexandra, and others were just a means to an end. Marius’ family was there and provided extra familial conflict and a hint as to what the next books’ challenges will be as the series continues. Again, bigger than life doings with emotions wrapped in to hook a reader for the future. Nice touch.

The editing was flawless and the dialogue true to character but there were some moments here and there with the interaction between April and Alexandra or even with the police that didn’t quite sit right with me. I can’t put a finger on it exactly to explain it for a reader but it was enough for me to mention but not enough to overly affect the rating.

Heiress to a Curse is a unique, thrilling, bite your nails story with daring-do, romance and a hero and heroine sure to leave a lasting impression. There’s a good bit of world building and drama that went into the telling of this tale and the author did a great job. I understand how Marius and Alexandra came to get their happily ever after but what about Marius’ brothers? Only Ms. Munson knows and I can’t wait to find out. This was a very engrossing read and I’m glad I read it.