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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cursed Mates by Cara Marsi

Cursed Mates by Cara Marsi
Publisher: Noble Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (238 pgs)
Heat Level: hot
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Nick Radford is a reluctant werewolf who's been fighting the Beast within for nearly 500 years. He's never killed a human, but the Beast is gaining strength and Nick may not be able to ward off his inner demon much longer.

Kyla Yaeger is an elite were-hunter with a scarred past. Her life's mission is to slay the werewolves that slaughtered her parents. Her quest has brought her to Maine, where she's been summoned to destroy the werewolf terrorizing the quaint little village of Heavensent. The last thing she needs is to get distracted by her mysterious—not to mention hunky—new neighbor, Nick Radford.

By the time Kyla learns Nick is her target, she's already fallen for him, making her task of killing him that much harder. She is torn between her love for him and her duty to kill her sworn enemy. Nick fights his forbidden love for Kyla, knowing she is duty-bound to kill him. Kyla and Nick must join forces to fight an even bigger threat—one that will destroy all humanity. Only by their combined powers, can they destroy the evil and bring an end to a centuries old curse.

Lust and vengeance, redemption and mayhem come to a head in this riveting read full of demons, wolves and one very determined heroine.

Kyla is a werewolf hunter who is closing in on her prey. She tracks him to this little tiny town in Maine but she gets a lot more than she bargained for. She’s also prone to visions but this time they’re freaking her out because they’re different than she’s ever experienced. I figured out long before she did why that was. A couple of characters drop hints here and there, but Kyla is so focused on the hunt and her own internal conflicts, she can’t see the forest for the trees. Her emotions are pulled like taffy in many directions but they seem to be heading in one direction. I thought she was a strong personality, dedicated and loyal to her friend and co-worker, Todd.

The hero, Nick, is Kyla’s focus. He confuses her and confounds her, with good reason. Nick is in jeopardy from more than the silver bullets that the heroine has in her arsenal. He has been fighting the good fight for centuries. He is noble, caring, determined and defines ‘tortured hero’. He’s given up hope and knows this town is his last stand. He is going to make things right and if he has to die to do so, he will. What’s not to like about a guy who believes himself irredeemable and a lost cause but will fight for justice until the bitter end?

The big stumbling block between the hero and heroine is trust. Neither trusts the other, nor do they have faith in their attraction. There are way too many inconsistencies to their having an easy relationship because there is so much they can’t or won’t tell the other. It’s a great plot conflict, actually. But I thought it went on a bit too long. It seemed like it was presented in different ways but it all came down to meaning the same thing. After awhile, I did not enjoy watching them not trust each other, because it let things happen that I felt could have been avoided to some degree. By the time they finally revealed all, it was almost too late, and I was doing a lot of eye-rolling at that part. I wanted to bop Kyla on the head and yell, “Wake up!”, “Get over yourself!” and she eventually does, but not without her making a few stupid moves.

Don’t think Kyla is too stupid to live, she isn’t. She is just overly cocky and I wish there had been someone to give her a reality check. Todd, her friend, wasn’t it. I found out why at the end of the book. Their relationship made a lot more sense after the revelation. Meanwhile, for all her extensive training and years of being the ultimate hunter, she was not impressive. Let me put it this way, if she was hunting a werewolf that was hunting me? I’d want back up.

There were other secondary characters that had serious impact on the telling of this tale. Some were notable and interesting, some were just plain creepy and one I had thought was part of the evil plot, but actually wasn’t. There are some nasty deaths and some nefarious and hedonistic descriptions so it’s pretty intense at times. It has some great suspense and drama with good emotional connections so I had a good time reading this book. I like a book with substance and this book certainly had enough to keep me entertained.

As for the physical side of things between Nick and Kyla, a reader is going to get an eyeful. Seems Ms. Kyla knows what to do with silk ties and bed posts. And Nick sure knows his way around a woman’s body, much to the heroine’s satisfaction. Those scenes were well written and placed to good effect in the book. The bedroom door is wide open so readers will have need of a nice glass of ice water to help them get through it. It was fun.

Cursed Mates has a lot within to appeal to romantic suspense readers who enjoy stories with paranormal flair. It entertains, astounds and even gives a few goose bumps along the way. I’m glad I had a chance to read this tale and am happy with the happily ever after. It’s wonderful to see a tortured hero find his happy and Nick certainly earned his. He was my favorite character.