Shadow’s Curse is the second in a historical paranormal romance series (whew, what a genre mouthful!). I should preface this review with the fact that I have not read the first book in the series, and after finishing Shadow’s Curse I have to recommend that you read the books in their proper order to really understand the world and the larger conflict that binds the books together.
The world of Shadow’s Curse is an interesting one. There are shape shifters and fae creatures, all hidden from the general masses in Regency England. David St. Leger is one of those shape shifters, cursed after being exiled from his clan. David stalks the stews of London and helps those in need, but it’s certainly not for altruistic purposes, rather he just needs something to do. And he finds a whole lot more trouble than he bargained for when he comes to the aid of a young woman.
Callista Hawthorne is the young woman rescued by David, although she’s unaware that it’s actually a “rescue” at the time. Callista is being used by her brother for her ability at necromancy; she can contact the dead and her brother has been using this as a money making scheme. Callista wants out of this life and longs to escape to her aunt in Scotland. Unbeknownst to Callista her brother has sold her off to an underworld crime lord that plans to marry her and use her powers for his own purposes, and he will resort to any means necessary to make that marriage come about. Understandably Callista’s none to happy about this and when her path crosses again with David, she strikes a bargain and gets an escort to Scotland. Of course, the crime lord is not so keen to let Callista go and David’s got his own problems trailing behind them as well. The course of true love never does run smooth…
Essentially, what we have in Shadow’s Curse is an on-the-road romance. Callista and David are both on the run and they band together because of common goals. At first they don’t like each other all that much (Callista did inadvertently help capture David); however, they quickly become attracted to one another. I liked the romance aspect of this book, I just didn’t feel like there was enough of it. The main focus of the book was the adventure and the greater conflict that had started in book one. If I had read book one I think I would have been more invested in what was going on, but since I had not I was really reading it for the romance and I didn’t get enough of it.
In the end, I felt a little confused when I finished the book. I was missing something, and it was that first book. I liked the writing style and I thought the world had potential, but I think the confusion that I felt reading Shadow’s Curse really hampered my enjoyment of this one. Ultimately, I’m not sure that I’ll be back for the next installment in the series since I don’t feel invested in the outcome of these characters. I’m also not really a fan of the fae in fiction. Don’t really have a reason why, I just find them odd creatures, and I tend to stray away from books with these characters in them. I think had the romance taken more of focus I would have enjoyed this one more; however, I think those looking for more plot in a romance will enjoy this one a lot more than I did. Overall, not a bad book, just not my favourite.
*e-ARC provided by NetGalley