Everyone has heard about the Beast of Cravan. Her eyes are a deadly orange. Horns curve across her ears. Her claws are sharp enough to draw blood. She moves like a predator, stalking her prey. Her humanity has left her. She cannot control it.
Merit wasn’t always a beast. She was once a young girl who made the mistake of falling in love with the wrong boy. Her mother wanted her to marry an older man of proper stature. But Merit chose to follow her heart instead. She should have listened to her mother. The boy was only after Merit’s wealth. Not only was her heart broken but she was fairy cursed as punishment. She will remain a beast until she finds real love, or she marries a man of her mother’s choosing. She can become human again, for a short time, when she drinks a tincture. After it wears off, she will transform into the beast once more.
Tevin DuMont’s smile is his greatest weapon. His mother made him practice it until it was flawless. Coming from a long line of con artists, he can convince anyone to do just about anything. It also helps that he is fairy blessed with charm. It comes in handy when trying to swindle people for money.
Merit needs to marry to break the curse. She does not want to play the fool again. Who would marry a beast if not for the money? When she discovers Tevin in a jail cell, she comes up with a plan. Who better to teach her to avoid being charmed, than the master of charm himself – Tevin.
You might think you know the story of Beauty and the Beast but Curses takes the classic tale to a whole new level. In this story, the girl plays the role of the beast. She has none of the characteristics of the typical fairy tale maiden. She’s headstrong, clever and refuses to sacrifice her future.
When I first picked up the book, I expected a bit of a darker tale. But my hat is off to author Lish McBride for bringing so much wit into the story. The support group for cursed individuals made me smile. As did the ostrich in a bowler hat (I will let you read about that one on your own). The supporting characters really shone brightly – Val with her pistols and eye for pretty girls, sisters Diadora and Willa with their steadfast loyalty. They brought a whole new dynamic that you don’t often see in female fantasy characters.
Curses is a delightful story full of clever dialogue and well-developed characters. It’s a perfect choice for anyone who loves fairy tales with a twist.