Wednesday, May 21, 2014

eBook Review: The Curse

His search for her has been timeless, eternal, and ultimately thwarted. Until now…

Seth Almose has spent countless lives trying to break the curse that robs him of his soul mate. Each time the cycle begins anew, he meets it with hope, and each time he is left with heartbreak. But as the cycle dawns again, with yet another incarnation, Seth can’t help himself. She is extraordinary; is she the one?

Julia Morrow has reason to be wary of men. After restarting her life to escape an increasingly dangerous stalker, she has no reason to believe Seth and his stories of reincarnation and curses. But his face haunts her dreams, and her canvasses. He claims that it is a matter of life and death — her death. Can she find it in herself to trust again, or will the cycle turn once again, leaving them both broken and alone?

I love Ancient Egyptian fueled romances (or Ancient Egyptian anything really).  Blame it on Mara, Daughter of the Nile with the clever spy-survivor-slave Mara and the haughty-righteous-passionate nobleman Sheftu falling in love during Hatshepsut's dethronement if you want, but something about it has always just turned my crank.

In some ways this book was all over the place however.  Character motivations were, for the most, transparent and obvious, but relationships felt more...awkward.  I won't lie, there was several times when I thought that Julia's agent/friend was working with the creeps targeting her and Seth because she said/did things that no normal friend would do.  Her utter obliviousness to one villain's creepitude certainly didn't speak well for her.

I also felt that even though Julia was well rounded out as a character, Seth came off more broadly written.  It may be a product of this being Julia's book for the most part--her life, her journey to understanding and love, but Seth ran one of two ways to me; either he felt as 'human' as the Pharaoh that inspires Julia so much or was really too intense.  

Some of the best moments for Seth are when he's acting the mischievous, smitten man in love.  His quirky sense of humor and sincere interest in Julia's art made me understand why Julia opened up to him.  His worst moments are when he's going over the top in terms of convincing Julia they are soul mates and are fated to be together.  This happens far too soon in my opinion, mostly egged on by the enemies conspiring against them.

Which let me touch on those enemies for a moment.  They were sincerely disturbing individuals.  One is the creeper that stalked Julia all the way to Boston and the other two are connected otherwise.  They're not strangers and in at least one case, its someone that was at one time trusted.  Those scenes when either the stalker is plotting how Julia will service him or when the group is planning how to make both of them pay is thoroughly unsettling.  

Overall I think Brassel crafted a sometimes uneven, but mostly engaging suspenseful story.  While Seth was a little too keen on the reincarnation part at times, his and Julia time together was worth the schmaltzy language at times.