Twice Cursed: Cursed by Blood #2

'With my heart I love, with my body I protect,
with my life I trade for yours, forever to keep."

Twice Cursed
Marianne Morea
Cursed by Blood, book two
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published November 14th 2012 by Coventry Press Ltd.
First published October 14th 2012
ISBN 9780988439603

Psychic investigator, Lily Saburi is no stranger to the supernatural. Tough as nails, she’s a hunter in her own right, a once self-proclaimed vigilante that has joined forces with the man she once sought to kill, and now can’t live without. Sexy, Sean Leighton, Alpha of the Brethren of Weres. Their passion surpassed every obstacle set in front of them, yet in the wake of a mysterious virus threatening everyone they love, they are embroiled in an unforgiving scheme of political double dealing, hidden agendas and assassination, with Lily and Sean as primary targets. To stay together, they are forced apart. But treachery follows hard on Lily’s heels when she returns home to find New York City bathed in a series of bloodbaths. Baffled, the police have no leads, so they call in their last line of defense to work the case. Lily.

Thrown together with homicide detective, Ryan Martinez, dangerous sparks fly as the two uncover the undead truth behind the killings. Long hidden secrets are revealed, as are truths too unbelievable to accept when Lily is kidnapped and Sean and Ryan have to work together to find her.

Revenge and the struggle for power all play a part in this urban fantasy suspense, taking you from the rocky coast of Maine to the heart of New York City, the NYPD and the vampire underground, where Weres and Vampires are forced to work together to solve the mystery of what’s tearing their veiled world apart from the inside out.

Disclaimer: My copy of Twice Cursed was obtained from the author. All opinions are my own.

I read what is referred to as 'book one' of this series back in December of 2010 and walked away from it leaving behind a pathetic review and weak 2-star rating. You can find my little opinion on that one here and a bit more detail on the actual story in Redd's review here.

This, known as 'book two', is the where the true story lies. Hunter's Blood is a prequel at best and really shouldn't be read without Twice Cursed on immediate standby. Or just skip HB altogether. It's been years since I read it and I still didn't miss a thing.

A mysterious disease is infecting all Were kind, barreling each victim into psychosis, and Lily's blood alone holds the cure. But there are those who believe that, for a human, she's seen too much and so desire that she be turned, even against her will. So Lily and Sean part ways to better things...and all that goes on the back burner.

Days pass without Sean even giving her a call, telepathically or otherwise. Seriously? The chick you just claimed is far, far away with one of your wolves whining about being at the bottom of the totem pole... she's going through her first full moon with Were DNA inside her on top of that... and that doesn't warrant a check in??? The guy's affect was seriously off for a wolf.

It doesn't help that we have to stomach every male going gaga over Lily with her big tits and tight leathers. Bleh! Hot headed and disrespectful, Lily was once again on my Just Go Away list. I couldn't stand her in book one and only managed to tolerate her here. Seriously, the best scenes are those with which Lily's role is minimal or very neatly absent. I'm all about a human having that moment she puts a Were in its place, but Lily's life seems to be one big, looong moment.

 Jack. Oh, Jack. Why?

I liked Jack and didn't suspect him at all. Kudos to the shock factor there. Maybe there were signs, but hell, I'd rather be a fool for trusting Jack than a fool for rooting for Lily.

My biggest complaint with Hunter's Blood was the lack of explanation. No problem with that here. Logic behind explanation? Still needs some tweaking on that end though that may just be a matter of instincts. Which were questionable. All in all, Morea is a much better writer/creator than HB gave her credit for. If only she'd turned the 'alpha bitch' mode down a bit, I would have enjoyed it more.

3 out of 5 stars.  

Previously in this series:


Prince of Power: Chronicles of Yavn #2

Prince of Power
Elisabeth Staab
Chronicles of Yavn, book two
ebook, 384 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Sourcebooks
ISBN 9781402263194

This Fight Is Personal.

Wizards and vampires have been mortal enemies since the beginning. Now Anton, son of the Wizard Master, has one last chance to steal the unique powers of the vampire king's beautiful sister, Tyra...and then kill her. But when he meets Tyra face-to-face, everything changes...

Tyra will stop at nothing to defeat the wizards, until Anton saves her life and she suddenly sees an opportunity she never could have imagined...

As the sparks ignite between them, together they could bring an end to the war that's decimating their people, but only if they can find a way to trust each other.

Anton, son of the wizard king (er, master?), has been exiled from pretty much everything, living in a homeless shelter and harboring an unspoken plot to end his father's reign. He's not above switching sides to do it either. Especially since he's fallen in love with the Vampire King's sister while playing spy for daddy dearest.

When Tyra, Thad's half-sister, ends up in a ten day torpor, it's Anton who finds himself in the enviable position of protecting her. With Lee, Thad's best friend/bodyguard, off fighting the good fight. Thad and his pregnant mate, Isabel, holding down the fort at home. And Siddoh, Tyra's former lover, playing big brother to Alexia, "Lexi", the lone human who followed from book one.
It's not uncommon for me to skip books in a series, even book one, as I did here. And usually, doing so is not a problem. It was, however, a choice I quickly came to regret on this occasion. Prince of Power starts off right where King of Darkness ended, or so I suspect, and it has constant references to a time before. So yeah, do not do as I do.

Anton has a great moment of claiming what's his- or what he wants to be his- fairly early on but as a whole, with being inside his head, ... the guy's a bit of a wimp. Easily what you picture in the hero's sidekick role. Not, by far, a leading man. The man cries... alot.

Meanwhile, someone who did manage to capture my attention in a positive way was Lee. Once mated to Agnessa, a half succubus/half vampire chick who can't be found on anybody's friend list, he now has his eyes on Alexia. And the attraction is, although inferred, mutual. It takes a bit of time before we get the lowdown on Lee and Agnessa, but thanks to Xander we do get there eventually. Seems the couple parted ways after Agnessa screwed Thad way back when our father-to-be king was still just a lowly prince. No love lost between Thad and Lee though. Not on the surface anyhow. And btw, Agnessa is now Thad's spiritual advisor. W. T. F!

By the end, Anton manages to suck up the tears long enough to kill his father and give his brother, Petros, the opening to take over the wizards. So things are about to get even worse for vampire kind. 

If you can survive the long ending wherein Anton and Tyra go over and over (and over!) their feelings and doubts and pasts, then this is actually a read worthy of your time.

4 out of 5 stars.

Hunter by Night, book three in the Chronicles of Yavn, is due out in 2014.

Previously in this series: