Cursed (Brides of the Kindred #13)

Impersonal. Businesslike. Professional.
I'm so fucking sick of being professional with you.

Evangeline Anderson
Brides of the Kindred, book thirteen
ebook, 404 pages
Published October 31st 2014 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN 9781310215858

Commander Stavros Rii of the Kindred is a Sin Eater--thick black lines cover his back and neck causing him to feel the pain of others. It is a curse that threatens to shorten his life and makes him unable to bond with a female--not that he's ever found one he wants to bond with. Until he meets Charlie.

Charlie Sayers is an agent with the Earth Protection Bureau-- and anti Kindred agency dedicated to ridding the world of the big aliens. Charlie joined the EPB out of a sense of patriotism but she has her own reasons to hate the Kindred.

But she has bigger problems than the Kindred at the moment--the Enhanced Ones have come to Earth and they're planning to take over the planet, enslave the inhabitants and strip them of all emotion. Charlie can't have that so she agrees to go undercover with Stavros to find the Heart of Love--an artifact which can destroy their mutual enemy forever.

If you've read more than one of this Brides of the Kindred series, then you're likely familiar with a recurring theme. There does seem to be a... formula... to these books. And while the bones are the same, it's the small, imaginative details that manage to keep things interesting. That manage to give each story it's own life. And manage, quite remarkably, to not bore it's reader with it's repetition.

That said, it is book thirteen. Some sense of deja vu is to be expected.

With the Dark Kindred, led by a possessed Two, embarking to enslave Earth, Stavros is left trapped on our planet has war breaks out between our species and theirs. Soon enough, he's arrested by an Earth Protection Bureau agent, Charlie Sayers, as he rescues a young woman from her would-be rapist.

Being a Sin Eater, those Cursed to feel the physical pains of others due to a parasite infesting the body, Stavros and Charlie's first few hours together couldn't have been more entertaining. As Charlie suffers menstrual cramps from hell, Stavros is left convinced that she's dying. Once he escapes her confines, he in turn takes her prisoner, and up to the Kindred's Mothership for treatment and healing.

From there, it becomes their mission to steal the legendary Heart of Love from a couples' retreat known for it's strict rules and discipline in order to save Earth from destruction. As they feign being a married couple, Charlie and Stavros are forced to confront the pains of their pasts. His alienation. Her losses, and the resulting prejudice birthed from them.

The time of bonding seemed rushed to me. Although I did appreciate Charlie's determination and her mind made up in an instant way of going about things. Once the decision is made, this girl's all in.

And it appears we're in for yet another installment to the series. No preview this time, but we were, however, blessed with a prophecy spoken to Two:

No Kindred shall kill you
Though you spill rivers of their blood
The one who is your doom
Comes from desert and from flood.
A free-born male
Too proud to bend his knees
Enslaved of his own will
Against his will set free.

3 out of 5 stars.

Previously in the series:

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