Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review: A Curse of the Heart by Adele Clee

Title: A Curse of the Heart
Author: Adele Clee

Read copy: eBook
Published: August 6, 2015
Publisher: Smashwords
ISBN: 0993283225
ISBN-13: 9780993283222

Terrified by strange noises in the night, Rebecca Linwood, the headstrong owner of an Egyptian museum, believes she is suffering from an ancient curse. Out of desperation, she seeks the help of the only man with the knowledge to reverse the evil incantation, a man whose cold heart and sinful gaze pose such an enticing contradiction.

As a scholar of Egyptology and a man consumed by the pain of the past, the enigmatic Gabriel Stone shuns polite society, choosing to bury himself in his books. When a flame-haired temptress pesters him with tales of a curse, his first instinct is to flee. However, his sense of obligation proves to be a dangerous thing and the potent lure of desire too difficult to resist.

My rating:

Rebecca Linwood is at her wits end. One night she stupidly read an incantation on a scroll, and now busts are flying in her Egyptian museum almost killing people, and strange noises are heard in the night as her bed shakes. And yes, she's alone in the bed as it's shaking, thank you very much!

There's only one man who can help her get rid of this curse she brought upon herself, but the irritating Gabriel Stone thinks she's a charlatan, and refuses to help her. So she asks the would-be victim of her museum to intervene, and now Stone is finally paying attention and quickly discovers the curse is in fact not a curse, but a ploy to get her back into the family fold...As someone else strives to break the same family apart in seek of vengeance.

This story starts somewhere toward the end of the previous one as Rebecca Linwood asks Lucas Dempsey, the man that was almost killed in her museum, to intervene with his friend, Egyptian scholar Gabriel Stone, to at least hear her out about her predicament...And thus begins our story.

The characters were once more wonderfully drawn-out, engaging and three-dimensional. And unlike in the To Save a Sinner Rebecca and Gabriel are also quite similar in the way they're both loners, alone in the world, and they both cling to the past, instead of looking into the future. Of course it all changes once they meet, although Rebecca is quicker to embrace the changes than Gabriel, who needs a swift, and almost deadly, kick in the ass to get his head out of that ass.
Although their romance was organic and progressed slowly and measuredly from dislike through grudging admiration and friendship to something much more lasting, it felt like there was something off. It didn't really feel genuine, because of the fact they were both (more or less, mostly of their own doing) alone in the world. So having someone there, someone who understood you, someone who shared your passion, was a novelty, and didn't exactly mean there was a deeper feeling behind their later interactions. I didn't see the emotional connection between them, making their romance appear "convenient" instead of necessary (if I make any sense at all).

This one had more of a suspense subplot than its predecessor that also ran for almost the entirety of the story, but the fact is, I wasn't quite convinced. The villain and his motive appeared out of the left field, but I guess lunacy has no reason. Still, it had its intensity and ominous feel, and although it mostly served to make the hero pull his head out of his rear end on multiple accounts, it livened up the action and provided a satisfactory suspense element.

Well-written, well-paced, (bitter)sweet, sexy and hot, with great characters, but not as good as To Save a Sinner.


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