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Monday, December 24, 2012

Early Review: Demon's Curse by Alexa Egan

Demon's Curse
(Imnada Brotherhood #1)
Alexa Egan
Release: December 26, 2013
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A fast-paced and captivating debut—the first in the dark and sexy Imnada Brotherhood series about shape shifters in Regency-era England.

A rising star on the Covent Garden stage, Bianca Parrino believes she has everything she wants. Independence. Wealth. And a life finally free of her violent, abusive husband. But when her close friend, Adam, is murdered, and Bianca is suspected in his death, she is unwittingly drawn into the search for his killer, and soon must question everything she believes—about her friend, about herself, and about a world she never knew existed.

A member of the mysterious race of shape-shifting Imnada and part of an elite military unit, Captain Mac Flannery gathered intelligence during the Napoleonic wars. As a result of a savage massacre, Mac and the men he served with are cursed. Now one of them has been found murdered, and Mac suspects the existence of the Imnada has been discovered at last. His only link to unearthing the truth is the beautiful actress who turns up unexpectedly at Adam’s funeral.

Before long, Mac has more to contend with than Bianca’s overt mistrust, his ill-fated attraction to the haughty and beautiful actress, and his ongoing search for an end to the curse. Because Adam’s killer is back, and Mac is next on his list.
Review:

Demon's Curse is a good start to a new historical paranormal romance series by Alexa Egan. This is one I would recommend to readers in the mood for a mix of Regency-era London romance and animal shapeshifters. The Imnada are part Fae-blood who can shapeshift into various animal aspects and also possess a variety of other abilities. They have a long-term rivalry with Fae-bloods who possess even more abilities and who hate the shifter clans but think them long extinct.

Demon's Curse is at its heart a romance between our hero Mac and our heroine Bianca, and in true PNR fashion the story is told from their alternating points of view. Mac is a strong, loyal, and stubborn former soldier who shifts into a black panther. He is immediately attracted to the beautiful, blonde Bianca upon meeting her but tries to avoid his attraction to her for a handful of reasons. Bianca is a popular stage actress with a dark and abusive past involving her former husband. Her past drives many of her decisions and actions and she is a very sympathetic character. Their relationship was believable and sexy and I really loved both of them.

Where this 400 page story stumbles just a little is all the confusing world building to build the background of the Imnada men. We're left pretty confused for what was way too long into the story in my opinion. We learn a little about the Imnada at a time, even still learning about the world well into the third quarter of the story. While I appreciated the lack of boring info dumps I think that the complicated history and mythology of the Imnada could have been explained better. Sometimes trying to figure things out detracted from the story just a little.

Despite the tricky world building, this book has several high points that made me keep reading. For one, the building relationship and eventual steamy romance between Mac and Bianca was at times sweet, clever, and funny. Also, the concurrent plots of figuring out who killed Adam and searching for a cure to the curse were well constructed. I especially enjoyed any scenes involving our "bad guys", so to speak. As an added bonus, Mac's fellow cursed Imnada David and Gray were each intriguing and I'm really looking forward to each of their books.

If you love stories about shifters, check out this new series when you're looking for a sexy historical romance with that little something extra. If you can wade through the length of this novel, you won't be disappointed.

Recommended for fans of: historical romance, 1800's London, shifters, and Fae books.

This review is based on an early finished copy provided by the publisher.

    
  4 / 5 stars

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