Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: The Curse
SERIES: The Witches of Salem #1
AUTHOR: T.S. McKinney
PUBLISHER: Painted Hearts Publishing
LENGTH: 166 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 3, 2017
Witches. Warlocks. Hocus Pocus.
I didn’t believe in any of those things. To be honest, the only thing I really believed in….really had faith in its existence, was bad luck. There was too much proof of it in my life to deny it.
As it turns out, the bad luck that accompanies me wherever I go escalated to a heightened level following a visit form a long-lost relative I didn’t even know existed. She starts spouting nonsense about my parents really loving me (even though they committed suicide a few days after my birth), how my mother tried using witchcraft to save their lives…and how there is a curse hanging over my head that requires my death on my twenty-fifth birthday. Supposedly all the Bailey men commit suicide on their twenty-fifth birthdays due to this curse.
Total craziness, right?
A small dash of intrigue and a heaping-helping of fear cause me to pack up and head to Salem, Massachusetts – where it all started. Here’s my biggest problem: my twenty-fifth birthday is only a couple of weeks away and I’m having these very sensual dreams about a man I don’t know.
I might not know him, but I sure want him.
I really liked this one; from the moment I read the Introduction, which blends historical information and the general story set up, I was hooked and looked forward to getting into the heart of the book. Told in first person point of view, the story follows Nico as he tries to unravel the truth behind the curse that causes all the men of his family to kill themselves on their 25th birthdays. The problem? He’ll be 25 in about two weeks and information about the family he never knew he had, as well as the ‘curse’ was unexpectedly dropped in his lap like a very shiny, unwelcome bomb.
What follows was a story that captured my attention with ease; I loved the blending of paranormal with the historical set up and seeing the mystery unraveled was just great! There was also enough detail for me to be completely immersed as I was reading without bogging me down with unnecessary details and I really appreciated that. While there were quite a few people mentioned character wise, the story revolves around a core group of people, though mainly Nico and Corbin, and there was a good set up for the next book with Alistair as a main character. (Which I’m totally looking forward to!) There was less angst than I was expecting with this story, as well, but I found I didn’t really need that extra edge to enjoy the book in its entirety; I fell into the story quickly and was loathe to put it down more than absolutely necessary.
There is some sex in the book for those that look forward to the sexy scenes, but the story and resolution of the curse are the focus, which I liked. Things did wrap up rather neatly at the end and while I do confess I would’ve liked it not to have been quite so easily managed, I have no major complaints overall. I found this to be an enjoyable read with an interesting set up and characters I’m really looking forward to seeing again. If you enjoy paranormal stories with low angst and a bit of mystery, I’d recommend giving this one a look. I rated the book around a 4.3* but rounded up to work with our rating system.