Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday Review: Cursed Again!

I am reading some fantastic books right now. My latest finding--okay, it came in the mail from the publisher--was Cathy Maxwell's THE SCOTTISH WITCH. This is the second book in the trilogy of The Chattan Curse, where a faithless young man who had been handfasted to one lady, marries a rich heiress and betrays his love. The betrayed lady kills herself, and the mother curses the young man and his family in revenge. In a most dramatic fashion.

The first in this series, LYON'S BRIDE, was quite wonderful (and I've been on quite a streak with Ms. Maxwell--ever since the book with the vicar who was a highwayman!)--and this one was just as good. I'm sure Terri can provide the emails of me saying, "I'm reading the best book!" and "This book is so good!"

At the beginning of this novel, the hero, Harry, is in Scotland to find the witch--or someone who can help with breaking the curse that is now affecting his brother (the hero in LYON'S BRIDE) and his health. He doesn't want to lose his brother; and he certainly doesn't want this curse extending beyond his generation (assuming the heir his brother's wife is having is a boy and therefore cursed). Harry isn't having a lot of luck finding an appropriate witch; the folks there are rather unwilling to help him, due to some Scottish grudge.

The heroine, Portia, is in a bit of a bind. She needs some money fast to pay rent for her family (her sister and mother), or they're going to be evicted. The owner of the cottage they live in doesn't really care for them--and would use this as a ready excuse to get rid of them. Therefore when she finds out a young lord is tossing money around, looking for a witch, and she just happens to find a book in her attic that has a few spells written in it, she decides she can pass for a witch long enough to get rent. And she does.

It all goes downhill from there. Well, conflict wise for the characters. For the reader, it's a delightful read.

And the love scene is pretty darn awesome.

Due to this being a three-book series, the curse doesn't get resolved in this book--and on top of it, yet another Chattan is in love (and thereby cursed as well), so it will be up to the third Chattan sibling, a sister, to figure out how to break the curse before her brothers succumb. Like the previous novel, it is a Happy For Now ending and the theme that "you don't know how much time you have; be true to your feelings" is prevalent. I tend to gravitate to themes where love conquers all (and I'm sure that will come into play in the third book) and redemption, but I have to say this theme is a nice change of pace. It's a good reminder.

So if your TBR pile is dwindling, move this one to the top. It's spooky, a little paranormal, romantic and nicely dramatic (what with what the mother does to create the curse). A great escape.

What great escapes have you been reading lately?


quantum said...

I'm definitely a Cathy Maxwell fan!

I listened to an audio version of 'Lyon's Bride' and have been waiting for the audio of 'The Scottish Witch'. If it doesn't materialise soon I may just buy the e-book .... especially after your review Hellie.

I have been reading Linda Lael Miller's McKettrick series, currently on #3. The son's have to marry and provide the old man with grandchildren. The first to provide a baby inherits the ranch! The books are full of adventure, humour and feisty heroines who don't appreciate being 'brood mares'.

Miller really gets into her stride with #3 where the heroine and Jeb the youngest son, have to cope with a randy gun-slinger who just won't accept the divorce from the heroine .... it gets complicated! LOL

TerriOsburn said...

I'm not reading anything right now so maybe I'll find Lyon's Bride then move to this one. My Kindle will hopefully be here by mid-month and then I can download all these things you recommend. There's just NO room in my house for more books.

And I'm very excited that Ms. Maxwell has been named the Keynote Speaker for RWA Nationals next summer. Cathy gives the BEST speeches. Cannot wait.

Escape books. Hmmmm.... I can't even remember what I've read lately. The Higgins was great but not so much an escape. Eloisa James' memoir was an escape. Or a delectable trip to Paris. Same thing. LOL!

MsHellion said...

Q, ha! I will have to give the McKettrick series a try. Linda Lael Miller writes great cowboy stories!

MsHellion said...

Terri, I saw that she was giving the keynote--that'll be awesome! The Paris memoir was really funny and sweet. I'm not sure if I learned anything about Paris, but it was good.

Maureen said...

I'm finding my great escapes in movies right now. And today being election day I will probably run through a few on the DVD...anything to avoid the news...

Janga said...

I haven't read The Scottish Witch yet, but it's on my list. I've been reading stacks of Christmas books. Sabrina Jeffries's 'Twas the Night After Christmas is my favorite so far. A wounded hero, an intelligent heroine, some laughter, some tears, a family reconciliation, a terrific kid character--it's an almost perfect Christmas book.

Marnee Bailey said...

I've got a few paranormal to get caught up on. Just finished Rapture by Ward (really liking her Fallen Angel Series better than her Black Dagger series right now.)

ANd I just got Spellfire, the last Jessica Andersen Nightkeeper book downloaded to my kindle last night.

However, I should be writing. Not reading. Ugh.

Great review, by the way!!