April 5, 2011

Review: Cursed Mates by Cara Marsi

Cursed Mates
Author: Cara Marsi
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
ISBN: 9781605922
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Noble Romance Publishing

*Novel provided by the author via Blook Lovin' Bitches eBook Tours

For more information please visit Cara Masi's website.

Nick Radford is a reluctant werewolf who's been fighting the Beast within for nearly 500 years. He's never killed a human, but the Beast is gaining strength and Nick may not be able to ward off his inner demon much longer.

Kyla Yaeger is an elite were-hunter with a scarred past. Her life's mission is to slay the werewolves that slaughtered her parents. Her quest has brought her to Maine, where she's been summoned to destroy the werewolf terrorizing the quaint little village of Heavensent. The last thing she needs is to get distracted by her mysterious—not to mention hunky—new neighbor, Nick Radford.

By the time Kyla learns Nick is her target, she's already fallen for him, making her task of killing him that much harder. She is torn between her love for him and her duty to kill her sworn enemy. Nick fights his forbidden love for Kyla, knowing she is duty-bound to kill him. Kyla and Nick must join forces to fight an even bigger threat—one that will destroy all humanity. Only by their combined powers, can they destroy the evil and bring an end to a centuries old curse.
Cursed Mates by Cara Marsi has a little bit of something for everyone: werewolves, witches, demons and above all else a story about destiny and Love's ability to transcend death and even the hands of time. With lots of action and a wonderful sense of tension between the characters, this is a nice read with some fantastic elements of mystery and romance. But, while this may have been a good read, there were definitely some elements that left a lot to be desired.

But, I digress. Let me instead begin with those elements that I enjoyed. For instance, the wonderful array of layers within the story creating an interesting tapestry that perfectly melded the past with the present. This created a very unique edge of mystery to the story that perfectly intermingled an emotional quality as Kyla struggles to uncover the implicit message within the strange visions. The historical glimpses into the tragedy of Nick's past gives an interesting point of view helping to develop an intriguing, tortured character that you can't help but like. Likewise, Kyla's troubled past is also explored building an equally elaborate emotional quality that reinforces the kindred bond between these two troubled figures.

This intricate array of emotions flying around also helps to create a wonderful atmosphere of tension overlying a seemingly quaint setting of a small New England township. I really enjoyed the world building of the story and felt that Marsi did a wonderful job of capturing the small town of Heavenscent, though I would have enjoyed seeing it more deeply explored. Instead, we tend to spend most of the time exploring the woods that border Nick's castle home, but I certainly can't say that it was boring. In deed, Marsi created a wonderfully haunted atmosphere that held untold dangers and secrets making me more then a little eager to read further and uncover a few. And on that front, I can honestly say that I wasn't disappointed as Marsi masterfully weaves multiple plot lines that came together perfectly.

The characters, as can be surmised, were also nicely developed. Like I mentioned before they were given complex histories filled with great emotion that really pulls the reader into the story. But, there is also a great sense of vulnerability and strength about them both that I loved seeing explored as they battle to understand the magnetism that binds them with an unexplainable sense of trust and a bubbling chemistry that simmers just beneath the surface. But, while I loved the tension of the relationship, there was definitely some disappointment on the romance front. I was just never that wowed by it, the way that some relationships seem to simply jump off the page. There was simply too much drama in the way that Kyla and Nick made their connection so much harder then it had to be. Especially as they are constantly giving in. Two minutes later, they're back where they began. By the end of the novel I felt like I had whiplash with the constant back and forth between them. Definitely something that I didn't find appealing especially as it was the same arguments over and over and over again.

But, while that was a definite red mark for me, I really enjoyed the supernatural aspects of Marsi's world. The legends of the Black wolf and the White wolf was interesting and easily applicable to the characters. I also really enjoyed the demonic twist that was paired with the lycan lore. Also, the breadth of the battle of good versus evil was great but, I think that the ultimate showdown was a little more down played then it could have been despite the wonderful conclusion. More or less it came down to the fact that while there is a great sense of malice, there was just so much more that could have been explored here. I also enjoyed the more Native American aspects of Kyla's, but again, felt that this element was under explored as well. In the end it seemed to me like there were just too many elements that a lot of them were under sold leaving something of a lack luster end result. However, that isn't true of all of the supernatural elements because the aspect of reincarnation and destiny was nicely developed and honestly what I felt saved the story.

Overall, this was something of an enigmatic novel for me as there were a lot of great elements involved, but it seemed like the execution at times was a little off. In the end, this was a good read that was nicely written, with characters that were likable, in a plot that was interesting, but just didn't 'wow' me the way that I hoped it would.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Some sexual content
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of the Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and a copy was provided to me by the author. although payment may have been received by Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely mine and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

1 comment:

Cara Marsi said...

Thank you for reading Cursed Mates and for reviewing it. While I wish the rating were higher, I'm grateful for your insights. I learn a little something new from every review.