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With This Curse

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  302 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Can a curse strike twice in a woman's life? In 1854, seventeen-year-old chambermaid Clara Crofton was dismissed from Gravesend Hall for having fallen in love with Richard Blackwood, the younger son of the house.

Alone in the world, Clara found a tenuous position as a seamstress, but she always blamed the Gravesend curse for the disaster that had befallen her--and for Richa
Paperback, 296 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Createspace (first published February 1st 2014)
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Echoes in the Darkness by Jane GodmanLegacy of Darkness by Jane GodmanValley of Nightmares by Jane GodmanDarkness Unchained by Jane GodmanSilence Of Scandal by Jackie Williams
Gothic/Victorian/Regency Mysteries and Romances
38th out of 56 books — 54 voters
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42nd out of 61 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

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Inishowen Cailín
Feb 29, 2016 Inishowen Cailín rated it it was amazing
It has been a long time since I've read a good Victorian gothic mystery. Amanda deWees far exceeded my expectations in 'With this Curse.' If I could make the 5 stars extra shiny in gold I would. I loved this book so much.
It has everything you would expect from the genre; a dark old mansion with strange inhabitants, an overall atmosphere of menace, a mystery, danger, love and betrayal. I was enthralled with the story from start to finish. I enjoyed the slow romance between Atticus and Clara. The
Feb 10, 2014 Maurice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fans of classic genres can often find themselves in a bit of a bind: Of course we all love the well-used conventions, but how often have you picked up a classic mystery story or Gothic romance only to quickly put it down again after wading through stale, lifeless, by-the-numbers prose that hits all the right elements and yet somehow hits all the wrong notes?

Amanda DeWees elegantly avoided those problems with her stylish Gothic romance/mystery "Sea of Secrets." Her latest book, "With This Curse,"
Eskimo Princess Jenkins
This is a hard review to write.
I liked many things about the book, but there were a few things I disliked as well.
At one point, I felt it was a lot of rambling. But I know there were a lot of details needed to make the reader understand the story.
I felt the injustice of Clara being sent away from Gravesend, and the injustice of her own mother not believing her and at least making a small stand in her honor. The loneliness she felt on her own at the young age (young to us now, but an adult in tha
Peggy Holloway
Apr 07, 2014 Peggy Holloway rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so pleased to find this author and am glad to see she has more books in this genre. I have always had a special place in my heart for the Romantic Gothic. This one rivals anything Daphne Du Maurer or Victoria Holt wrote. The storyline has many surprises and twists. The author doesn't use sex as a crutch, i.e. she doesn't fill page after page with detailed sexual scenes to increase the word count, like so man other authors. Instead, there is clean sensual undertones. The character ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Julia rated it it was ok
As much as I enjoy a good gothic romance, WITH THIS CURSE dragged a bit for me. The sinister elements are so close to the surface, I found myself impatiently reading to confirm suspicions rather than enjoying a slow unfolding of dread and mystery. Simone St. James did a better job of building anticipation and dread.
Dec 17, 2015 Mara rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
A cute and engaging novel, but it had too many problems for my tastes, a 20 year old feeling based on fluff, no real mystery, too many martyrs to be acceptable.
It's on offer as December 2015, so you might want to check it out.

The sequel seems even worse, so I'll stay clear.
Feb 13, 2014 Peyton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, ebook
A glowing 5 stars.

This was such a fun read. I honestly could not put it down—there was much "multitasking" on my part, and my poor children had early bed times for those couple of days I was reading it. Sadly, this poor author just cannot keep up with my appetite for her books (cruel of me, since she has released 5 and a short story in the last 2 years—go, buy them all).

Dewees has such a great knowledge of the time period and her setting. Her enthusiasm for the subject is evident in her descript
Feb 08, 2015 Leanna rated it it was amazing
I started reading the kindle sample at around 1 AM and ended up buying and reading it all the way through until 5 AM... it was *that* good.

I'm not going to bother summarizing the story, as anyone can get that from goodreads or an online bookstore, but I wanted to highlight that if anyone has avoided this book out of fear it could be a bodice ripper, its nothing of the sort. "With This Curse" is more of a Gothic love story with the lurking elements of mystery, hints of supernatural, murder, dece
Joyce Wetherbee
Jul 30, 2014 Joyce Wetherbee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DeWees has taken me back to the very first romance I ever read. They were dark, mysterious, set in Victorian England and perfect for a young girl's dreams. With this Curse had me hooked at the first page. A young girl and her mother in dire straights are hired by the lord of Gravesend Hall. Dismissed at seventeen for falling in love with Richard Blackwood, Clara Crofton must make her way alone in the world. She lays the blame for her trouble and Richard's death on the curse that was laid on the ...more
Christoph Fischer
"With This Curse" by Amanda DeWees is an excellent historical romance. The writing is simply fantastic: it is elegant, competent and stylish; the setting is atmospheric and moody, right up there with the Bronte sisters: dark, gothic and utterly captivating,
The story is intriguing with the mystery of an old curse, but there are some great developments and turns in the plot to keep the interest and the curiosity up throughout.
Much is not what it seems when our heroine Clara enters a marriage of c
Tina Nelson
Feb 09, 2014 Tina Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Yes, as always I will not summarize the book. YOU REALLY HAVE TO READ IT!

This gothic romance was beautiful. I love the genre, I love the time it plays in. I just loved everything about it.
The characters were all (except one... grrrr) likable and very believable.
And of course, if it would have been up to me the book could have gone on for several more chapters.
Amanda DeWees has a distinguished way, pulling me i
Jun 02, 2015 Darlene rated it really liked it
If you like the old school romantic suspense novels,this book is for you. I'll be picking up other books by this author,and watching for more in the future. A very enjoyable read,and I would recommend it to fans of Victoria Holt and Barbara Michaels.
Zed Whisper
Feb 14, 2014 Zed Whisper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main protagonist, Clara, used to work as a servant at Gravesend, whilst her mother was the housekeeper. There is a long curse on Gravesend so that anyone who lives there will lose what they love most. Just under 17 years old, Clara falls for Lord Telford’s youngest son, Richard, and their secret rendezvous, convinces her that he is just as much in love. Once the Lady of the house hears about their closeness she dismisses Clara of her duties and Clara is forced to leave Gravesend. A short ...more
Sep 20, 2016 Bonnie rated it liked it
This book had elements of a possible Cinderella story, but the plot was so intriguing it escaped being trite. The setting was almost incidental, but well drawn.
The Good Fairy Nicci
I first began reading historical romance as a pre-teen, over 20 years ago. I had to read this when I saw it and I wasn't disappointed. With This Curse is an intelligent read with beautiful, witty, and flowing prose. Great characters and subplots that were interwoven to create a breath taking story that caught me off guard. I really didn't know what to expect, whether the curse would be true and genuine or an empty superstition.

I was too busy initially to read this book after receiving it but wh
Jun 20, 2015 Raquel rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, april, mystery, 2015
This was the second of Amanda DeWees's books that I read. This book is a classic Victorian romance about Clara, who was the seamstress to the famous actress Sybil Ingram (the star of the previous DeWees book I read). Although I like Sybil, I am even more fond of Clara, who is a plucky, strong heroine. This book has it all: a gloomy English country estate; a dead twin; a cantankerous ailing father shut away in a tower; a bright young woman who appears and causes jealousy; mysterious, ghostly ...more
Chelsea LaVere
Jul 02, 2016 Chelsea LaVere rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To stay true to a genre is not an easy thing to do especially as a contemporary writer. What I love most about "With This Curse" is that it mirrors the language and prose of an 17th/18th century gothic novel (though a bit more succinct and not as verbose as Ann Radcliffe!). It brought up some fond nostalgia and took me back to my English major days.

I did love the characters and the plot, but throughout the whole story, there seemed to be something missing for me. I'm still trying to process wha
Jan 23, 2016 Lilmissmolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OMG! I just loved With This Curse by Amanda DeWees! I listened to the whole thing in 2 days (plus worked 20 hours at work without listening ). I'm running on no sleep!

Written as a true Gothic historical romance, With This Curse is part murder mystery and part love story, with a few hints of the supernatural. The story centers on Clara who at 35 years old is asked by Atticus, the son of a former employer, to marry him. Clara is reluctant to accept because 18-years ago she was wrongly dismissed a
Apr 27, 2014 Sandreen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say this book was a major improvement from Sea of Secrets (disappointed me heavily), and what a relief that is. This book was very unique in it's own way, with quite a few significant twists along the way, that just made me go 'whoa'. From the get go, I never understood what Clara could possibly love about Richard, and even it was pretty obvious to the reader that he was an immoral ass, she was stuck in her warped and idealized reality. But! this lent very favoringly to the ...more
Julia O'Connell
Aug 31, 2016 Julia O'Connell rated it it was amazing
With This Curse tells the story of Clara Crofton, who as a young girl served as a chambermaid for the Blackwood family at their estate, ominously named Gravesend Hall. Despite having been warned that the estate is cursed, Clara enjoys her time there and indulges in a secret romance with Richard, the younger son of Lord Blackwood. But they are soon found out by Richard's mother and Clara is dismissed in disgrace. Struggling to make her way in the world, Clara works as a seamstress, first in a ...more
Madeline Gannon
Mar 16, 2016 Madeline Gannon rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's just the kind of story that I like...historical setting, almost gothic atmosphere, mystery, family secrets, romance... I thought the story was well developed and the characters were very complex. I really appreciated getting to see Clara grow from her steadfast loyalty to Richard to realizing the truth. The development of each of the main characters was demonstrated very well, in my opinion.

(view spoiler)
Rosemary K
May 11, 2014 Rosemary K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amanda DeWees has written a gothic novel reminiscent of Victoria Holt which had me hooked from the first page. Clara Crofton was forced to leave Gravesend Hall in disgrace. She fell in love with Richard Blackwood. That was not allowed. According to gossip the curse of the house caused Richard's death. Clara gets a second chance at happiness when Atticus Blackwood asks her to be his bride in a marriage of convenience. Now she will go back as the mistress not the maid. Will the curse strike again? ...more
Theresa Brandt
Pretty good

Overall, this is a pretty good book with the elements of a Victorian romance firmly in place and spiced with added gothic overtones. That said, the slow pacing did not allow for the building of tension that makes a good mystery romance such a fun read. I also felt that the plot twist was a bit too obvious to create any real sense of surprise when it was finally revealed and there were a few times when I found some serious challenges to logic as the story rolled along.

For the most par
4.5 Stars

All I can say is WOW! First, the new cover (James T. Egan cover) is fantastic. I love his work enough to create a GR bookshelf for it.

This is my first Amanda DeWees novel, but I can tell you it won't be my last. Far from it. I can't wait to dig into her series, and her other works.

With This Curse has the narration of Jane Eyre and the atmosphere of Wuthering Heights. Foreboding with a likable (and pragmatic) narrator. Loved that Clara wasn't a young simpering miss, and Atticus, while hi
Dec 06, 2015 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Victorian Gothic Novel Rises Again

I loved this book. While many go the Regency Romance route with a Jane Austen flavor, this is a Victorian Gothic with a atmosphere of forbidding gloom. Our heroine has been unjustly dismissed from service and accused of intimate relations with the Baron's younger son. The older twin brother and heir appears after many years and proposes a marriage of convenience. This leads to mystery, murder, secrets and the beginning of a true romance. But a lot of changes
Linda Baker
I have been reading some rather dark stories lately so With This Curse was just the thing to counteract that. I read TONS of gothics as a young adult so it's a genre I have a lot of affection for. This one does not disappoint with an upright heroine, a cursed house and a hero who is a refreshing change from the mysterious dark stranger type so usual in gothic romances. I also liked the fact that the heroine was considerably older than the usual, with much more life experience. I had the story ...more
Sam Sheerin
Mar 16, 2014 Sam Sheerin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amanda has done it again. brilliantly written

To start with wasn't sure if the book was going to be my kind of read dealing with the time period of the book but really enjoyed it.

I'm not into retelling stories so this is what I honestly thought of the book.

I felt sorry for Clara she lost so much at a young ish age; being sent away from her mother was hard on her. she manages to find her way through the years. Until she was approach with a proposal that sure set her up for life, only downside she
Jan 24, 2016 Deedra rated it really liked it
This book was a good old fashioned story about class,love and hatred within a family.Elizabeth Klett does a fine job narrating from Claras viewpoint.Clara is a servant in a house and is tossed out for indescretions that she was falsely accused of. She's had a hard life and just when she thinks there is no hope she is welcomed back into the house she left long ago. She is now the wife of the twin brother of the man she loved when she was 17,the man she thought loved her and the reason for her ...more
This so far has been my favorite book. I would gladly go past five stars. It was,a. hauntingly beautiful Gothic romance and mystery. The characters, the story line, the scenery, all first rate. A slow simmering love story, noises in the night , strange voices from no where. This book reminds me of Victoria Holt at her best. Murder most unexpected, but then the house is cursed. Can a ghost reach out to love, or is murder on their mind. I loved the ending. This book touched my heart, and mind. The ...more
Nov 19, 2015 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With this Curse is an atmospheric novel of suspense that kept me guessing til the very end. And then, my mind was blown. I fell in love with the heroine and hero, who were very well created and fully fleshed out.

And the writing is beautiful, very poetic. DeWees has a gift for description and the dialogue of Victorian England that is a pleasure to read. I also enjoyed the strength and smarts of the heroine - and the hero, as well - and yet it was so satisfying how DeWees leads you to question ev
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Amanda DeWees is an author and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her PhD in English literature from the University of Georgia and likes to startle people by announcing that her dissertation topic was vampire literature. Besides writing, her passions include theater, classic film, Ioan Gruffudd, costume design, and the preservation of apostrophes in their natural habitat.
More about Amanda DeWees...

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