Among The Muses's Reviews > Blood Cursed

Blood Cursed by Erica Hayes
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's review
Dec 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, dark-paranormal-romance, demons, erotic-paranormal-romance, fae, other-species, series, vampires
Read from July 28 to November 21, 2011

This is a series and author I can't get enough off! The Shadowfae Chronicles series delivers such a unique experience with the dark underground world consisting of some of the most unique, carefree, dangerous, deadly, lively, and sexy paranormal creatures that walk amongst humans unknowingly thanks to their glamour. Where vampires can be mob bosses and fairies are like nothing from childhood fantastical stories. Author Erica Hayes knows how to create a dark underground world filled with sexy, dangerous, and oh-so wickedly delicious creatures that club it up at Unseelie Court, and wind down (or crash and burn) under the dark cover of Melborne, Australia's nights.

Blood Cursed follows the conflicts and triumphs of fairy hero Diamond, and fairy heroine Ember, as they fight for the lives of their cursed souls as well as fight for a love that neither feel worthy, or trusting, of. In a world where there's a hierarchy of control and power, both Diamond and Ember walk a fine line of maintaining control over their own lives and desires. This same world often dictates deceit of friendships and true love matches -- everyone is out for something, sometimes for someone, and of course, often for self preservation.

And, Diamond and Ember are no exception to this fate.

Ember is a beautiful Blood Fairy, her blood making her highly desired by vampires, but maintains a sense of denial that she is being both used as a means to gain her fairy mob boyfriends increase of power and act as his arm candy. Despite her beauty, she seriously lacks self-confidence. She knows she shouldn't put up with her boyfriends cheating, manipulation, and deceitful ways, including pimping her coveted blood out, but she feels like she has no other options than to put up with it.

Diamond has his own self-confidence issues. A glassfae with talents of blending in with backgrounds, forming ice, and reading minds, once deeply in love then deeply betrayed, he both loathes his ex and desires her at the same time. It makes her his greatest weakness and nemesis. But, he also can't deny his physical attraction to Ember and the desire to both protect her and make her aware of her self worth. When both are forced to work together -- and against each other -- to save their souls from being tricked and decieved by the their love interests once again, they find themselves and a love within each other that neither expected nor accepted -- at first.

I think many readers will be able to identify with the real issues of self-confidence and the obstacles to overcome them in this story. While previous books in the series all hinted on "real-life" issues, they primarily focused on the paranormal conflicts. In Blood Cursed, I felt like there were more identifiable internal conflicts within the characters, which seriously tugged on my empathy and sympathy in this book.

Alternating between first-person POV of Ember and third-person POV of the other characters allows for the reader to get a deeper sense of what's going on in the heroine's head.

The characters are definitely three-dimensional with life-like qualities only enhanced with additional conflicts that are defined by their paranormal/urban fantasy world. It seems like no matter what they do, there's always some conflict that they have to overcome -- whether internal or external. But that's what makes Blood Cursed so engaging! There's never a dull moment. Filled with twist-and-turns and an unexpected ending, I couldn't put this book down once I started.

Erica Hayes continues with her fabulous world of a dark Unseelie Court -- a club and hang out for the glamourfied supernatural and the unsuspecting few humans. This is a dark world where life is always on the line, sex induced creatures have no qualms in satisfying their needs and desires, and special fairy drugs enhance their loose morals, all while the creatures of Melborne's underworld adhere to demon bosses, vampire gangsters, fairies, sprites, and other creatures playing their roles in the hierarchy.

If there's anything that I clearly want to point out to interested readers, it's the absolute fabulous and unique voice that author Erica Hayes has continuously delivered in all of her books. In Blood Cursed, she took the lyrical qualities of her writing a step further by creating a highly unique, fun, interesting, and captivating character in Diamond!! His dialogue consisted of his own "Diamond-ese" speak, with words ending in "ified" and "ication". I have to admit that I stumbled at first, trying to get used to the different dialogue and internal conversations, especially during the first chapter, but once I did I was hooked! It was so catching that I even caught myself integrating his word-speak in my real life! LOL!

"He slams on the tap, and cold water rushes, soothing his bloody palm. His thoughts scramble wild. He doesn't know it's truthful, this soul-bindy-twiny-whatever. The stone could be tricksy lies, some elaborate swindlicality Rosa invented to taunitfy him.

Or Ember could be falsing. ....

But the hopeless fear in her eyes still slashes his heart like poisoned steel, and he spits a curse. His glasstalent doesn't lie. The hot, searching desperation in her touch wasn't fakified. She's telling real. Has to be.

And now he must choosify."

Can romance be found in a dark and dangerous world you ask? Absolutely! In fact, the dramatic ambiance may even enhance it! After all, when you find something worth finding, protecting, and loving, deep within the dark, you could only hope to hold on even tighter than ever in fear that you may loose it. And, Diamond and Ember are clear examples. Both are willing to sacrifice themselves -- their very souls -- in order to save a love neither feels worthy of having, yet wants so deeply. And while I enjoyed both lead characters, Diamond was my favorite. His broken, sexy, bad boy, and delicious self really appealed to me, if you know what I mean! :)

Sexual tension is up there, making you anticipate when the hero and heroine will finally give in. What pleasantly surprised me with the culmination was the heartfelt emotions that went along with it. It was a meaningful and table-turning event that got even better as the story continued. The innuendos and sexual acts throughout Blood Cursed are borderline erotic and well written.

The secondary characters -- oh, the secondary characters! There's so many of them that often times I had to stop and make sure I was following the right "person". But on the flip-side, I couldn't imagine the book without them. They're there for a reason, and anyone who has followed this series from the beginning will start to be able to identify the overlapping characters, cameo appearances of others, and feel as though there would be something missing if they didn't show up every once-in-awhile. Plus, there's nothing flat about them! Their quirky and differentiated personalities jump off the page just as much as the main characters, but don't encroach on the hero and heroines spotlight.

So, can you read this book as a stand alone if you haven't read any of the previous ones? Yes, you can. However, like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, readers who start at the beginning with Shadowfae (Book 1) may have a deeper connection to the world and characters. And, if you haven't started this series, I highly recommend you do!!! You will be seriously whisked away by Erica Hayes very unique voice and style of writing!!

The bottom line is that Blood Cursed is another fabulous edition to the Shadowfae Chronicles series! Erica Hayes gifts readers with a writing style highly unique and engaging. Her imagination brings to life a dark side of paranormal creatures in a setting (Australia) that is just as distinct as her voice, characters, and world-building. This series has been, and will continue to be, on my list of series recommendations! I can't wait to see what Ms. Hayes will gift us next!

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