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With This Curse

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  474 ratings  ·  77 reviews

Can a curse strike twice in a woman's life?

I was a seventeen-year-old chambermaid in 1854 when the Gravesend curse tore my life apart. I was dismissed from Gravesend Hall for having fallen in love with Richard Blackwood, the younger son of the house, and was forced to make my way alone in the world as a seamstress. The curse dealt its cruelest blow when Richard

Published (first published February 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
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Inishowen Cailín
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
Sarah Mac
Nope. I can't do it. DNF, circa 40%.

The story crawls. The words are endless. The twists are telegraphed. And the heroine/narrator... STFU. Her holier-than-thou attitude + unswerving devotion to some transparent asshole she worked for 18 YEARS AGO is beyond the pale. I wanted to punch her in the face every time she started spewing about Richard's perfection & their thwarted wuv, because rich young rakes looove to marry impertinent, cow-eyed housemaids. *eyeroll* No doubt she learns the truth abo
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
A main character who garners sympathy & admiration from the first chapter on. A kind, compassionate hero. Together the two overcome past hurts & betrayals & inspire the best in each other. Lovely writing. Dialogue that patterns the time period. Great vocabulary. Family dynamics plus the typical gothic mystery with a slight paranormal touch. Wonderful narration from Elizabeth Klett. I'm glad I "discovered" Amanda DeWees. 5 Stars! ...more
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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 developme ...more
Jacky Faber
One thing that irritated me was how stupid Clara was at times, especially concerning Richard. Plus, it was difficult to believe
that Clara still felt so much "love" for Richard after 18 years had passed and especially when their relationship had happened when she was a nieve girl of 17. Supposedly Clara was supposed to be an intelligent, resourceful woman but when it came to Richard, she seemed incredibly stupid.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just Meh. Clara was incredibly vapid and it was really irritating. She is so shallow, she has been in love for 18 years with someone who was equally superficial and a bully. I mean Clara thought Richard was clever and amusing for taunting his disabled older brother! I just felt I was unable to respect her at all.
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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 rated it it was amazing
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
May 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’ve got it! I must keep clear of Ms DeWees’s novels and sure will do in the future. I was so disappointed with “sea of secrets” but nonetheless when I read the blurb of “with this curse” I got intrigued; besides GR reviews were excellent! But the thing is I’m disappointed again! I don’t see how this novel can be described as a gothic tale since it lacks a gothic atmosphere altogether! I mean, Clara heard a voice whispering her name in the hallway and glimpsed a shadow that resembled Clara’s dea ...more
Christoph Fischer
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"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
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 "t ...more
Tina Nelson
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kacey Gilpin
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rebecca meets Jane Eyre. Ominous and well-written, DeWees evokes the same fascination and suspense in her readers as Bronte and de Maurier. Fans of gothic historical fiction will love this book!
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic
I loved this. A clean, Gothic-like historical mystery/love story told in first person.

I picked up this book to follow along with the Smart Bitches book club. That didn’t happen due to a technology glitch, but still so happy I read it.

It’s classified as romantic suspense and described by some as gothic, though I did not find it nearly as scary or suspenseful as anticipated. (I thought the second book in this series fit the gothic theme much more).

Our heroine, Clara, was dismissed from her position as a made after falling in love with the master’s son Richard, whom she learns die
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
A Gothic romance novel, With This Curse caters to readers who favor this genre else this is no Rebecca.
Gravesend Hall is a mansion seeped in history and tragedies with a curse that affects not just the residents but even the servants. Clara as a naive 17 yr old falls in love with the master of the house Richard and is sent away in disgrace, 18 yrs later she's back as the mistress of the hall but as a wife to the twin brother Atticus. The relationship slowly grows in strength with trust, respect
Sabaah Jauhar-Rizvi
It's a nice, quick, rainy day kind of Gothic tale. It's not quite as dark or sinister as Monk Lewis' works, but more along the lines of Victoria Holt. This author has a good eye for detail, giving enough to help you set the scene in your own mind without going overboard. The pacing is fast and the build up is full of suspense. The ebook had a few loading issues, but I contacted Amazon and they had me unload and reload it, and then it was loading fine (technology is not always our friend). I thin ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
I will read Gothic romances until the end of time. This one dragged a bit in the middle, but really satisfied hitting the tropes I love: curses, crumbling manors, mysterious wards, long lost brothers, all that good stuff. Plus death masks! Plus since the heroine was a seamstress, you get some good descriptions of dresses. I am ALWAYS all in to read about bombazine and cartridge pleats.
maura g brady
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful atmosphere

Fantastic way with words - felt the suspense and questions build throughout. In some ways it reminded me of Victoria Holt. Did not see the identity of the "villian" but the author did not cheat - there were foreshadows of the identity.
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gothic Mystery

I loved this book! It was well written and the characters were fascinating. The plot was twisted however it does answer your questions. I look forward to reading more books in this series.
A classic whodunit. It was quite predictable thought but still not a bad read to pass time.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

I enjoyed this novel very much. It was suspenseful enough to keep me up late reading. Looking forward to the sequel.
Dianne Harms
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Great book; well written, good plot, essentially enjoyable in every aspect. I’d definitely read more books by this author. Clean, as well! Awesome.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfectly thrilling gothic romance—it reminded me of a Daphne Du Maurier novel!
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jan 28, 2017 07:38PM  

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Amanda DeWees received her PhD in English from the University of Georgia and wrote her dissertation on 19th-century vampire literature—the perfect training, although she didn’t know it at the time, for writing Victorian gothic romance novels. Her books include With This Curse, winner of the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award in historical mystery/suspense. Her other passions include costuming, movies, C ...more

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