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The Curse of Lord Stanstead

(The Order of the MUSE #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  597 ratings  ·  123 reviews
London, 1819

When only seduction will do...

Wherever Cassandra Darkin goes, fire is sure to follow. It's not until she's swept into the arms of a handsome, infuriating stranger that she learns she's responsible for the fires. As it turns out, Cassandra is a fire mage...and with her gift comes a blazing desire for sins of the flesh.

With his pretenatural ability to influence t
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published July 28th 2015 by Entangled: Select Historical
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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I've given this a D at AAR. At least it was short and I had a laugh - when writing the review.

I know I tend to be a bit of a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to the sub-genres I read, so I occasionally try to branch out a bit. I’ve enjoyed a few Historical Paranormals lately, so when I came across The Curse of Lord Stanstead, I thought I’d give it a go, even though I wasn’t all that impressed with the last book I read by this author. I thought that perhaps the change of direction might work better
Apr 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Carmen by: Unapologetic Romance
He had always thought that women were like horses. Yes, there were a few outstanding examples of horseflesh, but without fail, they all served the same purpose - traveling from here to there. For all intents, women were also interchangeable.

But not Cassie.


This book was a big disappointment.

Cassie is a fire mage unaware of her powers, which were awakened when she lost her virginity to Roderick, a careless lord who is marrying a richer woman. Garret is dispatched by Professor X Duke Camden t
1.5 stars

Very interesting concepts and building blocks for a historical paranormal story but the emotional glue was missing. Characters were kind of planted but not given fertile enough soil to grow roots. The insta-love between our leads didn't allow for any emotional connection to be felt and when they say their "I love yous" it felt completely out of left field.
The last 10% was engaging and there was an anti-hero developed that has me intrigued for his story but I'm afraid, that like with th
Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)
3.5 stars

“It’s the knee britches,” Garret said with a chuckle. “Sets a woman’s fancy aflutter.”

I picked this up on a whim because the covers for this series are just gorgeous and I’ve been on the look out for new authors to try. I confess, I didn’t really pay much attention to the blurb as I tend not to. So imagine my surprise when I started reading this and realized this isn’t just your ordinary historical romance. This has a paranormal element to it! Think of this as a regency X-Men. What
Suzana Thompson
Apr 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
The description of this book mentions a blazing desire for sins of the flesh, but that was never conveyed in this story at all. It was stated, but it wasn't shown. I don't mind insta lust, but I never felt it between these characters at all. When I read romance, I'm either looking for sexual chemistry or a deep emotional connection. Very few books have both, but this one had neither. There is a scene in this book that is similar to what I recently read in another book. This one presented it in t ...more
Stacy Reid
I really liked the hint of paranormal with this historical regency romance. The mystical elements were blended nicely with the happenings of the ton, and made for a compelling read.

Cassie, a fire mage who needed help controlling her element was introduced to the Order of the Muse. Our hero Garrett was assigned to bring her into the folds, and he offered to help Cassie with the more sensual side of her power as fire mages were pretty passionate. Their relationship developed quickly, but it felt
It had all the elements I love in a book, but the execution was just ok for me.
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
While I had some reservations the first Mia Marlowe book I read, I have to say I had none with The Curse of Lord Stanstead. This new book was a page-turner from beginning to end. And it has to do with the amazing cast of characters that Marlowe has created.

The Sensory Extraordinaires are part of an organization headed by the Duke of Camden -- the members all come from different walks to life and levels of society: one is a viscount, one a former maid, one an heir to an earldom, and one a courtes
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
I received this book from Entangled Published in return for a fair and honest review.

This is one of Entangled's Select Historical novels and my first introduction to both them and this author. I have to say that I am in no way disappointed!

The Order of the M.U.S.E. is a secret society that you learn about as you go on. They have various members who are capable in various ways. The latest 'recruit' is Cassie, an emergent fire mage who needs help controlling her element. But this is also during th
Oh, talk about squandered potential and wasted opportunities. How do you take an interesting foundation like the X-Men, with such an interesting ensemble of characters (and by that, I mean everyone but Cassie because she's basic as fuck and useless as hell) and make it boring?

I took so many long, unplanned breaks between readings because I had literally zero interest in any of these characters or their story. It felt like when I had to read a textbook in school for a subject I cared nothing for
Sarah (needs a break from reviewing)
Reading this as part of the Unapologetic Romance Readers group buddy read.

19/4 - Not particularly impressed so far - somewhere between 'okay' and 'like it'. There have been a few punctuation weirdnesses, but mostly the fault lies with the way Marlowe handled the plot. The plot could be good - X-Men with sex - but she fumbled all that potential. The main characters leave me cold, individually and as a couple. The justification for Garrett's continued presence in the story is more than a littl
Pattricia Mesa
Ladies and gentlemen, I may present to you the X-men generation of 1819.

Edward St. James, the Duke of Camden (aka Professor X), gifted psychic, and creator of the Order of the MUSE, has been recruiting individuals with prenatural abilities to help him fight for the cause and spare the future king of London from possible treason to the crown. His newly recruit is gifted with the fire element. And if it's not stopped soon, it may cause the incineration of London.

Cassandra Darkin did not anticipat
Under the Covers Book Blog

“It’s the knee britches,” Garret said with a chuckle. “Sets a woman’s fancy aflutter."

I picked this up on a whim because the covers for this series are just gorgeous and I've been on the look out for new authors to try. I confess, I didn't really pay much attention to the blurb as I tend not to. So imagine my surprise when I started reading this and realized this isn't just your ordinary historical romance. This has a paranormal element to it! Think of this as a regency X-Men. What a fun con

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bambi Unbridled
I don't read many paranormal historical romances, other than those involving time travel. I'm not sure why - but I don't like the mixing of the genres as much. That being said, this a nice little quick read. It kind of made me think of a historical X-Men or A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. You have the Order of the M.U.S.E. - a group of individuals with psychic or "sensual" abilities. These individuals served to protect the monarch, or I imagine the public in general as the series progresses ...more
Melody  May (What I'm Reading)
Posted on What I'm Reading

When I started Mia Marlowe's The Curse of Lord Stanstead, I thought it started a little slow. Then again we are building this world where we have people that have extraordinary powers among normal people. Actually, the characters reminded me of another group of extraordinary people know as the X-Men. Yep, this would be the regency version of the X-Men. So, if you love romance and X-Men you have met your match.

Anyway, we have Duke of Camden (kind of like Professor Xavie
Jul 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The setting of the story is very similar to X-Men, you have a group of individuals with various powers & their leader who molds them into agents to serve their country.

Cassandra (Cassie) is a fire mage but her latent powers only come into force after her 1st (disappointing) sexual experience. Growing up together, Cassie figures herself in love with Lord Roderick Bellefonte & succumbs to his wiles only to find that he is courting the eminently well positioned Lady Sylvia whose lineage far exceeds
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Well, I love Regency romance and I love Paranormal romance, so when I read the blurb for this book, I couldn't click fast enough!

With all that said, I thought this book was decent. Marlowe does a good job balancing both genres, but the book was a little forgettable for me.

What I liked:
- the main characters' powers: the Hero has cool-ass Jedi mind tricks and the Heroine can play with fire -- hella cool!
- the creepiness of the villain: I got chills when Marlowe first introduced the villain and ev
Dino-Jess ✮ The Book Eating Dinosaur ✮
This book felt really.... strange.

I found the start to be overly wordy and dense. The long descriptions of peoples titles, positions and social standing was completely unnecessary and added to my dislike.

I probably should have put the book down within the first 20%, but some of the things Garret said made me persevere. I shouldn't have bothered.

The storytelling here is lazy. The world building is nonexistent and there is little to no explanation for most of what is going on. There are also cha
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I only read historical romance, and it was refreshing to come across a historical paranormal that is not steampunk. The Duke of Camden created the Order of the M.U.S.E to collect people with gifts to help protect the Crown. Camden has detected that a new fire mage has become active in London and cannot control her abilities. After narrowing it down to one of two sisters, Garret Sterling and Pierce Langdon are dispatched to Almack's ...more
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

The Curse of Lord Stanstead by Mia Marlowe is a delightful blend of romance and paranormal. It’s like a Regency X-Men with hints of Hellboy and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I know a lot of you just sat up real straight: catnip alert ahoy!

I loved that there was a lot of action in this book. The supernatural threats drive the plot forward, but also force Cassie and Garret together, so it helps the romance as well. Also having the paranormal eleme
Janice Liedl
Mar 17, 2016 rated it liked it
A supernatural/paranormal regency romance with secret society setting. There's maybe a bit too much going on in this one book to make it develop fully and neatly, especially when the supernatural elements are used to fast-forward on the sexual elements of the relationship between Cassandra Darkin, a young woman on the fringes of polite society who is also a fire elemental, and Garret Sterling, a psychic who's fearful of the destructive power of his dreams that presage horrible fates for those ne ...more
Jenny Koch
Feb 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
I liked the description and the character archetypes for the second book in the series and was planning to read it when I noticed that this book (the first in the series) was readily available through my library so I figured I should read it first. Unfortunately, I didn't care for it. I like gaslight fantasy novels in general but this one was filled too many implausible and WTF scenarios and solutions - not to mention a deus ex machina at the end to round it all off.

I'll probably still try to r
Apr 11, 2016 added it
Little things irked me. The way 'sent' was written Sent, the 'quite-dreadful-at-times' sex, the irritating quotes from random poems at the start of each chapter with the name of the poet and also the poem. It felt little intrusive, akin to 'author's notes'.

The plot rambled too much for me to retain serious interest, but I did read to the end, which is something ;)
I can't make my mind up about a rating though, so I am leaving this unrated.
Apr 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
First buddy read with the amazing Unapologetic Romance Readers.

DNF@Chapter 6. Maybe I'm just in a bitchy mood but this was boring as fuck. And oh, this? (view spoiler) Yeah. Screw it.
A great beginning. I read #2 and #3 first. I was caught up in them more than this the first in the series but it added to my understandings of the overall characters of M.U.S.E.
Amber Daulton
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the first The Order of the M.U.S.E. book, society debutante Cassandra Darkin learns quite unexpectedly that she has the ability to create and control fire, and she doesn’t know what to do about it. When a handsome man abducts her from Almack’s after she’s set the place on fire, she knows her life will never be the same.
The reclusive Garret Sterling, the heir to an earldom, can send thoughts into other people’s heads and bend them to his wishes, and his nightmares always come true. He’s sworn
Quite glad I finally got around to reading this! An original premise, executed fairly well, with good worldbuilding and interesting characters. I like that this is in the "historical not-in-a-ballroom" category, and the touch of magic adds another layer of fun. Even with the fantastical elements, the historical details ring accurate to me, perhaps even more so than some other straight-historicals I've read.

Cassie starts out as a young debutante, not concerned with much beyond herself, but with
Candy Briggs
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Garret Sterling is the heir of the Earl of stanstead. He also has a gift, in fact two of them. Cassandra Darkin, has just come out and so has her power.
This was a great story where else could you come across such amazing characters. They fight with the powers they have been given. Each is unusual and the same goes for those powers. There is intrigue and trying not to get caught. They often go into danger to protect the king. With the twists in the plot, it keeps your attention and you are spell
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2021, own
Ugh, no. Pardon my French, but what is this shit? It's a good thing this was free...
The writing style I actually found quite enjoyable (which is why this gets two stars rather than one), but it's utterly wasted on this trainwreck of a plot, the worst part of which was the romance. There was nothing whatsoever romantic about this mixture of instalove and "MCs are ordered to engage in sexual contact because ridiculously contrived magic reasons". The sexual content (as in, every single scene, and d
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Unapologetic Roma...: Marlowe, Mia // The Curse of Lord Stanstead 114 42 May 01, 2016 12:04AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Aug 31, 2015 08:48AM  

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Mia's work has been featured in PEOPLE magazine's Best of 2010 edition. One of her books is on display at the Museum of London Docklands next to Johnny Depp memorabilia. Her books have been tapped for numerous awards including RomCon's Reader's Crown, RT Reviewers Choice and Publishers' Weekly named her Touch of a Rogue one of their 10 Best Romances!

Do you want to know when Mia's next book is

Other books in the series

The Order of the MUSE (3 books)
  • The Madness of Lord Westfall (The Order of the MUSE, #2)
  • The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn (The Order of the MUSE, #3)

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