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Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.


Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most-- his Parvana. His butterfly.

377 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 15, 2013

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About the author

Jean Murray

5 books108 followers
In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.

Books by Author:
Soul Reborn
Soul Awakened
Soul Unbound
Soul Unleashed
Soul Sacrificed

Ready to start or read more of the Key to the Cursed journey? Don't wait years for another book to be released. Starting April 1, 2015 books in this series will be released every 90 days on Amazon. You can have the next book waiting for you for automatic delivery to your kindle or home. (Links will be updated as books release) Books will also be available on iBooks, Kobo and Nook.

Key to the Cursed Series Release Dates:
Series Pre-order / Release schedule:

Soul Reborn:
Released April 1st, 2015

Soul Awakened:
Released July 1st, 2015

Soul Unbound:
Released Oct 1st, 2015

Soul Unleashed:
Released Jan 1st, 2016

Soul Sacrificed:
Currently In Development - Target December 31st, 2018

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Ollie.
197 reviews20 followers
January 15, 2013
Review by Ollie for BittenByParanormalRomance

I have to first start off by saying I have been waiting for this book for what seems like ages, every since I was left hanging at the end of book 1 wondering what was going to happen next based on the set up. I don't know where to begin to describe the absolutely marvelous job that the author does in not only creating a wonderful world with so much depth and detail, but a story line the has the mystery and intrigue that will keep you glued to the the pages. I can attest to that as this book had me up into the wee morning hours as I couldn't put it down. Thank goodness it was the holidays otherwise I would have been going into work very exhausted and bleary-eyed.

Book 2 continues on where it left off with Asar's son, Bakari, imprisoned in a sarcophagus for five years tricked by the evil goddess Kepi, tormented and tortured during those years in the dark both physically and mentally. Kendra, the youngest Carrigan sister, is driven to find way to break the spell that has kept him imprisoned and as a result ends up breaking more then the spell.

What happens next is a wonderful story not only dealing with lies, deceptions, and retribution, but also focuses on compassion, love, forgiveness and redemption. As Bakari deals with trying to regain control over himself and come to terms with his past, Kendra discovers that love can hit you like a bolt of lightening. Even though Kendra has been bonded to Bakari by the spell she feels that their link goes beyond the physical. As times passes and her sweet and gently way penetrates into Bakari's soul soon Kendra realizes that she wants more if only Bakari will let her in.

I have to say there were moments where it was an emotional rollercoaster ride for me as it pained me to see Bakari's suffering and his self-depreciating outlook and also seeing honorable Bomani's world turned upside down.

I highly recommend this book not only for the amazing storyline, but because of the depth that the author goes into developing the complicated characters and their relationships with each other. This book will have your heart aching for Bakari, Bomani and Kendra, wondering who is behind the betrayal and deception among the Gods and Goddesses, and loving the tender moments in the book.

Now I can't wait for book 3 to come out which should feature the last Carrigan sister, Kit and based on her no-nonsense attitude there should some very fun and teasing moments between her and her future beau.
Profile Image for Elena R a.k.a. Lunies R.
120 reviews105 followers
January 20, 2013
"The Carrigan sisters were the first step to their freedom.Light and darkness.Life and death brought together, the best of both worlds."

Jean Murray, has written another wonderful addition to her "Key to the Cursed series"This is the story of,Bakari and Kendra.These two characters are written brilliantly! I immediately fell in love with these two, Kendra is just too cute with her light, sweet, fun personality, and her quiet, yet determined attitude to make things right.Loved her relations with Bakari.I knew right away her decision was made and there was no other man she could fall "in" love with. Jean did such a fantastic job with Kendra. I really loved reading about her. And Bakari was as expected, with his brooding, selfless, alpha male self, and his inner conflict in regards to Kendra, it was impressive, but seriosly, who was he fooling? Certainly not me.Lolz! I enjoyed the exchanges between them early in the story which made me really root for these two.Bakari's brother Bomani can't touch what they have :P. Jeans' writing is just beautiful, almost atmospheric.

I fell for Bomani and his character and feel sad for him. He’s such a good guy and hardly wait for his book with with a heroine just as kind as him :)

There's much more to the story, if you read the first novel in the series and enjoyed it, then without a doubt you will love this novel :)

Note to author: You're a tease!!! Lol! You had me when Kendra had to choose between males, and now I'm afraid that Kit won't end up with Kamen.You're just wicked! Hopefully my assumptions about where this series is going will be in my favor.....hahaha!
112 reviews2 followers
December 9, 2015
This is book two in the Key to the Cursed series and it was just as good, if not better than book one. I highly recommend that you read the first book so that you understand what happens in this book.

This is Bakari and Kendra’s story. It was phenomenal. I had to force myself to put my kindle down to go to work, go to sleep and other things. Kendra comes off as fragile and weak, but she is so much stronger than her sisters credit her. I love that she finds her voice. There are few scenes where Kendra just erupts and tells her sisters and Asar that she is not the weakest one. I loved it. I was cheering for her and she delivered. I think that she is my favorite of the three sisters, but I haven’t read book three yet and I’m desperately waiting for book four which will be Kit’s story.

Bakari, Asar’s son and the Death God, is incredible. His journey is one that is not just physically demanding, but emotionally and psychologically as well. Bakari is explosive; he’s weak at first from his confinement but when he gets his full strength back, he is a force to be reckoned with. Each time Kendra is separated from him, you can feel Bakari’s anguish. He doesn’t understand fully why he needs her near, but as the story goes you see that he grows to understand what a blood-bond is and why it’s incredibly special. I loved watching him transform throughout the book. I think what I enjoyed the most with Bakari was watching him try to earn Kendra’s love and bond.

There is a kind of “love” triangle as well that was incredibly fascinating. It’s between Kendra, Bakari and Bomani. Kendra is so confused about her feelings for Bomani and when she discovers that she’s bonded to Bakari, her confusion grows. It reminded me a lot of the triangle in the Twilight series; Bella is drawn to Edward in ways she doesn’t understand but when he leaves, Jacob is there for her. Bomani has been there for Kendra before the bond to Bakari and he he tries to continue to be there, but he develops feelings for her. In away she reciprocates but ultimately knows where her heart lies.

There are some HUGE surprises in store for you and I think everyone needs to read this series. It’s just fantastic. I’m loving the Egyptian mythology so much and I cannot wait to read the next book. Job well done, Ms. Murray! I’m a fan for life!

***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official.
February 1, 2016
Fantastic! Jean Murray has yet to disappoint me with her writing! I'm not really a paranormal romance lover. I tend to find too many of them are stuck on the erotic side of things, and not enough on the characters, story, or even backstory. That is not the case in Murray's series. From the very beginning this author has taken time to craft a well thought out complex storyline, and pulled together complex and unique characters and situations.

In the second book of the series, we come to where book 1 ended. Bakari is trapped by Kepi, and only Kendra has the power to free him, and even when she does, there's still so much more to do. There's a dark plot in the underworld and a traitor amongst the gods, and only Bakari knows who it is, and his memory has been blocked out. I loved this story line. Kendra is the youngest of the three sisters, and the most inexperienced, so she always feels like she isn't contributing or can't do anything, but in this book she proves herself smart, capable, and a warrior just like her other sisters. She comes out of her shell, and develops into one of my favorite characters, but not always do you need to wield a sword to be a warrior.

An amazing paranormal romance book from Jean Murray! Fans of paranormal, historical, urban fantasy and erotic romance will all love this series! I highlight recommend you start it now!

*I was given a copy for review. All opinions are my own. This review was done in conjunction with NerdGirl *
Profile Image for Jean Murray.
Author 5 books108 followers
July 5, 2015
The long awaited second book in the Key to the Cursed series arrives January 15th, 2013.

Bakari's story demands to be heard. After years of torture by the Pantheons' enemies, Bakari awakens with a thirst that can only be quelled by the woman who released him from his confinement. Unlike his brother, Bomani, Bakari is far from the honorable male Kendra deserves. Only blood and honor will win her soul.
Profile Image for Lynn Rush.
Author 34 books915 followers
December 13, 2012
Wow. This is a great sequel.

I absolutely loved Kendra's character. And Bakari. **le sigh** Talk about tortured heroes. I just love him. So deep. And the last sentence of the back cover blurb "...his Parvana. His butterfly." Ohhhh, totally swooning over here.

Jean Murray creates an amazing world that I got completely sucked into. I felt every twist and turn like I was there, and I just love that about a book.

Nicely done, Jean!!!

Profile Image for Jacklynn Sizemore.
305 reviews18 followers
April 8, 2019
I love this book what and amazing read. I so love Kendra she might be little and look like she can't take care of herself but you be so wrong. Then there the Bakari the death god who has be in prison for the last five years.To know more about this book grab your copy today a so so so must read!!!!!!
Profile Image for Wendy.
Author 2 books65 followers
December 28, 2012
Soul Awakened opens with a black scorpion in the desert. It is night, so the little assassin blends into his surroundings as he waits patiently for an opportunity to strike.

The scorpion is the mark of Bakari, the God of Death, missing five long years from his post at the gates of the Underworld. Tortured by a sadist and left for long stretches confined in the dark, Bakari is little more than a wounded animal when Kendra Carrigan releases him from his sarcophagus. He cannot tell what is real from what is nightmare, and he still retains the power to suck the life out of anyone in his vicinity. It’s a lethal combination that costs three of Aaru’s guardians their lives and leads Bakari’s family to keep him confined in a cell until they can figure out what to do with him.

Kendra, a gentle-hearted Egyptologist, finds the treatment of Bakari appalling. She believes that he’s been confined in the dark, so keeping him locked in the basement seems cruel. If that had been the extent of his torture, he’d probably have been all right. Over the years, however, he was periodically released to eat, a ritual that entailed the goddess Kepi raping him before feeding him her own rotten blood.

Jean Murray tells Bakari’s captivity story in flashes, followed by episodes of disgust and guilt often experienced by sexual assault victims. Bakari hates the woman who tortured him, but he also feels it’s justice of sorts for the deeds of his previously decadent life. He desire for death is kept at bay only by a sense of obligation to Kendra, whose live became blood-bound to his during the spell she performed to free him. His father, Asar, forgives but doesn’t miss an opportunity for tough love and tosses Bakari into the warrior village under the command of his brother, Bomari, who would get along fabulously with the likes of XO Tigh from Battlestar Galactica and the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket. The guy has been jealous of his pampered brother for millennia. Bomari’s attempts to humiliate Bakari by assigning menial tasks, like polishing ALL of the garrison’s weapons, backfires when Bakari actually enjoys the tasks. It gives him time to think about how much his life sucks.

Having freed Bakari, Kendra has to find something else to occupy her time, so she turns to crime solving. There is a traitor in Aaru, a third party to Bakari’s kidnapping and the assassination attempt on Asar’s life (from Book 1), and she’s determined to figure out who it is. (Remember the scorpion metaphor from the prologue.) Doing so means asking Bakari exactly how the armed and dangerous God of Death was subdued and taken from his post at the gates of the Underworld. Talking to Bakari means going to the warrior village and defying Bomari’s orders to stay away from his unstable, self-centered brother for her own good. Of course, Kendra’s disobeyed Bomari’s instructions before, which is how Bakari got out of his sarcophagus in the first place.

Murray delicately executes Bakari’s catharsis and weaves it into the role reversal that slowly takes place between him and his brother. Into this, she also stitches—in both detail and timing—an awkward romance between Kendra, a sexually frustrated virgin, and the feuding brothers, both of whom want her but know they don’t deserve her.

I enjoyed Soul Awakened. It is a confident step forward Soul Reborn, the opening story of Key to the Cursed, which I felt was weighed down a bit by the necessary reven story arc. Soul Awakened is a much narrower story, which allowed Murry more pages for her characters to develop and interact. I am very much looking forward to the continuation of Bomari’s story in Soul Unbound, (Key to the Cursed #3).
Profile Image for Jodie Pierce.
Author 21 books66 followers
January 10, 2013
Kendra Carrigan, an Archeologist, Egyptologist and demi-god in her own right, ventures into Thebes, Egypt to deal with her father’s body that had been brought back to the Underworld my her sister Lily when she had to shove her sword into his chest when he was a zombie. Her husband, Asur wants his son Bakari’s tomb opened so he can move on in the Underworld. With Bomani, the Underworld Legion Commander by her side, Kendra jumps head first into the events that unfold around her. Though Bomani lusts after Kendra, dare he say anything especially after Bakari marks her? She ventures into the lair of Bakari to open the tomb. He had been taken hostage by Kepi, fed her blood and had his powers muted by using scorpions. She then placed a curse on him and put him into his ‘tomb’ after torturing him for four years. Kendra realized there is a curse that kept the sarcophagus shut for her normal methods of opening sarcophagus did not work. She studied and studied to find that curse. After strange things start happening to her, will she give of herself to save Bakari? Will she find the key to the curse? Will she survive to see it? All will be told in the end.
Author, Jean Murray’s use of words depict vivid pictures for the reader. As a reader, I use my own imagination but she writes in such a manner that she creates it all for you. She wrote a spellbinding, twisting and turning story that draws in the reader from the beginning and keep you guess throughout. The main character is so likable and you find yourself rooting for her throughout her journey despite her setbacks. This story also produces an amazing amount of Egyptology mixed in the story and it adds to the realizism of the story. This is a must read, along with her first book, Soul Reborn, Key to the Cursed, Book 1.
Profile Image for MGGMMGGM.
291 reviews9 followers
February 2, 2013
Originally posted at The Solitary Bookworm

You've read my review on Soul Reborn above, now Soul Awakened is so different in my opinion. It picked up right after the first book and it didn't have the sluggish vibe I had with the first book. I read this right after Soul Reborn and I was complete taken by how good Soul Awakened is. Let me just get this out first thing since this is the only issue I had with the book - it was hard to differentiate who was talking at the time. That somehow disrupted my reading pace but it wasn't a biggie on my end.

Ok so, Soul Awakened is focused on Kendra, Bakari and Bomari. A little recap, Kendra is the smart Carrigan sister, Bakari is the son of Asar while Bomari is Bakari's brother in blood. Kendra needs to help Bakari escape from his sleeping state so there is so much pressure with this tiny lady. From book one, we can feel that Bomari is developing feelings for Kendra but in this book, it becomes eminent. Bakari on the other hand is a whole new story as he seems to be in great torment and grief over his experience and how things are developing. The gist is that Kendra and Bakari develops a blood bond while Bomari is definitely not backing down.

I love how the Murray delivered the overall story of Soul Awakened. It is more specific unlike how Soul Reborn was told. You'll definitely see a few recurring people but the focus is there. The feel of the story is definitely lighter and more easier to follow. Another that I'd like to mention is we can definitely see that there's more that Murray can offer and I am enjoying this series more than I expected.
Profile Image for Maghon Thomas.
1,301 reviews1 follower
February 12, 2013
Yep, we pick up right where we left off and it just keeps getting better. This is an excellent sequel! You get to explore in depth the second sister, who I happen to LOVE! And it’s just as action packed, still full of good suspense, still excellently fast paced and of course still written beautifully! More and more supes are coming out to play and the story is getting deep! Plus I love to see some returning characters from the first book!

Kendra really is nothing like Lilly, from book one. She’s kind, she’s fun, but she’s just as loyal, so I guess they maybe have some similarities and I may have maybe cheered for her and Bakari as a couple! Oh and we all shouldn’t forget about Bomari… And it’s complicated… I can’t say too much more than that because I may ruin something for you. Let me just say I really enjoyed seeing how this one played out!

The story, while getting deeper, is still easy. It’s not getting too complicated, it’s easy to follow, and I think the plot line was laid out excellently. And I was a little shocked at how some things went, an I like unpredictability! I am STILL LOVING those secondary characters and I’m glad to see some of them again from book one!

I think the writing is still excellent and I am still going to say that this is a great adventure! I absolutely annoy wait to see what the next book will capture! I’ve truly enjoyed meeting these characters and the setting the world is created in is just way cool! A NOT SO SLEEPY 5 PAWS from me!!
Profile Image for Rachel V..
212 reviews12 followers
March 22, 2013
Well now I have read the second book and I want more!!!! When is the third book coming out because I can’t wait to continue this story? At the end of the first book we found out who another one of the villians was in the conspiracy against the Creation gods but towards the end of this story the mastermind was revealed. Now again I did figure out whom it was before it was revealed but I was still holding my breath to find out how and when they would figure it out.

This book focused on Kendra the non-warrior of the sisters and Bakari, who is the God of Death. There are a couple twists and turns in their relationship and the author keeps you on your toes in this story. I loved that he calls Kendra his Parvana. I also liked how Bakari came around and became the man he was meant to be and not the shell that he once was.

The author also brings a few new soldiers into the story in this book. One of them is Sin. I really enjoyed him as a secondary character. I hope he is in the future books also.

I can’t wait to read about Kit and Kamen but I am also hoping that there will be more about Bomani too. He may have made some wrong choices along the way but I really enjoyed meeting him and I hope he gets a story also.

*I received book free from author in return for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Atjoesgarage.
2 reviews1 follower
December 24, 2012
In book II of this series we get to meet Kendra, the youngest sister of the Carrigan women. Kendra is not a viper-infused Nehebkau huntress like her two sisters. She is beautiful, but does not recognize her beauty and relies almost entirely on her intellect to see her through.

The ending of book I leads us into this book nicely. In the beginning of this book the son of Asar, the god of the underworld is entombed in a sarcophagus that has been cursed by the pain in the butt Goddess Kepi. The son, Bakari, has endured pain and an extended period of depravation from reality. Kendra leads the research to set Bakari free.

This book grows the world of the "Key to the Cursed" series with a beta heroine in the lead role instead of the typical alpha. There are many successes, many hurdles and things don't always work out the way the characters in the story want. There are strong themes of redemption and betrayal in this book. These drastic life changes to some of the characters made for a very compelling read and I truly enjoyed the book. I look forward to reading the next book(s) in the series.

746 reviews
June 19, 2016
Three sisters all fated to mate and help Ancient Egyptian deities to save their world. Their road is hard and full of danger, but love paves a way. Petite Kendra an anthropologist is the only one capable (bred) for the purpose of saving Bakari, God of Death, from his hellish curse. She is his pure, innocent, naive savior. Bakari is depraved and selfish but fighting to redeem is soul and honor. Only his Parvana, butterfly, can save him through an unplanned blood bond. This story's slow build to passion made it a very satisfying read. Bakari's road to salvation brings hope to your soul. I'm looking forward to Bomani's story.
Profile Image for Sasha Summers.
Author 107 books786 followers
December 17, 2012
It's probably not a surprise but I love tortured heroes, immersive worlds, and mythology - not just Greek! Kendra and Bakaria are relatable, her world is enthralling, and her love story - is everything a love story should be! Really loved this story.
Profile Image for Shellby.
795 reviews4 followers
March 26, 2016
Soul Awakened is just as good as the first book! Kendra is an amazing character that everybody underestimated.A great continuation to the series!

Profile Image for Gladys Gonzales Atwell.
391 reviews20 followers
June 8, 2019

*Reviews are done in conjunction with NerdGirlOfficial.com book blog. For more information about our reviews feel free to contact us at NerdGirlGeneral@gmail.com
Profile Image for Amanda.
2,170 reviews21 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 22, 2019
I got this as a giveaway and I got a little bit in before realizing it just wasn’t for me. I would recommend for JR Ward fans or other sexy, fantasy books.
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