BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, September 9, 2013

ARC Review of Cursed by S.J. Harper

Publisher: ROC Urban Fantasy
Series: Fallen Siren #1
Format Read: Print ARC
Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; clicking & purchasing results in a small commission for the blog.

Blurb from goodreads:

Meet FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.
She's cursed. He's damned. Together, they make one hell of a team.

Emma Monroe is a Siren, cursed by the gods and bound to earth to atone for an ancient failure. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now that she works missing persons cases for the FBI, it could be just a rescue away. Unless her new partner leads her astray.
Special Agent Zack Armstrong just transferred into the San Diego Field Office. He’s a werewolf, doing his best to beat back the demons from his dark and dangerous past. As a former Black Ops sniper, he’s taken enough lives. Now he’s doing penance by saving them.
Emma and Zack’s very first case draws them deep into the realm of the paranormal, and forces them to use their own supernatural abilities. But that leaves each of them vulnerable, and there are lines partners should not cross. As secrets are revealed and more women go missing, one thing becomes clear: as they race to save the victims, Emma and Zack risk losing themselves.

Bea's Thoughts:

As soon as I read the blurb, I knew I wanted to read this book. I love mysteries and thrillers and enjoy when they're blended with urban fantasy. Add in a Greek Siren, a being that hasn't been done to death yet in UF, and I was a happy girl. I'm delighted to say that the book did not disappoint. The book is a good mix of UF, mystery, and romance and while there really isn't anything new, it's a solid story that kept me reading. S.J. Harper is actually two authors writing together, Jeanne Stein and Samantha Sommersby. Stein writes the Anna Strong series and Sommersby writes the Forbidden series.

Both Emma and Zack are appealing and I enjoyed reading the interactions between them. Emma knows Zack's secrets, well, most of them, but Zack knows considerably less about Emma's. Her curse puts Zack at risk and she is reluctant to tell him the truth or to let him close. Their work relationship starts off bumpy then smooths out while their personal relationship is bumpy all the way with Emma's secret and her curse impairing things.

I loved seeing Demeter as a vengeful angry goddess; it's a different portrayal of her. She really holds a grudge, which is pretty standard fare for the Greek gods, and she makes life very difficult for Emma. Demeter will make for a very strong opponent for Emma and could really complicate her. I'm less thrilled with the vampire Kallistos; he's extremely powerful and could easily become a crutch, a deux ex machina. Plus, he's interested in Emma and I really don't want a love triangle. It's not a triangle yet but the authors could have laid the groundwork for one.

I like the twist on vampires that we get, blood banks for vamps and a drug, Protectus, that allows for vamps to walk in daylight, and just like humans, vamps range from good and decent to pure evil. The secondary characters are well-drawn and interesting, and there's just enough world-building so that it feels fairly complete while still leaving lots of room for expansion and details. At times there was too much description for my taste, particularly of room decor. I'm a less is more kind of reader; give me just enough detail to visualize and I'll fill in the blanks.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am ready for the next one. :)


  1. This one sounds like a fun read! The Synopsis got my attention, and your review makes me think I will like it. I love the concept, it's something original and different! Great review:-)

  2. This one sounds so good. Both the summary and the awesome cover really caught my attention. Can't believe I hadn't heard of it before now but I'm so glad you reviewed it. :)
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  3. I am always up for a good vampire book, and this sounds really good. Great review.

  4. I am on the hunt for new UF books for next year and this sounds like one that is different and good. I can get beyond weighty descriptions as long as the story is solid.

  5. Ooo different! I dont think I've read a siren yet. Hmm. Will keep an eye out. Sounds great! thanks for the heads up Bea!

  6. Now this sounds good, and it's the first in a series, and I love when UF has mystery. I think I may give this a try :) thanks Bea!

  7. Good review! I think this is going on my "someday when I have time" list. :)

  8. Alright, I'm a sucker for a good cover, and this one pulled me in. Then the synopsis and the blend here. Sounds like one I need to keep an eye on. Thank you!

  9. Bea,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review CURSED. Between 10/2 and 10/6 we’ll be doing a Read Along for CURSED on Facebook! It would be lovely if you could join us for some of it. Attendees will get the inside scoop, bonus content, and a chance to win prizes! Sign up is here:


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let;s talk!