The Cursed by Harper L. Woods was a steamy sequel to The Coven, and one that I have been eagerly anticipating after I absolutely devoured the first book. This is fantasy with a wonderfully intriguing twist on the familiar concepts of vampires and witches and I absolutely adore the world the author has created. I would love to see her write more of the world she has created in these books because I’m really not ready to let it go.
The Cursed sees Willow adapting to changes in herself and her magic as well as becoming the witch she is meant to be for herself rather than for everyone else. All she has known is how to be the martyr, and this is a part of herself she truly struggles with overcoming, but through betrayals and self serving individuals in her life, she must figure out how to look out for herself for once, all while fighting the attachment she holds to Gray after the revelation of his true identity.
Gray and Willow together are once again the highlight of this sequel. If there’s one thing I love above all others it’s the heroine falling for the villain, particularly when the villain is as magnetic as Gray has been right from the start. I have long been very drawn to villainous characters in a story, and the appeal of these books is for once seeing the villain not only gaining the heroines affections, but also revealing deeper levels to his character and maintaining that appeal that makes it so hard to hate him.
A few thoughts that had my rating for the sequel a bit lower than the first book which I absolutely raved over and could not stop obsessing about. I had a much more difficult time getting into this book. I set it down plenty and felt I was pushing myself to read it at times which made it slower to get through for me. Potential reasons for this being that it didn’t feel to me at least like there was as much plot to this one. For a vast majority of it, it felt like so little happened beyond development of the relationship between Gray and Willow (which I’m not at all complaining about) and steamy sex scenes. Now these two things aren’t at all negative as being part of the book, it’s just that this was far more of the book than anything else when I just wanted that element to the book that would completely suck me into the plot and make it impossible to stop turning the pages. I still enjoyed the book for Willow and Gray, and for their relationship and all they had to overcome between them, it’s just that next to The Coven, it fell a bit short.
Now the plot does immensely pick up the pace at the end, perhaps the last 20% which had me really hooked and racing through it. Also by the events that occurred, I assume there will be more books, though potentially in other POVs which I’m both looking forward to and perhaps a bit disappointed by if there is no further Gray and Willow points of view. With any luck they will still feature as main characters with their own alternating chapters on top of who the epilogue seems to set up as the main featured characters going forward, but I suppose we shall see.
Though this sequel didn’t quite live up to my expectations from the first book, The Coven, the ending did go a long ways towards fixing an otherwise slow burn plot pace and it reminded me of why I loved The Coven so much. I can only hope there will be more of this world going forward.