Synopsis: Cassie Chapman has just met the perfect man in the mysterious Laith Moreland. But thereâ€™s a catch: heâ€™s a ghost. Not only that, he claims Cassie is the reincarnation of his one true love who died hundreds of years ago! As she begins to have visions of her past life, Cassie is flung into Laithâ€™s world and realizes only she has the power to break his curse and make him mortal once again.
Lord Laith Moreland, the Third Duke of Crichton, is a ghost. Heâ€™s been searching for his true love, his shelmir, for centuries. Finally he has found her, born again in Cassie Chapman. They cannot deny the strong bond that is mysteriously between them.
But Laith isnâ€™t the only one whoâ€™s found Cassie, and now they must stay one step ahead of Laithâ€™s murderous twin brother, Jareth, who willingly cursed himself ages ago to find her reincarnated once again.
Review: The blurb on Samhain sounded promising, so I gave this novella a go. It is the first book in a series of two called Cursed Hearts. Soul mates, he searched for her for centuries, instant attraction and bond – it was all there, the basics were good.
I liked the way the story went medias in res without faffing about for page after page. The characters were likeable, the love scenes sensual, the villain evil, all would have been great if there hadn’t been some points that totally spoiled it.
Cassie often speaks "with a small voice" or alternatively "wails pathetically". Excuse me, I don’t want a heroine who wails pathetically. She might start crying at some point, but never, ever do I want her to wail pathetically. And a small voice isn’t anything desirable either.
S P O I L E R S ahead
Jareth, the villain and the hero’s twin brother, is thick as anything. He actually believes that Cassie gave up Laith because she suddenly loves Jareth, even though she was Laith’s soul mate. How gullible can you be, for heaven’s sake? Not at all like him, he is basically a mistrustful, revengeful guy, who would never fall for that.
A nice touch on the other hand was that finally somebody commented on the obsolete speech of the hero. When Laith informs him that Cassie is his betrothed, Peter replies: "Betrothed? No one gets betrothed any more!" Usually those heroes just walk around, look like a modern hunk, talk like a few hundred years ago and nobody even bats an eyelid.
Despite my misgivings I was tempted to get the second book "Hearts unbound" until I read the blurb. I have no clue who wrote that blurb, but it must be someone who hasn’t read the first book. It actually says: "Jareth Moreland has waited centuries for his lover to be reincarnated, but his reward isnâ€™t the reunion he expected â€“ itâ€™s murder. He awakes to find his soul has been pulled back centuries into the past, to the very day in 1657 both his lover and his brother died and, in his grief, he became a vampire."
Huh? I must have misunderstood the first story from A-Z. Cassie was not his lover, she was his betrothed (here we go again) because he tricked her father into thinking he was the rightful heir to the title. She was Laith’s lover, Jareth’s older twin brother and the real Duke. Jareth was obsessed with her, but she didn’t give a toss about him.
In 1657 his brother and his lover died because of his machinations. Admittedly he didn’t want Cassie to day, that just happened because Jareth allied with someone he shouldn’t have trusted, but nevertheless he caused their deaths. And as far as his grief was concerned, not so sure about that either. Possibly he grieved for Cassie, but he certainly became a vampire because an evil witch cum vampire wanted him for all eternity to herself. So the whole blurb is false.
I went as far as reading the excerpt, and that gave me the rest. I don’t mind that Laith and Cassie were made soul mates by a witch and they acted accordingly. After all they had been lovers before that spell. But for a couple to get together ONLY because of a spell takes all the fun away. Clearly Jareth is appalled by the thought that he is bound to Jessica, but he still acts like a horny rabbit. Where has the so called love for Cassie gone? Out the window within seconds. Sorry, will have to give that one a pass.