Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Blessed Curses by Madeleine Ribbon

Reviewed by Fehu
Blessed Curses by Madeleine Ribbon
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 168pgs
4 Pants Off

Though he’s a sorcerer with a talent for creating blessings, David can do very little with any other magic. He works the night shift for his cousin’s magical supply shop because he’s cursed—his brother did it when they were kids—and now people can’t stand to be near David since he inspires irrational fear. Many experts have tried to remove it, but the curse has proven completely binding. Then David meets Vaughn at his brother's wedding.

Vaughn works for the magical enforcers, picking apart complex curses and making sure sorcerers stay within the law. He has the ability to dampen magical effects around him and loves solving supposedly irreversible curses like David’s. He quickly develops a more personal interest in David. Despite the distance David attempts to keep between them, he finally realizes when Vaughn is injured on the job that he doesn’t want to stay away anymore. But what about the curse?

My first book by Madeleine Ribbon and it was a very nice surprise! Hooked from the first line! I followed David to the fateful meeting with his jealous older brother. I couldn't help, but feel sorry for David and angry on his behalf or glad for him, which is a good thing, for me at least, since I like to be able to relate to the character and have at least some connection to them. Anyone who had older siblings and didn't get along with them could empathize with the poor boy, when said git of a brother cursed him. Temporarily I wondered if their mother should do more than just deal with the damage, she doesn't really punish Todd (fitting name!) for hurting his brother.

Now because of his brother’s thoughtless action, David has to deal with a curse that stuck and nobody beside his brother can stand to be close to him, or he close to them without experiencing angst, dread and other negative feelings. David never had friends or lovers and no enforcer or other magic user was able to help "The Impossible Kid", how he has been named by the researchers. All changes on his brother’s wedding day when David meets his sister in law's best friend Vaughn, who is part of the magical Enforcers that deal with different magical problems, mishaps and crimes. Sparks fly when they meet and Vaughn actually has a blessing that allows him to be close to David, without freaking out, running for the hills or just fainting. Lucky for David, Vaughn sees more in him than just a puzzle to solve.

It was a sweet story, with elements of hurt/comfort and parts that melted my heart, like David’s confession to Vaughn, about never having kissed anybody. I loved how patient and understanding Vaughn was and that they took their time to work towards a relationship. While the suspense didn't last and the story did move a bit sluggish in the middle, I got attached to the characters by that time and just wanted to see them have their happy ending. The story flows nicely and makes for an easy read, with well developed characters and sometimes heart melting dialogs. The one thing I was wondering is why David got along with Todd so well as a grown up. I mean basically Todd ruined his life and David didn't really blame him, considering the dreams he had about his own restaurant, having friends and someone to love.

Should You Read It? If you like some magic in your modern world and like hard luck characters and a slowly developing romance, than this is the perfect book for you! It's sweet, but not saccharine sweet, there are some edges, some conflict, but not enough to turn it into a drama. Recommend for all friends to lovers fans!
4 Pants Off

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