By Kelley Armstrong
First of all, let me start by saying I am a HUGE Kelley Armstrong fan. If you’ve read any urban fantasy in the past decade or so, I’m sure you’re also familiar with her. I started with her Otherworld series, which involves your basic werewolves, vampires, etc. Next I devoured the Cainsville series, which brings Celtic mythology to life in Illinois. Most recently, she released a Victorian haunted romance, A Stitch in Time, and I’m on the pre-order list for the sequel, A Twist of Fate. If you’re not a fan of fantasy or the paranormal, she also has the amazing Rockton thriller series, among many other fabulous titles.
Now that I’ve gotten my fan-girl gushing out of the way, I was a little surprised to see Cursed Luck come out – simply because two books a year is a tough schedule. In reading the Author’s Note, Armstrong states that she thought up this book in March 2020 when COVID kicked into high gear. I have to admit, that filled me with a bit of envy – who doesn’t want to conceptualize a new series and have it published within a year? But thank goodness she did because this novel was a lot of fun.
In Cursed Luck, Armstrong drops us into the world of Greco-Roman mythology. Kennedy Bennett is a curse weaver, similar to a modern-day Spellbreaker (which I reviewed here). While trying to build her business specializing in uncursing and reselling antiques, she’s offered a job by Aiden Connolly, a young, wealthy and handsome luck worker. It seems he wants her to help him win an auction for the cursed necklace of Harmonia. But he’s not the only bidder for the necklace seeking a curse weaver to remove the hex. Kennedy’s sisters are kidnapped by what they assume is a competitor and in their search to find them, Kennedy winds up deeper in the underbelly of the magickal world than she ever wanted to be. To complicate matters further, she finds the arrogant Aiden Connolly isn’t quite the jerk she took him for.
When one sister is released, Kennedy is ordered to keep Aiden from winning the auction in exchange for her other sibling. The only problem is, Aiden has his own reasons for needing that necklace – or it could cost his brother’s life.
Let me begin my round-up by saying I adored Kennedy’s voice. This is a character I’d like to switch lives with, at least for a little while. She’s sassy, bold, and flawed. Aiden is focused, analytical and underneath a prickly exterior, very sweet. Of course, the supporting characters – both of Kennedy’s sisters and their friend Jonathan – are also people I’d like to know. The pace was brisk (I finished this novel in less than two days) and I was actually taking notes on how the backstory was woven in without tripping up the flow. My only moment of hesitation was, without throwing in any spoilers, when Armstrong tossed in a plot twist that had me wondering how she’d be able to wrap up the story in roughly 70 pages. I’m happy to say that not only was I satisfied with the ending, but the resolution tee’d up nicely for the sequel, High Jinx, to release in 2022. In the meantime, Armstrong is posting a novella on her website (www.kelleyarmstrong.com) this summer continuing Kennedy and Aiden’s story.
A very solid 4 stars.
My rating system:
5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.
4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.
3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.
2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.