Early Review: Cursed by S.J. Harper

, by Kt Clapsadl

Cursed by S.J. Harper
Fallen Siren #1

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.

Long ago Emma was cursed by the gods, stripped of her wings, and forced to roam the earth finding one missing person at a time in penance. She's a Siren able to lure men and woman alike to revealing all their secrets and lust after her, all while still having to keep her own heart locked up tight. As much as she hates her fate, she's largely resigned to it and a loveless life. But all that changes when Agent Zack Armstrong comes back into her life as her new partner in the FBI. Suddenly keeping her heart locked up tight isn't so easy anymore, not when thoughts of Zack seem to haunt her every waking moment. Between getting to the bottom of their latest case which has hit close to home and keeping her heart and Zack safe, Emma's life has gotten a whole lot more complicated.

I absolutely loved the dynamic Emma and Zack! There was such an incredible amount of sexual tension between them that just about drove me out of my mind. But it also went much deeper than just that tension as you could tell there was definitely something real between them. And therein lied the problem. While I'm a huge fan of greek mythology, in this case that mythology only really served to depress me as it prevented Emma from forming a lasting connection with any male, no matter how much she wanted to. Of course I'm going to hold out hope that things will get resolved somehow there in the next installment, but since her punishment has already lasted 1000s of years, it's not going to be easy. But of course that makes for the best and most engrossing reads, and I can honestly say that I'm fully invested in their plight.

The world behind CURSED was pretty incredible. Not only is there the Greek Mythology aspect like I mentioned, but there also was plenty of Vampire, Werewolf, and Witch goodness to keep me more than entertained. Considering each of those elements had their own back story and issue going on during the book, it really is amazing that they never got jumbled up. In fact the pacing was one of the most impressive things about this book aside from the fabulous characters of course. There never was a time where I felt things were dragging, and more importantly it never got too overwhelming or fast either. I'm really looking forward to seeing how all of the issues started in CURSED play a role in the next book, between the werewolf struggle, the ancient vamp, and of course Emma's curse, it should make for one heck of a read!

When I picked this book up, I had no idea that it was written by an author duo, one of which I'm already a huge fan of, Jeanne C. Stein. Since I really enjoyed this book, I'll definitely be checking out Samatha Sommerby's other books as well. But getting back to CURSED, I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with the way the book flowed. I imagine it had to be hard to make their writing blend so seamlessly together so that Emma's "voice" never once changed. Her personality held true throughout, and when you add that to all of the other fantastic elements of this book, it made for a very enjoyable read. CURSED is just one of those books that you can hunker down into for a great escape to lose yourself for a few hours, because trust me once you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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