Being Brought Back To Life Has Consequences
Dying sucks– and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out.
However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t? But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.
“Ember? I did something bad this morning. You’re gonna be so mad.” Dreaded words from a five-year-old, but I already knew what she’d done.
Seventeen year old Ember McWilliams life changed significantly two years ago when she died….yes she died along with her father in a car crash. However, Ember is far from dead since her baby sister Olivia used her magical “gift” to bring Ember back to life. However, as a nasty side effect of her not being dead, Ember is covered with disfiguring scars, pale blue ghostly eyes, oh and I almost forgot….a she must wear gloves because she kills everything she comes into contact with. Unfortunately she has accidentally tested this deadly touch theory on her pet cat and various plants. Not only has Ember lost her father in the car accident but her mother has become an unresponsive recluse forcing to become the sole caretaker of herself, her mother and her five year old precocious baby sister Olivia.
Allen Lewis was the only person in Allentown High who hadn’t stopped talking to me after the accident. Sandbox love-that’s what we had-but it wasn’t like I could tell him I was late because my little sis had dug up her dead hamster this morning and brought him back to life. I kind of wanted to keep him as a friend.
Embers life is lonely without the touch of others, especially since she’s become labeled a freak at her school by hateful classmates, spiteful ex boyfriends and strangers alike, however she has succeeded in keeping one best friend amongst her peers and that’s Adam, he’s a great supporting character that I adored. She’s lonely and yearns for the touch of anyone and especially a boy that not only tugs at her heart strings but also challenges her, and uplifts her. Yet, as gorgeous and mysterious and oh so drool worthy as he was Hayden Cromwell is its difficult to pull for him in the beginning because he *gasp* kidnaps her along with her mother and sister. Quite frankly I’m unsure whether or not I can trust him or his powerful and cold stepfather Mr. Cromwell whom is also the town mayor with a few secrets of his own. It’s difficult to unravel his intentions whether or not they’re honorable as well as if he can be trusted. Together these two Cromwell men insist they only wish to assist her in controlling her gift, after she accidentally kills a bully while he was attempting to snap pictures of her nasty scars when he suddenly touches her bare stomach only to drop dead. As Ember peels away details from her past she also discovers secrets from her deadly crash two years ago, only leaving her vulnerable and unsure who to trust.
“Do you think I’ll look at you differently? That it would somehow change you?” Needing no other invitation, Hayden gathered the hem in his hands and began tugging it up and up. He pulled the hoodie over my head, exposing almost all my secrets.
Soon the story takes an exciting direction when Ember meets other members of the Cromwell house because they really do not take well to new members which I found fascinating considering they are outcasts as well. Phoebe is gifted to feel emotions, Parker can get into minds, while Gabe can move objects. Cursed is unique to Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Previous other series which I LOVE but equally engaging. Each exhilarating page I turned kept me glued because I just simply couldn’t put down Cursed until I knew just how Ember and Hayden were to end up. I found Embers life to be full of heartbreak, and several times I was left with a heavy ache in my chest at all the torture and revealed secrets that she must endure . Jennifer L. Armentrout has another incredibly fascinating love story on her hands, and I think fans of her will easily enjoy this romance, with mystery, a swoon worthy male, and plenty of supernatural gifts to blow your mind.
“I’d never allow it. The facility isn’t evil, but they have their own methods of training. They’re harsh at times, demanding. To them, being gifted is everything. Their motto, ‘What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.’
The story is suspenseful and quickly paced and never left me bored. The mystery intertwined into the plot was probably my most favorite aspect to Ember’s story. Even though Cursed is a standalone, it can easily be the debut novel in a paranormal romance series and I highly suggest that Jennifer L. Armentrout explore that issue because I think she will have a large following of fans of Ember’s life. I recommend this book to fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, mysteries, paranormal romance, cute adorably irresistible five year old sisters, and tortured heroines. Do yourself a favor and read Cursed today and you won’t be disappointed.
“I know you do, because I wouldn’t want to…to kiss you if you didn’t have a soul.” I froze. “You…you want to kiss me?” His gaze lifted as he learned in, placing his mouth an inch from mine. The air was sucked right out of the room, and I felt dizzy again. ”Ever since I first saw you.” He moved so that his mouth was angled with mine. ”And right now I want to so badly it hurts. You have no idea, Em, but I don’t want to hurt you.”
ARC provided for review by Spencer Hill Press
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