I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Curse of Blood and Wolves by Melissa McTernan
Published by One More Chapter on 1st October 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Romantasy, Retellings
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
A dark and steamy fairytale re-imagining of Little Red Riding Hood. Perfect for romantasy readers and lovers of smuttok Is it possible to be drawn to someone you’ve never met? When Ruby feels the eyes of a stranger in the woods, she knows she should be scared, that she should run away, but she can’t. Instead, she feels a thrill, feels drawn to this stranger who follows her in the woods. Yearns for his eyes on her every night as she walks home, hoping to hear the crunch of leaves under his feet that signals he’s there. Will he ever reveal himself? After all, fate doesn’t make mistakes . . .
My foray into Fantasy Romance is rather new thanks to the craze of Tik Tok. However, I am obsessed. I didn’t know that a whole different sub-genre of fantasy awaited me. It’s fun, exciting, and definitely brings something new to the genre. The Curse of Blood and Wolves had me entranced from start to finish and I read cover to cover in about a day and a half. I usually take a lot longer with my fantasy reads.
I am a huge fan of the darker side of fiction (regular readers of the blog will know this) and I love a deeper, darker retelling of those famous fairy tales. This story stripped back the basic nature of Red Riding Hood and it took on arms and legs, monstrous ones. Just for a moment imagine the big bad wolf and Red Riding Hood, her skipping through the woods and then imagine the version we are faced with in The Curse of Blood and Wolves. It’s so dark it oozes blood from its spine, so dark you need a light on to read it.
Ruby has always believed in the occult, ghosts, and haunted houses, much to the frustration of her sister Lena. The sisters are orphans after their parents die in a car crash. Lena is the much lighter sister, whereas Ruby is a bit of a goth girl -black skirts, dark hair, pale makeup, black eyeliner and kick up the arse boots. She works in the town’s bar and often walks through the dark woods. It’s during these walks that she’s always felt a presence watching her, stalking her. She knows she should run away but her feet just won’t move.
I enjoyed the story but there was only a couple of things that stopped me from rating this five stars. One being the lack of world-building, I wanted and needed more. I wanted to know more about the wolves’ backgrounds, more than just a few past POV’s would have been good, I just felt they really lacked substance, I love a good backstory and it just felt like a missed opportunity.
I know this was an arc so I fully expect the book not to be perfect but there was quite a few grammatical errors which more than likely will be rectified in the final edits, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story thankfully.
The Curse of Blood and Wolves is a great start to a new series and I’m looking forward to seeing where book 2 goes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Melissa McTernan, I write sweet and steamy fantasy/paranormal romance. I love grumpy heroes, sarcastic heroines, and grown-up fairy tales. I am currently working on The Wolf Brother’s series for One More Chapter (a HarperCollins UK imprint). The trilogy follows three werewolf brothers and their (maybe if they don’t screw it up) Mates.
As Laurie Gilmore (my pen name), I write steamy small-town romance. My Dream Harbor series is filled with quirky townsfolk, cozy settings, and swoon-worthy romance. I love finding books with the perfect balance of sweetness and spice and strive for that in my own writing. If you ever wished you lived in Stars Hollow (or that Luke and Lorelai would just get together already!) then these books are definitely for you.
When I’m not writing, I’m most likely reading or wrangling my kids as a stay-at-home mom. I live in upstate New York with my husband, kids, cats, puppy, and full bookshelves. I write romance to keep my sanity.
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