The sequel to the highly acclaimed Gothic romance With This Curse, winner of the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award for historical mystery/suspense!
She went in search of her past… and found danger in the present. Former seamstress Clara Blackwood seems to have found happiness at last. Now a blissfully married baroness, she is mistress of a grand estate. But soon a mysterious summons shatters her contented life.
Clara grew up believing that her mother's family had disowned them. But now the grandmother Clara never knew is on her deathbed and anxious to disclose vital family secrets before it's too late—for Clara's unborn child may be cursed with a horrible fate.
When Clara and her husband, Atticus, arrive at dismal Thurnley Hall, they find intrigue brewing. Her boorish uncle, Horace Burleigh, is greedy for her wealth and desperate to protect the family's mysteries. Superstitious fear of Atticus torments the hulking Romanian servant, Grigore, and even the soft-spoken young ward, Victor Lynch, may have secret motives for getting close to Clara and her husband.
When her grandmother dies under suspicious circumstances, Clara feels compelled to investigate. And when Atticus vanishes mysteriously, she must draw on all her strength and determination to find him before his time runs out… before her life can be cursed once more.
Fans of the Gothic romances of Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Barbara Michaels won't want to miss this thrilling, romantic sequel to With This Curse, in which Clara faces new challenges and dangers. Just Book Talk gives Cursed Once More five stars and calls it "another exciting adventure . . . [with] a rich cast of spooky and strange characters." And be sure not to miss Nocturne for a Widow, in which Clara's former employer, vivacious actress Sybil Ingram, is plunged into adventure in a haunted house in the Hudson River Valley.
The sequel surpasses the first book
This is a review for the audio book.
This is a gothic romance from Amanda DeWees. It’s the second of her books that I read but I spent some time reading some classic gothic romance and I have to say I like her style. There are some gothic elements but it’s not completely out and out gothic with twists that are there just to create sensation, especially in this one. She deals more with superstitions and how people deal with their prejudices rather than monsters or supernatural creatures.
I enjoyed this book more than the first one of the series. It seems the story just grew bigger and all the aspects of the atmosphere and the characters that appeared in the first book just came more alive in this one. The main characters, Clara and Atticus, are good characters and together they are a great couple. The book picks up almost exactly from where the last one left and we could go one with the rather recently married couple in a voyage through a gothic England and some Eastern European folklore that create a good atmosphere for the mystery and the romance (and the romance was even better than in the beginning, since there was more understanding between the characters). We have some twists and turns for the mystery that are entertainment enough to make this a good and light book.
I was given a copy of the audio book to review and I would really recommend it to fans of this style (even if you are not completely a fan of the gothic style, this one is a light one so if you like mystery and romance, I would still recommend it).
The narration is outstanding with an excellent range of voice and tone, improving the listener experience. It’s a first person narration, and Elizabeth Klett as Clara is a perfect match.
knocks it out of the park
Once again, Amanda DeWees knocks it out of the park. We pick up right where we left off in the epilogue of With This Curse, less than a year after the wedding, the happy couple setting up homes for unwed mothers and Clara just aware of her own impending bundle of joy. Can I briefly mention my disgust for books (and films) that think that a series featuring the same couple means you have to keep breaking them up for stupid reasons to keep up the “tension”? It’s like they look at something that is working great, and ask, “How can we ruin this?” (Stephenie Meyer, Jerry Bruckheimer, I’m looking at you.)
Fortunately, Amanda DeWees is not one of those authors. The relationship between Atticus and Clara is as adorable and endearing and sweet and the highlight of the story. I so loved the strength and support they got from one another. All of the characters were excellent, realistic human beings (the realism perhaps highlighted in the number of times I wanted to punch a character or two in the nose—but we all know people like that too). Our villain was thrillingly creepy and shudder-inducing. I enjoyed the introduction this gives to Eastern European folklore; it added some great flavor to the story.
The atmosphere was great—I’ve never had the opportunity to visit England, but Ms. DeWees’s descriptions conveyed the loneliness and isolation in the misty bogs and moors.
I also appreciated the little touches of modern morality/ethics that Atticus and Clara offered. Sometimes the Victorians really were confused about how the world should work.
This was a great read, and—once again—I can’t wait for the next one. She can’t put them out fast enough. I should probably go reread it now while I wait.