“DeWees hits all the right notes for romantic suspense fans” — Publishers Weekly
Can a curse strike twice? In 1854, Clara Crofton was dismissed from her chambermaid position at Gravesend Hall for falling in love with the younger son of the house. When he died soon after in the Crimean War, she blamed the Gravesend Curse.
Now, however, she has the chance to return to the sinister manor in triumph through a marriage of convenience to Atticus Blackwood, the twin brother of her dead sweetheart. But as gentle as her new husband appears, Clara knows that he has hidden motives for marrying her. And when another death occurs, she fears that the curse has struck again...and that this time she will not escape.
With This Curse was awarded the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award in historical mystery/suspense. It captures all the intrigue, romantic tension, and sumptuous Victorian atmosphere of gothic romance in the classic tradition, enhanced by the sly humor and wit for which Amanda DeWees is renowned. InD’Tale magazine calls it "a feast for the eye and a joy to devour!"
If you love mystery, poignant romance, and richly immersive historical fiction, prepare to be captivated by With This Curse. And when you're ready for more romance and gothic adventure, be sure to read the thrilling sequel, Cursed Once More!
DeWees hits all the right notes for romantic suspense fans in this Victorian-era gothic romance about an unlikely couple trapped by a deadly family curse. Clara Crofton and her widowed mother worked in Cornwall at Gravesend Hall, the family seat of Edgar Blackwood, Baron Telford, and his twin sons, Richard and Atticus. Seventeen-year-old Clara loved Richard, but his father sent her away, and Richard became a soldier and died in battle. Eighteen years later, Atticus Blackwood is trying to settle his dying father's concerns and wants Clara to become his wife. They'll be married in name only, and she will be free to leave with a substantial amount of cash after the old Baron dies. Clara, who's just lost her position as a seamstress, thinks the offer has arrived at the perfect time, and accepts. But then Clara finds herself falling for her husband, even as ghostly elements keep reminding her of Richard and the curse on Gravesend's owners: "You shall lose what you love the most." DeWees effectively recreates the Victorian era and its claustrophobic attitudes about women, illuminating Clara's intelligence and determination in stark contrast. Readers who enjoy a little shiver with their romance will appreciate this historical. (BookLife)
Customer ReviewsSee All
New master of the genre?
A glowing 5 stars.
This was such a fun read. I honestly could not put it down—there was much "multitasking" on my part, and my poor children had early bed times for those couple of days I was reading it. Sadly, this poor author just cannot keep up with my appetite for her books (cruel of me, since she has released 5 and a short story in the last 2 years—go, buy them all).
Dewees has such a great knowledge of the time period and her setting. Her enthusiasm for the subject is evident in her descriptions and her characters behaviors, and it really makes the stories come to life. The occasional frustration did arise in that OMG, THESE VICTORIAN CHARACTERS WERE ACTING SO DARNED VICTORIAN in their inability to actually discuss any taboo topic. This led to a cringe-inducing moment or two, but can we really blame these poor characters for acting like they were raised in the setting they were placed in? (Answer: No, we cannot. Good job.)
Atticus Blackwood is my new imaginary boyfriend. This is such a wonderful hero, the requisite gothic drama notwithstanding—honorable, generous, strong, clever, and even humorous and genial until tragedy strikes and the thrills and tension really ramp up. Our heroine, Clara, was also quite enjoyable—mature, intelligent, humanitarian, bold. (When I did occasionally wonder at her ability to completely overlook her first love's negative qualities, though, I just fell more in love with Atticus's willingness to not break her heart by point out her delusion.)
I will admit to guessing what the shocking twist would be toward the end of the first half of the story, but there are only so many gothic elements to choose from when needing to properly torment our hero and worry our heroine, and the climax was dramatic and exciting nonetheless. "Master of the genre" might be a little early to declare, but I think that her understanding of the qualities that make up gothic romance surpasses many, and her ability to blend all these attributes into something that is still new and gripping is really excellent.
I can't wait for her next one. Next month, please?