Bea Paige’s Accacia’s Curse has the promise of being a new kind of vampire novel. It’s a reverse harem paranormal romance set both in modern Great Britain and a parallel fantasy world known as Ever Vale. It has a unique and fairly interesting take on what vampires are; and, while she employs the tired old prophecy trope, Paige seems to be interested in revamping it a bit to fit the reverse harem mold.
The book starts out promising with an MC that is both intelligent and sure of herself. The introduction of the men of her harem, though leads us into a downward spiral. I spent most of the book unsure whether I liked the MC for standing up for herself, or hated her for being a whiny, petulant brat. I liked that she doesn’t take crap from the guys, but goodness she was being a selfish punk. I can understand why Ezra is a jerk. I wanted to be a jerk. She swiftly crossed back and forth over the line that separates “strong female lead” from “pridefully stupid female lead”. There comes a time where being strong means going along with the people who know what the hell is going on. Sadly, Accacia never reaches this point and has to bargain with Ezra to do what is PRACTICAL AND SAFE.
On top of that, there is no downtime. There was 136 pages of action on my e-reader. Any downtime was listed as “napping” or “sleeping” and then it was straight on to the next crisis. Paige really needs to look into pacing. The whole story was choppy and felt rushed. It’s okay to have downtime in stories. Really. This is starting to be a trend that I am NOT happy with. Please, let me catch my breath. Let the characters catch their breaths. This is not a race to the finish and people will read a book that’s longer than 150 pages. I promise.
There were a few other things that bugged me. Accacia’s abrupt change in stance on everything. There was no build-up or lead-up. Just her going “okay!” and off to the races. Also, the dialogue was…stiff. Even the guys, who have been friends for over 1000 years, are stiff when speaking to each other. It’s hard to read dialogue like this–especially when the entirety of the premise is explained in detail via “conversation”. It was like an info-dump lecture. Oh. And the worst sex scene ever. Worst. I won’t say more because I don’t want to give stuff away…but worst.
Overall, this was an okay book. I’m not sure I’ll pick up the next one in the series, but the story and writing seem to be par for the course in this genre, right now. Very few authors are raising the bar, so we’re having to settle for some level of “okay”. Accacia’s Curse is very much on the “okay” level, for me.
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I was provided a copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it.