Series: Weird Girls #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Signet on 31 December 2012
Sealed with a Curse is a fun addition to the paranormal romance genre. On face value this book may seem full of this genre’s most annoying tropes – love triangle involving a werewolf and a vampire? Check. A powerful heroine who is one of a kind? Check. Insta-love? Check. However this book is far more than the sum of its parts. We meet our snarky heroine Celia and her three sisters in a courtroom as they are forced to account for killing a vampire – a crime punishable by death. Winning their case turns them into minor celebrities and they are drawn into the paranormal world they want nothing to do with. A contagion is spreading amongst the vampires in the small community of Lake Tahoe and Celia agrees to help the gorgeous Misha, a local vampire leader, find the cause of it. Along the way she and her sisters meet very sexy werewolves who would love nothing more than to destroy Misha and his family. Celia must find a way to protect her sisters, find the cause of the plague, work out her feelings for both Misha and the irresistible Aric, werewolf pack leader, avoid the paranormal paparazzi and still do her job as a nurse.
The three main strengths of this novel are the humour, strong world building and well fleshed out character of Celia. Some of the scenes are genuinely laugh out loud and keep this fairly light novel ticking along. Robson has carefully created a paranormal world that has many similarities to the real world. The idea of a contagion spreading amongst vampires, the roles of the different para-species and even how the Wird sisters got their supernatural powers are logical (for a paranormal book) and this makes it easy to immerse yourself in the world. Four humans suffering from a curse that backfires is different from the usual tropes, especially as they are all gifted with different abilities. Celia herself is a gem of a character. She is the strongest of the sisters and takes on a protective role. In her tiger form she has strength, speed and flexibility which allows her to hold her own against vampires and werewolves. One nice touch is that she heals at a human rate so broken bones do not magically heal. I appreciate this as there is nothing more annoying than characters without any faults whatsoever. When Misha and Aric try to boss her around she is more than comfortable with telling them where to go. Celia does have a few whiny moments doubting her physical appearance but I’m prepared to forgive these as they make her easier to relate to.
The book is not perfect though as it is fairly easy to work out who the villain of the piece is and the minor characters such as the sisters come across as fairly two dimensional, only distinguishable by their supernatural talent. Often first books in a series try to cover too much and thereby lose depth. Given the genre, I’d expect Robson to focus more on another sister in the second book A Cursed Embrace and if she does so, then this problem will be mitigated. I did find the insta-love on the part of the men a little irritating but from being inside Celia’s head, we could see who she was initially attracted to and she didn’t really veer from that path.
Sealed with a Curse is a fun, humorous novel and I look forward to reading the next in the series. If you can’t wait until the release of A Cursed Embrace, you might like to try The Weird Girls e-novella which has been available since 12 April 2012.