Cat’s Curse by: Kelley Heckart

Dark Goddess Trilogy Book 1

Do you like romance, intrigue, and star-crossed love?

Set in Dark Age Scotland, this epic paranormal historical is based on a real Irish prince with a shadowy past who became one of the most feared warlords of his time. The Welsh called him “Aedan the Treacherous,” and his bloodline can be traced to the first king of Scotland, Kenneth MacAlpin. Some historians believe he was the real King Arthur.Two tortured souls, and a dark Fae goddess who is determined to destroy them.

For centuries, Cardea has been called demon, succubus, Lamia. She must drink blood to survive and has lived with hatred for those who cursed her. Now, she finds herself at the end of a sword blade held by the most fascinating man she’s ever met. Something she cannot understand draws her to him. Instead of the urge to kill him, she wants to help him.

She worships the Great Goddess. He is a Christian.

Aedan mac Gabrain, prince of Dal Riata, trusts no one after suffering a curse that prevents him from touching any human females or he will turn into a black cat like his brother. Cardea has a hold on him he cannot explain, and she may be the one who cursed his clan since no one knows Cat Anna’s true face, or she may be the only one who can help end his curse.

Despite their differences, their affection for one another grows. They must find a way to battle the Dark Goddess before she takes something most precious from them.

Content Warnings: Violence, infidelity, animal death, blood/gore, murder, sexual assault, cheating, and sexism.

As a big fan of historical retellings with a magical twist, I was excited to dive into Cat’s Curse. Having no previous knowledge of the Irish warlord Aedan mac Gabrain I was excited to see this story unfold.

When we meet Aedan he’s living alone in the woods, his only company is his trusted hunting dogs. Having witnessed Cat Anna’s curse turn his brother into a cat he’s determined to avoid triggering the curse himself. The only way to ensure he isn’t turned into a cat is to prevent himself from touching any, and all, human women.

Cardea, once a human priestess, was cursed long ago to live as an immortal who can only gain sustenance by drinking blood. Avoiding humans, aside from when she needs to feed, is important in ensuring Cardea keeps herself, and her secrets, safe…but from the first moment she meets Aedan she struggles to keep her distance.

I enjoyed the story but I did feel like I struggled to feel the connection between Aedan and Cardea. Although both characters, constantly, had inner dialogue expressing their attraction and connection I didn’t feel like I really saw it. There were instances, and situations, where I could see the two growing closer but I feel like I was shown and wasn’t able to see and feel that connection form…if that makes sense.

There are so many questions I was left with in regards to Cardea’s past, Cat Anna, and even Aedan’s family history so I’m hoping, through the next few books, we’re able to see more exploration in all of those areas. We get a few flashbacks from both characters but I feel like I needed more information about their histories to fully immerse myself and understand the characters. I also found that any conflict, or miscommunication, that arouse was resolved way too fast for me, I would have liked to see more passion and resistance before all the characters resolved the conflicts they had with each other.

Overall I enjoyed reading this story and look forward to seeing what other works Kelley has out. If you’re looking for a historical retelling with magical elements, that has you wanting to research the actual people it’s based on, I recommend giving this book a try.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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