Demon’s Curse (Imnada Brotherhood #1) by Alexa Egan
Synopsis: A fast-paced and captivating debut—the first in the dark and sexyImnada Brotherhood series about shape shifters in Regency-era England.
A rising star on the Covent Garden stage, Bianca Parrino believes she has everything she wants. Independence. Wealth. And a life finally free of her violent, abusive husband. But when her close friend, Adam, is murdered, and Bianca is suspected in his death, she is unwittingly drawn into the search for his killer, and soon must question everything she believes—about her friend, about herself, and about a world she never knew existed.
A member of the mysterious race of shape-shifting Imnada and part of an elite military unit, Captain Mac Flannery gathered intelligence during the Napoleonic wars. As a result of a savage massacre, Mac and the men he served with are cursed. Now one of them has been found murdered, and Mac suspects the existence of the Imnada has been discovered at last. His only link to unearthing the truth is the beautiful actress who turns up unexpectedly at Adam’s funeral.
Before long, Mac has more to contend with than Bianca’s overt mistrust, his ill-fated attraction to the haughty and beautiful actress, and his ongoing search for an end to the curse. Because Adam’s killer is back, and Mac is next on his list.
Review: An interesting plot and a passionate love affair weave together to make a story that is definitely a page-turner. Shapeshifters and Fae are mortal enemies. Four Imnada (shapeshifters) have been cursed by one, a curse that forces a shift as the sun sets taking away their choice and their freedom until the sun rises. Bianca is a human woman who has sworn off entanglements with men after her abusive husband dies. Bianca and Mac meet at the burial of a mutual friend, though Bianca has no clue that her dead friend was a shifter. Mac investigates his friend’s death and the mysterious woman who shows up to pay last respects. They both want to solve a murder but they are also drawn to each other, though both obviously fight the attraction. Mac comes to see the underlying depth to Bianca’s character; that she hides from the world under her “Ice Queen” visage. He aids her in dealing with her nightmares and she saves him from the evil plot of a female Fae who wants to kill the four shifters that her father cursed before his death. Their adventure takes them in and out of London, as they search for a way to break the curse and catch a killer. He almost loses her when he isn’t careful with what he says to a friend and she almost loses him to the evil machinations of the female Fae and to the cure for the curse. It was an enjoyable read. It had compelling characters, an entertaining plot and conflict, and a believable villain. It had enough emotional tension and passion to keep me turning the page till the very end.