ARC Review: The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank

How did I get it? Netgalley

Genre: NA, fantasy/paranormal

Synopsis: The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge.

Despite her father’s seriousness, Ellie has always taken the legend for a harmless fairy tale. Until she meets the darkly handsome, but downright infuriating, Collin Dailey and realizes everything she was told is true. For when they meet, it’s like the air is sucked from the room. Collin’s presence is electrifying… and it’s not just attraction Ellie feels, but the inexorable pull toward her destiny. The prophecy is real, and now Ellie and Collin must battle supernatural forces and their loathing—and passion—for each other to set things right.

The Curse Keepers are all that stand between the world and its destruction.

Review: I’ll admit, this isn’t my typical read, and I was a teensy bit wary of The Curse Keepers because of it. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once I did, this novel had me hooked. I love the Native American lore that drives this story, along with the protagonist, Ellie, who is just badass. Once she gets rolling, she is a force to be reckoned with, which was a huge relief for me because I was worried this novel would slip into the typical “omg this guy is so hot screw self-respect I can’t resist his sexual allure”. But instead, while the romantic chemistry starts out as a bit of an eye-roller, I was fully on board with the way Ellie took charge and held her own. I was rooting for her the entire way, and I adored the way she approached life and difficult situations.

As for the plot, there was a very nice build-up to the end, which is mainly due to the seven-day countdown they were working under. The author had great pacing, other than the ridiculous amount of sex going on at one point. I mean, yeah, sex is great, go orgasms, but THERE’S AN AWESOME PLOT THAT I’D KIND OF LIKE TO GET BACK TO NOW BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING OUTSIDE OF COLLIN’S PANTS PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

But really, I enjoyed the way it was crafted, and Ellie was simply fantastic and hilarious to read; she’s snarky and bitchy and she puts Collin in his place in like 2.5 seconds, which was awesome. The chemistry was, for the most part, amazing, and I loved Collin’s and Ellie’s interactions with each other.

My only real issue with The Curse Keepers is the ending. It pisses me off. I’ve yet to find out if there will be a sequel, but if there isn’t, I will throw things. VIOLENTLY.

While I swear and rage at the heavens, go check out The Curse Keepers. It comes out tomorrow!

Rating: Four Stars

Recommend it? Abso-frickin-lutely.

Other books by the author:

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Netgalley November Update

Netgalley November

So for the past two weeks I’ve been working on my e-galleys and I’ve actually reached my goal of 4 books, so I’m going to see if I can get to 7 by the end of the month, though I won’t have them all reviewed by that time.

For now though, here are the books that I’ve read so far.


Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic

I really enjoyed this one. It was fun and sweet but not shallow, and I smiled a lot. You can read my official review here.

The Curse Keepers

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank (thanks @47North)

I had a great time with this one. Great chemistry between the main characters, and I loved the Native American mythology incorporated in the plot. It was right up my alley.

My official review will be up on Monday, and the novel’s release is on Tuesday, November 19, so take a look!


Endless by Amanda Gray (thanks @ Month9Books)

I really liked Endless for the time travel element and the Russian history, even if I’m kind of disappointed that Nikolai is still very much an enigma.

My official review is coming soon!

Counting Shadows

Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers

I’m still deciding how I feel about this one, but I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

A Dance of Cloaks

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (thanks @ Orbit)

I’m currently reading this and it’s pretty good so far, even if I’m not flailing about with excitement or anything.

What's Next

Witch Finder

Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton (thanks @ Hodder Children’s Books)

I’m soooo excited to read this one. It looks so good, and the cover is gorgeous, and asdkfjasd.


Defy by Sara B. Larson (thanks @ Scholastic Press)

Girl dresses as boy, kicks ass, evil guy kidnaps her along with two fine fellows. Uh, hell yes. Don’t mind if I do.

That should be plenty for this month, especially since I’ve got other books on my shelf needing my attention. How’s your reading going?

Netgalley November and NaNoWriMo

Happy November 1!

This is just a quick post to let you guys know that I’ve signed up for Netgalley November! This event is hosted by A Daydreamer’s Thoughts, K-Books, and Bookish Treasures, with the idea being to make a dent in your pile of TBR Netgalley books this month. There are five levels ranging from Easy (1-4) to Netgalley Superstar (21+). I’m doing the Easy level because I have other things on my plate that are hogging my time, so I just have to decide which book to read first!

I’m going to do my best to post some sort of update once a week or so on my progress and the books I’m reading, and there should be some ARC reviews going up as well, so if you’d like to know more about Damselfly or The Curse Keepers, keep an eye out!

Also beginning today is the fabulous/masochistic NaNoWriMo, which I for the sake of my sanity and preferred sleeping pattern will not be participating in this year around, however much I wish I had the time to. But honestly, I’m happy with the pace I’m going at for the moment, though I’m doing a bit of a mini NaNoWriMo myself just to keep on track. I do, however, wish all of you participating in the writing festivities the best of luck. Just keep going and writing and believing, and even if you don’t make it all the way, something is better than nothing, so be proud of yourself no matter what happens. Work hard and, most importantly, have fun!


Stacking the Shelves #2

***Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads.
I’ve recently sold my soul to Netgalley, so I’ve got a few new additions to my shelf to share, though fortunately (at least for my wallet) not as many as last time. Although I don’t plan to review all of these books (except the ARCs of course), if you see anything in particular you’d like me to review, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do!


Mafia Girl by Deborah Blumenthal (thanks @ Albert Whitman & Company)

Endless by Amanda Gray (thanks @ Month9Books)

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank (thanks @ 47North)

Through the Door by Jodi McIsaac (thanks @ 47North)

The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski* (thanks @ Julia Debski)

Mind Bond by Julie Haydon (thanks  @ Feather in Cap Publishing)

Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic (thanks @ Patchwork Press)

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke** (thanks @ Angry Robot)

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (thanks @ Orbit Books)

*If you’ve seen my update post, you probably already know that Julia is a very good friend of mine who just self-published her first novel, The Hazel Tree. From what I’ve seen, it looks like a pretty fabulous book. I’ll be reviewing it most likely in early November, so stay tuned for that as well.

**I’ve actually already read this gorgeous novel, so if you’d like to know my thoughts on it, check back on Monday for my official review.

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Emma by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Art of Uncertainty: How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It by Dennis Merritt Jones

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

Hopefully, the gods will grant me the self-control not to go book-hunting for a little while considering the sheer size of my TBR pile at the moment. I would offer you a picture of said pile, but I don’t want to frighten you so I’ll refrain.

See you Monday!