Cover Image: The Cursed

The Cursed

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this audiobook.

Overall this book is much like the first. It's kind of all over the place and inconsistent. If you liked the first one, though, you won't be disappointed. It just felt disorganized to me.

The female narrator is not good. If you are someone who listens to a fair amount of audiobooks, it will drive you crazy. The male narrator is pretty good though.

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This follow up to Coven follows Willow as she navigates her relationship with Gray and with the coven. This is a classic villain gets the girl narrative and in some ways actually came off like a Hades/Persephone retelling. In terms of how this book compares to book 1, the spice is A LOT spicier, there's a whole lot more of "touch her and die" and quite a bit of "where is my wife" so the usual romantasy faves are definitely present. There is quite a bit more dubcon as well so if that's a trigger for you, please be aware of it as you're going into this. The mmc is very morally gray to the point of tinted black. He clearly loves Willow but crosses lines often based on what he thinks she wants. I do think that it was very helpful having the book be written in his pov as well as Willow's because his motivations are more readily apparent.

With that said, liked this book and had a good time reading it but I did think that between book 1 and book 2, the plot got a little messy. All through book 1, the story was one of revenge and family secrets. It was primarily about Willow and the things she needed to do. Book 2 takes all that almost entirely out of the equation and throws us into a political/theological war, leaving me a little confused. It felt like the big scale world elements weren't fully fleshed out. What was the basis of the conflict between God and Lucifer? What are God's motivations for rejecting the source? Who is the triple goddess and how does she fit into a monotheistic religion? Michael comes seemingly out of no where at the end. I would've liked couple hundred more pages to develop the fantasy elements more thoroughly. I am aware that even though this duology is over, there will be more books in this world focusing on Margot and Beelzebub so I'm hoping we get a little more world building there.

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Thank you Dreamscape Media and Netgalley for the ALC!

I was excited to dive into this sequel to The Coven! I enjoyed the world that was created here and the politics of the witches. The way the second book ended, I was eager to get to book two!

It was fun to return to this world and to see what was going to come of Willow and Gray. While I enjoyed being back with these characters, I didn’t love book two as much as I loved the first book. I’m glad I finished this duet but overall am let down with this second installment.

The narrators were not my favorite, the acting seemed like they were trying to hard and didn’t seem natural. I liked the male narrator more but still felt meh over him. The female narrator doing the male voices was a struggle to get through.

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"The Cursed" by Harper L. Woods is the second book in the Coven of Bones series, narrated by Ellis Evans and Emilia Bauer. The story delves into themes of betrayal, deception, and the intricate connections between the characters.

The protagonist, after a lifetime of manipulation, discovers the depth of betrayal she has experienced. Despite the undeniable connection with Gray, who was the source of the deception, the protagonist finds herself in a complex situation. The Covenant is gone, shifting her priorities away from revenge to a more nuanced understanding of the conflict.

The remaining witches, who have suffered due to the protagonist's actions, present a formidable challenge. As the protagonist grapples with her role in the demise of the Coven and the subjugation of its members, she realizes the complexity of the situation. The story weaves together elements of romance, fantasy, and revenge as the protagonist navigates her duties and the consequences of her past actions.

The narrative promises a compelling exploration of destiny, responsibility, and the cost of protecting those she cares about. With themes of redemption and the weight of history, "The Cursed" adds depth to the ongoing saga of the Coven of Bones series.

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If you're looking for a darker read for the season, look no further than The Coven and The Cursed by Harper L Woods. This is book 2 and it's deliciously full of vampires, witches and things that make you bite your lip.

This story has
☆Witches and Vampires
☆Enemies to lovers
☆Teacher/ student
☆Darker elements
☆rituals

Check trigger warnings! There are some this duology.

Overall 4/ 5
Spice 4/ 5

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Another fantastic book to this amazing series.

I have been a fan of Harper L. Woods since I discovered it's another pen name for Adelaide Forrest- If Mafia is your thing then go hunt that out too!

This series had me hooked from the beginning. I loved the magic system and the tension between the two main characters is perfect. This Author also writes some of the best spicy scenes imo.

What I really loved is I didn't see every plot twist coming. I was often surprised, which after reading many fantasy books I can tell you is not a common occurrence anymore.
The main female character was still strong willed and independent like every female lead written by Harper.
The morally grey male character was the perfect mix of bad guy + Touch her and you die vibes.

The storyline for this book in particular was slower than the previous book but was still packed with plot. I feel we saw some real character growth and got rid of some loose ends (both plot wise and character - if you know, you know).

My only negative was the female narration, her side character voices were hysterical. They made me want to put the series down so many times. It is doable to listen to it, it's just not enjoyable.

I was gifted this audiobook in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you NetGalley, Harper L. Woods, and Dreamscape Media. I purchased the first book in this series.

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These covers are just so darn stunning. Unfortunately, for me, the story isn’t my fav or even near fav. I liked The Coven decent enough although I had some issues with the plot. But I was hopeful the series would kick it up in book 2 and I’d be sucked in. But, I was left wanting more with this book 2. I was honestly confused when the book didn’t end after one of the biggest plot twists and then was again surprised it ended when it did because it just felt lackluster. I like the world and the different magical beings and I would honestly love more of that and less of the other stuff to really build up this series. And listen, I love smut and steam, I really do. This book nearly crossed a line for me in the first 20% and then again a bit later. It left me a little uncomfortable and tbh had this not been an audiobook I think I wouldn’t have continued on. The way he handles a couple of the sexual encounters was very iffy for me, even though I knew it was a dark romance. Some things I did enjoy was the dual POV and the inclusion of more characters in the story as well as the ole enemies to lovers spin. I’m undecided on if I’ll continue the series.

As for the narration, I liked each narrator for their own character but when the female narrator spoke for Gray I nearly wanted to stop listening, it drove me bonkers and took me out of the story a bit. It doesn’t reflect my rating of the actual story but wanted to make note.

Thank you to NetGalley for the early access!

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This book just wasn't for me. There was a lot of back and forth with Willow's feelings.
I really like the dual narrators though the female's male voice was off for me- another review described it as cartoony and that is spot on.
I usually love books with witches and covens and enjoyed the first even if I ended up confused... I just couldn't get into this book.

That being said, I would be up to reading more of Woods work in the future. And I'll definitely be looking up more work of the narrators.

Thank you Netgalley, Dreamscape Media for an audio coot.

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I thought the narrators were good. The audio book itself kept me intrigued. Although the story was a little lackluster I pushed through. I think we need more plot. The Coven was so good a nice balance of spice and plot. The story just fell completely flat.

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While it was entertaining enough, I feel like this book falls a little flat and the ending a little lack luster. I do enjoy this series a lot more than authors previous.

Willow is riddled in angst and the reason for her back and forth with her feelings for Grey is pretty flimsy, just leaves the reader (me) annoyed.

I enjoyed the dual narration, both voices pleasant. The only little gripe would be the female narrators male voice, it was a little cartoony.

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"The Cursed" by Harper L Woods continues the spellbinding journey initiated in its predecessor, offering a seamless continuation that immerses readers in a world rife with betrayal, complex connections, and the shadows of destiny. While I found myself compelled by the narrative, the book felt more like a seamless extension of its predecessor rather than a distinct installment, which is why I gave it 4 stars.

Willow's evolution as a character is intricately woven into the fabric of the plot, revealing layers of her past, present, and the daunting future she must confront. The revelation of betrayal adds a poignant layer to the narrative, deepening the complexity of Willow's relationships and motivations.

The undeniable connection between Willow and Gray persists, despite the enmity that defines their roles. This tension, combined with the residual animosity of the remaining Coven members, paints a vivid picture of the challenges Willow must face in her quest for redemption and protection.

The dismantling of illusions and the acceptance of harsh truths propel the story forward, creating a sense of urgency and purpose. The intricate web of fate and deception that enshrouds Willow adds a layer of mystique, and the duty to undo centuries-old plans underscores the weight of her responsibilities.

The narrative maintains its engaging quality, with Woods' evocative writing style enhancing the immersive experience. The exploration of Willow's internal struggles and her commitment to protecting the Coven elevates the emotional stakes, keeping readers invested in her journey.

The book's epilogue serves as a tantalizing glimpse into Willow's friend, Margo's future, sparking curiosity about the path that lies ahead. While the continuation of the story seamlessly transitions from the first book, I felt the narrative could have delved deeper into standalone developments to create a more distinct installment.

In conclusion, "The Cursed" earns its 4-star rating due to its captivating storytelling, character evolution, and the promise of future intrigue presented in the epilogue. As the series progresses, readers are likely to find themselves increasingly entangled in the enigmatic world crafted by Harper L Woods.

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The Cursed in the sequel to Harper L. Wood's The Coven, a dark new adult romantic fantasy novel. This is my second time reading Wood's work, with the first being The Coven. Thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Dreamscape Media for providing me with an audio ARC in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

This review contains spoilers. Please read only at your own risk.

Ultimately, I was let down by The Cursed. I loved The Coven - rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars - but The Cursed suffered from the trilogy curse for me. This second installment didn't hit the mark for me, and while I did enjoy aspects of it, I don't think I can recommend it to others.

What I enjoyed:
- The twists with certain characters was a pleasant surprise! I like being caught off-guard with this kind of thing. I thought this was well done.
- The narrators, Emilia Bauer and Ellis Evans, were wonderful to listen to. I listened at 2.5X (my regular speed is 2-2.5X) and I found their voices fitting for their portrayed characters and easy to follow. I will definitely be looking for other audiobooks that they have narrated!
- Woods continues to build lush, gothic, spellbinding atmospheres for her settings. The descriptions and imagery was excellent, and I think this is such a strength of hers!

What I didn't:
- I knew this was a dark romance, but the forest chase at the beginning felt like sexual assault instead of a deal. I think it's call dubcon / dubious consent. Did not like this.
- The back and forth between whether or not Willow hated Gray lasted longer than it needed to. I also felt like her opinion of him changed every few chapters, and it was hard to me to keep that straight as I listened.
- BIGGEST SPOILER SKIP IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ:
Willow changing her mind on wanting children from book one was a letdown. I was hoping to see some badass childfree rep through her, but nope. Pregnancy and storylines that involve children aren't for me.

Overall, I am rating The Cursed 2 out of 5 stars. Others may like this sequel more than I did due to the individual nature of likes and dislikes. I think this was a wrong reader situation for me, so if you enjoyed book one, you should absolutely still give this a shot!

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First of all narration was great. This is definitely a book for witchy, spooky season! Now I did not enjoy it as much as book one, The Coven. I did enjoy listening to more about Willow and Gray and their marriage...a match made in hell, literally!!

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The Cursed was just as dark and spicy of a read as The Coven. The audiobook was really well done and the story definitely kept me entertained, unfortunately I didn’t like it quite as much as I did the first one though.
The Cursed seemed to shift from the unique magic, witches, and vampire-like creatures that we had in The Coven to something that felt more religious with stories of God, Lucifer, and other archangels. Gray was still an absolutely incredible character and I love the controlling and possessive yet protective vibes of this villian, but I didn’t enjoy the relationship aspect quite as much in this sequel and I don’t feel like Willow was as strong or bad ass in the majority of this book as she was in the first.
Not a horrible sequel by any means but definitely not as good as the first in my opinion!

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Audiobook thoughts: Both narrators were fine...but since I read the first book, the male's voice was not what I had imagined in my mind. It was still well done and enjoyable to listen to.

Overall, I am giving this a 3 star. I LOVED book 1 and had high hopes for this, but it felt more like erotica with little plot.

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After the seething betrayal of the previous book, we start The Cursed where it left off.

There is more of a lot of the same push and pull from the previous book, the sexual tension pointless in their circumstances. It was still good smut though.

With Gray’s true identity revealed and pretty much all autonomy taken from Willow, these two are still pawing at one another. I quickly tired of the solid foundational competition to betray one another this book exhibits.

I enjoyed the pacing, but expected more plot. This was very character driven, which alone isn’t a bad thing… but it just felt like nothing was happening.

I’m glad this one is wrapped up, even though there is still presumably more to the entire story.

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3.5⭐️ 3🌶️ 4🎧
- MF
- Morally Grey MMC
- Primal
- Possessive MMC
- Enemies to lovers to enemies to lovers
- CNC
- Blood Play
- Bondage

The Coven was definitely one of my top reads so far this year, so I have been anxiously awaiting the release of The Cursed. After that cliffhanger I needed to know what happened next with Willow and Gray.

This book started with a bang and I was riveted! There were so many manipulations and betrayals.

Gray was the definition of morally grey and while I love him to pieces there were things he did that definitely made me uncomfortable in all the right ways, most of the time, but not always. He was willing to do anything to protect Willow even if it meant she hated him for it.

I love Willow, I really do. But there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into her. She definitely needed the tough love Gray gave her in order for her to shake off her fear and become the baddie she was meant to be.

I am a little bit confused because this was being advertised as a now complete duet but there is no way that this story is done. I feel like we might start following some other characters for a book or two, but I don’t see how this can be the last book from Willow and Gray’s POV.

I loved Emilia Bauer as Willow and while I really enjoy Ellis Evan’s voice, I still feel like his voice is too youthful sounding for Grey, but it didn’t prevent me from enjoying his narration.

I am also glad that TW are now being included in the audiobooks. I can’t tell you how many audiobooks I’ve read where the TW weren’t included and I feel like they are so necessary.

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The Maiden.
The Mother.
The Crone.

So in the first book it felt like not much happening and then everything happened in the last chapter. I feel like the pace was similar in this book however there was more information spread throughout.

I really loved this book though. It was a great continuation of the story and the ending really opened up an interesting new direction for the plot!

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Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to listen to the audiobook. I was initially excited to delve into the story; however, I discovered that it contains elements of dub-con, which is not my preferred genre. I appreciate the warning in the audio, but unfortunately, this is not a theme I'm comfortable with. I believe my feedback would be more valuable to someone who enjoys this type of content. Despite this, I want to express my gratitude for the chance to experience the book.

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I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be an ARC reviewer of this audiobook! The Cursed" by Harper L. Woods is a captivating tale woven with intricate threads of elemental magic, an independent protagonist, and a dynamic group of friends. I found myself thoroughly engaged in the mystical world created by Woods.

The elemental magic of the witches in the story is a standout feature that adds depth and excitement to the narrative. Personally, I would like to be a green witch. I love the way Willow brings the wilted gardens back to life. I really enjoyed Willow’s character development in this second installment. Her independence, bravery, and compassion make her a compelling lead.

While Willow shines as the lead, the male main character, Grey, left me somewhat conflicted. I struggled to connect with him, and I yearned for a deeper exploration of his perspective. The love story between Willow and Grey, while passionate, seemed initially reliant on their physical relationship. He came off as obsessed, more so than deeply in love. I did appreciate that he was devoted and supportive of Willow. My favorite quote was "I told you already, Witchling. You aren't alone anymore."

One of the book's delightful elements is the sassiness of Jonathan, Willow's familiar. His presence adds a touch of humor to the narrative. His interactions with Grey were absolutely hilarious.

The most compelling aspect was the genuine friendship between Willow and her friends, Della, Margot, and Nova. Amidst all the backstabbing and scheming, their genuine connection stands out in a very relatable way.

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