ARC Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: ★★★

Publication Date: February 5,2019

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a modern retelling of the Beauty and the Beast. It features a much darker story then the old classic. With the “beast” being cursed to repeat the same three months over and over until he find the person to fall in love with him. After three hundred seasons and countless bloodshed, this is finally

Friends, I gotta be honest. I completely forgot what this book was about until I started reading it. I’m not the biggest fan of Beauty and the Beast retellings, but I have read some good ones in recent years. I was really excited to read this book, but it was just so so for me.

“Failure isn’t absolute. Just because you couldn’t save everyone doesn’t mean you didn’t save anyone.”

Harper is from DC and she’s had a Rough ™life. Her mother is dying of cancer and her family cannot afford medical treatments. Her brother, Jake is forced to work for the crime lords to just scrape by. Harper also has Cerebral Palsy. Based on my own personal experiences with this disability and the story itself, its given that Harper is a little more high functioning. She was a pretty cool character, who stuck to her guns and just wanted to make sure her family was safe. She was badass and had no problem telling anyone off including the prince.

Rhen is pretty much over everything and it shows. Reminded me of Rhys a bit from The Court Series. Every time a girl doesn’t fall in love with him, he turns into a different beast and no one is safe from him.

Grey was my dude. Probably my fave character. Loyal to a fault, he is the only one left with Rhen and has seen what happens after every single season. He is also given the ability to travel between the worlds and kidnaps the girls for each season.

The problem I always have with Beauty and the Beast retellings is someone is still kidnapped and held against their will. What made this book so interesting was that Harper was not the intended target, it was a mistake for her to be taken. And so she is already beyond apprehensive about Rhen and Grey and the whole curse. It made Harper’s relationships with both men more realistic and I appreciated it.

“We are not always presented with the choices we want, but choices exist nonetheless.”

My favorite part of this whole book was the theme of choice. Y’all know I love Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier and damn, Rhen and Bucky would be self-loathing best friends for sure. Rhen has been cursed by Lilith and in turn, has killed many people close to him. Harper has had to watch her mother slowly deteriorate and her brother does questionable things. But sometimes things are out of our control. Yes, there are choices we can make, but sometimes it doesn’t matter what is chosen, things still happen.

Overall, I didn’t hate this and I didn’t absolutely love it either. A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a LONG book and sometimes you really felt how long. Some things were a little cliched and Lilith showing up was just annoying sometimes. The ending felt rushed and scrambled, but I saw this isn’t standalone. So maybe I’ll like the second one a little better.

But while I wasn’t the biggest of fans for this book. I can see how some people would really enjoy this. This still had some cool twists and turns and was a good retelling of a beloved classic.


A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan


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“A Touch of Gold” is a retelling of the Greek Mythology story of King Midas. The story focuses on the daughter of Midas, Kora, and the curse her father accidentally gives her. Kora is somewhat of a legend in the castle, concealed by most until a thief steals some of her father’s cursed gold. With Kora’s connection to the cursed pieces, she goes on a seafaring journey with the charming young Duke Aris and his hired crew of pirates.

Kora is the main character and the daughter of King Midas. I was honestly not her biggest fan in the beginning. I found her to be indecisive and just muddled as a character. As the story progressed she began to grow on me. She was a sheltered character with a distant father and no real friends aside from her cousin. But I truly felt like she had some of the best character development and by the end, she became a great character.

Why you might like reading A Touch of Gold


The Twists and Turns in the plot

The romance was huge in the first half of the story. I’m not the biggest instalove fan, and so I was a little wary of whether I’d like this book or not. But about halfway through the book, the romance takes a turn and it was surprising to me. The turnaround was one of my favorite parts of this book, and I think that’s when I really started to enjoy “A Touch of Gold”

A Touch of Gold ticks a lot of my favorite boxes: Magic, sirens, curses, and pirates. But what is so fun about this book is that it’s not bogged down by one specific trope. It’s a fun mix of a light fantasy YA story.


The Character Relationships.

My favorite scene in the whole book was between Kora and Hattie. A high-risk scene, Kora, and Hattie work so well together and it was just brilliant. The two characters, who I was most wary, have this one scene that was so great, it made me love them even more.

Hattie also has a great relationship with Rhat. He acts as a great foil for Hattie and constantly keeps her on her toes. It was fun to watch Hattie come out of her shell and learn to love adventures.


A Touch of Gold ticks a lot of my favorite boxes: Magic, sirens, curses, and pirates. But what is so fun about this book is that it’s not bogged down by one specific trope. It’s a fun mix of a light fantasy YA story.

I read A Touch of Gold during my reading slump of 2018. I didn’t know much about it at the time of reading, but I really enjoyed it. The ending felt a little rushed but overall this standalone was fun and unpredictable. I was surprised by many of the twists and turns.

A Touch of Gold is perfect for fans of Daughter of a Pirate King and Song of the Current.