The Curse of Lord Stanstead, by Mia Marlowe

whiskeyinthejar's review against another edition

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1.5 stars

Very interesting concepts and building blocks for a historical paranormal story but the emotional glue was missing. Characters were kind of planted but not given fertile enough soil to grow roots. The insta-love between our leads didn't allow for any emotional connection to be felt and when they say their "I love yous" it felt completely out of left field.
The last 10% was engaging and there was an anti-hero developed that has me intrigued for his story but I'm afraid, that like with this one, the idea will be better than the execution.

blue_squishie's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


connierosanne's review against another edition

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lmfao this was not historical fiction

arickman's review against another edition

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I listened to the audiobook, the narrator did a good job.

sarah1984's review against another edition

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Reading this as part of the Unapologetic Romance Readers group buddy read.

19/4 - Not particularly impressed so far - somewhere between 'okay' and 'like it'. There have been a few punctuation weirdnesses, but mostly the fault lies with the way Marlowe handled the plot. The plot could be good - X-Men with sex - but she fumbled all that potential. The main characters leave me cold, individually and as a couple. The justification for Garrett's continued presence in the story is more than a little stupid and contrived and I think that's the reason for my lack of belief in any connection between Garrett and Cassie.
SpoilerHe's pimped out by Vesta as her magical pressure release valve because he's the only available male in the area who isn't going to ask questions as to why on earth she needs a sexual release valve.
To be continued...

21/4 - I have noticed some grammatical errors (not too many though, compared to the usual Kindle freebie) throughout the book.

Page 34
' miserable Cretin!'
Why is cretin capitalised?

Page 57
'His soft palate ached to press a string of baby kisses...'
Really?! His soft palate ached? Are you unaware of where the soft palate actually is? It's the 'soft' part of the roof of the mouth, right near the back. I can't imagine how Garret's soft palate is going to do anything other than sit there, pretty inertly.

Same page
'...refused his sensual attention for the past week.'
Umm, no. Less than a page earlier, at the start of chapter five, it was stated that '...two days later, Garret was squiring her and the duke's sister...'. She can't have been 'refusing his sensual attention' for any longer because they haven't known each other any longer. She met him in the last chapter, he rescued her from the ballroom she was about to set on fire, Camden offered her his protection and she accepted, she did three hours' training with Vesta and then declared that Garret "would find her door locked". It is now two days later and two days don't make a week in anyone's calendar.

Page 77
' the male of the Black Widow species...'
Why is that capitalised?

Page 109
'What kind of Cretin...'
Capitalised again, still not correctly.

Page 145
'...joined in "making the beast with two backs"...'
Really? How weird to use that term. Why not something more commonly used, like 'rutting like animals', equally as descriptive but much less strange.

Page 160
'...Garret Sent to him. Damme...'
Unless you're trying to bring a Belgian town into the conversation, I think you've got the wrong 'damn'.

Page 190
'Cassie wished she had Meg Anthony's ability to sense objects.'
Why do we need Meg's full name this far into the book? Does Marlowe think we might've forgotten who she is?

There are also many plot inconsistencies.
Why does Garret refuse to tell Cassie about the dream he had of her? He didn't say anything to the previous fiancé and now he regrets that decision, so why doesn't he do things differently this time? At least that way she could do her best to avoid getting into a situation that resembled his dream. Makes no sense.

Why was Cassie so strongly affected by the 'lust mist' at Roderick's party but Garret's so unaffected that he's able to carry her around without staggering or tripping.

Garret must be completely blinded by jealousy. When Cassie threatens to go to Roderick if Garret won't 'see to her needs' in the butler's pantry it actually works. After all she's said about her virginity-taker, how can Garret actually fall for a ruse so thin you could spit through it? Maybe the 'lust mist' is working on him more than I thought.

Why is Cassie described as '...calmly walking through the fire.' on page 171, but Garret can't read between the lines of his own dream and realise that obviously, if she's calm she's not afraid and there's likely a good reason she's not afraid, possibly because she knows there's nothing to be afraid of.

What does Cassie and Garret having completed their first M.U.S.E. mission together have to do with whether or not they can advance their relationship towards something more closely resembling a normal affair? That makes no sense unless Marlowe is still trying to drag their sexual relationship out, make it stretch through the whole book.

On page 174 Cassie comes out with this winning theory '"Suppose ASP is an acronym. If we can figure out what the letters stand for, we might have a better chance of locating it."'
Well, DUH! The fact that it's an acronym has been clear to the reader from the very beginning, due to the fact that it's written in all caps. If Marlowe wanted to make that a 'big reveal' she should have written it in lower case, as it is there's no reveal because it was never a secret. *shakes head in resignation*
Cassie and Garret then go on to have the stupidest discussion about what ASP might stand for. Their guesses are all ridiculous, but not a single one of them are in the least bit funny - A Secret Package, A Silly Pudding, Assorted Sour Pickles *head meet desk*.

On the same page
'Garret rose, since it wouldn't be proper for him to remain seated while she stood...'
But it is proper for you to cross your legs knowing full well she can see up your dressing gown/banyan? I feel like I can't get to know Garret because his character is always changing, unlike the average real person he can't seem to stick with one personality.

On page 189
'Emanations of power spilled from all the members of the Order in residence - the bright, hot sparks that indicated Miss Darkin's presence, Lord Westfall's cool green competence and the soft tendrils of Miss Anthony's shy, yet formidable, questing spirit.'
That's very Professor Xish.

On predictions for the reveal of the mystery, I wonder whether
SpoilerPaschal is the ASP. He's got the 'P', he's got magical music, he has some knowledge of her gift, and he seems to have sprung out of nowhere. Then we see what's befallen Garret's uncle. I reckon either he was being physically supported via unnatural means (he was described as being surprisingly robust for his advanced age) which has now been taken away and now he's shrivelling up and dying or maybe touching Paschal's bare hands stole his 'life force' away.
Really want to finish this tonight, so hopefully I'll be back with answers (for those of you reading under the spoiler tags) tomorrow. To be continued...

22/4 - I KNEW
was the big baddie! The only problem was that Marlowe gave us way too many clues as to
real identity.
SpoilerBy the time Paschal invited her to the picnic I was warning her that I was pretty sure he was evil and likely only invited her out there to steal her 'life force' (although I don't understand why he would do that since he only took a few months from her, all that risk for such a little reward doesn't make sense to me). Like when you watch a horror movie you tell the character "Don't go up/down there!! He's waiting for you.", by page 227 I was telling Cassie not to go on the picnic because it was clear that bad things were going to happen to her.

During the picnic Paschal drinks buttermilk. Am I the only person who's tried (by 'tried' I mean a tiny sip) this? If I'm not, am I the only one who thinks it tastes like runny sour cream and went "Blergh!" at the thought of drinking it as if it's normal milk?

Page 244
'"Some brothers from a nearby a monastery..."'
The second 'a' shouldn't be there.

When Garret's riding to save Cassie there's this little gem
'He almost didn't care if he killed the beast beneath him if only he arrived in Brighton in time.'
Isn't that just bloody lovely? He's a creep who ties women up without their consent, purposefully flashed Cassie his nether regions and didn't care if that made her uncomfortable, and he's happy to sacrifice an animal who's doing everything it can to get him where he's going ASAP.

Page 252
'Voices murmured above her. Disembodied. Bloodless.'
Bloodless battles and bloodless hands or faces? Yes. Bloodless voices? Nope, never heard of that and I don't understand how that would work.

I actually almost enjoyed the ending, it was almost purely fantasy and I think the book would have worked much better that way. Cut out all the ridiculous romance that didn't know if it wanted to be romance or erotica or something else entirely and just focus on the X-men part of the plot and I might have been able to muster up three stars for this. As it was enjoying 21 pages out of 274 isn't going to get you anything better than a 2. It could have been a one but I try to reserve those for the books with the truly inexcusable grammar/punctuation errors to go along with the stupid plot. There were a few problems I picked up here and there, as noted above, but I've seen much worse. I could be convinced to read the next book in the series, but only if I was joining my URR friends in another buddy read, otherwise I think it'll be more of the same - lots of potential squandered.

pokeybear1's review against another edition

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It had promise, it was historical & paranormal without having werewolves and vampires, but the characters were pretty one dimensional and the story just felt underplotted and dopey.

randommichelle's review

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Had promise but failed across the board.