The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

Gwyn Jones and Wells Penhallow are some of the best comfort characters I’ve read in some time. They’re the type of characters that you can’t help but smile at while reading. Their interactions and dialogue will have you laughing out of your seat, your eyes will be popping from their orbits, and your grins will be reaching your ears. I have to say, I think these characters, and the plot in this return to Graves Glen, is better than the original.

The Kiss Curse brings back Vivienne and Rhys from The Ex Hex. But the focus is now on Vivienne’s loud and colorful cousin, Gwyn and Rhys’ respectable and dutiful older brother, Llewellyn. Together, the two who seem to bring out visceral reactions in each other, must once again protect their homelands. For Wells, it’s a fight for history. For Gwyn, it’s a fight for family. And whether or not they know it, they’re fighting for the same thing.

Without spoiling the story, I would like to end this recommendation by responding to some of the criticism the story has received thus far. While Gwyn is a bisexual character, the romance in this story is heterosexual. It needed to be for the plot. As readers of The Ex Hex know, Rhys and Vivienne’s romance was a part of a solution to a centuries-old family warfare. Rather than rehash the entire plot, I shall surmise that Rhys and Vivienne’s relationship was the first bridge between the two families. But where there is a bridge, there also needs to be support and railings. Since Rhys is one of three sons, the Penhallow lineage seems to be traditionally male and wickedly aggressive, the next suspender would have to be built from a relationship with Gwyn and one of the brothers. Wells, however, as he was portrayed in this story, seemed to be the perfect fit for bold Gwyn.

With all that being said, there is still one untamed brother in the Penhallow line, a power-hungry father still on the loose, a lot of questions about the theft of power, and a lack of Jones descendants to take center stage in saving Graves Glen. So what will be after The Kiss Curse, Rings Returned? Clearly I don’t know how Erin Sterling will wrap up these two families, but I do know that I love the story of Wells and Gwyn. Their characters together, the layered plots between the families and every other problem that arises in Graves Glen, The Kiss Curse is, in my opinion, better than The Ex Hex. You can get your own copy on September 20 from whichever book retailer you choose, just in time for the height of spooky season.

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