Curses is a fun gender-bent spin on Beauty & the Beast. Merit Cravan, a young noblewoman, is the beast in this version, cursed by a fairy at her engagement party when she rejects the much older gentleman her mother deemed a “suitable” match. She must marry a man her mother approves of by her 18th birthday, unless she falls in love first & is loved in return, or live as the beast forever, body and mind. Tevin Dumont is the beauty, fairy-gifted with charm at a young age, something his con-artist parents have taken full advantage of over the years. When his mother runs afoul of the Beast of Cravan, she offers her Tevin as a trade, certain his charm will get the family out of trouble. He offers his services to Merit to help her weed out the most unsuitable and insincere suitors her mother is presenting so that she can make the best possible match and break her curse before her looming birthday, but of course things grow more more complicated from there.
I did like the flip on the usual tale, as well as the added element of the temporary cure, allowing Merit to appear human for a few hours, which helped shift the narrative away from the usual Beauty & the Beast theme of inner beauty onto the more interesting theme of trust—both of others and one’s self. The world-building was inventive, though it felt a bit broad for the scope of the story (I’m not sure the cast of characters list at the beginning was necessary) The characters were also likable and fairly well-rounded, making for an all-around entertaining read, even if it was a rather light one.
Honestly, I wish I had more to say about this one, because I enjoyed it, but there’s really not much to say about it. Curses is a frothy, fun read, great for kicking back and relaxing, and all in all, I give it a solid 3 stars.