Rating: 4.5 stars
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“I need this this morning.” He shuddered slightly. “I feel out of control, like my life isn’t my own. You give that back to me my sense of self.”
Luke knows exactly of what he speaks. His life is not his own. Due to a centuries old curse, one week a month he is a feral, hungry, completely out of control wolf. Beginning on his 21st birthday, Luke has suffered through the mind numbingly painful transition from man to wolf and, while in that form, struggles to remain in control of his mind and not give over to the beast completely.
Eighteen short months before, he finally met the man whom he has grown to slowly love more than his life, Jeremy. Also an artist, but a teacher rather than a painter like Luke, Jeremy has slowly and steadily fallen for his beautiful yet elusive lover. When Luke goes away to “hunt,” Jeremy cannot help but think that his boyfriend is very possibly indulging in an affair—particularly since Luke still insists on using a condom even though they have been faithful to one another for almost a year.
Saint’s Curse quickly dispels all the myths about werewolves from the idea of needing silver bullets to kill them, to their supposed superhuman strength. The dismal truth is that Luke can be as easily killed as his animal brothers who have been hunted to near extinction. The story is a bit of the mysterious wrapped up in the supernatural. Running throughout, though, is the recurring theme of what it means to entrust your whole self to another person—secrets and all.
Lee Brazil weaves stories to delight the reader. The word pictures this author uses are so descriptive I swore I could feel the creeping cold of the oncoming snowstorm and I most assuredly felt the incredible pain that Luke endured as he transformed. More than the beautiful word pictures, however, was the real sense of emotion I pulled from this story. I have read far too many novels where I was left feeling distinctly uninspired and less than loyal to any of the characters. Not so with Saint’s Curse. My heart trembled with Luke’s at the fear of discovery and more than once, I wanted to shake both MC’s in frustration because of their penchant for jumping to conclusions and their lack of communication with each other.
Two tantalizing unfinished pieces of business lead me to believe that there will be more in this series. One is the mysterious man who figures out Luke’s secret—where did he come from?? And how does he figure into the story? The other is the Forest Ranger Shane Lansdowne. More than once his strong physical resemblance to Luke is commented upon. If there were no sequel in the offing, than I would say that these would have to be put down to true plot discrepancies that were less than satisfying. But I think we should reserve judgment on that thought until we see what the author possibly has planned next.
The only niggle that left me bothered in this otherwise delightful tale was the quick transition for Jeremy from thinking Luke was being unfaithful when he disappeared one week a month to the rather calm acceptance that Luke was indeed a werewolf. I felt the story became rushed here—removing all the action of the near murder of Luke and the mysterious gunmen to three days later and everything wrapped up neatly and Jeremy able to buy the story hook, line and sinker. I needed to see this transformation play out—to watch Jeremy wrestle with this incredible revelation and work through his inner turmoil and initial disbelief. It was unfortunately noticeably absent from the story line.
However, this was minor in comparison to the action-packed story, intensely hot lovemaking scenes, and the richly detailed inner emotions of the two men and their journey together. I highly recommend Saint’s Curse by Lee Brazil. It is a beautiful story of love triumphing over the dark and well worth the read.