Curses, Foiled Again by Sera TrevorRating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novel

Felix is a vampire who smells the rich and enticing blood of a young man who is walking home alone at two o’clock one morning. However, when Felix jumps out at the man with his fangs bared, the man is strangely not scared and instead continues his journey home. A brief conversation between them follows and Felix inadvertently discovers the man’s name is John. Felix realizes that John must be a witch and his curiosity about the stranger is piqued. After visiting John again and receiving another rebuff, Felix resorts to stalking.

When John accepts that he cannot get rid of Felix easily, he sets Felix a task: Felix must put three drops of his blood on a rose every night for one hundred and one nights and when the rose turns blue, Felix must deliver it to John and receive his date and a kiss in return. Yet, even John is not convinced that the so-called Ginerva’s Rose will be the answer to the curse placed on his family, which he has inherited. Throw into the mix the presence of a dark witch, a depressed vampire, and John’s work colleague who has just discovered her magical powers, this will not be an easy journey for Felix and John.

Paranormal fiction is probably my favorite genre and in Curses, Foiled Again, Sera Trevor fulfills her promise to the reader of everything in the blurb. I was compelled by the idea of a romance between Felix, the naive vampire, and John, the stubborn and guarded witch; along with Richard’s manipulation and unpleasant actions; Lo’s training as a new witch; the presence of a helpful ghost; and of course, the curses that not only John, but also Felix and Cat, are trying to lift.

Unusually, in Curses, Foiled Again, it is not Felix and John who were the characters I enjoyed the most. I think that John is difficult to connect with because he appears to just be waiting to meet the man that will end his life and he refuses to allow anyone close to him. This is something that changes as the novel develops, but actually because of Richard’s influence, John becomes even less likable for a short time.

On the other hand, Trevor has created Felix to be immature and stupid. For example, Felix is so desperate to find John that he asks for Richard’s help to scry for him, without thinking of the consequences of Richard knowing about the existence of another local witch. Also, I like it when authors play with the formula of their vampire novels a little, but in Curses, Foiled Again, Felix is typical of everything we would expect from a vampire. He cannot go out in daylight; he has preternatural speed; he can compel people; and it is inferred that he would be allergic to garlic. However, Trevor go in a more unique direction by blaming a witch’s curse for the existence of vampires, which ties nicely to the plot of Curses, Foiled Again. I think that when the novel begins, we understand that Felix does not feel any remorse for drinking blood from living people, but as he learns to love, we are aware that he changes — almost conversely to John.

My favorite characters were Lo and Cat, Felix’s sister. Any regular readers of my reviews will know that I look for positive portrayals of women in gay romances and this is exactly what Trevor gives us here. Initially, Cat appears meek and depressed, drinking alcohol heavily, taking drugs, and staying alone in her room watching reality TV. I like the way she changes from mouse to cat, even though the control she has over Richard is mainly sexual. Lo is just feisty and loyal. I love the way she grasps on to her magical power and learns quickly, but she is ingenious and refuses to be a pawn in Richard’s game. Cat and Lo have their own little side-story, which was convenient but still enjoyable to read.

Curses, Foiled Again is a multi-layered story, though unfortunately at times I felt Trevor complicated the situation too much. This was very much the case for me during the second half of the novel when it seemed that John’s situation may have been resolved, only for Richard’s plan to make the matters worse. The complexities of the plot are in contrast to Trevor’s writing style, which is fairly simplistic, and if it was not for the numerous explicit sex scenes, I think Curses, Foiled Again could have passed for a young adult novel.

Curses, Foiled Again is in essence, a good versus evil story and Trevor’s novel will please many fans of paranormal gay romance. Despite this, I cannot give the book an enthusiastic recommendation and would not rush to read anything else by the author.

kirsty sig