Title: The Curse of the Black Swan
Author: Alyssa Day
Series: League of the Black Swan #1.5
In: Enthralled (Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook & Lucy Monroe)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Paranormal romance, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 16th September 2019
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
5th sentence, 74th page: He caressed her exactly where she needed and wanted him to, and she cried out from the sensation.
New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Day introduces the League of the Black Swan…and the dangerous game one woman plays when her family’s curse dooms her to kill the man she loves.
I haven’t picked up any of my Alyssa Day stories for quite a while. And reading this novella made me question why I haven’t done so… there is just something so intensely enjoyable and sweet about her stories. There’s always just enough darkness in them to stop them from being candy sweet… but not enough to make them dark and twisty like some of my other romances.
The prologue to this story was a fantastic trip to the world of fairy tales. It was dreamy and slightly ethereal. Tragic and completely engaging all at the same time. It drew me in immediately, especially with the knowledge that although this tragedy was a fantastic read, it wasn’t going to be the focus of the story. The jump forwards in time was completely expected and made far more intriguing by the fact that there is a history of a curse which is about to haunt the romance you are diving into.
Prejudice is always a big theme in many of the urban fantasy stories that I read. After all, it’s easy to highlight such an issue when you’re dealing with abstract, supernatural beings, rather than the social and cultural minorities who actually experience this. Day does this beautifully through the use of Sean and his fire demon heritage. Not only does it provide him with a great, if not slightly bitter, background, but it also supplies him with a reason to be unsure and uncomfortable with his budding attraction to Brynn.
The use of swans in this story as a curse made me seriously think about the Swan Princess… my sister’s favourite movie as a child. Which is probably why I loved this novella so much… it was a fantastic paranormal and adult version of a beloved childhood classic. Or at least, similar enough that it triggered my happy little nostalgia button.