DEMON'S CURSE – Alexa Egan
The Imnada Brotherhood , Book 1 of 3
Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-1-4516-7290-9
January 2013
Historical Paranormal Romance

London, 1816

It began sixteen months ago on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo. Four British soldiers scouted for Wellington's troops, and very effective they were until they became involved in a killing that left them cursed. You see, these men are Imnada, members of a secret race of shape shifters. Now they can no longer control their shifting. They turn into their beast or bird shape at every sundown and return to human form at dawn. Because of this, their fellow Imnada cast them out as though they were dead.

Back in England, Captain Mac Flannery can't return to his home; he has a desk job for the Horse Guards, and it's a lonely life. Of the other three men, one has recently been savagely murdered. Besides the curious crowds, only four mourners are present at Adam's burial, his three fellow Imnada, Gray, Major de Coursy, heir to a dukedom; David St. Leger, the youngest; Mac, of course; and an unknown woman. Interested eyes closely watch all four…

After surviving a disastrous marriage to an abusive man, Bianca Perrino became an acclaimed actress on the London theater scene. In contrast to the usual gossip about actresses, Bianca's past has made her discourage all her would-be “protectors.” Her only real friends are a former actress and her husband, an earl; and the murdered Adam, who somehow understood her.

Mac and Bianca enter a relationship of sorts. How will that turn out? The possibilities are severely limited given their natures…and the ones who watch and wait.

When I first heard of shape shifters at Waterloo, I was greatly intrigued. DEMON'S CURSE turned out to be nothing as I imagined…or even could imagine. The plot is highly original and complex—stunning, really, in its execution. It's not an easy book; we only gradually learn the history of the Imnada and the Fey-blood who also exist among the ordinary humans in this story world. The enmity and secrecy go back to the time of King Arthur. And, oh, there is a welcome glossary in the back of the book.

The characterization is rich with a unique cast headed by Mac with his cursed and exile-torn soul and Bianca who is much stronger than she knows. Watching them struggle is an emotional ride like few others. Readers will eagerly await books two and three of this series.

Jane Bowers