Dashing Rogues and Beastly Girls: My Curses Review

I'm a huge fan of retellings, so when a new Beauty and the Beast retelling got on my radar, I had to check it out! Especially when I found out it was genderbent and involved a dashing con artist. But this retelling gave me something a little different than I was expecting ...

Book Title: Curses
Author: Lish McBride
Publisher/Year: Putnam, 2021
Genre: Fantasy
Number of Pages (According to Goodreads): 448
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Book description (from Goodreads):

Merit Cravan refused to fulfill her obligation to marry a prince, leading to a fairy godling's curse. She will be forced to live as a beast forever, unless she agrees to marry a man of her mother's choosing before her eighteenth birthday.

Tevin Dumont has always been a pawn in his family's cons. The prettiest boy in a big family, his job is to tempt naïve rich girls to abandon their engagements, unless their parents agree to pay him off. But after his mother runs afoul of the beast, she decides to trade Tevin for her own freedom.

Now, Tevin and Merit have agreed that he can pay off his mother's debt by using his con-artist skills to help Merit find the best match . . . but what if the best match is Tevin himself?

Meet the Gang

This was a really fun little standalone with a cute romance and tons of heart! I really liked the cast of characters, which abounded with charming rogues and badass ladies. Merit was realistically flawed and likable in her own right, while the love interest, Tevin, was a delightfully charming scoundrel who falls completely head over heels for her.

Honorable mentions go to Tevin's sharpshooter cousin Val, healer and voice of reason Ellery, and the unfortunately cursed sisters Willa and Diadora. Basically, I wanted to be friends with the whole gang!

This Time, It's a Romp

I don’t think I was expecting the story to be this light-hearted and quirky, so I'll be honest, it took me a few chapters to get into. The banter between the characters was cute, and I'm always down for a spot of banter, so that was quite delightful if unexpected!

I kind of wish the stakes had been higher throughout — the bulk of the story focused on parties and meeting suitors rather than action, and I tend to prefer stories with more of a balance of action and character moments. But I enjoyed the fun romps and intrigue, as well as the dramatic love confessions of course!

Trigger and Content Warnings for Curses

This book may not be for you if you're sensitive to discussions/depictions of parental neglect/emotional abuse, violence, animal death, imprisonment, death of a parent.

Final Thoughts

Overall, if you’re looking for a light fantasy without a ton of heavy worldbuilding or action but tons of humor and heart, definitely check this one out!

Thanks to Penguin Teen for the ebook ARC and finished copy! Curses is now available everywhere, so check out the links below if you want to snag your own copy:

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