In 1854, seventeen-year-old chambermaid Clara Crofton was dismissed from Gravesend Hall for having fallen in love with Richard Blackwood, the younger son of the house. Alone in the world, Clara found a tenuous position as a seamstress, but she always blamed the Gravesend curse for the disaster that had befallen her-and for Richard's death soon after in the Crimean War.
Now, more than eighteen years later, Richard's twin, Atticus, seeks out Clara with a strange proposal: if she will marry him and live with him as his wife in name only to ease the mind of his dying father, Atticus will then endow her with a comfortable income for the rest of her life. Clara knows that he is not disclosing his true motives, but when she runs out of options for an independent life, she has no choice but to become Atticus's wife.
For Clara, returning to Gravesend as a bride brings some triumph... but also great unease. Not only must she pretend to be a wellborn lady and devoted wife to a man whose face is a constant reminder of the love she lost, but ominous portents whisper that her masquerade brings grave danger. "This house will take from you what you most treasure," her mother once warned her. But the curse has already taken the man Clara loved. Will it now demand her life?
Readers who enjoyed DeWees's award-winning sweet historical gothic romance Sea of Secrets, as well as those who love traditional gothic romance and clean historical romance alike, will be captivated by this strong yet vulnerable new heroine and her suspenseful journey through the perils of heartbreak, danger, and love.
Length: about 102,000 words ~ Sensuality level: sweet/mild/kisses
Includes book club discussion questions
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was such a fun read! Although I think most readers will pick up on what the big plot twist is going to be very early on, With This Curse still engages you the entire time. I loved the story, the romance, the suspense, and the sweet ending. All in all, well worth the read.
DeWees has taken me back to the very first romance I ever read. They were dark, mysterious, set in Victorian England and perfect for a young girl's dreams. With this Curse had me hooked at the first page. A young girl and her mother in dire straights are hired by the lord of Gravesend Hall. Dismissed at seventeen for falling in love with Richard Blackwood, Clara Crofton must make her way alone in the world. She lays the blame for her trouble and Richard's death on the curse that was laid on the Blackwood family more than a century ago. Returning to Gravesend more than eighteen years later as the bride of Atticus Blackwood should have been her day of triumph. As the least favored son, taking a bride should have made his father's last days happier. Clara is reminded again of the curse as whispers in the night, shadowed figures disappearing around corners and accidents that seem to have no rhyme or reason begin to plague her. DeWees has proven herself every bit as talented at weaving a tale of love and suspense as those grande dames she enjoyed so much herself. Beautifully written, her characters took on a life of their own keeping me turning page after page. A romance I can heartily recommend for any age, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book has intriguing characters, a slightly creepy setting, a vulnerable but brave heroine, a clean and exciting romance, plus a murder to solve with unexpected twists! Thoroughly enjoyable!
Amanda DeWees has written a gothic novel reminiscent of Victoria Holt which had me hooked from the first page. Clara Crofton was forced to leave Gravesend Hall in disgrace. She fell in love with Richard Blackwood. That was not allowed. According to the legend the curse of the house caused Richard's death. Clara gets a second chance when Atticus Blackwood asks her to be his bride in a marriage of convenience. Now she will go back as the mistress not the maid. Will the curse strike again? This novel weaves a remarkable tale. The characters are well-drawn and compelling. I cared for them and wanted them to find peace and happiness. Cornwall provides the perfect location for this story. There is great dialogue and the secondary characters are well thought out and add to the drama. The action is non-stop and the suspense keeps building as murder comes to Gravesend. This novel has it all - romance, secrets and revenge. What an ending! I was gifted a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.