Title: How to Break a Curse in Five Simple Steps (The Witch of Hollow Woods Book #2)
Author: JB Trepagnier
A witch curse is a hell of a thing to deal with when you’re immortal
Nice to meet you. My name is Catarina Ash. You’ve probably read about me. Wife of Bath ring a bell? The Loathly Lady stories used to be wildly popular. I used to have a thing for dating writers. I don’t take credit for the Viking story, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Cadence was so proud of the curse she put on me, she repeated it on another witch. She throws out curses like candy and probably has a few repeats.
I’m cursed to walk the earth as a wrinkled crone unless I can find love. What they don’t tell you in all the stories about the Loathly Lady is that since I’m immortal, when my love dies, I revert back to the crone unless I can find love again. I’ve retreated to my enchanted woods, hoping to just shrivel up and die, until one day, I feel a horrible aura sneaking around in my woods. My foresight tells me the human that aura belongs to is going to eventually lead me towards the path of breaking my curse for good. Edward Solomon is in my woods hoping to steal my land and build a university. Somehow, that university is important, but I don’t know why.
All I’m armed with is a cryptic feeling in my gut that giving this horrible man a part of my land and making a deal with him will lead me towards the right path. I’ve got my familiar here to guide me, but sometimes, she can’t keep the present and future straight and I’m not sure what she’s talking about. The answer to breaking my curse is there, but I will have to wait, learning ancient magic of my ancestors, tricking Cadence’s curse with men from the university, and trying to find the missing piece to breaking my curse
JB Trepagnier always has the quirkiest works, and this one is no different. We start at the end of the story and are slowly told bits and pieces of what events have led up to the present. We learn why Catarina is living alone in a woods, about her curse, how she was able to break it, and most importantly, how she keeps her relationship with four beautiful men alive.
As a reverse harem novel, it was a bit tamer than other books I’ve read, but interesting all the same. I think my favorite character in the entire book was Lilura, Catarina’s familiar. Their back-and-forths were hilarious with Lilura’s snarky comments. Even though the theme of the book is sex and releasing inhibition, I felt as if Catarina really developed as a character throughout the piece, and that made the work even more captivating.