Friday, May 9, 2014

Review: Cursed (The Vitruvian Man #1) by Cate Masters

Title: Cursed (The Vitruvian Man #1)
Author: Cate Masters
Source: Author Request
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: April 20, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

Ten days of freedom. That’s all Fate had allotted me each year. In the streets of Venice, I could walk among them. Mingle. Belong.

During Carnevale, they had no idea who I was. What I was.

For ten days, it didn’t matter.

Until I met her.

Bruno diCesare lives alone by necessity, not choice. An experiment performed by Leonardo da Vinci, who believed having a dual DNA would grant a person immortality, used magic to render Bruno a chimera – the head of a lion, body of a dragon. The only time he can mingle with people is during Carnevale, ten glorious days of masked anonymity, frivolity and intimacy.

Melina Weaver learned fire dancing to enliven her dull existence. A scientist, her long hours at the lab leave no time for a social life. For ten days at Carnevale, she can pretend to be someone else. Someone sexy and daring, who lives on the edge.

Once she meets Bruno, her wish comes true, but everything goes terribly wrong. Beneath Bruno’s costume lurks an alpha male, but is he dangerous? Worse, can she return to an employer who sells her research to the military to make an army of efficient killers? Her only hope may lie with the man she’s just met and never seen.
Cate Masters did a fantastic job of writing in this novella.  I was very impressed with how she was able to create such vivid and beautiful scenes (especially the one where Melina tries on Elda's gift) while keeping the story a very nice novella length.  Bruno diCesare is a very unique creature and she reveals him slowly.  Having been turned into a chimera, he is a creature I had not come across in romance before and it was very fun to see how his special circumstances played into his life.  He was a very fierce and determined man, but slowly sinking into a depression brought on by his solitary lifestyle.

Melina was the perfect way to breathe some life back into him.  The scene where they meet was spectacular.  Again, her imagery was spot on and I could see the fire dancing in the air around her.  Her back story was interesting and perfectly tailored to add just a dash of suspense and intrigue to the story.

The one thing that kept this from being a full 5 rating happened right at the end.  And it just went too smoothly - there was a lot of hype leading up to this moment and then it went on and was finished with not enough fan fare or drama for me.  This is definitely an author and series I will want to read more.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

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