One Cursed Rose has elements of a Fairy Tale but it is not truly one

I left the Netgalley logo when I took a screenshot for the cover so I can show that I got the book there. Most of her work I read was through the 1001 Dark Nights, so this is my first full book. Hopefully, my first series?

One Cursed Rose releases June 25th. If you like hardcovers, this Deluxe Edition has stencilled sprayed edges, foil stamping, interior art, and dust jacket! Or the Kindle edition for us hoarders with insufficient physical space.

A Quick Intro on One Cursed Rose

The story hints of roses, and with Grimm Bargains as its series name, you can bet your bottom dollar it relates to Brother’s Grimm stories. We have Alana Beaumont: a beautiful girl with a social media following and a secret. Then we have the Thorn Beathach: the mysterious dude who is rival to the Beaumont’s family. The story setting is also interesting — it is half magic half science fiction, where four families have the ability to charge gems to power them for their own uses. These four families are rivals with their own social media platform. Think of it as Facebook versus X kinda scenario.

Alana’s family owns Aquarius Social, and their social media platform is not doing well despite having beautiful Alana on it. She is also the heir to the platform, that with it comes responsibilities and what not. When Alana’s dad wants her to marry a rival family to strengthen their position in the business, things get interesting.

Enter the Beast

The first chapter is the point of view of Thorn Beathach, who stalks Alana physically (not via her social media) to listen to her voice. Straight of the bat, you realise he describes Alana’s voice as honey and pleasant. While other voices tasted … not savoury. He admits he has lexical-gustatory synesthesia, which is actually a legitimate medical condition. The flow of the story is smooth to the reader, not to the poor Beauty whose life suddenly got upended because she made a deal with her rival family fiance.

Of course, there is a castle, but Alana is not a weak girl and there are no magical household objects that can talk. Instead, the author cleverly inserts some names as a hint. Thorn wants to protect Alana at all costs, because her voice tastes like honey. Not sure how I feel about that personally.

But I’m into it… for a mystery

Throughout the story, Alana tells Thorn about her nightmares and her family’s story. This is not just a two-dimensional story that involves falling in love and a “Gaston” who is silly and an airhead. In One Cursed Rose, the characters feel real with motives and intent. There is a mystery to unfold, and a life to save. Will our Beast’s curse be broken before time runs out?

Verdict

I like this retelling or using the elements of The Story of the Summer Garden and the Winter Garden (that’s the original name for Beauty and the Beast). There are some plot holes, but for a series, it gives the author some leeway because I will definitely come back for more. Happy ending? Yes! Surprising twist? Check. It was kind of surprising, because I wondered, but when the truth came out, it was whoa.

If I have to say, the ending felt a little rushed, and it does not fit the flow of the story. While I am glad it has an ending because I hate cliffhangers, I feel that it could have been better planned. Overall, I am sure Rebecca Zanetti’s fans will not be disappointed.

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