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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting read but with some reservations.
The Curse Keepers Denise Grover Swank.

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews
well, I’ve read and loved a couple of Denise's books, and yet read another that didn't work for me so...this one...should I request it? Well, I did and it was a fun read.
It's based around the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished...
Published 11 months ago by Jeannie Zelos

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Why is this popular? HOW!?
This is a review across all three books.

I am currently on the lookout for books with an interesting and imaginative premise which are well-executed. This one caught my eyes as it was being advertised on my Kindle home screen, and the author is apparently a New York Times best selling author.

It is not the first time I have wondered how someone...
Published 2 months ago by ekaruna42


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting read but with some reservations., 9 April 2014
This review is from: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The Curse Keepers Denise Grover Swank.

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews
well, I’ve read and loved a couple of Denise's books, and yet read another that didn't work for me so...this one...should I request it? Well, I did and it was a fun read.
It's based around the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Denise has taken the legend and compiled this gripping tale from it. In her version it disappeared as a result of a curse, and the two families involved have a gate keeper in each generation, and must keep the artefacts needed for the future, and the story a secret. Ellie was brought up as a gatekeeper being the only child of her gatekeeper father but after a family tragedy in which her mum died when she was eight, she's given up on the whole story, nothing has happened in the past 400 years and she thinks its just one of those long held, but untrue tales. Then she meets Collin....and everything changes, literally with a bang.
So, I liked Ellie. She's a lovely lady, working hard to help her dad and step mother, a loving daughter and good friend. Who wouldn’t think this was just a family tale after so many years, and now her dad has Altzeimers just when she needs his help she's stuck. Luckily Collin, the other gatekeeper, knows what they need to do. He's a conundrum though, drop dead sexy and a self admitted man whore, he tells Ellie not to trust him, and its clear he skirts around the edges of the law. He takes his gatekeeper role very seriously though. He's a real jerk to Ellie, and to be honest even though she knows something extraordinary has happened it seemed to me incongruous that she'd say “ I'm on shift for another 20 mins” or “ I mustn't be late for work/have to visit dad, have to...” lots of mundane excuses, when priorities should have been clear to her that the end of the world as they know it could be coming within days. Dead birds? Nah, that was the storm, yes its a pretty pattern but co-incidence. Ghostly spirits figures threatening her? Well, she must be short on sleep. Though I understood at first she carried on with this far too long, and though Collin was a jerk ( a sexy jerk!) I could feel his frustration and agreed with it.
There was lost of action in the story, interesting additions to legends, some sensual and sexy interludes :-) and some side mysteries that I think might play out more. I wanted to know what Collin was hiding – it seemed clear he wasn't totally upfront about something, and the undercurrents from that rippled through each interaction they had, with me wondering “is this when we find out what he's hiding?” but that doesn't happen til the end – and what a big secret that was – really took me by surprise even though looking back there were strong hints. His name – another reviewer mentioned that and I agree, maybe its just us older generation, Collin is a name from our childhoods not from our kids, and it just doesn't conjure up sex on legs, smouldering, mysterious personalities – more a dull, boring, nitpicking office obsessed person. You know – the sort that live for their job, and think party conversation is the time to discuss how many paper-clips were missing at the annual stocktake, and who's go to chat line is “come up and see my filing”....It's priced at £3.99 for 314 pages.
Stars: Four, interesting read but with some reservations.
ARC received via Netgalley
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1.0 out of 5 stars Why is this popular? HOW!?, 30 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is a review across all three books.

I am currently on the lookout for books with an interesting and imaginative premise which are well-executed. This one caught my eyes as it was being advertised on my Kindle home screen, and the author is apparently a New York Times best selling author.

It is not the first time I have wondered how someone became a best selling author. The premise may be OK, it's certainly different though I don't find it very compelling, but the writing is poor and Ellie is the Mary-Suest of Mary Sues I have ever come across, at least in published fiction. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CommonMarySueTraits) We are unreliably informed that she is 'smart' and 'funny' (claims more often refuted than supported), and as for 'beautiful'... well, it's writing: if someone says a character is physically attractive, they are. I don't think I've ever met someone her age in my life who is so difficult and quick-tempered. Worse, the author portrays it as justified and a sign of self-respect and independence (this happens a lot in similar fiction), rather than the immature foolishness it actually is. ('You can't tell me what to do, I'm not going to do it, just *because* you told me to, even though it's completely reasonable and sane and ADVISABLE, like jumping in the car and getting far far away from the mafia-guy whose creepy office we just left'.) And the love interest always secretly finds it attractive and appealing and refreshingly different even though it drives him crazy, whereas any normal person would be wishing for a screaming three-year-old instead, because at least a screaming three-year-old has an excuse.

Collin's personality and character just bend around her, way too quickly and for no convincing reason (ah, Mary Sue!) No guy like him would change so quickly, and he's somehow less likeable because he does. It's not convincing. I did like David's character (or supposed character), but the author knows neither how to write someone English nor how to write someone of professor-level intelligence. An English person who is living in the States but has hung on to English idiosyncrasies and expressions would not then use words like 'fall' (meaning 'autumn') and 'apartment'. David's English often sounds like it belongs to someone 40 years his senior. And intelligence manifests in ways further than simply using words like 'repugnant' (or is that meant to be a English thing?) and being a professor on sabbatical. Also, the blurb for book 2 describes him as someone whose 'skepticism is surpassed only by his attraction to Ellie' when in fact his skepticism is surpassed only by Ellie's reluctance to jump into bed. I read a review where the reviewer expressed appreciation for how the relationships were allowed to develop slowly and weren't rushed - seriously, people: a week between meeting and jumping into bed IS rushed, and I dread to think what kind of books you're comparing this with. Anyway, David also bends around Ellie's character far too quickly, there's no depth or 'realness' to the relationship and he comes across as a bit of a puppet character, there to admire her and prove her value and 'specialness'.

The one premise I did think was worthwhile was the image of love and relationship being a choice, and not just following your hormones. Choosing someone and choosing to stick with them. That is a message which could be heard more often.

This is just my opinion - clearly the books are popular in general. But seriously. WHY?!?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sad to finish it, 22 Dec. 2013
There's a wall between our world and the world of vengeful spirits. Spirits that have been trapped there for over 400 years, including a couple of wind Gods. They where trapped because of a mistake in a curse laid down by Manteo, one of the Croatoan's and Ananias Dare one of the Lost Colony. Now, that wall is about to come crashing down.

Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life on Roanoke Island, the site of the mysterious Lost Colony or Roanoke, the Virginia settlement who vanished without a trace in around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of these descendants, the descendant of Ananias Dare, and a Curse Keeper. Ellie's father took great pains to teach her every aspect of the curse and the responsibilities of it's guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers meet and touch, the curse will be lifted, and the Native American spirits will be released to seek their revenge. On her. But after Ellie's mother's murder, she forgets all but the base facts.

Ellie's never really believed in the curse, she's always thought it was just folklore. She works as a waitress to make enough money to keep her fathers bed and breakfast afloat and help take care of his nursing needs. But when the darkly handsome but downright infuriating and rude Collin Dailey and realizes everything is true, because when she lays eyes on him, all the air is sucked from the room, and when they touch hands...she can see the gate opening. The curse is real, and Ellie has to learn all of the information she never wanted to know, fight off evil spirits, and avoid the man from Collin's past who's determined to have Ellie. Ellie and Collin must battle their loathing and passion for each other to complete the ceremony to close the gates before the 7 days are up and the gates are left permanently open.

History geek that I am, the Lost Colony has always been a point of interest to me. Probably because it's never been solved, and is therefore fascinating, but also because it's a semi-mystery and I hate mysteries...they need to be solved! There's nothing I love better than these kinds of books, with the history and the romance and the action and the quest. I was eager to get stuck in, and 4 hours later...I was not disappointed.

The mythology surrounding what happened to the Lost Colony, the curse, the role of the curse keepers and all the Native American Gods was totally fascinating. While a lot of it was true, and given in great detail, the parts that weren't true and where pure fabrication, where so totally unique, I instantly fell in love with the book and was hooked.

Right from the first page I was sucked in to Ellie's world, I could picture everything clearly, and the world building was superb. The prose was atmospheric and there where no long rambling parts. Everything was well written and concise. The Curse Keepers is fast paced and has a fantastic flow from chapter to chapter and plot point to plot point.

Ellie I thought, I was a very well written character. She has depth. She's strong, even though she tries to deny what's happening eventually she accepts it, comes in to her own and is ready to kick ass. She's not a perfect protagonist and I love imperfections in characters. She works two jobs, one for free, and has a lot of pain in her past and has to deal with alot. I can sense there's more about Ellie's mother's murder that may have to do with a relation to Collin, the Author has expertly left bread crumbs to future books in the series, subtly and without breaking the flow of the book, or drawing focus off the main point of this first book. Likewise Collin clearly has another side, there's more going on, and he's still a bit of a mystery waiting to be unraveled in a future book.

The romance between the two wasn't the kind of insta-love I hate so much. It was gradual. They hated each other, barely tolerated each other but the banter and flirting was there. The attraction slowly became apparent, and the relationship was slowly built up in to something incredibly adorable. Until Collin had to ruin it. *sigh*

The thing with Curse Keepers is that it's a book in it's own right. It may or may not be a series. There are questions left to be answered, I won't lie to you and the book does end abruptly leaving you wanting more, to know what's going to happen, how Ellie and Collin will reconcile. But Curse Keepers has done what so few books I've reviewed lately have done. It's set the ground work for a series, set the scene, but only as a secondary point to the main plot of the book. The main plot isn't taken away from, we're left with bread crumbs and an explosive ending to set up the scene and the world for the next book. I've read so many books lately that are the first in the series and focus on setting the scene for the series, and that's all the first book is about, it's kind of boring and nothing of note really happens. Not Curse Keepers. Denise Grover Swank is a true master of her craft.

Curse Keepers is fast paced, full of action and has so many plot twists that leave you gasping and wanting more. The ending is a brutal cliffhanger, and I will be in suspense until I get the (hopefully) next book in the series. There's history, mystery, romance, magic and intrigue. There's never a dull moment and the characters jump off the page, and the romance is full of sparks. There's secrets and betrayal and quite honestly...what more could you want from a book?!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic start to a new series!, 6 Dec. 2013
*Review copy granted in exchange for an honest review*

I requested to review this book as I loved the synopsis, I loved the cover and I was excited about a paranormal / fantasy New Adult read.

I also liked the fact it had a focus on Native American gods and spirits as it isn't something written about all that often really.

My initial thoughts when I started reading the book (after a few chapters) was that I was going to be disappointed. I found it hard to like Ellie and very hard to like Collin in the beginning and no matter how much you like a plot, I don't think you can really like a story without liking the characters.

However, the story was moving along so I happily kept reading.

It was hard to pinpoint when I stared liking Ellie but I liked her long before I liked Collin. She had her reasons for not taking her birthright (being a cursekeeper) seriously, whether you agreed with her or not. She was a very real character, you could empathise with her and before long the author had you on side with Ellie and wanting happiness and a better life for her.

Collin took longer to like... He very slowly grew on you, he slipped past your defences and before you knew it you loved him. You knew he was shady. No effort was made to hide it but you hoped that it would all be ok. He obviously has his reasons for doing what he does but none of them are explained in this book. I guess it's a story for the next one.

He is the bad boy who breaks your heart but you want him to come back and repair it, even when you know he'll break it again.

The story moves along at a good pace and it is well written and edited. There is action, history, mythology and breath-stealing chemistry. Seriously, during the last third of this book I was starting to become concerned I was developing a permanent heart palpitation...

I'd highly recommend it. If you are a fan of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, new adult or, even better, all of the above then this is a book to read!

Can't wait for the next one!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding read., 23 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
*I received a copy of this book via netgallery in exchange for an honest review*

I was so excited when I received a copy of this and after reading the first chapter I knew I'd be hooked until the end. A fantastic paranormal romance story that is dripping with Native American history.

The story begins with the main character Ellie laying eyes on Collin for the first time. Ellie is seriously alarmed when the air seems to be sucked out of the room yet it seems to be only effecting Ellie and Collin making Ellie think of her family's story of curse keepers and God's trapped behind gates. Ellie refuses to believe the stories she's been told, after all she believes the curse has brought her family nothing but pain. After a touch from the mysterious Collin a Mark appears on Ellie's hand and the gates are opened and the God's released we learn that Ellie and Collin are the curse keepers and only they can close the gates and save the world. With only seven days to close the gates or all the angry God's and demons will be unleashed upon the world it's a non stop ride for the pair.
So this whole story is one hell of a ride with crazy wind spirits out for revenge, sexy Collin hiding things, theft and to top it all off some mob like men. I loved this book from start to finish the characters were so lovable and I really did feel for all of them the whole way through most of all Ellie and Collin and the ending was just crazy so didn't see it coming this story is fabulous I actually don't think I could rave about this book enough I'm desperate to read the next books in the series
If you're looking for a great paranormal romance dripping with everything even a little history then this is definitely the one for you. I'd be surprised if this didn't appeal to everyone in some shape or form.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 12 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the world and characters so much that I ordered the next two books - and they were just as good. Not happy that I have to wait until the next book is written. It will be an autobuy in future.

What I really liked is the take on a mythology that I haven't read much about before. I love the idea of the witness to creation, the son of the earth and the daughter of the sea. And of course, we have a very complicated dynamic relationship between our two lead characters.

This is a well plotted, well written book. I read a lot in this genre and can honestly say that they are not often as well crafted as this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good paranormal series, 21 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Ellie was told she was a curse keeper by her father but stopped believing in the curse at age 8. One day while doing her waitressing job she meets a stranger and everything changes and soon after she realises that the curse is true. The story follows Ellie and Collin as they try to do their jobs as curse keepers discovering their powers along the way. I enjoyed this book and after reading it went on to read the first two prequels and these were useful additions to the series. I've also just finished book two and it's even better than book one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars love the heroine, 17 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I loved the early interaction with Colin. Elli is a breath of fresh air as she doggedly goes against all his instructions to keep her out of harms way and goes from one disaster to another. That part made her funny and endearing. Then it became serious and the dark and unbelievable spirits raised their ugly heads. I thought the plot was a little weak and unsatisfactory but because I fell in love with Elli and am about to read the second book in the series solely to see what further scrapes she gets herself into, I give this story 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
couldn't put this down ,brilliantly written had me on the edge of my seat ,can't wait to read the next book, in fact I'm starting it after this review !!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Another great author with new ideas and fascinating characters. Will definitely keep an eye out for more in this series!
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