Review: Curse of Brandon Lupinus

Curse of Brandon Lupinus
By Shelley Munro

Walk the ghostly world. Howl at the moon.

Jess Whittlebury purchases Tavistock Manor to convert into a quaint English bed-and-breakfast. But the manor comes with a resident—a werewolf ghost who steps right into her dreams, investing them with erotic toe-tingling pleasures, laughter and passion. Jess doesn’t believe in supernatural creatures but her dreams are certainly memorable and very realistic—and she’s decided to enjoy them for all she’s worth.

Alone Brandon Lupinus until need forces you to act, as a decent man should.

Since the day a witch cursed him, Brandon Lupinus has walked alone, tied to Tavistock, his ancestral home. Jess’ arrival brings unexpected changes—corporeal changes. For the first time in centuries Brandon experiences passionate, unbridled sex that ignites his ghostly world with new possibilities. New problems. Brandon is no longer alone but he still can’t seem to break his curse and offer Jess the future she deserves. Until fate steps in, in an unexpected way…

The Curse of Brandon Lupinus is just what I expect from the talent of Shelley Munro, except for the ending. It was a very clever HEA twist I didn’t quite expect.

Jess is a woman determined to realize a dream despite all the naysayers and gossips of the little town in which Tavistock Manor resides. I particularly enjoyed the beginning where the little old ladies,in their eccentric yet endearing ways, tried to pass on the village myths. Jess was the highlight of their day and I liked how Jess treated them with a smile and respect. She is a woman you want good things to happen to. She is spirited and practical with a bit of adventure in her heart.

Brandon is a man — yet not. When he reveals how he became what he is, I felt so sad for him. Many times you read in historical romances about the rogues. They live life wild and large yet nothing horrible seems to happen to them, except maybe some bad gambling choices at Whites. We also see them rescued by spirited and beguiling women. No one came to rescue Brandon, no firm hand intervened for the wild men of his time. Brandon was a man who discovered his conscience too little too late and paid the price. Pergatory on Earth. He had plenty of reasons to howl his lament.

I found the descriptions of Brandon’s rediscovering the warmth of a woman’s skin to be well written and quite sensual. I really liked the progression of vapor to … well, what happens when he’s not. Some serious thought went into those scenes and I liked that. I kept thinking that he was going to get booted out for having as much fun as he seemed to be, I mean he’s cursed,right? Shelley doesn’t do typical. She kept me guessing about what was going to happen. Well, you KNOW what’s going to happen eventually, but getting there was half the fun.

Once they DO get together, the pages burn up. When Brandon realizes what he can do, what he can feel, reading became an arousing experience as he embraced each new discovery. My only raised eyebrow comes from one moment where Jess seems perfectly awake and actively engaging in what was supposed to be a dream. If she’s sleeping, how can she know his eye color? Unless there was a psychic connection? Except for that minor head scratch, it read well and left me feeling heated.

I suppose it’s possible that some readers might like a convoluted journey to Jess and Brandon’s loving each other and decry its lack. Well, I think Jess summed up her feelings pretty well in the story and I am cool with that.

Woven throughout the story is some light suspense and conflict that propels the storyline forward. Don’t let the lightness of it disarm you. It has a powerful impact on the breaking of Brandon’s curse. It even assists in raising the HEA to a level that totally took me by surprise. So much so that I had to sit and re-read it.
Does it work? Yes. There was even a little bit of humor thrown in that is perfect for Jess’s character. You are left with a smile for both their happiness and their cheek.

The dialogue flowed well and was realistic, the editing was fine and the POV shifts from Brandon to Jess and back again were seamless, logical and perfectly done.

The Curse of Brandon Lupinus may be a story short in length but long in appealing characters, stimulating bed antics and unique twists to delight you. You’re in for a treat when you read this book.

Rating:

reviewed by Xeranth

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