I have always enjoyed Alyssa Day's novels even though I am three behind in the Atlantis series. But I was unprepared for how much I would love The Cursed, the first book in Day's new League of the Black Swan series.
From the synopsis, I expected a dark, gritty urban fantasy. It certainly has elements of urban fantasy but what was so unexpected was how incredibly funny The Cursed was. Day wrote comic situation to break the drama which but it was really her characters and the dialogue that were so humorous. Of course, I knew I would love the book when very near the beginning there was a Doctor Who reference :)
Luke, the Dark Wizard of Bordertown, is an awesome, overprotective alpha hero but with moments of unexpected vulnerability and a comic inability to talk to women if they are not clients. He's dangerous and deadly and yet he cares about the people in Bordertown and is protective of those who need it. His irritation with the not so stealthy campaign for him to become the sheriff is quite entertaining as well.
Rio thinks she's human with a gift. She is laid back and finds the humor in everything, particularly in Luke's inability to keep his foot out of his mouth. She absolutely refuses to be beaten down regardless of the odds against her which makes her a character you want to cheer. Deep down, Rio just wants to know who she is and where she came from - she wants a family to know and love, no matter what that family might be.
In addition to these two wonderful main characters and the aforementioned humor, The Cursed features excellent secondary characters, solid world building, strong and frequent action, and a well paced storyline.
Honestly, if you are still reading this, you are wasting time and should run, not walk, to get The Cursed!
Book 1 of the League of the Black Swan
Bordertown private investigator Luke Oliver’s beat is the dimensional fold in Manhattan between the human and supernatural realms. But now a secret from his past—the League of the Black Swan—has surfaced. Because Luke isn’t any ordinary P.I. He’s the Dark Wizard of Bordertown, and he never backs down from a fight.
But this time the fight threatens his life and his heart. Rio Jones, the only woman he loved, needs his help against a deadly menace. Luke pushed her away once before, so she’d never fall prey to the curse that threatens to destroy him. He swore he’d never let her go again.
Luke and Rio, with the help of the newly reformed League, must keep evil forces from taking over Bordertown—all the while battling a passion on the razor’s edge between danger and desire. And going to take everything they have just to stay alive.