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From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper

A review by Nalini Haynes

In Payback’s a Witch, the scion of the necromantic Avramov family, Talia, falls in lust with the scion of another family. Now, in From Bad to Cursed, Talia’s younger sister, Isidora, holds a grudge against Rowan of the Thorn family, a green-focused witch. And, consistent with this genre, we just *know* where this is going to go.

However, Harper blends her genres. Payback’s a Witch features witches fighting back against an entitled dick and his entitled family. From Bad to Cursed is a whodunnit: who cursed Holly Thorn during the audition for May Queen?

Minority representation

Harper’s witchy families are multi-racial with, one might assume, Beltane-conceived children and children of mixed marriages. So when she talks about cornrows, it’s best to assume the character hasn’t misappropriated Black culture. (Sorry, but I kept visualizing Rowan as white because I’m more used to white guys with waist length hair in varied styles.)

Harper avoids haranguing the reader about issues of race while having the black guy be bigoted against the white woman. And the white woman feeling guilty about using the discrimination card because OF COURSE the Black dude knows about that shit. But he’s also guilty, although his bigotry didn’t endanger her life.

Basically this sweet fun rom-com whodunnit has an extra edge, increased depth, taking it to the next level.

The verdict

Perhaps I’ve read too many books but I saw the twist coming. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Isidora grows as a person as does Rowan. And they both get hot and heavy, having delicious sexytimes, in between scenes sparking with sexual tension.

For the characters’ journey and integral inclusion of social issues alongside all the delicious romance, I give From Bad To Cursed 5 stars.

Book details

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9780593336083
Imprint: Penguin Random House
Released: 2022
Format: I read the ebook. Aaaand Penguin’s website doesn’t mention how many pages. Sorry.
Category: romance, romantic comedy, social issues

From Bad To Cursed: a black snake writhes in front of red flowers with green leaves

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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