It’s been a busy week, in part because I became a micro-influencer! Technically, that just means that I have more than 2,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and higher-than-average engagement rates. Really, though, it means that YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME! Thanks for your support!

Amongst that, plus my husband turning 52 but me thinking he turned 53 (see visual below), and all other life things, I also read A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and its sequel A Heart So Fierce and Broken. Guys, if you want a book (or books) to grab you, lock you in, and not let you go until you’ve fully experienced the adventure/emotional roller-coaster ride that is its plot, this is it. It’s probably the most unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I’ve ever read. Read on for details and a good deal on it!

A Curse So Dark and Lonely Plot Summary

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over again until a girl fell in love with him, Prince Rhen, the heir to the kingdom of Emberfall, thought he could easily be saved. It wouldn’t be hard to convince any girl to fall for him, he thought. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destroying those girls, his castle, his family, and the citizens of his own kingdom.

Harper, on the other hand, has always had things hard in the “kingdom” of modern Washington, D.C. Her dad abandoned her and her brother, her mom’s dying, and her brother coddles her because of her cerebral palsy. Maybe that’s what makes her more sensitive to others’ troubles. When she tries to save a stranger on the street, she’s pulled into Prince Rhen’s world.

At first, of course, she’s incredulous and just wants to get back home. But as she begins to understand what’s at stake, and as Rhen begins to realize that she’s not just another girl to woo, his hope starts to return. But there’s so much that neither of them understand, and that pesky enchantress–the one that cast the curse to begin with–has a way of torturing Rhen in the worst ways possible. Even as Harper helps Rhen reconnect with his subjects and the outer world, the Enchantress manipulates not only him but the surrounding kingdoms in a game that never seems to end…and that could cost both he and Harper more than their lives.

Why Read A Curse So Dark and Lonely?

When I say a book is “unputdownable,” what does that mean and why should you care? That word means different things to different people, right? For me, it means:

  • the characters are captivating and real. They experience real emotions, no matter how incredible their circumstances, and move the plot forward based on those emotions. As a writer, I know that’s a tricky thing to do. Sometimes you have a vision of what you want to have happen in a book which may or may not line up with what the character feels. I appreciate Kemmerer’s skill in crafting not just Rhen and Harper, but other supporting characters. And the fact that the enchantress is still a present force in this version of the tale is SUCH a bonus.
  • the prose glitters in my heart and resonates in my experience. Take this, for example, a statement from a village woman to Harper: “I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.” That might seem cliche or trite to some, but having experienced some pretty dark times recently with my husband’s chronic health problems and both of our mental illnesses, and experiencing the sweet light that shines around those struggles, I loved that statement. It wasn’t just that statement, though, that I liked. All the words throughout the book were full, present-tense nuggets.
  • like I said, the plot picks you up and doesn’t stop. If you are a book adrenaline junkie like me, this’ll be a good “hit.”

Book Deal on A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Between Amazon, Barnes & Noble,,, and, Amazon had the best deal: $6.64 for the Kindle version. If you’re not into ebooks, the paperback is $6.99.

Nutrition Facts for A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Because I read this in hardback, I don’t have specific numbers on profanity, sex, violence, or good or bad themes. I will say, though, that there was no sex, a little bit of profanity (if I remember correctly) but no F bombs, and a fair amount of violence. No gore though.

Have you read this book or one like it? If so, tell me about it! I want to hear!


  1. […] in action. And it’s another still to see them executed wonderfully, as in Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely, yet another to see those rules broken, but with great effect, as in Marie Lu’s Young Elites. […]

  2. […] talked about this book here. This movie would be Beauty and the Beast on steroids, with a modern, teenage, disabled girl as its […]

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