books

Lissa Kasey

Books

Romancing a Curse: Recipe for a Curse (2021), Heir to a Curse (2020)


Romancing a Curse

Recipe for a Curse (2021)

Recipe for a CurseI downloaded this novella as part of a Winter Wonderland giveaway of holiday short stories and novellas. As the first story I read wasn’t good, I haven’t expected too much from the other stories I’ve read.

Montana works as a chef for a retreat in a small town. Like several others of the employees, he lives at the manor and as it’s the holidays, he is just making food for the staff. When he takes his weekly delivery to the food pantry he notices that Rio–a local recluse and vet–isn’t there. So worried, he decides to take a delivery of food out to his trailer.

This story unfolds slowly, all from Montana’s point-of-view. As a reader of supernatural fantasy, you pick up on what’s happening, however, Montana behaves as any of is might in that situation, assuming Rio’s problem is PTSD combined with some medical issue that leaves him hungry all the time.

It’s extremely well done.

As well done are all the food bits, which I absolutely adored. He’s a chef, but he bakes as a hobby, and all the food sounded delicious and marvelous. Which means I’m really craving sweet rolls now.

I will definitely look for other books by this author.

Publisher: LK Publishing
Rating: 8/10

Heir to a Curse (2020)

Heir to a CurseThis story is set during the pandemic.

Zach Frank is struggling with inheriting a cursed house. Not just–or even mostly–because of the curse, but because of the loss of the woman who left the house to him. The woman who was to all intents and purposes the only mother he ever had.

Now the section of her tree that should have ended had a branch extending from it, with my name scrawled beneath it.

Not that the curse is a small thing.

Mr. Yamamoto opened the side door to the kitchen. The damage was worse than I thought. Fire had eaten away a lot of the sidewall, all the cabinets and appliances, and a good portion of underlayment of the floor, leaving it all unstable and dangerous to walk on. We all huddled just inside the doorway.

“Wow. I thought they said it only burned twenty minutes or so,” Jerry said.

“Yes,” Mr. Yamamoto agreed. “However, the fire chief said it burned really hot.”

Sofia wanted the mansion to be a place of love and happiness, but her family curse kept it from being either a home or a business.

At the start of the story, most of the fantasy happens in dreams, and Zach has dreams that feel more like memories, and the people in those dreams start bleeding over into the waking world.

One thing I particularly liked was how the story dealt with both the pandemic and Zach’s grief. I’ll be honest, having the pandemic in the story was jarring–especially in a fantasy. But the pandemic was part of what made Zach’s grief complicated, since he was unable to be near Sofia in her final days.

Perhaps my head was broken from the grief. If so, I’d seek out a therapist and see if talking it out could fix it.

The major problem I had with the story was the editing. There were a couple bits that appeared twice in the story, which threw me completely out as I was trying to figure out what was happening.

The other issue was that Zach kept calling himself an asshole, when every action we saw him take as the opposite of that. It’s possible he believed himself to be an asshole because of his buried memories of his past lives, or because he’d been abandoned both by his birth parents and his first foster family. But in his actions he was anything but an asshole.

So an interesting story, even with the editing issues.

Publisher : Layer Kake Publishing, LLC
Rating: 7/10