Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

ocakOf Curses & Kisses
Author Sandhya Menon
Publisher Simon Pulse | 2020
Pages 384
contemporary | romance

4 stars

Will the princess save the beast?
For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?

His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…

As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending. (from Goodreads)

This review is spoiler freeeeeeee! 🙂

“In order to weaken Grey Emerson, Jaya had to get him to be vulnerable with her. And what made boys more vulnerable than love?”

I’ve been looking forward to this book for quite some time (plus the cover is SUPER cute) and I’m really pleased to say that it was a delight to read! It’s good to read something lighthearted and funny in these stressful times, and I’ve already got another contemporary romance lined up because I’m in the mood for them now! This is my first Sandhya Menon book and I will definitely be picking up the next one in this series 🙂

I am ALWAYS here for a fairytale retelling. This was a bit looser retelling of Beauty & the Beast but it was fun to see the little hints that were there, like the rose pendant and the West Wing tower. I was SUPER thrilled to hear that the sequel was based on the Princess and the Frog, which is one of my underrated favorites! The plot moved pretty quickly, and the twist at the end was suuuuper predictable from early on, but that wasn’t a huge deal for me.

I liked both Jaya and Grey (though Jaya sometimes annoyed me with how oblivious and uncommunicative she was) and their relationship was cute. Jaya’s stubbornness was also a bit grating at times, and I always hate when plot problems could easily be solved by communication and honesty and then are not. Still, this book was a lot of fun! Definitely cheesy sometimes but overall a very adorable read.

The side characters were kind of hit or miss for me. I liked Isha and the sister relationship was really heartwarming. Daphe Elizabeth annoyed me too much to really like her, and her plot was just a nuisance to me, since it was obvious that she was making all the wrong choices. My favorite side character actually ended up being Catherine (shocker, I know) and I absolutely LOVED how her storyline played out! I’m HYPED that the sequel will be focused on her because I thought she was a lovely character, and I hope to see her friendship with Jaya grow in the next book as well! 

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