Book Review: Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells

Cursed Moon by Jaye WellsTitle: Cursed Moon
Series: Prospero’s War, Book 2
Author: Jaye Wells
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: bought
Published: August 12, 2014 by Orbit

When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magical Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and everyone's emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon's impact is especially strong for Kate who's wrestling with guilt over falling off the magic wagon.

After a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from the local covens, Kate worries their suspect is building a dirty magic bomb. Her team must find the anarchist rogue before the covens catch him, and make sure they defuse the bomb before the Blue Moon deadline. Failure is never an option, but success will require Kate to come clean about her secrets.

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Reviewed by: Lesley

Why I Read This Book: I read the first book in the Prospero’s War series and liked the gritty urban fantasy feel. Jaye Wells blends police procedural with magic and fun fantasy elements. She’s built an interesting, dark, and detailed world, and I was excited to jump back in with Cursed Moon and see what new elements she was going to throw in.

What I Liked: I like the fact that Wells doesn’t pull any punches. Her heroes get hurt and knocked around and don’t always make the right calls. I think that adds to the gritty UF vibe. I also like that Kate has a lot going on: she’s a detective still new to an established task force; she’s raising her teenage brother; she has a very sordid past; she’s working through an addiction to cooking dirty magic. While I did have some issues with her in this book (see the ‘What I Didn’t Like’ section), I still appreciate that there’s more to her life and her character than the role of detective.

I love the fun and bizarre elements and characters Wells adds to this world. Little Man and Mary are grotesque, entertaining, and oddly endearing. Aphrodite Johnson is half beautifully feminine, half ruggedly masculine, and entirely sexy and powerful. There’s a giant mythical lake monster, a potion drunk leprechaun, and a psych ward escapee parading around as the Greek god, Dionysus. Wells grabs quirky elements and makes them fit in this dangerous and dark world in an entertaining way.

Kate and Morales are a fun team. There is no shortage of snark, sarcasm, and witty banter where those two are concerned. I like the sexual tension between them and am interested to see where that might lead.

What I Didn’t Like: Kate started to drive me crazy with her over-reacting and hypocrisy at various points throughout the novel. Her guilt about how she dealt with things in Dirty Magic, the first book in the series, is a driving factor for her actions in Cursed Moon. That being said, it seemed somewhat overdone. I felt like too much time was spent on Kate’s internal struggle and hypocritical judgments. I think Kate’s character development and the over-arching story line would have remained strong even if this was done to a slightly lesser degree. I like Kate as a character, she’s flawed and hardworking and still figuring herself out. But in this book she started to step across the line separating likable and irritating. Luckily she starts to redeem herself by the end.

Overall Impression: Cursed Moon is a fun urban fantasy read that adds to an already strong series. If you like police procedurals where magic is the drug of choice, then you’ll enjoy the world Wells has created.

While there are some romantic inclinations, romance isn’t a big part of Kate’s storyline. At least not in this book. Be aware, there are dirty magic potion induced orgies that get pretty intense in this book, which is where the ‘Erotic’ Sensuality Rating comes from. Kate and the team are called in to break them up, which is where we get some pretty graphic descriptions of the illegally induced mayhem. I wish the erotic rating was thanks to Morales… but sadly, it is not.

Lesley’s Rating:
3 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. I really enjoy this series, I hope I get to book three soon. I agree with you about her overreacting, though, that got a bit annoying.

  2. This is a series that I've been wanting to try, but just haven't gotten to it yet. I hope book three works out better for you.


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