Published by Simon Pulse on February 18, 2020
Series: St. Rosetta's Academy #1
Genres: Young Adult, Magical Realism, contemporary, Romance
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.
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.
Of Curses and Kisses is the first book in the young adult contemporary/magical realism series called the St. Rosetta’s Academy series by Sandhya Menon. I am such a huge fan of retellings, re-imaginings and books based on fairy tales, so when I heard this was going to be a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast, and that it was going to be set at a boarding school, I was completely sold! Not to mention I love Sandhya Menon’s writing style. Her books are always heartwarming and completely addictive. Of Curses and Kisses was a fantastic addition to collection of novels, and I am super excited that it is the first book set at St. Rosetta’s Academy. I can’t wait to revisit the school and read stories of more of the school’s students.
Of Curses and Kisses is is a contemporary story with a magical realism/fantasy element woven in. You get to be a judge of how large the magic element in the story is, and I absolutely loved that facet of the “curse” that plagues our main characters. This is a take on Beauty and the Beast but it is done as a contemporary novel, and I absolutely loved this modern re-imagining of the classic tale. In Of Curses and Kisses, we meet our two main characters Princess Jaya Rao and Lord Grey Emerson, who are family rivals. Their families have been feuding for generations, and it all centers back around a rumor that one member of the Emerson family stole a Rao family jewel. And because of this stolen jewel, the Rao’s have cursed the males of the Emerson family to all die on their 18th birthday. (or at the very least something very gruesome would happen to him.)
Jaya finds herself at St. Rosetta’s intent on getting revenge on behalf of her sister, which puts her in close proximity with Grey. I loved watching Jaya and Grey interact, particularly once Jaya’s walls started to come down. I loved that grey could tell when she was being genuine and when she was being fake. Watching the two of these family enemies connect and grow closer was so satisfying and heartwarming fro me. I also rather enjoyed the gang of characters at this school, and I can’t wait to revisit them in future installments. I am personally hoping that Jaya’s sister Isha will be the main character in her own story because she is delightful. I loved that she is so clearly her own person. She is so much less wrapped up in other’s opinions that Jaya is.
Bottom line- If you like modern spins on classic fairy tales, and you love a good enemies to lovers romance, the Of Curses and Kisses is an adorable tale that I think will put a smile on your face. I really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait for more in this series and in general from author Sandhya Menon. I love her books!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- 2020 Retellings Reading Challenge
- Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020