Wench Review of...

Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells

Don't you love book release days, Saucy reader? We do! We usually countdown to our much anticipated release days! And since Dirty Magic early this year, we've been waiting eagerly for the next installment in Jaye Wells's The Prospero's War series! We couldn't wait to read more about Kate, Pen, John Volos (yum), and Kate's team!

I reviewed Dirty Magic, the first book in the series, after viewing it on Net Galley before release day thanks to the lovely Jaye Wells (You can read my review here), and this time, Head Wench Barb received an ARC of Cursed Moon in the mail! Which is how I got my grubby little hands on it! We were happy Wenches!  

Click through to see what this Wench thought about Cursed Moon! (Very mildly spoilery, but I will be mentioning events that took place in Dirty Magic! So be warned.) 

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. (From goodreads.) 
Like Dirty Magic, Cursed Moon hit the ground running for me. Kate and her partner, Morales, are on patrol at a carnival watching for Blue Moon induced shenanigans. Creepy fortune teller, a flirty satyr, hexed cops, and a leprechaun - all within the first chapter. How can you NOT love this world? 

AWESOME madness.
Kate is dealing with a whole lot of guilt since the events of Dirty Magic, and is in a dark place when the book begins. I liked that things hadn't just been swept under the rug conveniently and that there were actual, real life consequences to her falling off the magic wagon, so to speak. She hasn't confessed her cooking dirty magic with Volos to anyone, not Danny, not Pen, not anyone on her team. And it's been weighing heavily on her and making her defensive and angry at everyone, including herself, and especially John Volos it seems. 

So we have the Blue Moon causing havoc, Kate being guilty and defensive, AND good ol' Uncle Abe has been trying to get in touch. Things couldn't get any worse, but then the MEA gets called in to help local law enforcement with a robbery at one of the covens, an especially intriguing coven. The O Coven aka the Mystical Coven of the Sacred Orgasm. And we get introduced to Aphrodite Jones. I have to say, Ms.Wells is BRILLIANT at creating the most interesting characters, and Aphrodite Jones was FASCINATING! And all the sex magic potions stolen from the coven were sure to come up later in the worst possible way.

Between Aphrodite Jones, Little Man & Mary, and the very intriguing Dionysus causing all sorts of mayhem, I couldn't help but be impressed with the treasure trove of weird and wonderful in Jaye Wells's amazing mind! She's a woman after my own heart. While I did love the Sabina Kane series, I'm pretty sure I am going to love this series even more! It has this certain dark and gritty and raw quality to it that I love in my books. (And that reminded me and Head Wench Barb of Wench fave series, Downside Ghosts.)

Cursed Moon has a little bit of everything that makes a book impossible to put down, friendly banter between Kate and her partner, Morales, issues at home with her brother Danny and her bestie Pen, her EXPLOSIVE chemistry with John Volos that basically has you begging for more, past issues in the form of Uncle Abe and visits to the O Coven that remind her of her mother, awesome and twisted new characters and mysteries. You're definitely not going to get bored while reading this. 

There was really only one problem I could say I had with Cursed Moon (other than really not liking Morales calling Kate "cupcake"... it makes me cringe every time.), and that was that I felt the whole "Morales/Kate want to bang" thing seemed a bit forced to me. I won't deny it, they make GREAT partners. But they're no Mulder & Scully, and I have zero interest in her wasting time on SUCH a safe choice. He's great. Attractive, funny, a nice guy it seems. But I'm not buying it. There's no real connection there in my opinion, and I know it's not just me who thinks that. The team betting on them eventually ending up in bed, the lust potion scene, everything... just... I don't see it. At this point, even if Volos wasn't insanely interesting, and didn't have CRAZY sexy chemistry with Kate, I still wouldn't want Kate and Morales to hook up just for the sake of it. But looks like that might be where the story is going. 

John Volos on the other hand, is a multi layered character I can get behind. He made me swoon in his first appearance in the book at the end of that very chapter, he makes me question things and why Kate is SO hell bent on making herself hate him, and while I wonder about his motivations when it comes to a lot of things, I want to believe he's being honest when he says Kate doesn't know the reasons he's done a lot of those things. He kinda reminds me of Trent from Kim Harrison's The Hollows, in the best possible way. I've mentioned before how I like characters who walk the line between good and evil, and eventually cross it one way or another. And I still believe that of both Volos and Kate. It's pretty obvious there are still exposed, raw feelings and heartache on both sides, and I can't help but want them to work it out. 

John Volos!
(He needs more page time.)
Uncle Abe turned out to be as big an asshole as we thought he would, and Kate's childhood fear of him was tangible. I just wanted to hug her at times. And we definitely haven't seen the last of that dirty magic kingpin. But in a way, I do believe it did Kate good facing him, and standing up to him. It was great watching her not cower under his gaze. You go girl. 

He really is. 
I don't want to give too much away since this was a riveting read and spoilers would ruin some of the great things about the story. The mysteries and all the Blue Moon chaos were fast paced, horrific at times, fascinating, and you just NEED to see how it ends. I really felt like I was running around the city with Kate and the team trying to put things together before the Blue Moon hit and things went crazier. New potions, dangerous hexes, an angry, vengeful hermaphrodite, politics, personal issues with the bff, explosions, revelations, and acceptance. This book had it all! A must read for readers who enjoy a tough, gritty, no nonsense approach to their Urban Fantasy reads and love a character that struggles to do the right thing against all odds and actually has a journey. And who doesn't love it when a plot all comes together beautifully at the end? 

This Wench rates it :


  1. Great review Zee! I haven't read it yet but will hopefully get to it soon. Volos totally reminds me of Trent from the Hollows series too. I thought it was just me. I agree that Volos is that interesting onion character, the one you're just itching to pull away all the layers. I'll be disappointed if Morales, nice guy that he is, turns out to be The One. As you said, he's the safe (and boring!) choice and I don't expect he's going to have much of a character arc at all. He's the good, solid partner. That's it. Whereas Volos' arc can do all sorts of interesting, sexy things.

    Veronica G.

    1. Yessss! Volos' arc has SO much potential in so many ways! I'd hate to see it go to waste!

  2. Did Mary and LM make an appearance? I just finished Dirty Magic (loved it!) and I have a soft spot for that foul-mouthed little cretin (he's such a baby - haha!).

    1. They do! And we meet another incredibly fascinating character from the delightfully twisted mind of Jaye Wells.


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