My Queendom for a Horse (The Russian Witch’s Curse #1)
Bridget E. Baker
My Rating: 2 stars
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
Kristiana Liepa was supposed to use the money to save her family farm. She was NOT supposed to spend it all to save a massive, black stallion.
But when she saw how he was being treated, what’s a vet to do?
She had no idea that gorgeous beast was really a powerful (and morally gray) magician who had been cursed by a witch, or that she was the only one who could reverse the curse.
And she couldn’t possibly have known how that one rash decision would irrevocably change her life. . . and his.
Need a little more information to make up your mind? Read a longer description below:
Kristiana’s father has a gambling problem. After a particularly bad hand of cards puts their family’s land in jeopardy, her dad’s solution is to call her billionaire ex. But Kris can’t bring herself to beg him for money. At least, not her first time seeing him in ten years. Instead, she withdraws her life savings and bets on herself.
Thankfully, it pays off! She and her most promising horse win big at the Down Royal steeplechase in Ireland, but only because the best horse on the track wasn’t ridden properly. Luckily, it’s just enough to grant a stay of execution with the bank. Or it would be. . .
But when Kris realizes her nemesis is abusing the gorgeous black stallion who should have won, she can’t help herself. She spends her winnings buying the horse she fell for the moment she saw him. It may not be the smartest move in the short run, but Obsidian Devil’s her best hope of finally digging out from under the massive debt hanging over them. She’ll have to ask her ex to help with the next payment, but seeing him again won’t be so bad.
What Kris doesn’t know is that her new purchase is actually a powerful magician, stuck in horse form by a witch’s curse. She also has no idea that she’ll be the only person who can help him lift the curse. . . And worst of all, that helping him may mean losing the family farm for good.
When I heard of this book I knew I had to read it, it just sounded so fun and original. I mean there’s a horse shifter and a curse. Unfortunately this book was a miss for me. The writing style is pleasant, so I hope I’ll enjoy some of the author’s other books more, but I did not enjoy this one. I kept reading hoping it would get better, but it didn’t.
My Queendom for a Horse is told from Kristiana’s point of view. Her father has gambled and now they have a huge debt and it’s up to her to fix it. So she’s attending this horse race and instead of using the winnings to pay off that debt she buys this black stallion that is mistreated by it’s owners. Which is one of the few things she does that I liked. It turns out the horse is actually a horse shifter and only she can shift him back and forth until the curse is broken. I loved the set up and the idea behind this book. I don’t think I’ve read about a horse shifter before. And the author clearly knows a lot about horses, as there were lots of specific details and the way the horses got described felt spot on, not that I know a lot about horses.
That’s where my love for this book ended unfortunately. I struggled through this book hoping Kirstiana and Aleks would team up to figure out this whole curse thing and actually spend some time together and getting to know each. Instead it’s an insta love and hate-to-love romance. Only in the last few chapters I could feel the hint of romance and by then it was too little too late. Kris and Aleks spend the whole book arguing with each other, not communicating, abusing their powers (she shifts him or not shifts him as she seems fit and he barges in on her dates as no fence can stop him as a horse) and just being all-round nasty and rude to the other. I didn’t feel their connection or romance at all and got frustrated with it.
On top of that there’s a love triangle, I am not a fan of those usually, but I hated this one. Sean wasn’t very likable, but by the end of the book I was almost feeling bad for him due to how Kris treats him and strings him along. Then again he pressures her into dating him again and I didn’t like how he talked to her and treated her. The love triangle drags on for most of the book and seemed to be there just to create heaps of drama and angst. It just didn’t work for me. With the money troubles, the romance and the love triangle there just was way too much angst and drama for my taste in this book.
Despite that all I do think the writing is good and I liked the idea of the story. So it made me extra sad I didn’t enjoy it. I kept hoping the actual curse part would play a bigger role and would make things more interesting for me, but the way the curse got resolved was actually quite anti-climactic in my opinion. And there’s a hint of some bad guys, but that plot line doesn’t get resolved and will probably carry throughout the series. I also had hoped the magic Aleks had would be more interesting and a bigger part of the story. I can’t really say much about it for spoilers, but it felt kinda easy how it solved some problems in a non interesting way.
It was fun to read a story set in Latvia, as I don’t think I’ve read one that took place there before. It doesn’t play a huge role, but there are some mentions of Latvian food and places. It did bother me that the characters used miles and Fahrenheit though as Latvia used kilometers and Celsius. Those details got me out of the story. I also thought it implausible she could drive all the way from Latvia to England in just two days, but later in the story she does the same trip in just one day and I just don’t see how that’s possible.
To summarize: I really wanted to enjoy this book, the premise is so fun and unique and the author clearly knows a lot about horses. I had hoped for more about the curse and Kris and Aleks working together. Instead they spend the whole book arguing with each other, being rude and abusing their powers. I didn’t like their romance and could not feel their connection. Unless she’s riding him as a horse there are no peaceful cooperative scenes. Aleks and Kris were not likable characters to me and I didn’t enjoy reading about them. Their romance felt like insta love and hate-to-love to me and I didn’t enjoy it. Most of the book focuses on either the money troubles or the love triangle and there was way too much angst and drama for me. I hated the love triangle. Sean didn’t seem like a good fit for Kris and I didn’t like how he sort of bargained with her to date him again. I didn’t like how the love triangle went on for the most part of the book. The setting in Latvia was interesting, although there were some little details that pulled me out of the story like how Kris used miles and Fahrenheit instead of kilometers and Celsius. I liked the author’s writing so I plan to try some of her other books and and hopefully I will enjoy those more.
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