My Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/ Urban Fantasy/ Contemporary Romance with a Paranormal twist
Age Category: New Adult/ Adult
Type of romance: MM
Alrik has two choices: Spend eternity eating mice, or learn to accept himself for who he is.
As his eighteenth birthday draws near, prince Alrik—heir to the throne of Edan—must choose a wife. But when his first kiss with a beautiful princess leaves him feeling cold, he knows that although it is his duty, he cannot love a woman. In a fit of panic, he seeks out the aid of the witch Gwydion. The witch, however, has other plans.
After hundreds of years as a cat, Alrik must learn to accept himself and who he loves or face the rest of eternity as a cat. Luckily, New York City’s dumpsters are ripe for the picking. With food from around the world to choose from, he finds himself drawn to one restaurant in particular.
Crystal Tokyo—a restaurant specializing in Japanese food—is Yuuki’s first big job as a chef, and he loves it. So, what happens when Yuuki decides to befriend the black cat hanging out in Crystal Tokyo’s back alley?
This story is perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Simon Snow Series, Ashley Poston’s The Princess and the Fangirl, and A.W. Jantha’s Hocus Pocus.
This sounded like such a cute romance story and I liked the sound of the premise, so I bought a copy of this one. I am glad I got around to reading it, it was a fun and cute story. I have a bit of mixed feelings about this one, parts of it were really good, but other parts didn’t quite work for me.
The Curse of the Black Cat is a story that mostly feels like a contemporary read, but there’s a big paranormal twist namely the curse. So it’s a bit hard to really categorize this one. The story starts when Prince Alrik has to marry a girl, but after kissing one he feels nothing. As he goes to the local witch for help they curse him to spend his life as an immortal cat until he learns to love himself. After a few chapters showing how Alrik does through the ages most of the book takes place in modern day New York were the cat grows close to chef Yuuki.
After the first two chapters I was almost ready to give up on this book. The start was 2 chapters full of telling, telling us al the backstory of Alrik, how be became a cat and how she spend his life since then. It didn’t grab my attention and as there was so little showing and emotions it was hard to get into the story. Once in New York the real storyline seemed to begin and the book got a lot better after that. Then toward the end there was a twist I didn’t care for and the wrap up felt anti climactic and a bit too easy after all the time Alrik had spend as a cat.
So while the beginning and ending didn’t work for me I did actually really enjoyed most of the story between those parts. I liked how the author wrote Alrik as a cat and how he was a typical cat in some ways, but also still Alrik and sentient, which made for some interesting situations. Some of my favorite scenes where seeing how Yuuki took care of Alrik. Yuuki really grew to like the cat and I liked seeing their bond even with Yuuki not knowing his cat was actually a human. And it was touching to see how their relationship grew even without them being able to communicate much.
I am sad to say that I actually liked their relationship as cat and human more than as human and human. It was hard to feel the romance as that part gets condensed into a small part. Also due to the set up and how Alrik knew Yuuki already, but not the other way around, the romance felt a bit rushed on Yuuki’s side. There was a hint of drama at the end, which didn’t work for me and then it all got wrapped up almost too easily. I also would’ve liked to see an actual epilogue instead of just hearing they lived happily ever after.
While we’re able to get an idea for the emotions and feelings of the character by how they act, at times I would’ve liked a bit more. The point of view feels kinda distant at times and I think a closer point of view might’ve worked better to show Alrik’s change as now that felt kinda sudden. I also felt that some of the messages are more for the reader than the characters as I didn’t realy feel like they realized some of the things.
The fantasy/ paranormal aspect is pretty big in some ways and minor in others. Once Alrik gets cursed he mostly is a sentient cat and there isn’t much magic around except for the curse which got him into that form. There is a bit more magic later in the book, but it’s pretty minor.
To summarize: this was a cute story. I liked the premise with prince Alrik being stuck as a cat. The beginning was hard to get into for me as it was mostly telling instead of showing to get an overview of Alrik’s life for centuries. Once he arrives in New York and the time speeds up mostly disappear it got a lot better. There are some great scenes between Alrik and Yuuki and I liked seeing how Yuuki took such good care of him as a cat. I actually liked their relationship as cat and human more than when they finally meet as two humans. I didn’t like a certain twist toward the end and parts felt a bit rushed to me and I didn’t fully feel the romance. It also felt a bit too easy how something got resolved and the ending felt a bit abrupt. All in all I had fun reading this one, although the start and beginning didn’t really work for me.