From Bad to Cursed
May 11, 2022

Book Review

From Bad to Cursed

reviewed by Pam Guynn

Lana Harper knows how to draw readers into a story with one sentence. From Bad to Cursed is the second book in The Witches of Thistle Grove series. It meshes bits of several subgenres including paranormal romantic comedy, supernatural suspense, and a mystery.

Isidora (Issa) Avramov is a member of one of the four witch families that founded Thistle Grove, Illinois. Her family’s specialty is necromancy. When someone starts sabotaging town celebrations using a strong necromantic curse and a member of the Thorn family gets hurt, Issa and her nemesis Rowan Thorn are selected to serve as co-investigators.

Issa chases thrills, is pragmatic, stubborn, and bold; she’s the artistic director for the family’s haunted house, and secretly wants to design her own clothing line. However, guilt and fear are holding her back. Rowan is a by-the book type of person and has a low opinion of Issa after she volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary seven years ago while he was a veterinarian intern there. Both experience growth as their investigation unfolds, but I wanted to see a more profound change in him. The other characters are racially and lifestyle diverse and had an appropriate amount of depth for their roles.

The writing is terrific and flows so well the pages flew by. The plot is solid, absorbing, and intriguing with a storyline that definitely packed a punch. The diverse characterization and great world-building details provide insight into the town’s inhabitants and their differences. With the brisk pace, readers can feel the angst of the two main characters as they try to make sense of the circumstances they find themselves in, with perplexing clues and surprising feelings. The ending has some surprises that will likely astound some readers. A small quibble was the immaturity of the two main characters, especially during the first half of the book. They didn’t act as if they were in their mid-to-late 20’s. Themes include hatred, family, family dynamics, romance, friendship, envy, misunderstandings, family obligations versus personal desires, anxiety, and much more.

Overall, this tense and engaging novel unleashes wit, suspense, action, and romance that make it a powerful page-turner. If you enjoy excellent paranormal romances with a mystery, then I recommend that you check out this one. I am looking forward to finding out what happens next in Thistle Grove. This novel works as a standalone novel, but readers will get more background if they start with book one.

Berkley Publishing Group and Lana Harper provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for May 17, 2022.

From Bad to Cursed available at:


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