- Reflection of a Curse, by Lissa Kasey
Reflection of a Curse, by Lissa Kasey
After a yearlong battle with declining health, Brand is offered the opportunity to live and work building a small home community in Upstate New York, and reconnecting with his best friend. But Brand is a long way from recovered and doesn’t know if he’ll actually be able to do the job.
Law thought he escaped small town life, and was on the verge of adding to his list of rehab skills when everything shut down. Now he’s in limbo, unable to work with suspended certificates, and back home with a family curse he’d like to keep secret.
Brand needs more than just a physical therapist. And Law is looking for a place to belong. When the truth is revealed, can the two of them find love, despite the mysteries and curses that plague their past?
Reflection of a Curse is the first book of the Romancing a Curse series told in third person. It focuses on our MC, Brand – an old friend of Montana's, mentioned in Book 2 – who is recovering from Covid. His struggle is long, hard and often brutal.
To start off, I want to say that I really connected to Brand, because my side-effects from chemo/cancer as a teen left me with a lot of the same problems Brand is struggling through. The mental battle of no longer being who you were, of losing friends, even the physical limitations he suffers are VERY common to what I've been through. Even the weak bones, struggling to breathe, and finding simple tasks very hard to complete without help. I've experienced the mental struggle, the therapy, the PT, and the internal battle of finding a new me, and finding the strength to ask for help when I needed it.
So, for me, Brand was extremely relatable, and I seriously applaud Kasey for the excellent, realistic exploration of those issues. Having experienced them, I can say she wrote them with accuracy and with a sympathetic understanding that let me be fully immersed in the story.
The plotting was a lot slower than other books, for that reason. Focusing on Brand's recovery meant that his physical progression and struggles took precedence and needed time. With Law as his physical therapist, their relationship has time to grow and enjoy a slow burn, but it's really slow. At times, it feels like nothing much is happening other than Brand's recovery, with barely 2-3 minor mentions of a vague 'horse' in the first 50% of the book. Because of that slower pace, and focusing on Brand's recovery first, it feels like the curse is forgotten about until the very end.
HOWEVER...saying that, I do feel that Brand's journey was important, strong and really well explored. I felt that his journey warranted the slower pace, and that it gave him time to open up to Law, and to the others, as well as giving their relationship time to progress naturally. Having shared that journey, I can understand and support the length of time it took to get there.
“Being sick, or even having a disability, doesn’t make you less. It doesn’t make you unlovable, or not human. It’s okay to feel, to learn, to explore, and live. Stop denying yourself the chance to enjoy life because you’re too afraid of being a burden to someone. You are not required to be anything to exist. So maybe just be you?”