One Cursed Rose

The captivating dark romantasy inspired by Beauty and the Beast

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Pub Date 25 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 9 Jul 2024
Headline | Headline Eternal

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For fans of Scarlett St Clair and Sarah J Maas, New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti explores the forbidden and the taboo in this twist on Beauty and the Beast - the first in a seductive new dark romance series set in a world where information is power, and those who control the flow of information live like gods...

'Sexy and utterly engrossing!' J.T. Geissinger

'Zanetti launches a new series with this shadowy and violent twist on "Beauty and the Beast" that will appeal to readers looking for a uniquely magical world filled with seduction and betrayal' Library Journal

Anyone can be swallowed by the darkest of shadows . . .

Alana Beaumont is the sole heir to Aquarius Social - but with the company under attack from an unseen enemy, her father decides to marry her off to a rival family in the hopes of securing an alliance, leaving Alana torn between her family duty and her thirst for revenge as her wedding day approaches.

But, following an unsuccessful assassination attempt, the wedding becomes the least of her concerns when she comes face to face with her rescuer: Thorn Beathach, owner of the rival business empire driving Aquarius under . . . and now her kidnapper.

Known as the richest and most ruthless of them all, Thorn protects his realm with an iron fist, and no one sees his face. Until Alana.

Convinced that she is only safe with him, Thorn wants to keep her in his enchanted castle forever, but she's not the docile beauty he expects, and he's not the only one who will find pleasure in their arrangement . . .

For fans of Scarlett St Clair and Sarah J Maas, New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti explores the forbidden and the taboo in this twist on Beauty and the Beast - the first in a seductive...

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ISBN 9781035417865
PRICE £10.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 17 members

Featured Reviews

One cursed rose by Rebecca Zanetti is a compelling magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a unique modern spin, dark romance, and mafia aspects.

I love the dark romance that develops between Belle and the Beast in the traditional fairytale, and this is tastefully explored between the two main characters Alana and Thorn (I love how his name is a gentle throw to the rose that is prominent in the fairytale). For Thorn, it is instant attraction (with the reasoning not really explored, which I would have appreciated as I enjoyed learning about his character), but his appreciation of her gradually increases as he learns more about Alana. For Alana, there is understandable dislike at the start as he kidnaps her (a nod to the classic fairytale), but their relationship develops at a decent pace.

Alana is a good main female lead – she shares characteristics with Belle in that she is strong minded, loves books, is intellectual, and has her own mind. I liked that Thorn fell first, and unlike most dark romances, he never forces her into something that she doesn’t want or isn’t ready for. Yes, his love is dark and there is BDSM themes throughout their romance scenes, but it is consensual, and Alana’s tastes for this are gently explored, as their relationship develops. He is experienced (she is not), and he takes their exploration at a suitable pace to reflect this.
The curse on Thorn is an unusual twist – not the atypical magic theme like the original fairytale, but there is a unique system created by the power of crystals. Thorn’s power is broken, and he is subsequently slowly freezing to death. Like the book, Alana doesn’t know of this straight away, so their relationship develops because of her interest in him, not because of a need to rescue.

I enjoyed how the book kept to the fairytale classical themes but has it’s own unique spin. I enjoyed the mafia aspect of it, and the twist at the end. There are aspects that I would have liked to have seen developed further, but only because I grew attached to the characters and would have liked to learn more about them.

I’m interested to see what this author has to offer in the future and thank Rebecca and netgallery for this ARC. As someone who reads a lot of beauty and the beast retellings, I’d definitely recommend this one, if you like your romance darker, and the male romance interests, gruff, surly and obsessed. For me, the book is a 4.5, because I would have liked to see more development in certain areas, but I appreciate that adding more, may have slowed the pacing down too much.

Key tropes
Touch her and die
He falls first
Mafia aspect
BDSM/ consensual dark romance

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I can't believe Rebecca once again managed to blow my ever-loving mind. This retelling of beauty and beast, this once again danger in every given moment, this unique world she managed to create. I need this to be series and I need more of this amazing twisted and dark universe.

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This is a modern day (albeit with magic) beauty and the beast retelling. We follow the story of Alana, a social media mogul who is part of one of the most powerful families in this world. Alana is kindhearted, intelligent and can hold her own. The story kicks off with Thorn kidnapping Alana after she has been promised to another man. Alana understandably dislikes him at first, but soon their irresistible attraction for each other grows into something powerful. I enjoyed reading about their relationship, and the angst as it was building up (the enemies to lovers really hits with this one). The story does have darker elements but I wouldn't necessarily class it as a *really* dark romance. The other characters within the story were brilliant, and I'd love to get to know them more in future books. The story has a modern feel to it with a big focus on social media. I did find the magic system a little confusing, wrapping my head around gemstones that can power computers/social media platforms took some time! But it didn't take away from the enjoyment of the story. In fact I really loved it and devoured it within a few days!

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One Cursed Rose - Rebecca Zanetti

A really dark fairytale retelling. In Alana and Thorn’s world, power is contained within crystals, each one having a special affinity for 4 main families who use that power to control competing social media networks.

Alana is the face of her social media site, Aquarius Social, and in a bid for more power, is set for an arranged marriage with a competing family.

After an assassination attempt, Thorn, the brains behind Malice Media, unveils himself from the shadows after a deadly curse/virus slowly begins to infect him. His main aim? To finally act on his obsession with Alana.

Kidnapping, enemies-to-lovers, smut and plenty of violence. There’s a lot of underground good doing weaved throughout the book which keeps the plot interesting. Unanswered questions and plot twists to keep you guessing.

I really enjoyed Alana and Thorn’s story and the concept of social media being powered by crystals!

Thank you NetGalley for the arc in return for an honest review!

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

WOW when I say I was hungry and this book FED me I mean in. I ATE this up 🥵

A Beauty and the Beast retelling set in the modern day where four families control the technological world. Alana (our heroine) is the heir to one of these families and draws the attention of Thorn, the owner of one of the other companies. What follows is a steamy romance with thrilling elements, and I’m a sucker for the “who did this to you” trope 😍

It is a darker retelling compared with some others I have read (e.g. ACOTAR), but I loved all the characters, the spice was excellent and the plot actually made sense and kept me guessing. I want more please!!!

Overall 5⭐️ and 3.5🌶️

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A really unique twist on the story. A modern theme of the digital age with social postings powering the world. I really enjoyed the story and the twists as the story developed. Loved the chemistry between the main characters.

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I went into this expecting a fantasy romance, and being very confused and surprised when it wasn't that. It's what I get for basing off a cover vibe... I was not expecting a technology social-media based urban fantasy. Once I got over that though I was able to get into the story. It gave a mix of Green Bone Saga and Haunting Adeline, even had its' own version of the gun scene.
I really liked the writing, it flowed well. The magic system and the way the crystals work didn't make sense to me, but I don't think that mattered too much.

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Thank you, NetGalley, Headline Eternal and Rebecca Zanetti, for this ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

This book's description as a modern, dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast really piqued my interest. I liked that the author brought the story into a modern setting with magical elements that were truly unique. I've never before read anything where social media empires ruled the world and gained power, energy and money through user interactions and magical crystals.
Even though this was a dark romance, it wasn't too dark for a dark romance beginner like me. The MMC had an interesting curse and I liked that this strong and deadly "beast" needed saving from the FMC. The FMC was a sweet character and I enjoyed that she was a beauty but still had a brain 😂 The *scenes* between Thorn and Alana were obviously HOT (though they're kinky and very graphic, fyi).
I think for being the first book of the series and trying out a new concept, it was well done. However, in my rating, I'm torn between 3.5 and 4 stars (I rounded up here). I wished there'd been more world-building because it was sometimes confusing to figure out the rules of the magic system and crystal-technology connection. The breaking of Thorn's curse seemed a bit too rushed and easy and I think a moment of retardation/delay would've built more suspense. Additionally, the ending felt too hurried as well. It would've been nice to see the MCs take some time after what happened to truly get to know each other before a certain thing in the epilogue (no spoiler). Their romance was just a little too insta-love for me.
Still, I do think the series has potential and would read the next books coming.

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If you are looking for your next possessive MMC and strong, independent FMC, then look no further! This book has a very morally grey MMC (Thorn), with a heart of ice - almost literally - who only softens when with the woman he is obsessed with, the FMC Alana.

Only after reading did I discover that this was a dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast and on reflection, I can see that vibe, but it wasn’t overly dominating in the story. There were definite hints and nods (names of the characters, an abundance of roses from the MMC, a curse etc.).

The spice, banter and action are perfect for this retelling. Thorn is exactly the type of man that many are now dreaming of and he makes sure that Alana is looked after and satisfied in every way. It is also slightly stalker-ish (if that’s a word) as he always ensures that Alana is safe wherever she is and will always get to her (think Zade Meadows). That bathroom scene? 🥵 You will know when you get there!

Some of my favourite quotes:

‘Call yourself whatever you want.’ …. ‘I’m calling you mine.’

‘ME: You’re racking up punishments faster than a demon collects debts.
ALANA: You’re the demon keeping score.
ME: Yes, I am. And baby, the house always wins. Prepare yourself.’

The only part I struggled with was the addition of crystals to the story. As a crystal-enthusiast myself, I was initially intrigued and excited by this addition, but towards the end of the story, it seemed to feel like an awkward addition to the plot and I will admit that I didn’t fully understand it.

Overall: 3.5 stars
Spice: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

Thank you to Rebecca Zanetti, Headline Publishers and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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I can only say I totally loved this concept and retelling of beauty and the beast. It had great characters, a totally unexpected villain, and included details of those that will make up the couples in the successive retellings of the Grimm Bargains series. Certainly looking forward to One Dark Kiss.

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