Review: One Cursed Rose by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted April 22, 2024 by Lucy D in Book Reviews, Fantasy/High Fantasy / 2 Comments

Review:  One Cursed Rose by Rebecca ZanettiOne Cursed Rose by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Grimm Bargains #1
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on May 28, 2024
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley
amazon b-n

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Information is power, and those who control it live like gods. In my world,billionaires play deadly games of insult and influence where magic is the dirtiest weapon of all. Here, even a powerful princess can be swallowed by the darkest of shadows . . .
My name is Alana Beaumont, and due to a recent tragedy, I’m the sole heir to Aquarius Social, a family business being systematically dismantled by an unseen enemy. My father’s solution is to give me in marriage and create a coalition with a competing family, so I’m torn between my thirst for revenge and my duty. Now I just have a week to finish my hunt before the wedding.
There’s nothing like an assassination attempt to cut short the best of plans—even worse is my unwanted rescue by Thorn Beathach, the Beast whose social media empire is driving Aquarius under. The richest, most ruthless of them all, he protects his realm with an iron rule: no one sees his face. When he shows himself to me, I know he’ll never let me go.
Adam may think he can lock me in his castle forever, but I’m not the docile Beauty he expects. If the Beast wants to tie me up, I’m going to take pleasure from every minute of it . . .and we’ll just see who ends up shackled.


I love Rebecca Zanetti and I love beauty and the beast themed stories but this one is just not for me.

One Cursed Rose will be the first of a darker-themed, twisted fairy tales series for Rebecca Zanetti. While I understand her attempt at the darker, sexual theme to the story, added to the weird world building, this  series will simply be a Nope from me.

There is a content warning in the beginning of the book indicating “dark themes, obsessive and morally gray hero; spicy bedroom scenes for mature readers only; light bondage; nudity, corporal punishment, swearing, torture, inappropriate use of bathrobe belts.”  Really? We had to add swearing into this list. I think if you get past torture, you won’t be offended by the F word.

After reading 25 percent of the novel, which is just the basic backdrop of the story, I simply wasn’t excited about spending more time reading what will be a bondage/sex story wrapped up in a weird fairytale world.

The world building is that there are four main families who dominate the world with their TikTok/Instagram type of social media accounts and they get boosts of magical power for your clicks and likes. They also each have a signature family gem-stone which focuses that magical power. What? I admit I was uninterested in this whole premise from the get go.

All the major families are controlled by the evil, horrible and spoiled rich and powerful, except Alana and her BFF’s, Ella and Rosalie, who with the help of an old gentlemen named Merlin do good deeds like feed school kids and provide shelters for abused women and children–all in secret–funneling money from trust funds, etc. so their evil families don’t stop them, while they pretend to be ditzy, fashion-focused air-heads so no one suspects them of anything.

Alana’s family is falling to number 4 in that list of powerful families so her father wants her to marry into the no. 3 family to combine their power structure. Of course, this groom to be is a slutty, playboy who wants to make sure Alana’s truly a virgin so he can have bragging rights to be the first and who also gives the vibe of future violent, abusive spouse. But Alana is saved from this by a Thorne, who is head of the most powerful family and who is very questionable in our use of “hero” of this story.

While Disney’s Belle sacrifices herself to save her father and falls for the tortured beast, here Thorne is a vicious killer who is obsessed with Alana but instead of making an offer to her father, he abducts Alana and take her to his castle fortress on the outskirts of the city. This fortress includes a tattooed Mrs Potts and an actual moat with killer fish.

Thorne has been poisoned (cursed?) through his gem stone and is suffering from “Lexical-Gustatory Synesthesia” which means he gets a taste in his mouth when hears someone speak. It could be garbage or worse (because of the type of people he hangs with) or yummy honey, like when Alana speaks. What????? Yeah. I am not excited about this world-building.

At it core, this story will be about Alana and Thorne exploring the darker side of bed sport.  It should be disturbing that he kidnaps her with all intent on keeping her for sex but since Alana responds positively to him, we ignore that gray area of is it really consensual? since she can’t walk away nor is he really asking her permission.   Would he continue anyway, if she wasn’t kissing him back?  He is a vicious killer with no moral compass and an obsession with Alana.  Is her cooperation really necessary for Thorne, or is that simply to make it more palatable to us?  While I can enjoy a good naughty-book for what it is, I do like when there is some story between bouts of sex. In this case, I wasn’t even interested in any more of this world-building.  For me, I think walking away was my best choice.

This is the first story of a series which will obviously include Alana’s friends Ella (presumably Cinderella) and Rosalie (not sure sure which story she is from). I love Rebecca’s Deep Ops and Anna Albertini series but I am going to be skipping this one.

Like this post? Share it with the rest of the world. --->

2 responses to “Review: One Cursed Rose by Rebecca Zanetti

  1. Jamilynn Hanson

    Hmm. I am such an eclectic reader yet I haven’t yet read a dark fairy tale style.And I have read some really dark works by other authors and I try to reserve judgement till I have finished the book. But I have yet to not finish any book except for one by Jeffery deaver

    • Lucy D

      I find I am DNF’ing more often in the last few years. There are just too many books on my TBR list to keep reading something I am not enjoying. There was something about the change in the author’s writing style and the world building that I just didn’t like.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.