Callum by Melissa Schroeder (The Cursed Clan #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Will desire be the answer or the ruin of an entire clan? 

As Laird, Callum Lennon feels he has always failed to protect his cousins. Callum’s impulsiveness caused the death of his father and the experience has scarred not only his body, but his soul. From that point on, he made sure to always go with the more logical choice in every matter. When his younger cousin Angus finds clues that might help break the curse, Callum begrudgingly hires Phoebe Chilton to investigate. Callum doesn’t like bringing outsiders into their family affairs. Their life would become fodder for the tabloids if anyone were to find out about the curse. It doesn’t help that the instant he meets Dr. Chilton he’s attracted. But, he doesn’t really have a choice because she might be their last hope. 

An expert in archeology, Phoebe has always been dwarfed by her parents’ shadow. Their high standards had her in college by thirteen and earning a second PhD by twenty-two. But her career and her broken marriage have left her needing something more than just diplomas and degrees. She wants to prove that her interest in legends, especially Celtic legends, is as important as her parents’ work. When the Lennon family contacts her, she sees the opportunity to win a massive research grant. With a long-time rival breathing down her back, she jumps at the Lennons’ offer her, hoping it will ensure her the grant. But uncovering the Lennon family secrets, and her attraction to Callum, could prove more than she can handle. 

Forces outside the family are determined to ensure that they fail. When an old enemy threatens both the well being of the clan and the fragile new love, Callum will have to choose between believing his mind or his heart.

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Wanting to prove her worth to a unattentive family, Phoebe snaps at the offer to look over a mysterious Celtic artifact for the elusive millionaire, Callum. Securing a grant on the artifact without Callum knowing might be a bit difficult since he is so protective of the piece and Phoebe hasn’t even seen it yet. His list of demands are a mile long but Phoebe didn’t get to this point in her career by being a push over. Her high IQ will solve the riddle of whatever it is Callum asks of her anf once she secures the grant she can finally do what she has longed to do forever, tell her parents she doesn’t need their approval anymore. What she doesn’t expect is the instant attraction that flares between her and the emotionally defunct Callum.

All Callum wants is for the curse on his family to finally be at a end. They deserve happiness, not to pay for something out of their control centuries ago. Phoebe holds the answers to his quest, he is sure of it. He can’t afford to be distracted by her beauty and his need to possess her. How can he keep her far enough away in order to get the answers for which he seeks and manage to keep his emotions in check and his hands off her delectable body?  In the end, nothing can get in his way, especially not the brilliant archaeologist that holds the key to his undoing.

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Welcome to an entirely new world that the fabulous Melissa Schroeder has thought up for us! I will admit, when I heard Callum was a departure from what I usually enjoy from Melissa (erotic romance) I was intrigued and a bit nervous. So often I find that when I associate one thing with a particular author that when they try for something a bit different I feel let down. This was NOT the case for Callum. Melissa has given us readers a wonderful love story with enough suspense to keep this girl coming back for more!

Callum is a centuries old Scottish Laird who, along with his family, has been cursed to live as a immortal though never truly being happy. At first glance I thought, um being a immortal would totally kick ass. Upon closer inspection I saw his pain at losing friends, lovers and really not having anyone except the few cousins that were cursed along with him for something that he himself, really didn’t have any control over. Callum is hard and closed off and only allows himself to engage in actions and not ever in feelings. He is a ruthless businessman and having acquired mass amounts of riches allows him to look for a cure to their curse under the radar. He is extremely confused when he takes one look at a rain drenched, bedraggled, Phoebe and immediately feels a kick start from someone deep inside. He simply can’t compute that level of emotional attachment. Not to mention how dangerous he sees it that he wants something more then a cure to his families curse. He is the type of person that carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Anything less then that would seems a betrayal to him.

I enjoyed Phoebe’s conflicting emotions throughout most of the book. She thinks she is in the running for a grant in archaeology and so she gives vital information to the man supporting this grant only to find out that he is most likely behind the small attacks taking place on Callum and his family. Phoebe was extremely assertive though at times that assertiveness just masked the need to feel loved. She had a childhood with parents that cared more for her work then for her and so she constantly was looking for approval from them. Getting a grant in something they found trivial, like Celtic legends, seemed like a good way to prove to them that she was just as good at what she does then they are. I thought her loyalty, though called into question a few times, was pretty steadfast and even when she wasn’t sure about her grantor, she didn’t divulge all of Callum’s information.

I too have a interest in Celtic legends and so getting to read about something like that along with a love story really peaked my interest a bit. Phoebe and Callum together was a bit of a odd match at first. They butted heads worse then an old married couple. That friction ignites into a full blown, red hot romance that was wow! This may not be an erotic romance but you can feel the sizzle between the characters like they were in the same room!

Along with Callum and Phoebe we get to meet the supporting cast of cousins who will, I’m sure, get their own stories as the case of their families curse unravels. Each brought something a big different to the table and I will be looking forward to seeing how the story arc evolves to fit each new character in.

The ending was well played if not a bit shorter then I would have liked. As wrote though I felt a completion in the story that seems to be missing for me lately with what I’ve been reading. I’m not sure how the rest will be played out after the ending of this one and so that questions alone would have me picking up the next book when it’s available.

Callum is a great beginning to a promising new series and I will be looking forward to the next one!

I give Callum by Melissa Schroeder 4 stars! 

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