Manipulating the truth with her superiors in order to finagle some down time for her team, Sasha and Hunter are back in New Orleans to attend a big Fae Midsummers Night Ball. The possibility of getting some R&R is cut short when their Fae allies need help investigating the inexplicable death - by fire - of a Phoenix dancer. Sasha and Hunter are quick to take up the hunt for the killer, hoping to repay the Seelie monarch for his support of the wolf clans by solving the murder quietly.
But there is something in the air in New Orleans besides the humidity and pretty soon it is apparent that there is some strange magic at work - the Fae are losing their glamour and Sasha, her Shadow wolf mate Hunter, his brother Shogun and the rest of Sasha's wolvish comrades are all in a heightened emotional state and finding it hard not to succumb to the animalistic side of their natures. With new alliances hanging in the balance and enemies looking to exploit every weakness, Sasha and her team need to keep cool heads, and to discover the truth behind the magical attacks before it's too late.
I have been a pretty enthusiastic fan of Banks Crimson Moons series, and have really enjoyed the previous books with their smart and strong heroine, special ops soldier and alpha wolf Sasha, but it took author Banks a lot longer to reel me in with the story this time round. After thinking on it a bit, the reason that I didn't enjoy the beginning of the Cursed to Death as much as usual, was that not only were Sasha and her mate Hunter not acting like themselves, but also there was a high level of tension and conflict between the pair and among pretty much all of the returning cast. Once Sasha starts to think again and not just react, the story gets much better and, an improvement over the last book, Sasha's fellow special ops teammates actually are given something significant to do.
Even with the tough beginning, I actually did end up liking Cursed to Death, but if you are new to the series and haven't read the previous books, with all of the significant players in the series acting out of character, it is unlikely that Cursed to Death will make you a fan - and that would be a shame, because under normal circumstances the cast is a large part of what makes this series so good.