Cursed at Christmas (Greyhaven Book 1) by Jax Stuart

Cursed at Christmas is a novel that introduces us to Greyhaven, a hidden sanctuary town only accessible to those who need it. Many venture there for safety, but the lucky ones find love! 

From the blurb:

Welcome to Greyhaven, a sanctuary town, where supernaturals of all kinds can find a home and love.

Riley has lived under a family curse for a decade. Forced to roam, to never call a place his home for
more than a month. Frustrated, weary, lonely, he comes to Greyhaven with one goal only: to break the curse and end the warlock that did this to his family. What he finds is that fate has played a terrible joke on him.

Gareth has lived in Greyhaven all his life. He loves his town, even if he is a little lonely. He spends his time teaching magic and healing plants. When he comes to help the mayor, he finds a fated mate that wants nothing to do with him because of what he is.

With time ticking down, Gareth and Riley have to find a way to break the curse and figure out if Riley can ever look past Gareth being a warlock.

Cursed at Christmas is a prequel to a new series. There is some violence and discussions of previous abuse.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

"𝓘'𝓵𝓵 𝓪𝓵𝔀𝓪𝔂𝓼 𝓯𝓵𝔂 𝓱𝓸𝓶𝓮 𝓽𝓸 𝔂𝓸𝓾."

Cursed at Christmas is a prequel to a new series by author Jax Stuart. The story of Riley and Gareth brings us to a secret, hidden town known as Greyhaven. There's a reason the town is hidden and that would be because it's a sanctuary for supernaturals. It's a town for those who need a safe place to lay their heads. Some come to stay for good, while for others it's a stop along the way in their journey. No matter the reason, Greyhaven is there for those who need it, and Riley is one shifter who desperately needs it.

Gareth is a lifelong resident of Greyhaven. He was born there and can't imagine living anywhere else. He enjoys his life teaching, even if he sometimes wishes he had someone to call his own. When Riley arrives in town, Gareth is ecstatic to find the man fated to be his. Unfortunately for Gareth, Riley most definitely does not feel the same. In fact, he's utterly terrified of him.

Like many who find sanctuary in Greyhaven, Riley has a past. The problem is that his past is still causing him large issues in his present. He carries a curse placed on him by an evil warlock, so the fact that fate chose a warlock as his mate is the cruelest kind of joke to a man like Riley. He could desperately use a person in his corner, but he doesn't know if he could ever trust his mate based on what he is.

Despite their rocky beginnings, Gareth doesn't give up. He works hard to prove to his mate that he is safe with him. Every time I could see Riley letting his guard down a little bit I wanted to cheer! After everything he'd been through, I just truly wanted him to be happy and I believed Gareth was the key to making that happen. Well, that, and breaking Riley's curse.

We meet so many new faces in this book, not to mention an old one. I don't know whose book I want next the most! Oh, who am I kidding? I want them all! Longwei, Dax, Eason, and even Tatsuya, though that dragon is on my shitlist at the moment. He better have a good excuse for his actions, that's all I'm saying. Can't wait for more in this series!

Rating: 5 Stars

SNik's Review:

Prequel to new series (Greyhaven). Paranormal. Hurt/comfort. Found family. Fated mates. Dual POV. 

Riley is seeking a sanctuary and someone to help break his curse, but when he is welcomed to Greyhaven he certainly doesn't expect to find his fated mate. Gareth is a powerful warlock and when he is asked to help a new visitor he is shocked that the unusual shifter is his mate, but also that Riley wants nothing to do with magic users, especially a warlock. 

This prequel has a big world build which includes all kinds of supernatural beings, and introduces quite a few interesting characters which make up the town of Greyhaven. Gareth’s sweetness and kind nature is just what Riley needs after being solitary and helpless in the face of living with his curse. 

I enjoyed all their interactions as they grow closer and determine whether they can be together, curse or no curse. 

There is romance, spice, and caring between Gareth and Riley as well as some charming and supportive friendships on the side. I’m very interested to see how this series unfolds.

Rating: 4 Stars

Sheena's Review:

This is the first in a new series set in a sanctuary town where all manner of supernatural creatures and people live together, with the idea being you can only get in if you mean no harm to others. I love the idea of that, it's not a new idea but I love reading books set in sanctuary settlements. This is Gareth (Gar) and Riley's story. Gar has lived in Greyhaven all his life, and Riley is a new arrival, coming to Greyhaven as his last hope to break a curse that's had him running for years, never settling.  

I liked both Riley and Gar, I could understand Riley's wariness and fear when he met Gar for the first time, and the shock on realizing they were fated mates. Riley has been through a lot when we meet him, but I liked that he was still hopeful about breaking his curse and about being happy with his fated mate, even if said mate was a warlock, same as the one who cursed him. I liked Gar and Riley together too, and the scene where they test Gar's magic against Riley was great.

I'm all for fated mates, even if it does make things move fast - sometimes that's not a bad thing and it worked for these two as time was against them. I liked the rest of the cast of characters in the town too, there's lots of stories that can be told here and I'm looking forward to meeting them and reading their stories.

Rating: 4 Stars

Angel's Review:

I love all things that are paranormal romance, so to put that alongside Christmas? I knew I had to read this book! 

I'll start off with what I enjoyed. I liked both of our MC's, Riley and Gareth. Even though Riley has had a traumatic past with warlocks, he eventually let himself get to know his mate for who he is, not what he is. Which I liked. Great character development happened with Riley, once he knew no one in Greyhaven was out to cause him harm, he slowly started to trust people, Even other magic users. What I really loved about this book is the surprise of what type of shifter Riley is! I won't say, cause I don't want it to be spoiled for you, but just know it's really unique. And out of all the paranormal books I've read I haven't come across it before. So that was unique, and was one of many things that made this book stand out.

The place setting that this book took place in was described well, I like the idea of a town that only lets in people who needs help, and who has good intentions. The side characters were excellent additions to the storyline! They not only added that friendship element, but they also helped move the story along. I appreciated how Jax wrote Riley and Gareth's romance, she didn't make them instantly fall in love just cause they are mates, she had them take their time. They slowly got to know one another which I quite enjoyed. 

I thought that the bonds Riley built with Longwei and Oscar was sweet, I liked reading about them becoming friends. 

I will say that the Christmas aspect of this book is pretty low-key, it isn't a Christmas forward book. Christmas just happens to be what holiday occurs in the timeline this book has. Which isn't a negative thing at all, I was just under the impression that Christmas would be more of a focal point than what it ended up being. That being said, the magic that happens after Christmas passes is so, so sweet. Overall a really excellent start to a brand new series that I'm eager to read more of! 

I cannot wait for Longwei and Dax's story, I really hope it's the next book in this series!! 

Rating: 4.25 Stars

Ms Aimers' Review:

Cursed At Christmas by Jax Stuart was an unputdownable read for me! I recently started reading paranormal romance in between my usual genres of historical romance and contemporary MM romance. 

Stories like Gareth and Riley’s are the reason why I find myself reading more paranormal romances. They, along with the community of Greyhaven, captured my heart and my imagination. I love getting lost in the pages and not catching myself wondering if one detail or another is historically accurate.

Gareth and Riley are so magnetic they caused me to be naughty at work and read instead of working nonstop. I just couldn’t set their story aside. I guess it’s a good thing I work at home and no coworkers follow my bookstagram account!

Greyhaven sounds like a place I’d love to be. There’s such a sense of community and supporting one another that seems to be missing from everyday life nowadays. The supporting characters are vividly described, and I can’t wait to read their stories! 

Rating: 5 Stars

Molly Otto's Review:

What a way to introduce a new series!! Get ready to fall for each of these characters, and okay, maybe you want to smack some over the head a little. So many emotions to be had in this hurt comfort novella. Gareth is so beautifully understanding why Riley needs to work through his past to be able to even be friends.

Cannot wait to see what Jax has in store for us next from the Greyhaven universe. For those not wanting to read an overly Christmas story, this isn't that, it just happens to take place around Christmas.

Rating: 5 Stars

Cursed at Christmas is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.