By the blurb, this book sounded like my kind of story, but it failed to deliver.
I felt the fairy element was completely mishandled. For one thing, it's entirely too subtle. Since the blurb made the plot pretty clear, I felt like I was slogging through a million years of build-up before the "big secret" finally came out. And then I felt that Lucy didn't go through the right amount of disbelief, etc. She just easily accepts her mother's ramblings as the truth. I also whole-heartedly disagreed with the rape plot point. Since when do fairy need to rape women? Since never. There were many more creative ways a true fairy, with all their guile and caprice, could have tortured a human. The Elfin Knight in this book is completely unsubtle, and that made him less threatening from my point of view. The solving of the tasks was too easy, and Lucy's easy escape from her bargain with the Knight felt like a cop out.
I also couldn't understand how easily Lucy got over being raped. Someone needs to read Speak. When she didn't even consider not keeping the baby that resulted from the rape, I was stunned. Was that supposed to be some pro-life sacredness of motherhood moral? The author didn't even explore the idea that aborting the baby could have rendered the curse moot, which I felt left a hole in the plot.
For a better novel based on a ballad, try Tam Lin. For a better series involving fairies, try Wicked Lovely. For a better love story, try Shiver. For a better story about teen parenthood, try The First Part Last. As for Nancy Werlin, tell her to write with more courage and originality, and then she'll be a true love of mine.