[book review] His Dark Kiss by Eve Silver

Synopsis: Rumors of madness and murder lurk within the crumbling walls of isolated Manorbrier Castle. But Emma Parrish is not easily put off. She accepts a position no one else dares, as governess to the son of Lord Anthony Craven, the castle’s dark master. Her presence stirs up shadows and threat. She feels unseen eyes watching her. Eerie laughter haunts her. And the seductive pull of Anthony Craven lures her.

The mystery of Anthony Craven’s shadowy past lurks behind the locked doors of the estate’s forbidden Round Tower. Mysterious lights flash there in the night. The servants whisper warnings of death. And Anthony himself warns Emma that there is only danger to be found in his sensual embrace.

Powerfully drawn to the dangerously alluring Anthony, Emma finds herself unable to deny her deepest yearnings. But even as she succumbs to the master of Manorbrier, she is touched by the whisper of evil that rises from the secrets of his past.

Never did I think my first book review of 2023 would be a romance, and a gothic romance at that. Let me say this right off the bat: if you thought this was going to be a clean, sweet romance, then you would be sorely mistaken!

This romance factor, however, does not take away from the rest of the storytelling. Creepy manor house? Check. Loyal minions? Check. A lord with demons he refuses to face? Check. A heroine not afraid to speak her mind? Check.

All these elements are what kept me reading. Too often do I see cookie cutter h leads who scare too easy, who are far too young or are far too naive. So Miss Emma’s character in this gothic tale was refreshing to read. There were many moments that made her feel like a normal human being, and not one who’s just on a mission to find herself a man.

I’m uncertain if sexy gothic is the right genre for me, but Ms. Silver’s writing style most certainly is! What I appreciated the most is that while this book is Book 2 in a series, it can definitely be read as a separate story. I didn’t need much background, which added to the mystery. Not only that, but her writing style is, dare I be cliche here, *chef’s kiss. Very rarely do I come across a novel where the writing grabs my attention. And all too often I cannot finish reading a book due to the author’s poor writing.

I mean heck, I know I’m not perfect. Far from it. My blog posts clearly show this (ha!). But you better believe that when I’m in my manuscripts I agonize over sentence structure like nobody’s business. Writing seems to come naturally to Ms. Eve Silver, and the flow of His Dark Kiss is sheer perfection. This story could almost be a retelling of Cinderella.

For the sheer fact that her writing style spurred me on through the entire tale, and for her well formed characters, I give His Dark Kiss the first five out of five stars review of 2023. Trigger warnings: sex, traumatic childbirth, medical scenes

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Budding #historian. Writer of #adventures and #sciencefantasy. Lover of mushrooms and libraries. Fan of #chocolate, #books and Pennsylvania history.
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