Release Date: June 22, 2011 (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Eve Silver
Synopsis on Goodreads:
DESIRE HAUNTS HER
Rumors of madness and murder lurk within the crumbling walls of 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.
DARK SECRETS DRIVE HIM
The secrets of Anthony Craven’s shadowy past lurk 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.
EVIL IS ONLY A BREATH AWAY
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.
His Dark Kiss was a compelling and suspenseful read. It had the drama and romance of Jane Austen with the paranormal of Frankenstein. I found the first few chapters to be slow, but was soon sucked into the novel. I was between giving it a 3/5 or 4/5, but the unexpected role science played in the plot pushed it to a 4. I enjoyed the writing and the main character, Emma Parish was a three-dimensional character – I could see her as a real person living in the time period the novel was set in.
There was a lot of interaction between the two love interests and what I really enjoyed was that although there was instant chemistry, the two did not abandon their sense of self – in terms of personality and usual behaviour. Emma is a very sensible person and throughly weighs the consequences of a possible love affair with Lord Anthony Craven. It is revealed Emma herself is the product of an illegitimate affair so the reader understands the pressure placed on Emma. It was great learning about her past and the struggle to exist past what she appears to society. As the reader, I could also see her strength in resisting personal wants for other, greater concerns – job & livelihood, and her commitment as a governess for the Lord’s son.
I equally loved that this also occurred with Anthony. We go beyond his status of a lord and get to know personal information about his past, his interest in science – odd for someone of his stature – and his struggle to overcome traumatic events in his life. As well, the servants were not nameless bodies and there was interaction between Emma and them – separate from Anthony.
My favourite secondary characters were Cookie and Mrs. Bolifer, servants under the employ of Anthony. They provided an interesting and amusing banter, as well as useful information to Emma about Manorbrier Castle and certain characters, helping to move the plot along.
In terms of plot, I was able to predict who the antagonist was (almost immediately), and for the most part, Anthony’s involvement with his wife’s and unborn child’s mysterious deaths. However, there seemed to be an accomplice and their involvement took me by complete surprise! It was definitely not expected! Furthermore, I did not expect how much science was involved in the novel and I absolutely loved it. Although, there seemed to be a few issues that were not explained, or are to be assumed the work of the antagonist – this isn’t made clear.
Overall, I enjoyed this work and plan to read the other Dark Gothic novels in Silver’s series. The writing style was superb, the steamy scenes particularly so, and the characters well-developed. Silver is able to successfully work past cliches and create an original, suspenseful (and somewhat unexpected) plot.
I was provided a free ebook (iTunes) in exchange for an honest review.