His love could be the death of her.
When Constance Athelson, Viscountess Westbury, hides her face to attend the Black Widows Ball, she never expected to find erotic passion in a masked stranger’s arms. The torrent of lust isn’t enough to drown out her dubious “gift” for seeing visions and talking to the dead.
Terrified of being found out, she secures a position cataloguing archaeological artifacts for the Earl of Wyndham—where she encounters a ghost begging her to break a curse plaguing his family.
Before his mysterious lover disappeared, Lucien Blakemore was tempted to throw caution aside. Yet he knows one taste of love will unleash the curse that drove his father and brother to murder their wives.
When he returns home empty handed and empty hearted, he’s shocked to discover his new assistant is the goddess who fled into the night. But could her presence be part of a murderous plot to unearth the location of a secret Egyptian tomb? The answer—or his doom—lies behind the desire shining in his seductress’s eyes.
This book has been previously published by Samhain Publishing, and contains an epilogue never before included with this publication.
Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex with a hero whose torment equals that of Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
This Victorian romance has plenty of paranormal and Gothic hints and enough heat to make it a mostly enjoyable ride. Constance is a woman who knows what she wants, but has also learnt to be comfortable with secrets. While Lucien is haunted by the tragic events of his past and has little hope for the future. Egyptology and mutual passion bring them together, but all those secrets continually threaten to pull them apart.
There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed – the ghosts, Constance’s son Jamie, the meddlesome grandmother, the dark threats closing in – but there were also parts I found less fun. Considering it’s such a big part of the plot, I found the Egyptology side of things a bit light on detail. I would have liked for Constance to have had more of a chance to shine with her knowledge and for her and Lucien to have explored their common interest a bit more.
Then again, there were many times when this book felt a little light on detail, particularly when it came to introducing things. Imogene was the biggest problem I had, in that for a long time she was just a random name that kept being thrown in without any explanation or introduction as to who she was or any curiosity as to her past. In fact the opening chapters of this book, once the initial meeting between Constance and Lucien is out of the way, tend to skip forward a lot. It might have been nice to have had a chance to get to know Constance and Jamie a bit more (how old is he anyway?), especially considering their supernatural gifts, before Lucien returns to stir things up.
Ah, Lucien. I am so conflicted about him, because on the one hand he is tortured by all the terrible deaths in his family and the curse he believes is stalking him, and on the other he treats Constance appallingly. He may have his reasons for his behaviour, but that doesn’t excuse him. Why don’t the pair of them just talk more often? I’d thought they’d solved that little issue by the end, but then along comes the epilogue and… nope, he’s as bad as ever.
Which leads me to the Gothic plot that tries to twist and turn, but in reality is obvious throughout if only the characters would use the brains they supposedly possess. All the elements are in place for a truly creepy tale. However, for me too much was revealed too early on, taking away most of the suspense and leaving me impatient when Constance and Lucien dither over the curse and their emotions and ignore the big fat clues that are pointing to the giant DANGER signs.
So it’s okay. The historical feel is nice, the characters are well enough and there’s plenty of heat to mix with the danger. A bit more detail here and there and a little more subterfuge wouldn’t have gone amiss, but it makes for an easy enough read. Probably best enjoyed on a long winter night, beside a warm fire, with the curtains drawn against a raging storm.
Dangerous is Out Now!
Visit Monica Burns for more details.