Can she save him from the darkness in his soul... or will it destroy them both?
After her brother is killed in the Crimean War, innocent young Oriel Pembroke finds herself alone in the world. Disowned by the cruel father who has always despised her, she has nowhere to turn until she is taken under the wing of a glamorous relative she never knew: the former Duchess of Ellsworth, who has scandalized society by remarrying soon after her first husband's death. At the opulent seaside estate of Ellsmere, Oriel thinks she has found a safe haven - but the darkly handsome young duke, Herron, believes otherwise. Haunted by the death of his father, he suspects that Ellsmere is sheltering a murderer.
Even as Oriel falls in love with the duke, she begins to fear that his grief and suspicion are turning to madness. When dangerous accidents start to befall both Herron and Oriel, however, she realizes that someone may be trying to stop them from discovering the truth about the past. And when her father comes back into her life, she learns that he may hold the answer to the most horrifying secret of all...
©2012 Amanda DeWees (P)2013 Amanda DeWees
In my heart, I believe that all fiction authors are gods. They create worlds and give life to people who only live in them.
I'm having a very hard time reviewing this book. I loved the story right up until the father made an appearance in the last quarter of the book. He was just so over the top evil that it became cliche, and yet, I'll probably re-listen at some future date. I just wish the author would have trusted her story a little more and kept it gothic. It deserves 3-1/2 stars, but not 3.
Narrator was perfect. And I will look for more by this author.
Poignant, Heartbreaking, Romantic
Oriel was my favorite character. She was tormented as a child, but she was strong and refused to be downtrodden by her sadistic, brutal father. Her childhood years of anonymity was used to observe and study, developing her abilities as a brilliant scholar, with an analytical brain, thus enabling her to survive her growing up years and become who she was meant to be. She blossomed at Elsemere among her new family, who embraced and loved her.
Meghan embodied her characters and her ability to make you weep by her portrayal of the emotional states of Heron and Oriel, representing the pathos of their romance. Also her rendition of the supporting characters also greatly enhanced the audio book and listening was a pleasure. She caused the story to be memorable.
I wept with Heron, empathized with Oriel, rejoiced with Charles and was hopeful of a wonderful ending. I laughed with Felicity and the Duchess and could feel the love she displayed for her new husband. I felt the pain of rejection, smelled the fear and the adrenalin rush as the story unfolded. Awesome!
The Duchess as mentor to her 'children' (birth and adopted) was brilliantly rendered and was just marvelous. Her strength of character in crisis times was amazing as she kept the family together when everything seemed to be falling apart. The suspense was thrilling and I admired the way the story unraveled in a controlled fashion. A really haunting and suspenseful story in true Gothic style with a perceptive heroine, brooding and romantic supporting characters and of course a deadly villain.
Get out there and read or listen to the book. It will delight you.
love audio books - Anglophile
I was worried at first because the story had so many similarities to Hamlet. I'm happy to say that the story eventually takes it's own direction.
I liked the writing - there are some really funny lines throughout the story. For example:
"What are you doing?"
"Killing young Herron. He takes a great deal of killing, this lad. I'm losing count of the times his uncle and I have tried."
The humour alone was worth the listen.
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