Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Like your romance dark, twisted, and Gothic? Dark Hero is the next book for you.

It's fairly rare that a piece of fiction catches me off guard and sends me sideways down the rabbit hole and yet this novel did exactly that!
I'm ashamed to say that I pre-judged this book by it's cover. I saw the traditional bodice ripping, dime store paperback, romance novel cover and ALMOST didn't read it. As it is I pushed off reading this book for months and it was only now that I'm going through my TBR list of books that I decided to give this a chance and I'm so glad that I did. Lily Silver this book cover does not do this story justice at all!

This is hands down the best gothic romance story I've read in YEARS! It has everything lovers of the Bronte Sister, Bram Stoker, and Thomas Hardy could ask for. It's dark and twisted and so, so Gothic!!

I did not see this coming at all I began reading this book expecting one thing and ended up with something spectacular. The book begins in England with the main character Elizabeth O'Flaherty as a 14 year old girl who witnesses the death of her mother at the hands of her abusive stepfather. Is that not dark enough for you? O.k. How about this..her grandmother is a druidic priestess who curses her mothers soul to never receive any rest from the grave until those that know confess the truth of her death to those that can give her justice. Oh but it gets even darker, the stepfather ends up taking Elizabeth and her younger brother Michael and running from the law. The siblings and their grandmother go from a fashionable townhouse in Mayfair London to a run down old shack in the English countryside where Elizabeth makes what money she can as a laundress and her brother Michael works as a stable boy for the resident lord. It is in this poverty that Elizabeth is introduced to our Dark Hero O'Donovan.

O'Donovan is in England to purchase a stud horse for his master the Count De Rochambeau's mares on his sugar plantation in the West Indies. He's an affable man with a solid financial future and he decides to ask Elizabeth for her hand in marriage. He convinces Elizabeth to run away with him to Gretna Green in Scotland for a quick marriage and then he'll take her and her younger brother and grandmother back to the West Indies with him. Elizabeth sees this as a way for her younger brother Michael to receive the education needed for him to take his title back as the Earl of Greystowe as is his birthright and agrees to the marriage but before anything can come it her stepfather Captain Fletcher intervenes. Fletcher hates the Irish and by extension he hates Elizabeth and her grandmother. When he finds out that O'Donovan has offered for his stepdaughter he refuses the claim and that evening he beats Elizabeth and her grandmother for defying him with an Irishman. Enter the Count. The Count that O'Donovan works for offers Fletcher for Elizabeths hand in marriage and a tidy sum of money he also makes allowance to become Michael's guardian and take the old grandmother off his hands. Fletcher, a notorious gambler and drunkard agrees and soon Elizabeth finds herself being married off to the Count who is so horribly disfigured he has to wear a black silk mask to cover his face. The Count puts Elizabeth on his ship and sends her off to his plantation in the West Indies but before she can make it there they are set upon by pirates!

Yes pirates!! What transpires during her captivity is nothing short of horrid and it's shrouded in mystery throughout the entire story.

This novel has so many twists and turns it'll keep you guessing all the way to the last page and when you read that finale..oh my STARS!!! There aren't enough words to adequately describe the shock and awe of that ending.

Sometimes as a reader you find a diamond in the rough, a literary gem that's been hidden by a bad book cover. It's so exciting to find an awesome story between those pages to be taken on an unexpected journey through the imagination that you weren't expecting to take. This is a literary gem it was like finding a gold nugget in the mud. I admit I cut my literary teeth on the likes of Bram Stoker, Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy, and other gothic novels so it was with utter delight that I found this piece of work. Gothic Romance done well, and done right in this day and age it's a rarity so thank you Lily Silver. Thank you for making me a believer in this story I can't wait to read the next one in the series Bright Scoundrel.

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