Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Review: Meagan McKinney’s GENTLE FROM THE NIGHT – Enthralling and Suspenseful—a classic Gothic Romance!

It has all the elements of a great Gothic romance: a castle on the moors near York, a “brooding, melancholy and emotionally distant” British lord, and a mysterious ghost that may not be a ghost at all.

Set in 1858, this is the story of Alexandra Benjamin, whose Jewish father left her with little in worldly goods but a love of science and an ability to help the deaf hear. Under the ruse of being her dead father, she travels to York to accept a position with John Damien Newell at Cairncross Castle. 

Damien has lived in darkness for a very long time, haunted by an evil governess who at one point scared his younger brother, Samuel, speechless. He is not pleased to discover “Alex Benjamin” is actually a woman.  But he keeps Alexandra on thinking she may be their last hope to restore Samuel’s speech.

Alexandra spent five years loving a man who didn’t love her and the fact her new employer looks a lot like that golden man from her past makes her wary. She is undeniably attracted to Damien but sees the darkness in his eyes. She has heard the talks of he evil governess who tormented the brothers and perversely desired the older Damien. But she cannot bring herself to believe the woman she has seen appearing at odd times is actually a ghost.

This is a well-written, suspenseful story that draws you in and won’t let you go. Damien is a dark hero albeit he is a blond who wears spectacles. He is torn between wanting to seduce and destroy Alexandra and wanting to claim her as his redemption. To add to her great story, McKinney has used snippets from IVANHOE, the book Alexandra treasures, to bring to mind the lovely Jewish woman Rebecca from that tale.

The mystery persists until nearly the end…

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