Author: Eve Silver
Category: Gothic Romance
In the quiet hamlet of Yorkshire, the hallowed halls of Burndale School stand...and evil lurks in its dark corners. For a serial killer with a proclivity for blonde women has struck again-this time, murdering two of its teachers. Now everyone is wondering when the killer will seek his next victim...
Elizabeth Canham has accepted a teaching position at the local boarding school in Yorkshire. But her quiet life takes a surprising turn when she meets Griffin Fairfax-the handsome father of one of her pupils. His mesmerizing stare quickly draws her in, and she can't deny the fierce attraction between them...
Griffin Fairfax appears to be a doting father and gentleman. But one disturbing truth lies at the heart of the murders-all of the victims were intimately connected to him. When Elizabeth discovers this, she wonders if it's a mere coincidence or if Griffin could be a charming, seductive killer so many women have lost their hearts-and lives-to...
The first romance's that I read were Gothic. I still remember sneaking into my mother's book crates as a young teen and making away with her Gothics. I loved reading them on dreary days, when the rain was pouring and the thunder was rolling. The perfect setting for such a book. Ever since then I've been a Gothic Romance fan, but the sub-genera has been noticeably missing recently. Taken over by Romantic Suspense and Paranormals. Through searching recently, I have found a few new authors that are bringing this moody sub-genera back to life. Eve Silver is one of them. Her upcoming release of His Wicked Sins was a welcome return to Gothic Romance.
The story alternates between time periods. Opening in 1813 with a horrific multiple murder case that sets the tone of the book. Henry Pugh has been assigned to the murder and we are able to witness the disturbing loss of life through his eyes. It then jumps forward to 1828 where we meet Elizabeth Canham or Beth. Beth is on her way to Yorkshire from London. She has accepted a position as a teacher at Burndale Academy. From the moment that Beth is introduced, the reader can feel that there is something burdening her and we know it has to do with her past. At the same time, a young woman named Sarah has been kidnapped. She fits the profile of three previously murdered women who met a brutal end. Her torture is witnessed, through her point of view and it is a grisly crime to read.
I thought the story was well told and as a Gothic it succeeds. The atmosphere was dark, the characters were shadowy, the mood was mysterious and suspenseful. All great makings for a good Gothic. I liked the way that the snippets of the past played directly into the present. And though I knew the past tied into the present, I never imagined in just how many ways it did.
Beth and Griffin were both likeable characters. Beth is the star of the story, fiercely dedicated to her family, willing to be the source of strength for them- all the while fighting her own demons. Griffin was the traditional Gothic hero in that his reputation is cloaked in whispers of a murderous background, he even openly admits to his villainous ways. And in true Gothic hero fashion, his suspicious actions and disreputable past weren't able to hide the misunderstood man he really was.
The romance had a slow build that I love. By the time that Beth and Griffin came together (in lovemaking) I was convinced of their feelings for each other which made the love scenes oh-so-steamy and well worth the wait.
The only problems I had with the story, and they are very small in the whole scope of things, are the prose and the dialogue. The prose was robust - this is the only description that I can find that fits - and full. At times it was almost too verbose. I believe that Jace thought this same thing. And the dialogue was scarce. I kept hoping for more conversation between the characters and less internal thought. Sometimes the internal monologues went on for pages, that is a bit much for me. Toward the end of the story the dialogue did pick up, and when it was there it shined.
Overall, His Wicked Sins was a good read. The writing was engrossing and I remained invested in the story and characters the whole way through. I will be checking out Eve Silver's back list. For this book, a solid B.