When the Black Roses Grow

Angela Christina

PARANORMAL:  Emmalynn Hawthorne has just lost her mother - she was hung as a witch after trial in Salem Massachusetts. Widowed after mere weeks of marriage a year ago she has no family, no help, no job, and only the house her mother left her. She would leave if she could, but a single woman in her time is nothing without a man. The man she wants, James DeKane, acts as if he is courting another while his eyes say something else, a dangerous thing for anyone to see in Salem.


Not a popular choice for a romance, the Salem Witch Trials are well known in the U.S. all by themselves, making the setting intriguing—a romance during such horror—and dangerous. The feel of the time through everyday life and the terror of having to watch every action and word for fear of being pointed at gives readers a taste of the times. The danger is the “Puritans” spoke unlike others and their inner thoughts most likely reflected their speech. The grammar and dialogue in the tale are a very uncomfortable mix of historical and modern. There is never an easy reading rhythm and the language will pull readers out of the story.  This makes it very difficult to fully appreciate the truly astounding paranormal revisionist twist—with a HEA—that author Angela Christina Archer has accomplished. Told in first person, seeing Salem through Emmalynn’s eyes will tug at reader’s emotions. It's awful and people die, but the reader still wants more; few romances share this setting and James is intriguing from the first glance. A solid edit of the language to fit the time could make this remarkable tale unstoppable!


Julie York