A Dangerous Observer


GOTHIC ROMANCE:  Young Cecily Jaine is beautiful but also penniless, making her an unfit bride for the young man pursuing her. When a handsome war veteran takes a fancy to her, and then proposes marriage, she jumps at the chance. He is a widower, but seems truly enchanted with her. When Connor Blake whisks her off to the remote, foreboding old Sterne House, she realizes the memory of his dead wife fairly oozes from the cold stone walls. Her husband becomes more and more distant. Cecily begins to fear that not only is Blake not who he seemed to be, but perhaps her life may be in real danger.

This classic Gothic romance follows the genre’s trappings to the letter, yet breaks the mold with a uniquely fresh plot! Told mostly in two viewpoints—one from Cecily, and another from Blake’s former wife, Eleanor—the author weaves a captivating tale. One is never sure if the spookiness and strange happenings are in Cecily’s imagination or not. One soon learns Eleanor felt the same way about the old mansion. Lush descriptions of setting and costumes draw the reader into this mysterious world convincingly. The writing style is straightforward and uncomplicated, yet rich with poignant moments punctuated by moments of irresistible suspense. The only stumbling blocks are a few, sudden changes in point of view, switching briefly from Cecily or Eleanor into an ancillary character. Overall, this intriguing tale makes one begin a search for more titles by an author who obviously knows her genre—and her strong suit—very well!

FS Brown