Monday, July 23, 2007

His Dark Kiss by Eve Silver

Spoilers Alert!

Set high atop a hill, Manorbrier Castle is shrouded in darkness and savage rumors: No servant has ever survived for long…Stay away from the Round Tower…There’s death there…And then there is the dark lord of the manor himself…a monster, they say, and a murderer…

Emma Parrish isn’t easily frightened by hearsay. She’s escaped a far worse fate in order to take a position as governess at Manorbrier. Caring for Lord Craven’s young son offers her a last chance to build a life for herself. She will not flee, even when she feels eyes watching her, hears strange, haunting laughter – not even when she is tempted by the alluring pull of Anthony Craven’s seductive, dangerous beauty…

…Or Cold-Blooded Killer?
A whisper of evil crawls through the shadowy halls and locked rooms of the crumbling estate. At night, Emma sees a mysterious light coming from the Round Tower. She has been warned never to set foot inside it – just as she has been warned not to fall for Lord Craven’s wicked charms. But some curiosities – and deepest desires – must be satisfied. And as Emma draws ever closer to a man she cannot resist or deny, she moves nearer to the terrifying truth of his darkest secrets…

I finished His Dark Kiss within one day and I liked it a lot. This tale had all the necessary elements to make a gothic fan very happy. Dark, atmospheric, tense and menacing. Evenly-paced and vivid story-telling. Well fleshed-out vivid characters, both likeable and sympathetic, as well as sinister and unusual. Nail-biting mystery, with an unexpected villain. A crumbling and spooky castle which safeguarded years of secrets. Featuring a sexy, smouldering, mysterious hero and a loving, loyal, down-to-earth heroine.

Unlike the previous and debut book, Dark Desires, this one fairly smouldered with sexual tension. The heroine fell in lust with the hero almost from the outset, and their every encounter intensified that tension. Although, the author did the sexual tension very well, I am still not sure if I was convinced of the heroine’s immediate lust for her employer.

I also found the heroine a little too forward and vocal with her opinions…especially with the hero, who was supposed to be dark and forbidding. She had certainly heard enough rumours about him and should be wary of him.

Conclusion: While this story was almost pitch-perfect, I just felt that the sexual tension took over too much of the story, hence the mystery, which could have been stronger, was compromised.

My rating4
Sensuality ratingWarm +

Eve Silver is undoubtedly a fast-rising, masterful storyteller. I will pick up her next gothic novel without doubting her brilliant ability to evoke the mood and create an atmosphere of perfect tension for a gothic story, populated by a cast of vivid, multi-layered characters.

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