Review: John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews

Mimi Matthews is an auto buy author for me. I love all of her books and always make room for them on my calendar. She never disappoints and when I saw she was going to write a novel that was a little darker and more gothic than her standard feel good historical romances made me elated!

I couldn’t say yes fast enough to this one! I know that some times when an author branches out of their typical genre to try something new, there is always hesitation that it won’t be well received, but she is such a talented writer that I knew this was going to be another outstanding read. You can tell it’s a retelling of Jae Eyre based on the title and I think a number of readers will be thrilled to pick this one up and give it a go.

In the last book I read by Matthews, Gentleman Jim, she did a bit of a twist on The Count of Monte Cristo, so I couldn’t wait to see how this retelling would develop. And you guys know I am a huge fan of gothic romances so this book was practically made for me! While I am not a huge Jane Eyre fan, I appreciate the story and couldn’t wait for Matthew’s take on this classic gothic tale!

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Review: The Stranger Behind You by Carol Goodman

Carol Goodman is an author after my Gothic heart. I haven’t read any of her other books before this one, but when this one came up for review I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it because it had this decidedly Gothic feel. Not to mention a lot of fans have called her the modern day Daphne du Maurier. I love books with a Gothic feel, especially murder mysteries so I was super excited to read this one.

Goodman has written other novels that by all accounts are atmospheric and moody so I was really looking forward to this one. I also loved that it had a modern component with the #MeToo plot line. I think a lot of readers will find relevance in the plot as the #MeToo movement has been a big news headline in recent years so that was one of the things that really excited me about this book.

The only thing I was a little skeptical about was the history piece. After reading the summary it sounded like it had a lot going on—-a mystery, a #MeToo aspect, and a historical part but I wasn’t sure if it had a modern plot or not so that was a little confusing, but I was excited to see how the Gothic atmosphere was deployed in this one and ultimately that’s what drove my desire to read this one.

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Review: The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Converted sanatorium urned into five star hotel—-stop right there while I clear my reading calendar! I was completely sold on this intense and atmospheric debut from the opening description. Then it was picked as a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick and that right there was enough to get me even more excited about this novel!

It has been getting a ton of advanced praise and so much buzz on social media but when I started reading it, it was easy to see that all the buzz was absolutely worth it! I loved the atmosphere of this book and it was exactly what I was hoping that it would be, something dark, twisty, and chilling.

I normally don’t like minimalist or super cold Norwegian/Scandinavian type thrillers but this novel has so much to recommend itself and it’s not to be missed. I also included some videos about the resort and the author talking about the book as well so keep reading to check both of those out and if you are looking for your next thriller, this is it!

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Review: The Vanishing at Loxby Manor by Abigail Wilson

The very first novel that I remember loving was The Silk Vendetta by Victoria Holt. I was eleven or twelve and no doubt missed all the adult nuances of the story, but what I didn’t miss was the Gothic atmosphere of the novel. I went through a lengthy Victoria Holt period in my early teens and then again as an adult. I am always looking for books that capture what I loved about Victoria Holt…..creepy, atmospheric historical fiction with a romantic element.

This book sounded like exactly that—and it was! I have never grown out of my Gothic Lit phase and reading books like this, I am reminded just how much I love Gothic novels with romance. Many authors have tried to strike a similar balance like Victoria Holt, but not many authors have succeeded. I can think of only a few authors who I would consider similar to Victoria Holt but Abigail Wilson is now one such author!

I adored this book even if there were some things that I thought could have been more nuanced or flushed out, over all this novel had me transfixed and in suspense until the very end. I have been looking forward to this one for quite some time and was thrilled with all the atmosphere this one delivered!

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Special Feature: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

A couple of years ago, Emma Rous’s debut novel, The Au Pair, was my first read of 2019. I thought it was a wonderful novel and showed such promise for a new writer. It was a five star book for me and I couldn’t wait to see what she came up with for her next book!

Well this is the next book, The Perfect Guests. It is out now and early reviewers are enjoying this one just as much as the first book! The Perfect Guests promises twists, thrills, Gothic atmosphere, and family secrets. I can hardly wait to read this one. Not only is Rous a marvelous writer but you all know how much I love Gothic novels!

So this one is at the top of my TBR as well. While I couldn’t ft it on my January review calendar, I will certainly have a review up and coming later this winter/early spring! But for now, you can pick up a copy fo yourself and dive into this moody, atmospheric, and thrilling novel now!

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