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Monday, March 23, 2009

Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Donna Lea Simpson



Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Donna Lea Simpson
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical; Suspense
Length: Full (416 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Historical romance with a twist - a little bit of gothic suspense, a paranormal element that turns out not to be, and a whole lot of fun!

Lady Anne Addison is a rational and courageous woman. So when she's summoned by a frightened friend to Yorkshire to prove or disprove the presence in their woods of a menacing wolf - or werewolf - she takes up the challenge.

Grim, dank and shadowed Darkefell Castle is an ancient keep with a scabrous history. And now it appears that a preternatural menace is behind the events terrorizing the country folk.

Lady Anne finds the Marquess of Darkefell to be an infuriatingly unyielding man. Rumors swirl and suspects abound. When she finally solves the mystery, the Marquess is indeed at the middle of it, but not at all in the way that Lady Anne had suspected... and now he's firmly determined to win her in spite of everything.

Few and far between are works of romantic suspense as enthralling as Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark. Lady Anne is self-sufficient, composed and efficient – so she sets off to help a friend in need by herself, in perfect confidence that she will be equal to the situation. She can hardly expect the macabre events, nor yet the accusatory reception she receives, especially as she should be a most-expected guest!

The family at Darkefell – the Marquis himself – is enormously provoking. Anne, still perfectly in command of herself, finds him to be severe and high-handed and does not hesitate to tell him so. It is plain to her that secrets – family secrets perhaps - are all far more important than any one person’s safety.

Anne will not be deflected by threats, however. Her dear friend Lydia requested aid, and Anne is determined to root out the cause of the trouble. Stories of a local werewolf she brushes off. Murder in the garden, rumors of past murders.. the threat of murder; none of these put her off. The Marquis of Darkefell may be incredibly seductive, but she is not a giddy school girl to fail before his intense will! Overall, the strong personalities between these two main characters lead to more combative than passionate situations, and you will cheer for Lady Anne more than once, and at times you will laugh out loud!

This incredibly fast-paced read is an absolute page-turner. The characters are well-developed, believable, and secondary characters are also well-rounded. The tale is in one moment evocative, the next exasperating, and often dark and full of danger.

The backdrop is perfect for this gothic romance, with careful attention given to small details. The ruin of the old castle and its secret-ridden keep seem important from the start. The dash cross-country on the mail coach, the phaeton preferred by the magistrate, and the riding horses all seem perfectly in keeping with the time. Servants take on a far more human quality than they are given in many a story, and their tales weave in and out of the lives of the upper classes. I loved the ‘tiger’ but the Marquis’ secretary is also a revelation.

Enthralling, powerful, wonderful; words do not do “Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark” justice. I am eager to read the next from Donna Lea Simpson.

28 comments:

Karen H in NC said...

Thanks for a great review. This book sounds like my kind of book with all the elements I like: heroine with spunk, hero with dark secrets, mystery, humor and romance. Count me in for the draw. I would love to add this book to my TBR file!

lastnerve said...

Amazing review! The book looks really good and I just now have been getting into historicals. I love Suspense! So Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Donna Lee looks like just the book for me. Great work Snapdragon!

Vicky said...

Wow, with a review like that, who wouldn't want to read it. I love historical romance and paranormal. This sounds like the best of both worlds. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the contest.

Vicky

Michelle said...

It appears from this review that Lady Anne & the Hhowl in the Dark are jam packed with a variety of elements to guarantee the reader's captivated attention. Definitely, well rounded & should appeal to a whole host of eager readers.

Judy said...

Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark in the kind of book I enjoy. First, it is a historical, which is my favorite. Second, the review makes me want to read it now. I love the cover and the title is very interesting. This will be put on my TBR pile.

Pat Cochran said...

Thanks for the informative review!
This book sounds like it was written
just for me! It's a "little bit" of
several genres that I enjoy reading.
Any book that will make me laugh out
loud has to make its way into my hot
little hands!

Pat Cochran

jenesparza said...

This book seems like it would be very good. I like that you said it was a fast paced book. I love it when the action and adventure just keep coming and coming.

Jane said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. I love gothic romances.

Michele said...

I can't wait to read it. I love historical romances.

lindseye said...

This book sounds gothic yet updated with a determined heroine. The review explained the book and why it is worth spending the time reading the story.

Eva S said...

Great review! I love historicals, and this one sounds interesting. I'd love to read it!

Refhater said...

This looks very interesting! I'll have to check it out.

dandan said...

i love this review it sounds like a great read i'll definitely be checking this one out and more from this author
dandan

Butchbarbee66 said...

Sounds like a book my wife would really like please put me in
Butchbarbee66[at]aol[dot]com

rosemary said...

This sounds like a great read. The setting grabbed me right away. I grew up reading 'Gothics'.

traveler said...

Wonderful review which interested me greatly. Fascinating setting and era which appeals to me.

catedid said...

This was a great review and now I must run out and find this book!!!

Virginia said...

Great review, this books sounds like a little different this most historical romances and I would love to read it. Please enter me for this one!

lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

Estella said...

Sounds like this book has all the elements I enjoy reading.

Tiana said...

I am not a fan of Historicals but I LOVE Paranormals. This sounds like something even i might like. Thanks for the interesting review.

Chrystal said...

This is such a great review (I might just have to keep it as a sample to learn from). And this book sounds great - totally fits in my genre of books that I read. I'll have to add it to my TO READ list. :)

Jeanette J said...

Good review. This book sounds like my kind of book.

tigger9 said...

The book sounds awesome. I'll have to check it out for sure. Great review.
lexeetoste@sbcglobal.net

Toystory said...

I am on my way to vacation Sunday...wish I had this to take with me!!

catslady said...

My two favorite genres are historical and suspense - having the two together is a real find!

catslady5@aol.com

RachieG said...

I've kind of been in a gothic mood lately, so many books are either regency or paranormal, it's hard to find a great gothic book now adays. This looks great though and I'll pick it up next time at the library.

Fun and insightful review!

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the review, sounds good!

Virginiagee said...

Sounds like something I would enjoy. Started out reading gothic romances years ago. Love the parnormal twist. Will definitely check this one out.

Thanks for Tweeting me.