Title: The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall (Entangled Select Otherworld) Series: Dark Seductions #1
Release Date: 2014-09-29
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
THE SHADOWS OF STORMCLYFFE HALL is a 196 page book about an American historian named Jane who travels to England to complete her dissertation about a legendary curse on an Earl’s castle. She has become obsessed with it and has an unnatural attraction to the location. Once there, she meets the current Earl of Weymouth, Bastian. They both experience weird and frightening things, proving that the curse is real.
THE SHADOWS OF STORMCLYFFE HALL begins with a prologue about Jane and Bastian’s ancestors. Normally, I am put off by prologues because they are usually unnecessary or information dumps. The prologue in this story, however, was short and attention-grabbing.
Throughout the story, Lauren Smith makes excellent word choices to create atmosphere. It is easy to visualize the characters and the setting.
Overall, the tense and point of view are consistent and well-executed. I only noticed one place in the story where there was a little “head-hopping.”
The plot is predictable with few surprises, but is sound in its design. Lauren Smith writes very well. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the climax of the book. It seemed to be a lot of rehashing of things the reader already knew, especially in the scene where Cordelia tells Jane what she wants and what she has done in the past.
By my personal standards, less than 200 pages is a novella not a novel, but I know not everyone makes this distinction. It’s either a long novella or a short novel, depending on how you define the two. Either way, it’s short because it doesn’t have any subplots. Some readers might like this, some readers might not. Personally, I thought it was fine the way it was. It’s a straightforward, quick read.
Conclusion: I enjoyed reading THE SHADOWS OF STORMCLYFFE HALL. It borders on erotica, but I didn’t find it distasteful. The best part of the book is the rich imagery. The worst part is that I was creeped out by the revelation that Bastian and Jane are related. I had already figured something like that was going on and I know they are very distant relatives, but it still bothered me. I told my friend about it (explaining that they only share one very far-removed ancestor) and she also said, “ewwww!” So, I’m not the only one. To some people, family is family, and it doesn’t matter how far back the ancestry.
Still, I would read more book in this series. I would recommend it to readers of paranormal romance, gothic romance, and (possibly) regency romance.