5 out of 5 stars
Book by Peter Gray
A Modern Take on the Gothic Classic
Sela is assigned to be a private gardener for Theodore “Teddy” Woven’s ancestral home. Against her will and the advice of others, she starts to fall in love with the mysterious young man, but soon finds her presence unwelcome at the house as she slowly uncovers the truth about his family’s past. The greatest mystery of all lies not in the house, but with its owner.
If you are a fan of classic gothic romances, this is a novel not to be missed. Starting as a slow-burn mystery, it quickly sweeps into a paranormal thriller where love will either destroy the young narrator, or redeem the master of the house.
Teddy is very much like Mr Rochester from Charlotte’s Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Maxim de Winter from Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. He’s a handsome young man, suffering from a mysterious dark secret that plagues him night and day. Aloof and moody, he’s short of temper, but he is also forgiving and loyal. Sela narrates the story, but she is not the main character. She is typical of the heroines that feature in the gothic/horror classics of old, but she’s also independent and private. Falling for Teddy goes against everything she stands for, which is perhaps why there is an exciting change in her character’s growth. As readers, we are drawn in to know more because we empathise with Sela.
The writing is engaging and easy to follow. The pace is slow, giving the impression that most of the action is taking place in the background, which adds to the air of mystery and suspense. The ending and final reveal is worth the wait.
If you love gothic romance, this is one to add to your TBR list.