Can a curse strike twice in a woman’s life? In 1854, seventeen-year-old chambermaid Clara Crofton was dismissed from Gravesend Hall for having fallen in love with Richard Blackwood, the younger son of the house. Alone in the world, Clara found a tenuous position as a seamstress, but she always blamed the Gravesend curse for the disaster that had befallen her–and for Richard’s death soon after in the Crimean War.
Now, more than eighteen years later, Richard’s twin, Atticus, seeks out Clara with a strange proposal: if she will marry him and live with him as his wife in name only to ease the mind of his dying father, Atticus will then endow her with a comfortable income for the rest of her life. Clara knows that he is not disclosing his true motives, but when she runs out of options for an independent life, she has no choice but to become Atticus’s wife.
For Clara, returning to Gravesend as a bride brings some triumph… but also great unease. Not only must she pretend to be a wellborn lady and devoted wife to a man whose face is a constant reminder of the love she lost, but ominous portents whisper that her masquerade brings grave danger. “This house will take from you what you most treasure,” her mother once warned her. But the curse has already taken the man Clara loved. Will it now demand her life?
*I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*
Once again Amanda Dewees has created a story that I just can’t stop reading. Clara and Atticus are great characters who complement each other completely.
Clara has made her way in the world since being sent away from Gravesend. She has had a hard life, but is in a place where she feels comfortable. Then Atticus comes with a proposal. Be his wife. Not in the true sense, but in name alone. Let him right the wrong that his family did to her all those years ago.
Atticus is the man every woman dreams about. He is kind and gentle. He would do anything to make Clara happy. He is truly in love with her. As you watch there time together unfold there are a lot of really great moments. Moments when Atticus kisses Clara’s hand and takes her breath away. Moments of gazing into her eyes. The moments when he lets her know he loves her.
There is a lot of foreshadowing in this book. There were times when I went oh yes of course! And times when I thought, well I didn’t see that coming. The writing and flow of the story are brilliant. It takes you back to a time and place that you can picture. The way the ladies talk and the topics of discussion that are deemed inappropriate. Amanda Dewees captures the time period beautifully. As far as a good Gothic Romance goes, you won’t find much better then this.
Come back tomorrow and see our Author Interview with Amanda Dewees.
About the Author:
Amanda DeWees is an author and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her PhD in English literature from the University of Georgia and likes to startle people by announcing that her dissertation topic was vampire literature. Besides writing, her passions include theater, classic film, Ioan Gruffudd, costume design, and the preservation of apostrophes in their natural habitat.