Author: Helen Louise Caroll
Genre: Gothic, Historical, Thriller
Length: Novella (161pgs)
Publisher: Amber Allure (28th July 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2½ – 3 Hearts
Blurb: After a whirlwind love affair with Adam Parr, young Victor Reibling follows his lover to his home—Castle Death, a lonely manor in the forest. But upon arriving there, Victor learns Adam has died. Under suspicious circumstances. With nowhere else to go, Victor stays to tutor Adam’s son, the sly Phillip, despite the opposition of the boy’s grandmother and the contempt of his guardian and uncle, Darcy Death.
Victor becomes more and more entangled in the affairs of the Death family, even as his attraction to the magnetic and enigmatic Darcy grows. But Adam was not the first to die at Castle Death, and unless Victor can discover the secrets that bind this strange family together, he might become the next victim…
Warning: Acts of voyeurism
Purchase Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/CastleDeath.html
Review: Victor has a love affair with visiting businessman Adam Parr, a man he falls deeply in love with. Victor is dreading the time when Adam will leave but Adam comes up with a plan so they can be together. Upon arriving at Castle Death to tutor Adam’s son and be with his lover, Victor learns the devastating news that Adam has died, with nowhere else to go, he stays to do his job despite the opposition of Phillip’s grandmother and the contempt of his uncle Darcy Death. Victor discovers he has a fierce attraction to Darcy but there are strange goings on at Castle Death with Victor discovering that Adam’s wasn’t the first death, and as Victor gets closer to Darcy accidents begin to happen and Victor has to discover the secret of Castle Death before he becomes the next victim.
This is an interesting story that is equal parts suspense and thriller, there are a couple of aspects that had me shuddering in revulsion, but otherwise it was a good Gothic feeling story. Victor is overjoyed to have found true love and agrees to follow his love lover back to his hometown, but upon arrival, he learns of Adam’s tragic death. With no other option Victor stays to tutor Adam’s son Phillip and finds himself drawn into the family and its secrets. Unable to resist his attraction to Phillip’s uncle Darcy, Victor finds himself in a forbidden relationship that has dark undertones with Darcy’s wife acting odder and odder.
I quite enjoyed the mysterious feel to this story and the suspense of situation; I liked the way that the deaths leave questions and clues. The relationship between Darcy and Victor is a difficult one to really get a grip on because Darcy has his feelings of guilt; he has to keep a mask in place to get through the day. Victor is confused by his feelings for Darcy and struggles with it until the end, it was portrayed quite well. Seeing the threads of the story pull together was good as well, you know something is coming but you never quite grasp what it is.
While I found the creepy undertones to be good and the general storyline great, there were some aspects of this story that I found deeply disturbing. First is the relationship between the two cousins Phillip and Anne Elizabeth, the implied relationship is deeply disturbing as Phillip is only twelve and Anne Elizabeth is slightly older, the second is the acts of voyeurism where Darcy and Victor are getting it on in the schoolroom and Phillip is watching…. that churned my stomach.
I will recommend this to those that love Gothic stories, historicals, a complex relationship, hot sex, suspense and mystery and a very interesting ending.