Happy New Year!
Many of you may already have your 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenges in place by now, so I have a few Gothic novel suggestions to add to your list.
House of Shadows by Darcy Coates
Okay, folks. I read this in two days. I am a super slow reader, and I usually have five or six books going at once. So for me to roar through this in two days says something. To claim this novel is a page-turner seems cliched, but it really, really is. House of Shadows is classic Gothic/horror with perfect pacing and well-placed twists.
Here’s the blurb:
Sophie’s world is shattered when disaster bankrupts her family. She’s still reeling from the news when she’s offered an unexpected solution: Mr Argenton, a wealthy stranger, asks for her hand in marriage.
Marrying Mr Argenton will restore her family’s fortunes and save them from scandal, but condemns Sophie to a life in Northwood, a vast and unnaturally dark mansion situated hours from civilisation.
Sophie struggles to adjust to her new position as mistress over the desolate house. Mr Argenton’s relatives are cold, and Mr Argenton himself is keeping secrets. Even worse, the house is more than it seems.
The piano plays in the middle of the night. Blood drips from the ceiling. Sophie is pulled towards the terrifying truth: Northwood’s ancient halls are haunted. The malevolent spirits—produced by grisly deaths—resent her intrusion into their home.
Trapped in Northwood and desperate for an escape, Sophie’s fate is further complicated as she finds herself drawn to the tall, dark-eyed man she married. She suspects her feelings are returned, but Mr Argenton is hiding something… and his secrets are so dangerous that they might just be unforgivable.
Darcy Coates is an Australian author, who has a slew of books to her name, including contemporary novels centering around haunted houses. She is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
Wow! What a find this was! I was searching around on Amazon for a contemporary Gothic, and I came across Verity. This story leans a little more toward the thriller/suspense realm, but there are definite elements of the Gothic involved. Strange house, a woman kept in an upstairs bedroom, a romantic male figure that may be good or bad. I plowed through this novel in two or three sittings.
Here’s the blurb:
Sexy. Twisted. Consuming.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Colleen Hoover comes “A standalone romantic thriller that is tragic, creepy, and brilliant!” -Mel Reader Reviews
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
Due to graphic scenes and mature content, this book is recommended for readers 18+.
Um, yes to the graphic scenes. I should mention that Colleen Hoover is an author of romance novels, so there is a heavy-handed use of sex scenes in this one. But a riveting story, nonetheless.
And I’m waiting for this next one with bated breath…
Perilous Confessions by Carrie Dalby
I’ve preordered, and it comes out January 8. Can’t wait!
Here’s the blurb:
Their love brought scandal and demons.
Lucy Easton, an aspiring novelist, will do anything to help boost her chances at publication—including betraying her family. But when she crosses paths with the charismatic Alexander Melling, her aspiration for success pales in comparison to the attraction she feels towards him.
Alexander is a young lawyer from a powerful family, striving to free himself from his father’s shadow. The more time he spends with Lucy, the more desperate he becomes to shed the secrets of his past—a past which can destroy the both himself and the woman he’s falling in love with.
While Alexander struggles with his past sins, Lucy must decide whether loving him is worth risking her own safety…and her heart.
From gossip magazines to gleaming Mardi Gras balls, Lucy and Alex navigate the Edwardian era in the Deep South with both passion and guilt.
If you decide to read (or have already read) any of the above books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have any book recomendations to help kick off the new year? What are you reading?