My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A Gothic romance novel, With This Curse caters to readers who favor this genre else this is no Rebecca.
Gravesend Hall is a mansion seeped in history and tragedies with a curse that affects not just the residents but even the servants. Clara as a naive 17 yr old falls in love with the master of the house Richard and is sent away in disgrace, 18 yrs later she’s back as the mistress of the hall but as a wife to the twin brother Atticus. The relationship slowly grows in strength with trust, respect and then love but the past comes back to haunt them. The story is good even though the big twisty surprise can be guessed at by most. It would have been interesting to have more of a ominous feel in the story coz the dread wears off after the first few chapters. Overall a good Gothic romance.
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Can a curse strike twice in a woman’s life?
I was a seventeen-year-old chambermaid in 1854 when the Gravesend curse tore my life apart. I was dismissed from Gravesend Hall for having fallen in love with Richard Blackwood, the younger son of the house, and was forced to make my way alone in the world as a seamstress. The curse dealt its cruelest blow when Richard was killed soon after in the Crimean War.
Now more than eighteen years have passed, and Richard’s twin, Atticus, has sought me out with a strange proposal: if I agree to marry him and live with him as his wife in name only to ease the mind of his dying father, Atticus will endow me with a comfortable income for the rest of my life. I know he is not disclosing his true motives, but with no remaining options for an independent life, I have no choice but to become his wife.
Returning to Gravesend as a bride brings a sense of triumph… but also great unease. Not only must I pretend to be a wellborn lady and devoted wife to a man whose face is a constant reminder of my lost love, but ominous portents whisper that this masquerade brings grave danger. “This house will take from you what you most treasure”, my mother once warned me. But the curse has already taken the man I loved. Will it now demand my life?