A gargoyle filled castle… curses and rumors swirling in the air… secret passageways and voices thru walls… Ebonwood is as gothic as gothic gets.
Cece Louise’s In A Dark, Dark Wood is book #4 in the Forest Tales series and is perfectly good as a stand alone. I had no trouble following Calia and Brone’s utterly captivating marriage of convenience story changing to love.
The writing by the author Cece Louise is commendable, effortlessly transporting the reader to Ebonwood, its dreary presence, and the forbidding forests conveying the chill Calia has to endure there. The romance is delightfully clean. The story has POVs of both Calia and Brone and the change in their respective stances is evident as the story progresses. Both Calia and Brone are forced into a marriage due to differing circumstances and I loved how Calia’s outlook towards Brone switches from one of brooding and aloof, an uncaring man interested in his gadgets and his seclusion, to the feeling of safety by his mere presence and then the blossoming of love when faced with danger to his life.
The mystery surrounding the curse was intriguing and the rains darkening the atmosphere enhances the doom and gloom vibe of the novel. The secondary characters like Ryker were fantastic and I loved the easy friendship showcased between Ryker and Brone. Madam Constance’s character is an homage to Rebecca’s Mrs. Danvers and it was exciting to read how the author has used different fairy tales in the story which does remind us of all the classics but still manages to provide a wholly unique take on this absorbing read.
I haven’t read any other books by the author but I was totally engrossed with In A Dark, Dark Wood and have half a mind to binge-read all the other books in the series. Lovely!
Many thanks to Book Sirens and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
In a dark, dark wood, there was a dark, dark man . . .
Calia believes in ghosts. How could she not when she is haunted by a past encounter that sent her into hiding? She concocts a plan so crazy, it just might save her— if it doesn’t lead to her downfall. All she has to do is impersonate a missing princess and fulfill that princess’s betrothal to the Prince of Ebonwood.
Prince Brone believes in nothing—certainly not the curse rumored to plague the royal wives of Ebonwood. After the untimely death of his first wife, all he wishes is to be left alone. Once more facing a marriage not of his choosing, he vows not to make the same mistakes that cost him so dearly last time.
Calia soon discovers that fooling the prince will be much harder than she thought. As her complicated feelings for him begin to grow, so does her fear of Ebonwood—a kingdom shrouded in darkness, secrets, and even murder.
Will a warning from beyond the grave save Calia from the fate of the previous Ebonwood wives, or will it spell her ultimate ruin?
Inspired by the classic poem “In a Dark, Dark Wood,” this clean, standalone romantic suspense is perfect for anyone who loves fairy tales with a Gothic twist.
Author’s Note: Recommended for ages 14 and up (due to some mature themes).
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