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Saturday, October 26, 2013

{Book Review} DARK ANGEL by T.J. Bennett

DARK ANGEL - A Gothic Fairy Tale
by T.J. Bennett
Publisher: Entangled Edge
Published: October 21, 2013
Edition: ARC
Source: Publisher for an honest review

When young widow Catherine Briton is washed ashore, the sole survivor of a violent shipwreck, all she wants is to go home to London. But injured as she is, she can’t escape when a shadowy stranger rescues her and takes her to his castle—where she’s healed with suspicious, almost magical speed.

The more time Catherine spends in the castle, the more her curiosity rises where her fiercely handsome new "master," Gerard, is concerned. As she begins to investigate, though, her discoveries only bring more questions. It seems Gerard isn't the only one on the island keeping secrets…

The small town is full of strange mysteries and townspeople who know more than they should about her. And when a hulking beast that stalks the nearby hills and valleys catches up to her, Catherine must figure out what’s going on before it’s too late.

 Have I told you yet how much I love Beauty & the Beast? My first encounter with Beauty & the Beast was NOT the Disney movie. It was from the collection of fairy tales my dad would read to me every night as a child. And then, I discovered Robin McKinley's "Beauty" when I was in middle school, an excellent re-telling that captured me with not only the story, but the Beast's magical library that held all the books ever published and even those which have yet to be published. And since then, I've enjoyed many twists on the tale, including this one by T.J. Bennett!

I immediately liked the feisty, plucky heroine as she stands up to a man in a time when women just did not do that. When she washes ashore and is the lone survivor of the shipwreck, you can feel her panic as she looks for her purse, holding all the money she has in the world for her cause.

Gerard is devilishly handsome and appealing, but lacking manners as he is used to just demanding and getting his way. He has that tortured soul thing going for him that enchants nearly every woman; why we all go for that, I have no idea but we do!

I thoroughly enjoyed this suspenseful, gothic tale of Beauty & the Beast. As always, the scariest monster/beast out there is mankind as opposed to animal kind. As Catherine discovers the sad truth about the island and the islanders, she and her newfound friends are threatened by one of their own. What lurks in the shadows may not be a beast at all! Restrained passion given the time (1859) and slow building romance was appropriate and delicious to read, and when they finally come together it's a tumultuous experience.

T.J. Bennett's writing was spot-on for the time period and despite the setting, made me think very much of Wuthering Heights. Well-written and weaving intrigue and suspense, it gets its hooks into you as you read, pulling you further in. I love it when a book does that!

Happily Ever After? What do you think? :)