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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book Tour! Review & Giveaway of SCENT OF DARKNESS by Margot Berwin

Scent of Darkness
Margot Berwin
Genre: New Adult / Paranormal
Publisher: Pantheon
Date of Publication: January 29th 2013
ISBN-10: 030790752X
ISBN-13: 978-0307907523

Number of pages: 240

Amazon Print Amazon Kindle Random House BN

Book Description: 
When Evangeline's grandmother dies she leaves behind a ruby-red vial of perfume with the instructions: Don't pull out the stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.

From the moment Eva places a drop on her neck, she becomes the object of intense desire for everyone around her. Soon she's torn between Gabriel, a quiet medical student, and Michael, a beautiful and self-absorbed artist.

Scent of Darkness is about loving someone who is evil, tarot, New Orleans, and of course perfume.


My name is Eva from the longer and more beautiful Evangeline. I had something very special once, something that I took for granted and lost. I set out to find it again, and as so often happens, it was right there in front of me. Or should I say it was right there inside of me, running through my veins like a blessing, or a plague.

Jasmine smells like human flesh. Mix it with Cumin, which smells like sweat, and you have the scent of sex. If you spread it on your body, watch out, you’ll have sycophants all over the place-people crawling out of the woodwork to be close to you.

Human beings are defenseless against scent. They can’t hide from it because they can’t see it, or touch it, or hold it. All by itself it crawls into their brains, and by the time they’re in love with it, or the person it’s coming from, it’s too late. They’re tied to it forever, through the long, tight leash of memory.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that a great scent, like a great love, can crash onto the shore of your life like a wave, creating either damage or change, or in my case, both.

What happened when I came across a scent like that was that I fell in love with two men at the same time, and one was pure evil, and one was good. It was an old-fashioned love triangle. A classic tale that came up roses, and jasmine, and of course, tears.

So my name is Eva from the longer, and more beautiful Evangeline. And for me, the scent I found held my past, present, and future in its ethereal little hand.

I don’t mean to be morbid and mostly I’m not, but it is possible to love someone evil. I know that for a fact. I wish I didn’t, but wishing isn’t going to change my story.

It happened during my 18th year when I was too young to know that there are events and relationships that never go away. That you can never take back. That change you in ways over which you have no control.

My grandmother Louise, the person I was closest to in the world, would say that none of that mattered anyway. That who we love isn’t a question of good or evil, but one of scent.

“Scent can do crazy things to the mind,” she said. “It can make us love people we shouldn’t and turn away those we should. It can make us desire the child of a criminal and shun the overtures of a saint. Never open your legs for a man whose mind you love but only for the man whose scent you can’t live without. That’s the one you’ll stay with forever.”

I’d spent every summer of my childhood with Louise but it was the summer of my 18th year that changed everything. That was the beginning of all the danger and the beauty and the blood.

About the Author:
Margot Berwin earned her MFA from the New School in 2005. Her stories have appeared on, in the New York Press, and in the anthology The Future of Misbehavior.

Her first novel Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire was published in 2009 by Pantheon. Her new novel, SCENT OF DARKNESS, also by Pantheon is coming out on January 29, 2013.

Margot Lives in New York City.

A_TiffyFit's Review:

First, I should say that I won this book in a giveaway back near its release date. It was my very first time winning something from a book tour! So, I didn't receive a copy in order to review it. I asked to be on this tour because I already had the book and wanted to participate!

This is such an interesting tale - a very different take on all things preternatural and magical: the scent!

The protagonist  Eva (Evangeline) searches for the secret and mysterious ingredient in the vial of "potion" that her grandmother left for her to discover after her death. What Eva will discover is that the answer is something that has been there all along, right in front of her, and within her.

The journey Eva inadvertently takes - which she believed was a necessary step to learning what is in the mysterious vial of potion- isn't necessary at all. Or...was it?

Her grandmother's "gift", the secret she had kept from Eva in the white room for so many years isn't some magical and complex formulation, but rather something that is innately part of Eva and has been with her always. In the confines of her travels to the grandmother's hometown of New Orleans and its vicinities into the Bayou, Eva learns, experiences, and meets characters who help her discover the formula's secrets.

Although there are some positives to its magic, Eva learns the life lesson that with good always comes bad, pluses and minuses to all things in life, including possessing "magic." The old adage that everything one needs is in one's own backyard is the theme here; it's what Eva discovers after going on this long journey of self-discovery.

I found the plot to be a bit jumpy/disconnected at times, but not horribly so. As Eva is in the throes of "adulthood," I'd say the target audience is definitely new adult. A very enjoyable read that will have you daydreaming about different scents, trying to imagine what this smells like for you!

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