I'm one of the publishers of All About Romance. I love reading romance, as well as mysteries, fantasy, history and historical fiction, and all kinds of other things. Staying on Goodreads for now but trying this out in case I decide to switch.
I gave this a C- at All About Romance, so 2.5 stars.The Dark Lady is one of those books that intrigued me from the moment I saw the synopsis - drug-addicted heroine, dark and gothic-sounding plot - I really looked forward to this debut. And then I read it. It caught my attention at first, but ultimately ended up a major disappointment.
As the book opens, Lord Ian Blake has returned from India, obviously in pain and deeply burdened. The opening of the book has an almost gothic tinge to it as Ian approaches Carridan Hall in search of his beloved Eva, Lady Carin. With just a few short paragraphs, the author has shown us that Ian is miserable and guilty over the fact that his friend Hamilton was killed in India, that he seeks to make amends somehow to Hamilton's widow, and that he loves her. The mood is set, and in the beginning, the writing in this book is strong and compelling.
Upon reaching Carridan, Ian learns that not only has Eva lost her husband, but that her son has died as well, and Eva herself is an inmate in an asylum. Ian goes to see her, and finds himself horrified at the conditions in which she is kept. Unkempt and heavily sedated with laudanum, Eva is far from the vivacious creature of Ian's memory. Ian immediately decides to rescue her from the asylum, and manages to spirit her away. And it is around this time that things start to fall apart.
This is a partial review. You can find the complete text at All About Romance.