Title: Dark Seductions #1: The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall
Author: Lauren Smith
Publisher: Entangled Select Otherworld
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
ARC Received From: Entangled Publishing
Bastian Carlisle, the Earl of Weymouth, doesn’t believe in ghosts. Even though tragedy and mysterious hauntings have driven his family away from his ancestral home, Stormclyffe Hall, he is determined to restore the castle to its former glory. His plans are disrupted when a stubborn American shows up on his doorstep hoping to pry into his family’s tragic history.
Jane Seyton, an American graduate student, is convinced there’s more to the tragedy of Stormclyffe Hall than history claims. Ever the scholar, she is determined to discover the truth, even if it means putting up with the arrogant, yet sexy, Bastian.
Although Bastian wants nothing to do with the pushy American, it soon becomes clear that something evil is in the house—and that something is targeting both Jane and Bastian. The two must join forces to purge the ghosts of Stormclyffe Hall once and for all—even as they try to fight a physical attraction between them that grows more and more impossible to deny.
Just in time for Halloween comes a tale of ghosts, mysterious deaths, curses, and love. *smiles crookedly* After all, what's a great ghost story if there isn't a little bit of romance in there, right?
Jane's soul deep desire to see Stormclyffe Hall couldn't be explained. A look at one picture sparked her interest and sent her across the Atlantic Ocean to see it. Once there, she discovers it's where she's meant to be. It isn't just longer that's drawn her to this decrepit building and it's surly owner. It's a feeling of finally finding where she belongs.
Bastian can't believe the American who's shown up at the most inopportune time to see his crumbling home. It isn't her insistence that stuns him, it's her appearance. She's a dead ringer for the long-dead relative whose suicide sent his family name into the gutters. As much as he wants Jane gone while he renovates his home, there is something about her that calls to him, something that cannot be ignored no matter how hard he tries.
Bastian and Jane's pull to each other isn't just because of physical attraction. Their history is what brings them together. It intensifies that mutual attraction they share and makes it a hundred times sharper and brilliant. They're hard-pressed to ignore it, especially when they experience pleasurable kisses, caresses, murmurs, and heat because of it. Their resolution to work together to solve the mystery surrounding Stormclyffe Hall leads to several startling discoveries, which all lead to a fantastic ending complete with apparitions and revelations. After years of disquiet, Stormclyffe Hall is finally at peace.
I enjoyed every page of this story. It read like poetry, each chapter revealing something new that pulled me in deeper and deeper. It's a story I was lost in, one I didn't put down until I finished it, one I'll definitely read again.
Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She is a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She has won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.