This is not your typical historical romance. There are elements which conjure up the formality of the period, the delicate dance of courtship under the supervision of an ofttimes deliberately blind chaperone and the awe-inspiring architecture and property taken for granted but there is a far more somber undercurrent running through this tale. It is a little disturbing to read about Arabella’s beginnings and even more chilling to gradually understand the events that have shaped her into the person that she is. I am not totally convinced of the attraction between the main characters and thought that certain things should have been handled a bit differently but I prefer preventive measures rather than reactionary ones and I like my heroines with a bit more backbone. Nonetheless, the author provides a vivid tale that is fairly disturbing to one who likes a little less horror in her tales but the story itself is compelling and definitely perfect for the Halloween season. I have not read the first tale in the series, “A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing”, and although it probably would help provide a more complete picture of the family, I don’t think that it is a problem to read this title as a stand-alone. And no, in case you were wondering, the author is not a relative!
“Lord Monroe’s Dark Tower” by Elf Ahearn is a somewhat chilling historical gothic romance that continues the ‘Albright Sisters’ series. Claire Albright is visiting Bingham Hall at the request of the attractive Lord Flavian Monroe but her chaperone doesn’t want her to mention her expertise in medicines in her capacity as a midwife, fearing that it will detract from her image of an object of his affections. Unfortunately, sinister occurrences surrounding a mysterious young woman named Arabella gradually convince Claire that her invitation encompasses hidden implications that may have nothing to do with romance and everything to do with survival, if she can only find the right combination to assuage the danger that is housed with the tower.
Two years of bewildering silence have passed since Claire Albright’s passions were first inflamed by the powerful, brooding Lord Flavian Monroe. On the brink of her debut in London he suddenly summons her, asking that she use her knowledge of healing to help his ward - a girl who hoards castoffs in memory of her dead brother. Embroiled in a desperate attempt to curb the child’s destructive madness, Claire struggles to understand Flavian’s burning kisses yet cold demeanor. Can she reach his heart before his ward’s insanity undoes Claire’s chance at love?
When he was fourteen, Flavian made a mistake so devastating it ruined all hope for happiness. Years later, he’s still paying for his sin. But before his ward’s troubled mind destroys his home and family, he must see Claire once more. Vowing to keep their relationship professional - she the healer, he the guardian - he finds the bonds of his resolve snapping. Somehow, he must content himself with the love that could have been . . . but he cannot resist one final embrace . . .
Sensuality Level: Sensual