I can sum this book up in one word, sublime! From the moment it arrived in my mailbox on Friday at roughly 4pm to turning the last page less than forty-eight hours later, I was in heaven. Run to the bookstore right now and get the first two books in this series, Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary. Then you will be all ready when this book comes out in March.
Lady Julia Grey has waited impatiently for Nicholas Brisbane to come and finally propose marriage. When he doesn’t, she makes arrangements to travel with her sister to his newly purchased country estate in Yorkshire. In case you haven’t read Bronte or The Secret Garden, the area is lousy with moors, creepy mist, and dark secrets. After their arrival, Brisbane is less than welcoming. Bearding the lion in his den, Julia asks him if she should stay, if not he would never see her again. My heart soared when he confessed that she should go but he would not ask her to. The situation in the house is most curious. Brisbane bought the manor after the death of Lord Allenby. Lord Allenby died after squandering his money traveling and collecting Egyptian artifacts, leaving his elderly mother and two sisters penniless. Julia uncovers more questions than answers with Brisbane revealing little as usual. The big question to be answered beyond all the rest is, will Brisbane finally confess his true feelings and ask for Julia’s hand?
My description doesn’t do the book justice because I want to reveal as little as possible. There are so many wonderful elements to this story. A creepy, broken down house, a creepy family, Egyptian artifacts, mummies, secrets, revenge, gloomy weather, and one of the sexiest men ever! Lady Julia is a wonderful heroine, likeable and real. She is the kind of woman I would want to have tea with. Brisbane is yummy and any scene where they touch in any way, shape, or form crackles with sexual tension. They were the most intimate and romantic moments that I have read in my life. I have loved Ms. Raybourn’s work from the first but this book illustrates how much she has grown as a writer. I was so mesmerized by her words that I had to make myself put the book down and get some sleep. Ms. Raybourn is a master at constructing intricate as well as surprising plots. I never know how one of her books is going to turn out, which is so fabulous! I hope that we have not seen the last of Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane.
In Grimsgrave Hall, enigmatic Nicholas Brisbane has inherited a ruined estate, replete with uncanny tenants and one unwanted houseguest: Lady Julia Grey
Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia arrives in Yorkshire to find Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the moldering house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family: the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift on the moor winds, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes….
A mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave, one Lady Julia may have to solve alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring touches the craggy northern landscape, Lady Julia will have uncovered a Gypsy witch, a dark rider and a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil.