A thick gray wall of fog hovered over the damp stones of Hanbury Street, carrying the stink of old blood and rotting entrails.
I got this free from Amazon, as a free book, super pleased. The beginning felt a little jerky but once the flow started, I was really enjoying it. As far as it being part of a Gothic series, it had a nice spooky feel with mystery and many questions regarding people and their maybe/maybe not murderous leanings. There's a little bit of Jack the Ripper but the actual murders aren't discussed enough to gross anyone out. The second half let me down a bit. All the answers I was waiting on turned out to be so innocuous, I found myself somewhat let down. Not that I want everyone to be psychotic murderers but reading this for Halloween Bingo and the gothic theme, someone should have at least had a pet spider that they fed mice to, or something.
Romance wise, I really enjoyed the hero and heroine's relationship, even though I missed Damien's point of views. There was an incredible scene where historical feminist views were done so well. A little snippet:
"Precisely," he said. She heard no surprise in his tone, and she realized in that instant that he had expected her to understand. "Do you know, Darcie, that it takes a good deal of thought for some medical students to reach that conclusion?"
"There are no women in medical school." The observation slipped out before she had time to question the wisdom of opening such a Pandora's box.
"No, there are not."
Their gazes met and held. Darcie sensed something in his expression. As he continued to watch her, she felt a warm wave ripple through her, a feeling of pleasure and confidence that blossomed and grew.
"There are no women in medical school," Damien repeated. "Yet."
I swooned so hard with Damien's calm belief in Darcie's intelligence and agency. This scene turned into a sexy, smart, and emotional moment between the two. This is what I mean by relationship building blocks, we see a reason why/how Damien is attracted to Darcie and vice versa. It also felt natural and fit into the time period. A+ to the author.
I think I have the third in the series, free off Amazon also, and will definitely look for other books in the series. I was disappointed that the second half didn't make good on the creepy loaded questions from the beginning and the villain wasn't given enough life for me but it's the Halloween season and I was probably looking extra hard for the spookiness.
All was not right in this house on Curzon Street. There was an evil, an aberration snaking through the shadows.