BOOK REVIEW: Darkly Enchanted Romance by Joshua Ian
Publisher: Moody Boxfan Books
The Harvest Moon
On the night of a harvest moon, in the shadows of late autumn, Malcolm comes across a quaint village tucked away in the forest. It seems the perfect spot for a weary traveller to lay his head, and maybe find a little company. But there is dark magic afoot, and lots of local gossip swirls around the seductive titian-haired weaver, Daniel. All Malcolm seeks is a night's pleasure. He never suspected he would have to worry about losing his life. Or his heart.
The Ghost of Hillcomb Hall
Landscape designer Jonas Laurence arrives at the cheerless and fog enswathed Hillcomb Hall, home to the Earl of Stanley and his family, to renovate their crumbling gardens. With a great storm crashing all around, his time is at the mercy of the house's odd and mysterious occupants. Captivated by the hauntingly attractive portrait of Lord Stanley's ancestor, which constantly seems to watch and taunt him, Jonas's dreams become weird and distressing. And his waking moments are consumed by the strange stories and weird atmosphere of the manor estate. Ghostly visits in the night leave Jonas no choice but to accept his attraction to the otherworldly spirit from the painting. But is this affaire de coeur real? Or is it all just a trick of the mind, a sinister game being played by the inhabitants of Hillcomb Hall?
Monty, along with his best friend Bishop, investigates an odd seal-like creature swimming in Manchester Lake. The pair soon realize they've found a selkie when the magnificent animal transforms into the most gorgeous man either of them has ever seen. Determined to discover the origins of the mystical man, they bundle him into Bishop's brand-new electric automobile and whisk him off to London.
There they find a host of distractions: a tastefully debauched house party hosted by silver-tongued aristocrats, and a queerly European-inspired novelty called the night club. Both are filled with a cast of characters sometimes amusing and sometimes frightening. And as the night unfolds, Monty comes face-to-face with ghoulish agents of the occult as well as revelations from the past.
Most surprisingly of all, Monty finds himself falling for the beautiful creature from the lake, who seems equally interested in him. Can he really find himself in love with a man he has only just met? Or do they have a deeper connection which goes much further back? And what does it all have to do with the memories of his trip to Paris three years prior?
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