This time out, I have the latest from the wonderful Lydia Joyce, Shadows of the Night (Signet). Fern has always been a good girl, and her marriage to Colin Radcliffe is the next logical step for her. But she wonders on her wedding day if she's made the right choice. Colin has left his mistress behind, at least for now, to take his new bride on a honeymoon, only things aren't going quite the way he'd expected. He feels rather emotional, and Fern has suddenly become something other than the obliging young woman he politely courted: a rather passionate, opinionated wife. So he takes her away from Brighton to an isolate estate he owns and knows nothing about. Only it appears that Wrexmere has been abandoned, despite the money he pays for its upkeep each year. Here, Colin and Fern will get to know each other better, and to know themselves better as well. Fern's panic at her wedding is understandable, and Colin's pique over finding out he isn't the way he'd always believed will also make a reader nod in understanding. I've been a fan of Ms. Joyce since her first book, and I think I enjoyed this one even more than the last. Not only is there the broody, Gothic atmosphere of the crumbling estate, but the erotic and emotional exploration between Colin and Fern was fantastic. Then there are the family secrets they learn during their stay at Wrexmere, things that could rock the foundations of their world, Colin's in particular. If you're looking for something intense that will keep you riveted until you reach the last page, this might be right up your alley. The shift in Colin, from a man who knows his place in society and never questioned it, to the more mature man who unexpectedly falls in love with his new wife, is terrific. I loved this one! It's earned four and a half of Cupid's five arrows. I can't wait for her next book.
Until next time, happy reading!