This time out, I have Allison Chase's Dark Obsession (Signet). Nora Thornegoode needs a husband, fast, after her ruination by a lying artist she trusted. Sir Grayson Lowell needs a wife with money for familial debts. Neither is happy about wedding the other, but neither really has a choice in the matter. Nora figures once her reputation is repaired, she can go back to painting, though the reality of her marriage is far different than she'd imagined. Her husband is a very attractive man who seems to find her just as attractive. But rumors swirl around that he killed his brother, and when they arrive at the family home in Cornwall, a frightened little boy needs Nora's attention as much as her husband does. Then there's the mystery of what happened to Grayson's brother, and maybe some smugglers in the area. When I started reading this one, I had high hopes for a good Gothic story. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. The setting is perfect for a Gothic romance: the remote Cornwall estate along the dangerous coast. Nora and Grayson have good chemistry, but Grayson is a little too tortured by his role in his brother's death to remain believable throughout the tale. The secondary characters seem little more than caricatures of what they could have been--the stern, cranky housekeeper, the best friend who might not be what he seems. A very astute romance reader isn't going to be misled by any of these things, which may lead other readers to disappointment with this one as well. It's not a bad story, just not nearly as good as I'd hoped it would be. Which means it's earned only three of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!