My rating: 5 of 5 gargoyles
This was a book that, for me, hit just about every single high point a book can. There was paranormal elements (ghosts-both good and bad, along with witches and magic), a romance between characters you can actually root for, and a beautiful, ancient castle as the backdrop.
The bad: It ended. BUT…it ended in absolutely the right spot. All plots were resolved, all characters who needed a happy ending got them, and I left the story on an upbeat note.
The good: Pretty much every danged thing. I remember a faint disbelief point early in the book, but it wasn’t enough to knock me out of the world, and I don’t remember WHAT dinged at me at this point. Jane’s cool and absolutely devoted to finishing her PhD, which brings her to the Hall (that pesky need for primary sources that historians have such trouble finding at times). This puts her in direct conflict with Bastian, who has only recently returned to the Hall and is hoping to pretty much bury the castle’s (and his family’s) reputation as being cursed, so he’s not really thrilled with anyone (but particularly an American who has no big grasp on the whole member of the nobility thing) digging around in his family’s home.
The secondary plot (non-romance plot) was pretty great as well. I loved the diary that kept moving around and it was heartbreaking at some points to see the original cursed earl and his response to the loss of his beloved wife (it’s in the prologue, so it’s not a spoiler that his wife suicides).
I simply cannot think up enough good words for this book. 5 gargoyles for me and I want more from Ms. Smith!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.