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This was a well-written, engaging book that took the ever-popular theme of vampires and made it original and thought-provoking! Touching on many sensitive issues, including homosexuality in the 1800s and sexual assault, it was deep in many places, particularly as the reader progresses through the story and better understands each character. I found myself not only interested in the romance between the two main characters but also intrigued by the historical elements of the story. Definitely a fascinating read.
Catherine Houghton has been invited to the home of her cousin, Lord Grovely, to be a companion to his new wife. Poor and with a mother wishing she would find a man to marry, Catherine is hoping to just have some time away and be of use to the remaining family she has left. Soon after arriving, she meets a mysterious man named Henry Carrington. Confined to his quarters during mealtime due to a delicate constitution, he is rarely seen socializing. However, circumstances keep throwing him into Catherine's path, and soon she begins to realize that not all is as it seems with him. Combine his odd behavior with ghostly happenings around the ancient estate, and it seems Catherine will have more than one paranormal entity to contend with.
Henry, or Hal, as his brother called him, was a shy, giving character who was easy to like from the get-go. Constantly trying to keep his reckless brother from the noose, both for his dangerous desire for blood and other "unnatural" appetites, he is at war on multiple fronts. Unlike his brother, he only feeds once a month and thus causes problems for himself when he sees or smells blood. Despite loathing his very nature, he is drawn to Catherine, who is unlike the other women he has known. She is kind, intelligent, and drawn to him just as much as he is to her. It was lovely seeing their relationship grow, even after she finds out he is a vampire. It just made them closer, it seemed, and the ending brought a smile to my face.
I greatly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by Nicki Markus! This was an enjoyable read all-around and one I recommend to others who are fond of the vampire sub-genre.
**I received a free copy from the author and this is my honest review.**