Review: The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall by Lauren Smith (Dark Seductions #1)


The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall by Lauren Smith // VBC ReviewThe Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall (Dark Seductions #1)
Lauren Smith
Published: Sept. 29, 2014 (Entangled)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Bastian Carlisle is trying to put the curse that has hovered over his family’s past to rest once and for all. It all began with his ancestors Richard and Isabelle. Upon Isabelle’s unfortunate and mysterious death, and the subsequent death of her husband Richard just months following, to say that family has had a bit of bad luck is putting it mildly. Every Earl of Weymouth from that moment on has suffered the loss of the woman he loves in a horrific way.

Bastian hopes that by returning to his family’s ancestral home and restoring it, he will rid it and his family of the “ghosts of the past.” Not that Bastian truly believes there are such things as ghosts.

There is one person who gives credence to the rumors. Jane Seyton, using Stormclyffe as the basis for her dissertation, is drawn to the old castle for reasons unknown. When Jane’s request for family information is denied by Bastian, she takes it upon herself to show up at Stormclyffe and impose herself upon the Earl. It soon becomes all too clear that something evil is indeed haunting the house, and when it starts to target Jane and Bastian, they’ll have to uncover what really happened in the past if they want any hope of having a future.

There’s something about reading a really good ghost story, especially this time of year that really gets me excited for Halloween. I guess one can argue that here at VBC with the vampires, shifters, etc. it’s like Halloween 24/7, but ghosts…. I don’t know. The feeling like your being closely watched when no one else is there, the hairs standing up on the back of your neck, things that go bump in the night! Excitingly chilling! In The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall Lauren Smith sets all of these scenarios up with great success. It’s rare that reading a book can make me want to duck under the covers or make sure that the shadows aren’t moving, but Stormclyffe definitely has quite a few of those moments. Add in some sparking romance and we’ve got the perfect combination.

The attraction between Bastian and Jane is apparent from the very first moment they set eyes on each other. But the question is: Is the attraction of their own making, or are there other forces at work? I guess we could say a little of both. Because even though the scenes with Bastian and Jane were hot, it was the secondary story of Richard and Isabelle that truly drew my attention. Through letters, journal entries, and even a little possession, we learn their tragic story and that even in death they are trying to get back to each other (how sweet is that?!). I think their story was perfectly told within the confines of the whole book. Smith included just enough of Richard and Isabelle to give background information on the believed Weymouth curse and just enough to make us care without taking too much away from Bastian and Jane. It’s a great blending of the past and the present.

If you’re in the mood for a good mystery and ghost story, look no further than The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall, pull up the covers and settle in. Paired perfectly with an undeniably sexy romance and you’ll be ready to find your own haunted castle to visit!

Sexual content: Sex


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