Friday, June 16, 2023

MAN OF SHADOW AND MIST by Michelle Griep, Reviewed by Trixi and Rebecca

"She watched his tall form until shadows and mist swallowed him whole, leaving her entirely unsettled."

Rescued from a dreadful tumble off her bicycle by a tall, dark enigmatic stranger trumped the fear brought about by the blinding fog that had precipitated the mishap. "Pardon me, but clearly the shock of the fall has bewitched you," . . . said the voice from within. Rosa Edwards didn't know what to make of such unexpected kindness from such a figure, but what she did know was that she best be getting home with her stack of books, and a memory; perhaps even a bit of mystery. Little did she know; she had just met Sir James Morgan.

Returning to England, to Morgrave Manor, to his bed-ridden mother, was the last thing that James desired to do. Nevertheless, Lady Dorina was dying, and James felt duty-bound to try and save her; reading every book, researching every medical journal, talking to every doctor, mixing every concoction . . . to no avail. After all, he suffered from the same malady, a rare skin disease that had morphed into madness for his mother. The last thing he needed in his life was a librarian on two wheels, no matter how stubborn the lovely Rose Edwards turned out to be.

Unfortunately, not everyone in Whitby was as understanding of what they didn't understand as Rosa. It soon became apparent that nefarious intentions sought to breach their unlikely acquaintance while spreading vicious rumors surrounding James' return. Rosa couldn't understand their cruelty, and pleaded with the Lord above to intervene on his behalf, but was gently reminded that, "It is a mystery why some live life seemingly untouched by troubles while others can barely lift their head beneath the weight o' their sorrows. Not everything can be explained . . . else we would be like God . . . ".

Ultimately, it was going to be the "good-bye Rosa" that would break her heart in two. Surely God still worked miracles?!

This author has a marvelous ability to capture the attention of her readers, making them feel as if they have tip-toed into the story alongside her characters, feeling every angst, celebrating every triumph . . . and the result? A wonderful book!

*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

The world seems full of good men—even if there are monsters in it ~quote from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”

I devoured Michelle’s book “Lost in Darkness” and knew I had to get my hands on this one! I’ve read many, if not most, of her books and this was a very different feel from her usual writing. Rest assured, that is said in a very complimentary way! Atmospheric in its depth, a bit shivery at times and definitely immerses the reader as manifested in the late nights I stayed up to read “just one more chapter”. You cannot go wrong with anything this author writes!

Is James Morgan indeed a vampire or is the town just bent on believing in superstition? And what of Rosa Edwards, can she prove there is no such thing before the town goes mad trying to rid itself of such evil? All these questions (and more) are masterfully answered as the reader delves into this satisfying Gothic tale. The nod to Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” with quotes before each chapter was clever in its design. Michelle’s ability to weave historical facts with fiction is beyond brilliant and it shows in this story as well as in “Lost in Darkness”. I loved every minute of it!

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. *

BackCover Blurb:

England, 1890

Vampires are alive and well in North Yorkshire, leastwise in the minds of the uneducated. Librarian Rosa Edwards intends to drive a stake through the heart of such superstitions. But gossip flies when the mysterious Sir James Morgan returns to his shadowy manor. The townsfolk say he is cursed.

James hates everything about England. The weather. The rumours. The scorn. Yet he must stay. His mother is dying of a disease for which he’s desperately trying to find a cure—an illness that will eventually take his own life.

When Rosa sets out to prove the dark gossip about James is wrong, she discovers more questions than answers. How can she accept what she can’t explain—especially the strong allure of the enigmatic man? James must battle a town steeped in fear as well as the unsettling attraction he feels for the no-nonsense librarian.

Can love prevail in a town filled with fear and doubt? 

Barbour Fiction, June 1, 2023
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