Friday, 16 September 2016

Dark Surrender by Erica Ridley

Title: Dark Surrender
Series: Scoundrels & Secrets (#3)
Author: Erica Ridley
From: Review Copy
Genre: Romance, Gothic, Historical
Release Date: 28th February 2014
Challenges: Summer COYER 2016, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (12 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): TRAPPED IN DARKNESS . . .Violet Whitechapel committed an unspeakable crime to save a child. To escape the hangman’s noose, she takes refuge in a crumbling abbey with secrets darker than her own. When its master offers her a temporary post, Violet cannot say no. Just as she begins to see him in a new light, her past catches up to her and endangers them all. THEIR PASSION BURNS BRIGHT . . .Alistair Waldegrave keeps his daughter imprisoned in the black heart of his Gothic abbey. As he searches for a cure to the disease the villagers call demonic, his new governess brings much needed light into their lives. But how can the passion between them survive the darkness encroaching from outside their sheltered walls?7

While Dark Surrender is part of a series, the stories in Scoundrels & Secrets are completely standalone and you do not have to have read Too Wicked to Kiss or Too Sinful to Deny in order to enjoy Dark Surrender (however they are both good books that are worth a read anyway!) 

Dark Surrender was possibly the most traditionally gothic of the three books. It's set in Waldegrave Abbey, which is described as a traditionally gothic structure (and it really is brought to life my Ridley's writing) and Alistair's daughter, Lillian, suffers from sunsickness, and due to them never leaving the abbey during daylight, the locals spread rumours of vampirism. 

Violet wasn't part of the gentry and came from the streets, but she'd bettered herself. In fact as her past came more and more to light it made it clear that she was a very strong character. She didn't rely on other people and had a strong sense of right and wrong, even if that did include running from a murder charge (not a spoiler, it happens in chapter 1!) 

Violet and Alistair have a strong attraction and connection from early in the book, and while Violet quite quickly comes to terms with it, Alistair is the one putting the breaks on at several parts of the story. In part it's because he's Violet's employer, and in part because of the needs of his daughter and not wanting to compromise that. 

The love story in Dark Surrender isn't just about Violet and Alistair either (though that definitely had some sweet moments as well as some steamier ones!) The love story also happened between Violet and Lillian, and even Alistair and Lillian. The little girl was 9 years old and had been locked away for her own protection for her whole life. As such the trust with her father was damaged and the story focused on the two of them gaining their relationship back as much as each of them beginning one with Violet. 

This was a great read, with some seriously sweet moments in it!