Setting: Modern Day
...both my arms cartwheeled as a super strong shove between my shoulder blades sent me careening forward. I stumbled onto my knees, using my hands to break my fall. Sharp pain shot through my palms, as I'd slammed them on jagged rocks.
What on earth?
Before I had time to turn around, the door slammed shut, and the unmistakable sound of a deadbolt turning pierced the wind's howl.
I was locked out.
Darkness fell swiftly yet anything but silently. The vicious wind whipped my hair, its low keening whistle torturing my ears. Rain lashed my skin, my clothes quickly becoming a drenched straightjacket. I'd been pounding at the door for what seemed like hours, but the continuous rumble of the thunder that echoed long after it had clapped drowned any noise my fist managed to produce...
Clutching my sides, I trotted down the steps and peered at the top floor windows, dragging my sopping hair out of the way with one hand. Lightning slashed the sky, and that's when I saw it. A fuzzy outline against a dimly lit backdrop, its head hidden behind a black cloak.
"Open the door," I yelled at the top of my lungs, but the violence of the storm swallowed my voice. I scanned the ground for a stone. There was one near the barrel. I hurtled it toward the window. I missed. I couldn't spot more loose stones around me, only half-buried rocks. Grasping a jagged edge, I pulled and pulled, but even though the ground was slushy, it wouldn't give. Using my nails, I dug around the rock and freed it. Tears of frustration mingled with the rain in my eyes. It was too heavy. I could barely lift it, let alone throw it far.
Exhausted, I lifted my eyes to the window high above me. Rain pelted down on me, but I knew what I saw.
The cloaked figure shook its head.
Then the light went out, and the window turned into a black hole.
He wants her out of his house. The house agrees…
After losing everything—her family, her home, her sense of self—former heiress, Daphne Alesi, has no choice but to start anew. Broke, unwanted, and suffering from a rare condition that makes defining her emotions mind-numbingly difficult, the only thing she has left is a strong will to survive.
Starting over on a remote Greek island, in the dead of winter, just because it was her grandmother’s birthplace might be a foolish plan, but staying in England is not an option.
The people of Alonissos are far from welcoming, not least the brooding recluse whose home she literally invades. The infamous House at the Edge is rumored to host a ghost—the soul of the enigmatic owner’s deceased wife. But it will take more than an angry spirit to send Daphne fleeing.
Being emotionally detached has some benefits, after all.
I really enjoyed this novella. I was especially endeared to the main character and her plight to escape to the country of her roots (Greece) after the very foundation (and support network) of her life seemingly crumbled.
Desperate to start over, and clutching at straws for a chance to support herself, she busies herself as the (unwanted) cook to the ruggedly handsome Petros. Little does she know that Petros has his own ghosts to deal with (literally)....but when it comes to matters of the heart, she's willing to weather the storm for a final chance at happiness.
With ghosts, secrets, betrayals, paranormal elements....and romance....there's too much about this book to put down. I think I read it in two sittings.
It weighs in just at 112 pages, and I totally wish it had been longer but it was still an excellent modern gothic read.
I recommend to fellow gothic romance / paranormal romance / romantic suspense fans.
Best Gothic Elements: murder, betrayal, ghosts, buried treasure, secret identities, secret passageways, a ghost cat.
I also noticed there were several more of these books with settings in locations form around the world. I have purchased several and hope to review them soon. I discovered them in the Kindle reads on amazon.