I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Winds of Graystone Manor

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Winds of Graystone Manor
by B.J. Hoff
Gothic Fiction
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

Roman St. Clare the Civil War photographer haunted by the slaying of his wife and unborn child. His relentless quest to find their murderer leads him to a remote area on Staten Island, where he must confront and be confronted by his own dark past. Amanda (Andy) Fairchild the petite, auburn-haired beauty who, as owner of Graystone Manor, a secluded resort hotel, is suspicious of the stranger who has arrived at a time of great mystery and intrigue on the Island. Niles Rutherford a brilliant young physician and Andy's lifelong friend, who, as her self-proclaimed protector, guards her well and, in return, demands more than her loyalty. Caught up in conflicting emotions and danger, these three find themselves ensnared in the age-old battle between Light and Darkness, fighting for their very lives - and their love.


I picked up this book because of it's tentatively Jane Eyre-esque plot line and because I was in the mood for some Gothic romance/suspense.  The novel switches back and forth from a third-person limited POV of the main characters - mostly Amanda and Roman - which was a little off-putting for me.  Mostly because their feelings of insecurity and interest in each other just kept being repeated as both characters had mostly the same thoughts.  And the romance itself was ... nice, I guess - mostly predictable, with nothing to really surprise me about how their relationship develops.  It is also very slow to develop as well, because the characters take their time in even considering the other interested in them.  It was a little too drawn out.

The suspense comes from the mystery of a series of disappearances on the island, and what I found surprising in the mystery is how early it's revealed who is behind it.  It does help to create more tension, because none of the other characters are suspicious of the culprit, but towards the end of the novel, I felt that the pace of the reveal was too slow, and there was little suspense in it for me, since it was clear how things would go.  I feel I am nit-picking a bit in this regard though, as I'm sure there are other readers who would not be so bothered.  And I do think the suspense of the story was the highlight of the book.  Also the dog was a highlight - I so wish I had a dog as true and loyal as Conor!

One aspect that was unexpected was the strong religious leaning of the characters and their feelings. This book could be classed as Christian literature, since their unspecified religion is mentioned a few times.  I suppose that accounts for the somewhat grandiose claims in the plot summary of "Light vs. Darkness" when this is more of a straightforward story.  There are no paranormal aspects for example which I was almost expecting given the synopsis.

This book was absorbing in many ways, but in the end, I felt more disappointed in my hopes for a strong romance and nail-biting suspense.  It was just a nice read.

Note - this book was marketed as a trilogy, but the author never finished it.

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