Monday, June 05, 2017

The Darkness of Love – review

Author: Catherine Green

First published: 2013

Contains spoilers

The blurb: Lord Gregory Stockton is a powerful and respected businessman embracing the modern era of the Victorian industrial revolution. He owns a grand and beautiful manor complete with a repertoire of servants and a charming attractive young wife. The only thing he lacks and desires is an heir to the family estate. Lord Gregory knows he can never produce a child, for he is a vampire, and his wife and servants know nothing of his secrets. However, there may be other ways to provide an heir for his estate. Lord Gregory notices the subtle growing romantic attraction between his wife and the handsome young stable hand Marcus Scott resulting in the humans becoming unwitting pawns in a vampire’s game of lust, love and control.

The review: I have already looked at one of Catherine Green’s novels, the Vampire of Blackpool, and knew she was accomplished as a wordsmith. Sometimes that isn’t enough and whilst I read anything within the vampire genre, I do not particularly resonate with all the sub-genres.

The Darkness of Love is, very simply, a romance with a supernatural element (I'm loathe to say a Paranormal Romance as it was, at its heart, a pure romance). It therefore isn’t within the normal arena of genres I’d gravitate to. However good writing goes a long way and the author produces a sprightly prose, which immediately suggested the time period it was in (late Victorian), rather than spoiling itself with idiosyncratic modernisms but, also, without it feeling bogged down in an interpretation of that age. If I had a complaint around the prose it would be that some of the dialogue seemed forced, but this was rare and I am being very critical raising it.

The story itself was very simple – the aristocrat, unbeknown to wife or servants, is a vampire. He notices the attraction between said wife and stable lad and sees something in the lad himself. What exactly he sees is complex; he sees someone who could rise above his station, he sees a sexually attractive man and he sees someone he could turn and make his heir. For reasons not necessarily adequately explored he decides to lead wife and (newly promoted) lad into temptation – the motivation could have done with more exploration but it, in honestly, felt like the enabling of a ‘romance trope’ in the prose.

The vampires are powerful, they can wipe memory, their feed doesn’t necessarily kill but it will leave the victim weak and “ill”. They can walk in daylight, but it saps their supernatural strengths.

It is a fairly quick read and I would be doing it a disservice if I said that it would not appeal to fans of romances and paranormal romances alike. It definitely would. The writing is strong and I can appreciate that even if the genre failed to ring my bell. 6 out of 10 seems fair to me, balancing strong writing, my view of how others will take it and the fact that it wasn’t quite up my street.


SpookyMrsGreen said...

Thank you very much for your honest review, and for featuring my book on your blog!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

no worries, may you long continue to add your strong voice to the genre :)