Even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.
Enchanting Regency-Era Gothic Romance Intertwined with Inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Travel writer Amelia Balfour’s dream of touring Egypt is halted when she receives news of a revolutionary new surgery for her grotesquely disfigured brother. This could change everything, and it does. . .in the worst possible way.
Surgeon Graham Lambert has suspicions about the doctor he’s gone into practice with, but he can’t stop him from operating on Amelia’s brother. Will he be too late to prevent the man’s death? Or to reveal his true feelings for Amelia before she sails to Cairo?
Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, the opinions below are my own.
It’s the summer of 1815, and Amelia Balfour learns not only of her father’s death, but also that she is now responsible for her younger brother, Colin. Furthermore, her father has arranged for a surgeon to undertake a never performed procedure on her brother. Initially, she’s all for it while Colin is reluctant but eventually comes around. Meanwhile, the surgeon’s younger partner has his own suspicions but doesn’t want to alarm the siblings.
Lost in Darkness is a true gothic romance set in Bristol during the Regency era. It leans heavily on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and includes Mary as a neighbor of the Balfour family who is partially inspired by the stories surrounding Colin. While Frankenstein is an obvious influence, I also saw in Colin a resemblance to Joseph Merrick the so-called Elephant Man of the late 19th century. The horrifying surgeon, meanwhile, reminded me of Digory’s Uncle Andrew in CS Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew.
The romance, thankfully for this reader, is not overwhelming. I was more interested in the gothic nature of the tale, and the feeling the siblings had of being watched. Why did they keep finding small toys in a house without children? Who is the strange neighbor not Mary) reaching out to Amelia? This is a tale that will leave readers as it did me: breathless until the very end.
Publication Date: 01 November 2021
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.
Michelle Griep’s Website