Somber Island by T. Lynne Tolles

While this is by no means a long novel (I finished it over the course of about a day), it is well worth the price. The writing style of Somber Island is very moody and atmospheric. The book opens describing Phoebe’s life in Scotland which is not one anyone would like to have. She reminded me of Cinderella as she was a virtual house slave to her family. Her sisters got the piano lessons, beautiful dresses and elegant parties while her father did none of these things for her. Since her father believes she will never marry, he sends her to Newfoundland to be a servant for an aristocrat while he collects her wages. The descriptive passages which relate her transatlantic crossing in steerage made me wonder how anyone survived those conditions. Once in Newfoundland Phoebe enters an empty mansion and doesn’t meet her new employer at first as they communicate by handwritten notes. I loved the gradual progression of the relationship between Phoebe and Nathaniel. This book at times reminded me of Dracula, Wuthering Heights, and Beauty & the Beast. It is a great read for vampire book lovers like me (and the first I’ve read in a long time where the vampire can turn into a bat), but it also features other supernatural elements like witches and werewolves. It has more horror elements to it than most vampire romances out there and is a great read. I was hooked from the very beginning and really enjoyed it. It did feel like it ended a little abruptly but I am hoping there will be a sequel telling Liam’s story. I received this ebook as a complimentary copy to review, but I plan to purchase more of Tolles’s books as I really enjoyed the author’s descriptive writing style.

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