Author: Rosemary Smith
Pages: 99 Pages
In the Spring of 1865, Silvia Harvey travels to Dartmoor.
She is to meet her fiancée, her cousin Gareth.
It is a match enthusiastically arranged by her family, as were the marriages of her mother and grandmother.
But Silvia’s hopes of a whirlwind romance are quickly quashed.
Gareth, though handsome, is cold and aloof. He has pale blue eyes that his smile has never reached.
Arriving at the historical house of Darkwood, Silvia finds herself increasingly isolated by her fiancée’s distance from her.
Matters are made worse by the presence of the lovely Estelle Benedict, who is as cruel as she is beautiful.
Left to her own devices, Sylvia explores the many rooms of the grand building, and finds a painting of her beloved grandmother Lizzie.
The face has been cruelly slashed, and she worries of the real story behind her grandmother’s fate…
Can Lizzie uncover the true history of the old house which seems to haunt its corridors?
Can she warm the heart of Gareth, and free him from the grasp of the vicious Estelle?
It will take a strong spirit to lay bare the secrets of Darkwood…
Darkwood is a historical romance which is set within the confines of a familial estate. Two cousins, Sylvia and Gareth, are set to have an arranged marriage due to a clause in their spiteful grandfather’s will.
Before the wedding, Sylvia sets out to find out the secrets of Darkwood and the details of her beloved grandmother’s passing. She is also determined to ensure that she is marrying for love and not just for money.
On the surface the plot of Darkwood seems like an excellent read. It has passion, drama, family feuds and romance; unfortunately, the promise of a great story is let down by a few things. Firstly, the story is very rushed. For example the character of Gareth – who to begin with is frosty and arrogant – suddenly changes with no real explanation or character development. Secondly, the writing reads like an instruction manual – then I went outside, then I pulled my coat closer, then I got in the carriage etc. It was clunky and uncomfortable.
I do believe that Darkwood, in the right writer’s hand, could have been excellent. Unfortunately, it fell a little flat.
Darkwood by Rosemary Smith is available now.