Love Denied by Rose Phillips

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Lasting Love Beyond Tragedy

This book gave me heavy Wuthering Heights and even Edgar Allan Poe vibes! It was a much darker read than I was expecting but I liked that it tried to cover some new ground for a historical romance. The author’s writing is beautiful and she conjures her setting perfectly.

Catherine and Nicholas are childhood sweethearts who are parted for four years when Nicholas goes to war. When Nicholas’s older brother and the heir to the estate dies, he returns to find his beloved in mourning and the places he once knew shrouded in sorrow and mystery.

Tragic family secrets lie at the heart of the story as well as a blackmail subplot. There is a strong undercurrent of shame running through the entire book–Catherine’s shame over her choices, the shame of two brothers, the shame of two fathers. I found that made for quite a heavy read, but it’s nothing fans of a book like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights won’t enjoy! The melancholy is interrupted by passionate scenes between Catherine and Nicholas, who share a strong abiding love.

If you like your heroes dark and brooding like Mr. Rochester, you’ll love Nicholas.

Thanks to Dragonblade and NetGalley for the early review copy of this book.

Steam Level: Steamy
TW: Bury Your Gays trope

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