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Sea of Secrets by Amanda DeWees
I'm new to the board, and have thus far been lurking, soaking up all the great book reviews here. Now I'd like to share a review of a new Gothic romance, Sea of Secrets by Amanda DeWees. Just when I'd long since given up on finding any new Gothics that were more like the Mary Stewarts and Daphne DuMauriers that I love and less like a romance novel with a few gothic touches thrown in, I discovered this gem!

Here's the synopsis (provided by Smashwords):
After her brother is killed in the Crimean War, innocent young Oriel Pembroke finds herself alone in the world.

Disowned by the cruel father who has always despised her, she has nowhere to turn until she is taken under the wing of a glamorous relative she never knew: the former Duchess of Ellsworth, who has scandalized society by remarrying soon after her first husband’s death. At the opulent seaside estate of Ellsmere, Oriel thinks she has found a safe haven—but the darkly handsome young duke, Herron, believes otherwise. Haunted by the death of his father, he suspects that Ellsmere is sheltering a murderer.

Even as Oriel falls in love with the duke, she begins to fear that his grief and suspicion are turning to madness. When dangerous accidents start to befall both Herron and Oriel, however, she realizes that someone may be trying to stop them from discovering the truth about the past. And when her father comes back into her life, she learns that he may hold the answer to the most horrifying secret of all…

I don't want to say much more about the plot because I don't want to inadvertently give anything away, but suffice to say this one is a keeper.

Less than ten pages into Sea of Secrets, I had the nagging sense that I'd met this heroine before. Then I realized that it was because Oriel reminded me so much of Jane Eyre. DeWees' writing is that good. She employs all the traditional elements of the classic Gothic — first person narration, vast, almost forbidding estate, a dark mystery, a brooding hero, and a heroine in peril — but does so with an accomplished literary style.

Like the best classic Gothics, Sea of Secrets is expertly plotted. DeWees sustains the mystery at the heart of the story throughout most of the book, but throws out hints to the mystery’s resolution throughout the book. Her writing is so wonderful that I only appreciated most of the hints when the mystery was solved.

Here are links to the book on Amazon and Smashwords:

Messages In This Thread
Sea of Secrets by Amanda DeWees - by missrubyjones - 05-11-2012, 09:56 PM

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