Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Mourning of Leone Manor by A.M. Davis


I bought this because I saw a video about it on TikTok and it looked really fun. I just can't say no to gothic romances, especially not if they have my favorite trope: is the house actually haunted or are we just slowly going mad? ALSO, the author failed to disclose that this is basically a stepmother x stepson romance because the heroine was actually married to the hero's father, which I think was a HUGE mistake, because there are people who are VERY into that (like me). Marketing, marketing, marketing. :p

Anyway, before she married his dad, Remi was in love with Ben. They were childhood friends on the cusp of becoming more, but her uncle kind of pressed her to marry Edgar. Then Edgar dies and things get weird, because his death might be connected to a couple other deaths that all seem to revolve mysteriously around Leone Manor. Ben is also a little bit of a fuckboy, which was giving Bridgerton Boy vibes. In some ways, this book is like Bridgerton if Bridgerton was having a goth phrase. Which you might be into.

The prologue and beginning were AMAZING. However, I really wish the pacing and atmosphere had been a little more intense. There were some fantastically creepy scenes scenes in here but I personally wanted more, although I did love how unlike traditional gothic romances, this one is very much open door. I wouldn't call it spicy but there is descriptive sex.

The ending was great and made up for some of the saggy middle. Like I said, the premise was awesome and reeled me right in and I happen to love this publisher a lot. It was just a bit cozier than I was expecting, based on the summary and the reviews, which made it feel blander than it probably would have felt if I were in the right mood for it. I would recommend this book to people who are fans of cozy horror/gothic authors like Chasity Bowlin and Darcy Coates.

2.5 to 3 out of 5 stars

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