With This Curse
Winner of the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award for published historical romantic suspense!
Can a curse strike twice in a woman's life?
In 1854, seventeen-year-old chambermaid Clara Crofton was dismissed from Gravesend Hall for having fallen in love with Richard Blackwood, the younger son of the house. Alone in the world, Clara found a tenuous position as a seamstress, but she always blamed the Gravesend curse for the disaster that had befallen her—and for Richard's death soon after in the Crimean War.
Now, more than eighteen years later, Richard's twin, Atticus, seeks out Clara with a strange proposal: if she will marry him and live with him as his wife in name only to ease the mind of his dying father, Atticus will then endow her with a comfortable income for the rest of her life. Clara knows that he is not disclosing his true motives, but when she runs out of options for an independent life, she has no choice but to become Atticus's wife.
For Clara, returning to Gravesend as a bride brings some triumph... but also great unease. Not only must she pretend to be a wellborn lady and devoted wife to a man whose face is a constant reminder of the love she lost, but ominous portents whisper that her masquerade brings grave danger. "This house will take from you what you most treasure," her mother once warned her. But the curse has already taken the man Clara loved. Will it now demand her life?
Readers who enjoyed DeWees's award-winning sweet historical gothic romance Sea of Secrets, as well as those who love traditional gothic romance and clean historical romance alike, will be captivated by this strong yet vulnerable new heroine and her suspenseful journey through the perils of heartbreak, danger, and love.
Length: about 102,000 words ~ Sensuality level: sweet/mild/kisses
Includes book club discussion questions
From the author:
I grew up loving the traditional gothic romances of Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Daphne du Maurier, and Barbara Michaels... and of course their classic Victorian prototype, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. The combination of romance, mystery, sinister atmosphere, and (often) a fascinating historical setting addicted me. At the same time, there's a kind of innocence to them, perhaps a throwback to the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale, which seems to echo through the classic gothic romance plot. If you enjoy the suspense and romantic sweep of gothic novels—or if you're looking for a sweet historical romance that you won't have to hide when your kids (or parents) walk into the room—With This Curse may be just the kind of novel you'll enjoy curling up with on a rainy afternoon or chilly evening!