‘The Devil’s Bride’ by Emma S. Jackson #BookReview #BlogTour @ESJackson1 @darkstrokedark @crookedcatbooks #paranormalromance #TheDevilsBride

Kindle Edition: 257 pages
Published: February 5th 2020 by crooked cat / darkstroke
ASIN: B081697ZJZ

To buy now, please click here.

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Devil’s Bride’ by Emma S. Jackson. Many thanks to Emma for my e-copy of the book in exchange for my thoughts as a reader.


Front Cover

What’s it about?

England, 1670

No one goes near Edburton Manor – not since the night in 1668, when demons rose from the ground to drag Lord Bookham’s new bride to a fiery death. Or so the locals say.

That’s what makes it the perfect hideout for the gang of highwaymen Jamie Lorde runs with.

Ghost stories have never frightened her. The living are a far more dangerous prospect, particularly to a woman in disguise as a man. A woman who can see spirits in a time when witches are hanged and who is working hard to gain the trust of the most ruthless, vicious man she has ever known because she intends to ruin and kill him.

But when the gang discovers Matthew, Lord Bookham’s illegitimate brother, who has been trapped by a curse at the Manor ever since the doomed wedding, all Jamie’s carefully laid plans are sent spiralling out of control.

My thoughts:

I was thrilled to be included in this book tour, not necessarily because I know much about paranormal romance, but I because I get a real thrill out of being chilled to the bone by the gothic and horrifying.

Emma S Jackson’s The Devil’s Bride does not disappoint in this regard. It’s atmospheric, gripping and very creepy. As female protagonists go, Jamie Lorde makes not only a very convincing man, but is canny, intuitive and intelligent and I was totally absorbed in her character.

The pace is very well controlled, the plot smart, addictive and dripping with menace. I read it in a couple of sittings, but it was actually very hard to put down and I did so a bit begrudgingly to feed little people and read bedtime stories etc.

The writing is so very good, as is the actual storytelling. It’s a challenge to bring something new to either the paranormal romance or gothic genres, but ‘The Devil’s Bride succeeds, and this is really exciting – many elements of the plot surprised me, which was extremely refreshing. There are rich descriptions, none of which are extraneous, and never seem forced or awkward – the same with the dialogue.

I love being able to keep track of characters and plot, even when complex motivations and twists and turns are revealed – this makes for a memorable story. There are some swashbuckling action scenes, and plenty of intrigue for readers to look forward to having unpicked in the sequel.

The Devil’s Bride is an accomplished, entertaining, atmospheric and spooky read, which has left me wanting more, and quickly! Really loved this.

About the author:

Author pic

Emma Jackson is the best-selling author of A MISTLETOE MIRACLE, published by Orion Dash.

A devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old, she joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association on their New Writers’ Scheme at the beginning of 2019, determined to focus on her writing.

Her debut novel was published in November 2019.

When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished.

THE DEVIL’S BRIDE is her second novel, published by DarkStroke as Emma S Jackson. She hopes to continue working across sub-genres of romance, as she believes variety is the spice of life.

You can follow Emma on:

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Website

Mine is the second entry on this blog tour – be sure to check out the rest!

Blog tour banner

#Halloween #BookReview of ‘To Snare A Witch: Book One – Bell, Book and Candle’ by Jay Raven – as part of the @rararesources #blogtour @JayRavenAuthor

What better day could there be than today to welcome you to my slot on the blog tour for Jay Raven’s ‘To Snare a Witch: Book One – Bell, Book and Candle?’ Thanks so much to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me and to the author for a e-copy of this delicious gothic novella, in exchange for my thoughts.

To Snare A Witch EBOOK

The Blurb:

No female dares spurn the lecherous advances of Sir Henry Cruttendon, 17th Century England’s most reviled nobleman. To do so risks a retribution that would terrify the Devil himself.

But Elizabeth Fiennes is no ordinary woman, blessed with stunning beauty, intelligence and guile. Coming from an influential family, she believes she is safe.

What she doesn’t understand is that the Earl is determined to satisfy his lust and plans to use the wave of witch trials, fear and superstition sweeping the countryside to force her into his clutches.

And as he springs his malicious trap it triggers a chain of unholy events plunging hunter and prey into a maelstrom of deceit, terror and depravity – leaving them both staring into the face of true evil…

My Review:

This is just the perfect novella for this time of year, short, malevolent, and perfectly formed. It begins with an English witch trial, perpetrated by the fraudulent witchfinders Thomas Gaunt and his assistant Matthew Stiles, who stalk brazenly from village to village, collecting coin in exchange for a theatrical performance of the barbaric spectator sport of identifying women as witches. I admit to having a slightly morbid fascination with this historical period, which is why I jumped at the chance to be on this tour, and I was not disappointed.

This is an incredibly well crafted story, which to say it can be read in under an hour, brings memorable, fully rounded characters and an atmospheric, endearing love story with the grotesque and the evil present in equal measure. It’s glorious, and I can see myself reading this again before the thinning of the veil is complete. I’d take a witch any day, compared with the every day malevolence of some human beings. Twists and turns aplenty, exceptionally good writing – what’s not to enjoy?!

I also spent quite a while on the Internet, researching the nursery rhyme ‘Ride A Cock Horse to Banbury Cross’…

Highly recommended – if clever and unsettling gothic stories are your thing, it’s more than worth your time to spend a dark, stormy autumn evening with ‘To Snare A Witch’. Superb.

To get yourself a copy, follow one of these purchase links:

Amazon UK

Amazon

About the author

To Snare Jay Raven 5

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveaways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at www.jayraven.co.uk

Social Media Links

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Twitter

Facebook

As always, this is a blog tour, and there are many other unique perspectives on the book. The other bloggers are on the tour banner below, and I would urge you to check them out!

To Snare A Witch Full Tour Banner