Monday, October 24, 2011

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire.
Pages: 320.
Source: BEA.
Release Date: November 8th.
The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...

Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.

Darker Still is sexy and terrifying, combining a gorgeous romance with a spine-tingling horror that had me torn between swooning and cowering under my blankets. With its beautiful gothic appeal, detailed descriptions of the lifestyle/scenery in the 1880's and the simple yet absolutely enthralling story, this book was definitely a winner for me.

First, I want to talk about how much I loved that the main character, Natalie, had so much bravery and power. Instead of being a damsel in distress, she does all of the saving for the handsome, helpless love interest. This book was written in a time where women were pretty much considered useless and that made me even more appreciative of Natalie's totally kick-assery. Secondly, THE MYSTERY. Oh, the mystery. My brain was a jumbled mess the whole time, trying to figure out motives behind murders and behaviors behind a demon and gah. Let's just say that I was never, ever bored.

And the romance? Kind of insta-love, I'll admit, but don't let that deter you from reading because it's so easy to look past once you really get into the story and into Natalie and Lord Denbury's relationship. If you've read my reviews before, you know that I'm a huge huge anti-insta-love reader, but I fully support it in this book.

I do have one teeny tiny complaint and it's that sometimes the most intense scenes fade to black and it was very anticlimactic. Natalie's doing something dangerous and the intensity is building and I'm scooting farther and farther to the edge of my seat and then ... nothing. The author does go back to retell what happened in later paragraphs, but I think I would've preferred it if everything unraveled then and there. But maybe that's just me!

Overall, I very much enjoyed Darker Still. Leanna Renee Hieber has succeeded in spinning a dark, seductive tale of romance, adventure and horror that is both beautiful and shockingly gruesome. (Gruesome in the best way possible) I definitely recommend!

Other reviews for Darker Still:
Tales of the Inner Book Fanatic.
365 Days of Reading.


  1. I'm reading this right now and have to agree that it's pretty awesome. Good to know it keeps up the intrigue through the whole thing. Thanks for the review!

  2. Glad you really enjoyed it - and despite an insta-love thing going on you didn't hold disdain for it. I am also on the anti regarding insta-love so that's kind of reassuring. Thanks for the review!