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Gothic Romance Review: Beneath a Waning Moon by Elizabeth Hunter and Grace Draven

Beneath a Waning Moon by Elizabeth Hunter & Grace Draven 


review copy from the authors

Synopsis from Goodreads
Two delightfully dark tales of Gothic romance from Elizabeth Hunter and Grace Draven.

In A VERY PROPER MONSTER, Josephine Shaw spends long nights filling the pages of her Gothic stories with the fantastic and the macabre, unaware that the suitor her father has arranged is one of the dark creatures she’s always dreamed. For Tom Dargin, courting an ailing spinster was only one duty in a long life of service to his sire. But after he meets the curious Miss Shaw, will Tom become the seducer or the seduced? Can a love fated to end in tragedy survive a looming grave?

In GASLIGHT HADES, Nathaniel Gordon walks two worlds—that of the living and the dead. Barely human, he's earned the reputation of a Bonekeeper, the scourge of grave robbers. He believes his old life over, until one dreary burial he meets the woman he once loved and almost married. Lenore Kenward stands at her father’s grave, begging the protection of the mysterious guardian, not knowing he is her lost love. Resolved to keep his distance, Nathaniel is forced to abandon his plan and accompany Lenore on a journey into the mouth of Hell where sea meets sky, and the abominations that exist beyond its barrier wait to destroy them.


Amazon kindle US/UK 

10/10 

* * *

 A VERY PROPER MONSTER is utterly, utterly gorgeous. In fact, it's Elizabeth's finest work so far. The writing is poetic, the story is heart-breakingly beautiful. I finished it last night and cried. This doesn't happen to me often.


This novel is about Tom and Josie whom we met in The Scarlet Deep, in case you are wondering how it's connected to Elizabeth's other works. That Josie, a mysterious recluse author with the visions, remember? This is Tom and Josephine's love story, tragic, lovely and sweet.

Josephine Shaw is a delightful young woman with a very fancy imagination. She writes a score of popular Gothic romances under a couple of pen names, she has a lively correspondence with her dearest friends in London and she is surrounded by people who love and appreciate her spirit. But, Josephine is dying of consumption. She'd known that for a long time and she accepted that there is nothing that can be done to reverse her situation.

Tom Dargin pretends to be Murphy's brother along with Declan, while the trio tries to consolidate their power to move on to the current ruler of Dublin. One of the moves is acquiring Shaw's mills and boats. Mr.Shaw is gravely ill and would like to sell his business to someone who would care for it like he does. He is also worried about his dying daughter and stipulates that he will give the mills and the boats to Murphys if one of the brothers marry Josephine to protect her from her conniving cousin.

Tom agrees to meet Josephine and to their mutual surprise the two find they suit. She is fragile and ethereal, but wilful and practical. He is a solid bear of a man, but under his brute facade is a romantic heart and a wicked dry sense of humour. These two are hot together, my dear readers!

Obviously you know how this story ends, but you don't know what had to be done to get there, and I am keeping my mouth shut so as not to spoil the journey for you. It's heart-wrenching, emotional and perfectly Gothic. You should all read it, no question about it. *grins*


Anne shook her head. "Good heavens, you two really are perfect for each other. Who would have guessed?"
"Me," Josie said with a sweet smile. "We knew we'd get on the first night he called on me."
Tom smiled and went back to his paper. Sweet butterfly girl...
"Oh?"Anne asked. "Why's that?"
"It was obvious," Josie said. "He brought me a book."

8.5/10

GASLIGHT HADES was bittersweet and lovely. There was more horror in it than in A Very Proper Monster, and it certainly had a great Gothic atmosphere (foggy cemeteries, floating hair and a sense of tragic loss included). The steampunk elements totally kicked ass, and I especially loved the creation of Redan - an aether wall protecting humans from horrifics - monsters from a different dimension.

There were just so many juicy tidbits in there despite the shortness of the novel, that it felt like an optical illusion of a hefty tome. There certainly was an undercurrent of a much bigger story.

 Lenore just lost her much beloved father, and at the height of body snatching in 19th century London she is worried that her father's grave will get disturbed. However the Highgate cemetery is protected by one of the Bonekeepers created as a result of a horrendous experiment which took dead bodies and successfully brought them back from the death as superstrong paranormal beings.

There are seven Guardians of cemeteries in London, seven Bonekeepers, and Lenore asks one of them to look after her dad's grave. Only she doesn't understand why she is attracted to this ghostly, thin, eery being with floating white hair, and who he reminds her of.

Nathaniel died five years ago in a brutal airship battle, and while his body was beyond repair, his essence got transferred into one of Bonekeepers. Now he forever looks after the dead and stays away from his ex-fiance, whom he loves dearly still.

As you can guess, Lenore is the one, and this book is their bittersweet reunion. Gaslight Hades sends a wonderful message that true love knows no boundaries, and that life does give you second chances. It also feels like a part of much larger story. There are seven Guardians which makes me think that they all should have their happy ending. There is also a very intriguing female airship captain who needs to tell her life story to the reader as well. Gaslight Hades is an impertinent tease, and I demand from it to stop all this nonsense and show us the rest of its stories at once! 

Honestly, this was a fantastic duology, and I'd recommend it to anyone. Superbly written, wonderful stories.



* * *

10/10
ОЧЕНЬ ПОРЯДОЧНЫЙ МОНСТР безумно, безумно красивый роман. Лучший из творчества Мисс Хантер на настоящий момент. Поэтичный, сжимающий сердце. Я закончила его прошлой ночью и не смогла сдержать слёз. Такой со мной случается редко.

Это история Тома и Джози, с которыми мы познакомились в Кроваво-Красных Глубинах, если вам интересно, как они соприкасаются с остальными книгами Элизабет. Та самая Джози, отшельница-автор с редкими видениями в будущее, помните?

Джозефин Шоу - милейшая молодая женщина с бурным воображением. Она издаёт популярные готические романы под разными псевдонимами, ведёт живую переписку с друзьями в Лондоне, и окружена близкими, которые её любят и ценят. Однако Джозефин умирает от туберкулёза. Она знает, что для неё ничего сделать нельзя и давно с этим смирилась.

Том Даржин вместе с Декланом притворяются братьями Мёрфи, пока троица строит планы свергнуть текущего вампира-правителя Дублина. Одним из шагов к выигрышу является покупка мельниц и флота Шоу, который тяжело болен и желает продать свой бизнес кому-то, кто будет о нём заботиться так же, как и он сам. Когда Мёрфи обращается к тому, Шоу заявляет, что отдаст ему свой бизнес за минимальную цену если один из его братьев женится на Джозефин, о которой её отец очень беспокоится в связи с кузеном нечистоплотного характера, зная, что тот попытается забрать все её деньги после смерти её отца.

Том соглашается встретить Джозефин, и к обоюдному удивлению пара понимает, что они очень подходят друг другу. Она хрупка и эфермерна, однако практична и сильна волей. Под его образом мужлана с медвежьей хваткой скрыто сердце романтика и дьявольское чувство юмора. Они неожиданно знойная пара вместе!

Конечно, вы уже знаете как закончилась их история, однако говорить о самом путешествии из точка А в точку Б я говорить не стану, чтоб не испортить вам удовольствие. Оно очень эмоциональное, драматичное и до совершенства готичное. Читайте!

8.5/10

ГАДЕС ГАЗОВЫХ ФОНАРЕЙ был горько-сладок и мил. В нём было больше ужаса, чем в Очень Порядочном Монстре, и конечно присутствовала шикарная готическая атмосфера (включая туманные кладбища, развевающиеся сами по себе волосы и чувство глубокой трагической потери). Добавьте к этому тщательно выстроенные элементы стимпанка (мне особенно понравился Редан - эфирная стена, защищающая наш мир от монстров из другого измерения), и история получилась превосходная.

Наверное, единственный минус этой книги - это её размер. Она прямо таки дразняще, кокетливо намекала на большое количество предыстории, однако из-за формата, развернуть её не могла. 

Ленор только что погребла своего отца и боится, что его могилу разворочат похитители тел, поэтому просит одного из Хранителей Хайгейта - кладбища, в котором он захоронен, за ним присмотреть. Несмотря на своё горе, Ленор не понимает, почему её так привлекает к ефемерному, навевающему холодок, беловолосому монстру, специально созданному путём чудовищных экспериментов, чтобы охранять души умерших в одном  из семи кладбищ Лондона.

Натаниэль умер пять лет назад в кровавой воздушной битве на Редане, и несмотря на то, что его тело было спасти невозможно, сумасшедший учёный поместил его душу в тело другого умершего, чтобы сделать его одним из Хранителей. Его единственное сожаление - это то, что он не вернулся к своей обручённой и на ней не женился.

Гадес Газовых Фонарей - эта история любви без границ и судьбы, предоставляющей второй шанс. Она романтична, красива,  и намекает по крайней мере на счастливую концовку для остальных Хранителей в последующих книгах (включая одну таинственную, хладнокровную и бесстрашную капитаншу воздушного корабля).

В целом, это превосходная дуология, и я очень вам её прочитать советую!
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