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Suffering from writer’s block, novelist Rachel Ames escapes to a lake cabin to calm her mind and regain a sense of herself. The location is perfect. Isolated. Beautiful. Inspiring. It even comes with a good-looking landlord who shows an interest in her. But she can’t shake the sense that something terrible has followed her to the lake, something just beyond her consciousness, something out on the edge where the sounds of a raging fire and sirens linger whenever she slows down to listen.
Determined to make the cabin work, she tries to settle in and give her new life a chance. But when strange things begin to happen around her, she wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. As the darkness that’s followed her manifests itself in inexplicable ways, her concept of reality is stretched thin and she realizes nothing at the lake is what it seems.
As she fights to survive with her sanity intact, she understands too late that the location she’s chosen for herself is far from perfect.
I should begin by being completely frank: the genre this book falls under is not my preferred genre in the least. While I love thrillers in the movie genre, I tend to gravitate more toward romances in the book genre. Yes, there is an underline of romance in this novella (and yes, I am woman enough to admit that it thrilled me), the actual story is what kept me reading. In fact, once I started reading, I could not put it down.
Rachel is a tormented soul (hence the title), and the journey she begins at the lake is not only enticing and shocking, but it’s completely unnerving–and at times, downright frightening. Throughout the entire story, I was wondering right along with Rachel what secrets the cabin at the lake were hiding, and whether or not she could trust anyone. Honestly, I didn’t want to trust anyone in this story because I had no idea if I could or not! And the thing is, I absolutely loved the suspense! The whole thing played out like a movie in my mind. Gunhus has an incredible way of writing; he knows exactly how to describe each scene with an imaginative amount of detail and understanding.
This is a psychological thriller that will appeal to lovers of books of all genres–take it from the romance junkie! I cannot get this story out of my head (trust me, I mean that in a good way) and I’m dying to read the rest of his works now. I am so glad I found this novella!
I received a complimentary copy of this novella from the author for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions stated are my own.
Get your copy here!
Novella cover and blurb taken from JeffGunhus.com.
To be honest with you, I have very little knowledge of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, other than that of the infamous Headless Horseman and the names Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel. I knew bits and pieces of the story, mostly from Tim Burton’s take on the story in the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow, along with the few episodes I’ve seen of Fox’s popular television show of the same name. Neither of these adaptations compare with Dax Varley’s novel, written in the first-person in Katrina Van Tassel’s POV.
This is such a refreshing take on a legend that has been retold many times in many different ways. Varley brings life to a story that could be considered beaten to death, particularly shedding a new light on Katrina Van Tassel–a character on whom I had previously viewed as a spoiled socialite, intent on flirting with any man who showed her any ounce of attention, and playing the damsel-in-distress nonsense to new lengths to the point where she comes across as childish, selfish, and incredibly spoiled. While Varley’s Katrina is certainly rich and somewhat spoiled in her own right, she is certainly able to hold her own. Though she makes some questionable choices throughout the novel, her intent behind them is generally mostly pure. It is clear her relationships to her friends and family are very important to her, albeit to a fault in some circumstances. Katrina is independent, unwilling in any form to settle down, until meeting the strange and mysterious Ichabod Crane.
Ichabod Crane is the town’s newest teacher. He is highly educated and a firm believer in a new way of teaching the children, which catches the unwanted attention of the town’s council. He is everything a stodgy town set in its ways doesn’t want: energetic, eccentric, prone to trying new things, implementing a new curriculum, and a strong desire to teach the town’s slave children. He has quite an interest in the supernatural, particularly ghosts and witchcraft. Ichabod is not entirely likable to the “higher ups” of Sleepy Hollow, but he certainly catches the eye of a few young women; Katrina Van Tassel being one herself.
The events that transpire after the arrival of Ichabod Crane kept me highly intrigued. Not only was this book thrilling and at times quite mysterious, it was also quite romantic, exciting, and well-versed in the supernatural. I was actually sad for this story to end as I felt there was so much more to tell, which is probably why this is only the first book 😉 And let me tell you–I cannot wait to read the second! If you’re looking for a novel centered around romance, superstition, and the supernatural, look no further. This is a fun take on a story we’ve all heard in one way or another, and I couldn’t be more impressed with Dax Varley 🙂 I am definitely a new fan, and I will be reading more of her writings!
I received this book from the author in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.
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Author’s GoodReads Page
Sleepy Hollow. Dir. Tim Burton. Perf. Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, and Miranda Richardson. Paramount, 1999. IMDB. Web. 2 November 2015.
Sleepy Hollow airs Thursdays on Fox.
(Please keep in mind that this is the SEQUEL to The Darkest Frost, so if you haven’t read that, go BACK and READ IT NOW. Go ahead. I’ll wait…)
Okay, did you read the first book? Good. Now grab a cup of coffee and settle in… 😉
Wow. After finishing the second (and final) installment of The Darkest Frost, I am breathless. These books are the exact storyline I didn’t know I needed; there is mystery, romance, suspense–all centered around a paranormal universe the author carefully constructed and made not only extremely fascinating, but also highly believable.
While I absolutely love the paranormal romance genre and have read many, I have never read one quite like this. The main storyline is so unique and entertaining, I found myself glued to the words, eagerly awaiting what would happen next! This book (as well as its first part) is also filled to the brim with excitement and twists and turns around every corner. I found myself thinking I had it figured out one page, and by the next I had no idea what to think until the truth was finally revealed. I wasn’t sure who to trust, whether or not the characters were truly authentic, or if I was merely being paranoid 🙂
This book is not for the faint of heart, and I loved being able to continue guessing all throughout! Not to mention, the men are sexy as hell, the intimate scenes are incredibly hot, and the heroine of the story is so likable and bada** at the same time, you can’t help but love her!
So, if you’re looking for a paranormal romance unlike anything else you’ve read, filled with humor, twists, hot love scenes, a bada** heroine, mystery and intrigue…look no further!
I received an ARC of this book from the author for my unbiased and honest review.
Mysterious, steamy and captivating. THE DARKEST FROST, Vol 2 by Tanya Holmes is now LIVE! Don’t miss out on the amazing conclusion to this epic Gothic Romance. Grab your copy today!
⇉ Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1U3jFgS
⇉ Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1MlxJOy
⇉ Paperbacks: https://www.createspace.com/5672986