The Haunting of Heatherhurst Hall by Sebastian Nothwell

This ‘historic’ (Victorian?) novel opens with our orphaned American heroine choking back sobs of distress at her ex-girlfriend’s wedding. A pair of lovely young English aristocrats (brother and sister) help her blow her nose. Friendship ensues. Within a ridiculously short space of time, the brother proposes. Our heroine accepts, partly to get away from everything that reminds her of her ex and partly to spend more time with his sister (yes… ). She heads to England and the family mansion, and all shit breaks loose.

This is genuinely exciting writing, as long as you aren’t expecting any sort of sappy lovey-dovey emotional journeys in the style of Melissa Brayden. All manner of mysteries, horrors and strangeness abound, our heroine is almost overwhelmed and the ending is a pleasantly ridiculous, violent climax with two women balancing on top of some farm machinery while swiping at each other with a hatchet and a kitchen knife. One gets killed, one gets her leg mangled, but you know, it’s a happy ending! I genuinely didn’t see any of it coming, throughout the book, and I do mean that in a good way.

It’s unusual to read a lesbian romance written by a man, but don’t hold your breath for any huge insight. Honestly, the farm machinery gets a more detailed description than any action between these two. Sigh!

We got a preview copy – this is out at the beginning of July.

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