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His Dark Kiss    by Eve Silver order for
His Dark Kiss
by Eve Silver
Order:  USA  Can
Zebra, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Though Emma Parrish is grateful to her two maiden aunts for taking her into their modest home after her parents died, she is not deaf to their complaints that she earn her keep. When Emma learns that the aunts plan to sell her off to the highest bidder, she knows she must do everything in her power to avoid such a distasteful fate. When the position of governess becomes available at Manorbrier Castle, Emma accepts, even though well aware of her new employer's sinister background. Emma's cousin Delia had been mistress of Manorbrier Castle. She gifted her husband, Lord Anthony Craven, with a bright and beautiful son - and then died shortly thereafter, supposedly at Craven's hand.

When Emma arrives at the estate, she finds everything about her new home as dark, mysterious and overpowering as Lord Craven himself. Even the servants are terse, secretive, and insistent that she stay away from the tower rooms where their employer works, sometimes for days at a time without seeing the light of day. The only bright spot is young Nicky; Emma and her cheerful young charge bond immediately and it's clear that father and son are very close. Even so, Emma wonders why Lord Craven often chooses his work over time spent with his son. When Nicky shares a series of innocent revelations about the fates of both his previous governesses, Emma is shocked; even more so when Nicky swears that there are bodies secreted away in the tower. Could the whisperings about Lord Craven being a murderer actually be true? Concerned for Nicky's well being as well as her own, Emma realizes that she must confront the enigmatic Lord Craven and learn exactly what dark secrets lie buried within the shadowy confines of his tower rooms.

Eve Silver burst onto the gothic romance scene earlier this year with her first book, Dark Desires. In His Dark Kiss, she does another masterful job of establishing a sinister mood and tone as well as presenting readers with a nicely paced mystery with a twist. The story is told entirely through Emma's point of view, which serves well in increasing the aura of secrecy and danger surrounding Manorbrier and its mysterious master. Emma is a spirited and appealing heroine who's as determined to get to the bottom of her employer's many secrets as she is to discover what lies buried within his shadowed heart - and then her own once she realizes that she's falling in love with Anthony Craven. His Dark Kiss is a beautifully written and compelling story and Eve Silver is fast becoming the new mistress of gothic romance.

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