A fun diversion: House of Shadows by Darcy Coates

I picked this up as an ARC from NetGalley on a whim because it had a description that grabbed my attention:

Sophie’s family is suddenly bankrupted by a disaster, and a wealthy stranger offers to fix everything if she agrees to be his wife. Soon, Sophie is whisked away to Northwood, her new husband’s vast, desolate mansion deep in the wilderness, where her new in-laws are cold and distant, her husband is keeping secrets, and the house and surrounding grounds are full of terrors.

This sounded to me like good, gothic romance fun, and I’m pleased to report that it definitely is. With its easy, accessible writing and well-executed elements of classic horror and ghost stories, House of Shadows was just the sort of page-turner I needed.

While not at all a character-driven story, I still really enjoyed Sophie as our heroine, and the sweet progression of her relationship with her new husband, Joseph, was a nice backdrop to all the creepy goings-on in the house. The descriptions of the house and grounds are on point, and the novel comes together like an old-fashioned gothic ghost story culminating in a satisfying ending. But wait! The epilogue sets us up for book 2… and I’m looking forward to visiting The Argenton’s again very soon.

This isn’t serious literature, and it won’t hurt your head or heart to read it. I recommend to anyone who likes a bit of spooky historical fiction gothic diversion.


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