{ARC Review} The Cruel Dark by Bea Northwick

October 30, 2023 Adult, Reviews 0 ★★★★

{ARC Review} The Cruel Dark by Bea NorthwickThe Cruel Dark by Bea Northwick
Pages: 226
Published by Northwick Books LLC on October 31, 2023
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories, Romance, Suspense
Source: eARC from Author
four-stars

Millicent Foxboro is haunted.

Not by ghosts but by the anguish of her past and the uncertainty of her future. After all, even in the progressive year of 1928, most people would balk at hiring a woman who’d spent two months in a mental ward for traumatic amnesia. So when an uncommon assistantship to a reclusive Professor of mythology falls into her lap with an ungodly salary attached, her desperation for stability overrides her cautious nature.

To Millie’s dismay, the widowed Professor Callum Hughes and his estate, Willowfield, are more than she bargained for. The once magnificent home, known for its sprawling gardens and dazzling parties, is falling to pieces after the death of the professor’s fragile wife. What’s more, the staff has been reduced to the only three people not frightened away by rumors of ghosts, leaving the halls empty and languishing in bitter memories.

The professor himself is a grim, intense man with unclear expectations, unpredictable moods, and hungry eyes that ignite Millie’s own dormant passions. The closer she finds herself drawn to Professor Hughes and his strange world of flowers and folklore, the more the house closes in, threatening to reveal her secrets. But the professor is keeping secrets of his own and the most dangerous of all is hers to discover.

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My Thoughts

The Cruel Dark is an atmospheric novel by author Bea Northwick. It was the perfect read for spooky season.  I really loved this book. It was full of tension, romance, dark gothic vibes and plenty of mystery surrounding the characters and storyline.

In the Cruel Dark meet our main characters Millie and Professor Callum Hughes. They are both such wonderfully complex and interesting characters, that I couldn’t tear myself away from their story. I also loved the tension between the two of them. This book was just as spooky as it was romantic, which is a fascinating combination that Bea Northwick did a marvelous job of seamlessly blending the two.

Millie is working for a book collector when a new job opportunity takes her to the crumbling estate of Willowfield to become an assistant to the professor residing there. Willowfield seems to come to life for Millie, in some creepy and unnerving ways. I love a haunted house story, and The Cruel Dark checked all the boxes for me. If you are a fan of dark romance and creepy atmospheric reads, The Cruel Dark is a can’t be missed book! I think The Cruel Dark is great for fans of American Horror Story.

The Cruel Dark is great for fans of: 
Dark secrets
Distressed heroine
Emotional scars
Grieving lover
Sinister circumstances
Creepy Houses
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Michelle @ Book Briefs

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