The Secret Kiss of Darkness (Shadows from the Past 2) Paperback – 7 Feb 2014
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Five stars"I loved this book. At first I thought it would be another time travel or love across the ages, but the neat seams between the past and the present, the story of Jago and Eliza entwined with Kayla s life in the present all this kept me reading avidly from beginning to end.I have to admit I originally started reading this book because I like Choc Lit books, but in future I will also look out for more books by Christina Courtenay. She has the ability to draw me into the story and keep me there, eagerly awaiting the next chapter and following the lives of people many years apart. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Loved it.""
"A richly woven tapestry of dark secrets, dangerous temptation and everlasting love..
"The Secret Kiss of Darkness" is a phenomenal tale of old ghosts, treacherous magic and love lost and found that I found absolutely impossible to put down. It is no coincidence that Christina Courtenay keeps winning prizes for her novels she is an outstanding storyteller with an extraordinary gift for bringing any period in history to vivid and colorful life and creating a world full of passion, danger and excitement that sweeps readers along and keeps them enthralled from beginning to end!
"In The Secret Kiss of Darkness," readers are treated to two powerful, compelling and poignant love stories that are deliciously spiced with nail-biting intrigue, terrifying suspense and heart-pounding passion. Kayla and Eliza are two wonderfully diverse heroines whose strength, courage and dignity will endear them to readers and Jago and Wesley are absolutely wonderful heroes no woman will be able to resist!
A fantastic time-slip novel that continues to cement Christina Courtenay s position as one of the most exciting writers of romantic fiction writing today, "The Secret Kiss of Darkness" is another first-rate read readers will not want to miss! "
"Christina Courtenay tells a great story with writing that is easy to read and sits in each time frame snugly; it skips along at a great pace and keeps the reader entertained. The chapters are not too long; the dialogue is concise and descriptions extremely vivid. She adds broken engagements, fortune-telling, stately homes, handsome men and plenty of twists and turns to make it a compelling and engrossing read. It is romance, history and fantasy combined: well recommended."
I loved this book. At first I thought it would be another time travel or love across the ages, but the neat seams between the past and the present, the story of Jago and Eliza entwined with Kayla s life in the present all this kept me reading avidly from beginning to end. I have to admit I originally started reading this book because I like Choc Lit books, but in future I will also look out for more books by Christina Courtenay. She has the ability to draw me into the story and keep me there, eagerly awaiting the next chapter and following the lives of people many years apart. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Loved it."
A fantastic time-slip novel that continues to cement Christina Courtenay s position as one of the most exciting writers of romantic fiction writing today, "The Secret Kiss of Darkness" is another first-rate read readers will not want to miss!"
About the Author
Christina Courtenay lives in Herefordshire and is married with two children. Although born in England, she is half Swedish and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan and she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East and other parts of the world. Her debut novel Trade Winds, a historical romance and adventure story, was short-listed for the Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction 2011. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, received the Best Historical Fiction prize for the Big Red Read 2011. Her novels Highland Storms and The Gilded Fan both won the Historical Novel of the Year award (Highland Storms in 2012 and The Gilded Fan in 2014), while The Silent Touch of Shadows (time slip) won the Festival of Romance award for Best Historical in 2013. Christina also writes contemporary YA and New England Rocks was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year award in the YA category in 2014. Her hobbies include genealogy, archaeology (the armchair variety), listening to loud rock music and collecting things. She loves dogs, reading and chocolate.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kayla Sinclair knew that she should have been sensible and invested the money she had inherited from an old aunt into something practical and useful. However, when she goes to an auction and finds herself bewitched by a striking portrait of a handsome eighteenth century smuggler, she throws caution to the wind and nearly bankrupts herself by buying the unusual painting. Despite her fiance’s ire that she wasted so much money on a ridiculous portrait, Kayla is not about to send it back – especially as she finds herself intrigued by the brooding man in the painting whose eyes seem to follow her around her living room. Kayla is determined to discover more about the man whose face has begun to haunt her thoughts and dreams – and it seems like she’s in luck when, one fine day, the gorgeous smuggler introduces himself as Jago Kerswell and begs her to reunite him with his one true love, Lady Eliza Marcombe…
In eighteenth century Devon, Jago Kerswell might have had noble blood pumping in his veins, but he has always known that he was no gentleman. Born on the wrong side of the blanket, Jago was the son of a a beautiful gypsy woman and the arrogant Lord Marcombe, who had always refused to acknowledge his illegitimate child in public. Having always been determined to make something of himself, Jago was the owner of a successful tavern and dabbled in smuggled goods, alongside many of the people who lived in the village.Read more ›
In the present day, Kayla Sinclair is engaged to be married, and after inheriting some money, she feels compelled to bid on a portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man at an auction. Over two centuries ago Jago Kerswell, an inn-keeper and smuggler, knows he could be putting both himself and Lady Eliza Marcombe in danger with their meetings, but they can’t keep away from each other.
But when Kayla’s jealous fiancé gives her an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is discovered, Kayla and Jago’s lives become linked through a gypsy’s spell…
I particularly enjoyed the way the two different stories were intricately linked and woven in together, and I found myself thoroughly enjoying both parts! I love that there was a modern romance mixed in with a love affair that happened a long time before, along with passionate moments and secret meetings.
The magical element was FASCINATING. I was swept up in this side of the story, I was ever so intrigued with the painting and what it would mean for Kayla, and I was gripped to the novel wanting to know more about the gypsy’s spell.
I really liked Kayla from the beginning, and when I was reading it constantly felt as though I was stood next to her living out every scene with her. I really got behind her and I was urging her on as she began her quest to find out more about the portrait.Read more ›
In the present time we have a likeable heroine Kayla, engaged to be married who has recently inherited a sum of money she decides to invest in a painting and she trots along to an auction, where she does what I'd be worried I'd do if I attended an auction - finds she's unable to stop bidding on one particular item which isn't even really what she had in mind - it's an old fashioned antique portrait of a man.
Back in eighteenth century Cornwall we meet Jago, a handsome Innkeeper who leads a double life as a smuggler and meets the love of his life Eliza - who just happens to be the wife of his estranged half brother.
The painting is his portrait and it's ownership quite literally changes Kaylas life, it leads to a broken engagement and has her wondering about her sanity when she begins to hear the subject of the painting talking to her. An age old mystery is revealed that she can't help but begin to investigate and this in turn leads her to a beautiful stately home and its occupants, the gorgeous Wes and his daughter Nell with whom she becomes involved in her search for answers to the mystery surrounding her painting.
Pure romance every step of the way, slick writing, original twists and great characters lift it head and shoulders above the norm, an immensely enjoyable and satisfying read from cover to cover.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very enjoyable, hard to put down. A painting that talks - unusual form of supernatural being - but it worked well here and I was quickly drawn into the novel. Read morePublished 7 months ago by A Reader
At first I thought I had made a mistake buying this book, but it improved greatly as I read further, hope any further books get into the plot quicker.Published 8 months ago by Lesley Galloway
If you enjoy Kate Mosse you'll enjoy this book. Nice gentle read that doesn't give you whip lash by the twists in the plotPublished 10 months ago by magicmyst
I bought this as a holiday book, really enjoyed it, and didn't want to put it down. As it was, I had to purposely not read it too much for fear of finishing it long before we came... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Beth Munro