Saturday, January 20, 2018

Book Review: 'The Secret Kiss of Darkness' by Christina Courtenay


Kayla is happy in her job, about to be married to her boss and loved by her family. What more did she need? Life changed when her Aunt leaves her a legacy and Kayla buys a painting. Her fiancé is not amused and their engagement ends. Even more frightening, the man in the painting begins to talk to her.
Jago, the smuggler, and Lady Eliza fall in love but the lady is married to Jago’s half brother, the lord of the manor. After the birth of her son, Eliza dies but Jago vows to join her in eternity. During their affair they are painted individually by Thomas Gainsborough and yes, this is the painting Kayla buys. The portrait of Jago.
The one time smuggler asks Kayla to find the painting of Eliza so the lovers may be together. She can’t resist the temptation and with Jago giving her clues she follows the trail to the old manor house. Here she meets Wes and his daughter Nell, descendants of Eliza.
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.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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