After reading this book, I was surprised to see that this author hadn’t written more gothic romances. I love a good gothic romance and I thought this one was very well-written. Even though I normally love these types of books, a frequent staple of them is a hero who is often overbearing or brutish. The hero is this story is nothing like that. Nicholas has the required air of mystery, but he treats the heroine with respect and kindness. He even shows kindness and understanding to his step-mother, in spite of her caustic barbs. He is an artist with a tragic background with women in his life, garnering whispers about him being a murderer. At the opening of this story, his rakish titled father wins him the hand of Mirabelle “Mira” Fitzhenry. He is pleasantly surprised to find that she is not the vapid, cookie-cutter blonde he expected. That would be Mira’s cousin, Mirabelle “Bella” Fitzhenry. Nicholas is immediately attracted to her physical beauty, but is captivated and finds her clever and passionate. After meeting, and somewhat falling for, Nicholas the ever logical Mira resolves to clear Nicholas’s name. If she can’t solve the mystery and clear his name by the appointed time of their wedding, she plans to flee. This story is full of appropriately creepy atmosphere and shady characters. There is the harpy that is Nicholas’s wicked step-mother, his momma’s boy jerk of a half-brother, his rakish and emotionally distant father, and Mira’s beautiful yet sociopathic cousin. I really liked Nicholas and Mira, and how they broke with genre stereotypes a little bit. I also loved how their romance developed. It was very sensual and I really thought it was nice that they actually liked each other as people as well as being physically attracted. The mystery of who murdered the women kept me interested. I was satisfied with how things got resolved at the end. I very much look forward to more from this author. Hopefully more gothic romances.