web site hit counter Dark Surrender - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Dark Surrender

Availability: Ready to download

TRAPPED IN DARKNESS . . . Violet Whitechapel committed an unspeakable crime to save a child. To escape the hangman’s noose, she takes refuge in a crumbling abbey with secrets darker than her own. When its master offers her a temporary post, Violet cannot say no. Just as she begins to see him in a new light, her past catches up to her and endangers them all. THEIR PASSION BU TRAPPED IN DARKNESS . . . Violet Whitechapel committed an unspeakable crime to save a child. To escape the hangman’s noose, she takes refuge in a crumbling abbey with secrets darker than her own. When its master offers her a temporary post, Violet cannot say no. Just as she begins to see him in a new light, her past catches up to her and endangers them all. THEIR PASSION BURNS BRIGHT . . . Alistair Waldegrave keeps his daughter imprisoned in the black heart of his Gothic abbey. As he searches for a cure to the disease the villagers call demonic, his new governess brings much needed light into their lives. But how can the passion between them survive the darkness encroaching from outside their sheltered walls?


Compare

TRAPPED IN DARKNESS . . . Violet Whitechapel committed an unspeakable crime to save a child. To escape the hangman’s noose, she takes refuge in a crumbling abbey with secrets darker than her own. When its master offers her a temporary post, Violet cannot say no. Just as she begins to see him in a new light, her past catches up to her and endangers them all. THEIR PASSION BU TRAPPED IN DARKNESS . . . Violet Whitechapel committed an unspeakable crime to save a child. To escape the hangman’s noose, she takes refuge in a crumbling abbey with secrets darker than her own. When its master offers her a temporary post, Violet cannot say no. Just as she begins to see him in a new light, her past catches up to her and endangers them all. THEIR PASSION BURNS BRIGHT . . . Alistair Waldegrave keeps his daughter imprisoned in the black heart of his Gothic abbey. As he searches for a cure to the disease the villagers call demonic, his new governess brings much needed light into their lives. But how can the passion between them survive the darkness encroaching from outside their sheltered walls?

30 review for Dark Surrender

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yodamom

    Violet, an art teacher at a school commits a crime that sends her running for her life. When she acts to save another from an unspeakable horror her future is marked and the gallows are following her. She is used to being afraid and alone, she is an orphan, left to survive on the streets until the school gave her a chance and a career. She runs till she drops on a grave marker and ends up in a boarded up abby with a master with many dark secrets of his own. Her goal is to find a place to hide wh Violet, an art teacher at a school commits a crime that sends her running for her life. When she acts to save another from an unspeakable horror her future is marked and the gallows are following her. She is used to being afraid and alone, she is an orphan, left to survive on the streets until the school gave her a chance and a career. She runs till she drops on a grave marker and ends up in a boarded up abby with a master with many dark secrets of his own. Her goal is to find a place to hide while saving money for a chance to clear her name. She accepted a job as his dark child's governess. Alistar, the dark lord of the abby has been living with secrets so long he can't remember the truth anymore. His wife dead his daughter something no man nor woman will tend to. He is the only one capable, and even he comes away with bloodied bits on his body. His offer to this scruffy woman to be his child's governess was an act of desperation. He paid her a huge amount of coin to do it and he had no expectations of her staying. He has bigger goals to worry over, he must find a cure, he has to, it is his only path in life, no matter the cost. He is hard, distant and formal. Violet instantly bonds with his child, she see's herself and her struggle in this broken girl. She struggles to break through her armor and teach her about the world. There a bond might slowly build if only.. The story takes us to the horrible path of the villagers and their belief in dark tales and monsters. They have torches, pitch forks and wagging tongues, and slow witted minds. What I liked-I enjoyed the gothic feel and the way trust was slowly built between the child and Violet. The abbey was beautifully described and had me yearning to see it myself. Alistar, was a great father character, strong and devoted. I ended up liking him in the end after wanting to smack him many times. The hunt for the cure was an interesting look at medicine in those times and off the mark it was. What didn't pass- Violet, she took every chance to throw herself at the man with uncontrollable hunger. She had worked so hard to become more than what she had been treated as while on the streets only to lust without control. She did this in a time where it is unacceptable and he kept turning her away. Then he would waggle his tongue and fondle her only to drop her like a hot potato at the last moment. The moments where weird, uncomfortable and not moments I would call "loving times." There was just too much of this it was over the top tease and unbelievable. There was a lot undone. The stained glass was talked about so much and it just faded into the story. I really wanted to know what happened to it. I also missed finding out what happened to the girl she saved and the school ? I wanted those holes filled.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    A woman on the run for a crime of both self-defense and in the defense of an innocent child. A man willing to go to any lengths to save his daughter from a deadly disease and a life of imprisonment in her own home. A lonely child who cannot feel the joy of the warmth of the sun on her body. Erica Ridley’s TOO WANTON TO WED is a tale of loving so much that nothing is beyond the impossible as two strangers find a common bond in protecting and loving a child doomed to live in solitude her entire lif A woman on the run for a crime of both self-defense and in the defense of an innocent child. A man willing to go to any lengths to save his daughter from a deadly disease and a life of imprisonment in her own home. A lonely child who cannot feel the joy of the warmth of the sun on her body. Erica Ridley’s TOO WANTON TO WED is a tale of loving so much that nothing is beyond the impossible as two strangers find a common bond in protecting and loving a child doomed to live in solitude her entire life. Sometimes Fate brings strangers together, their secrets buried deep and it take the wisdom of a child to open their eyes to love. But can she open their hearts to trust when so many lies of omission are discovered? This tale is one of love, for a child, for a relationship that seemed impossible and for a chance to start over, leaving old lives behind and looking forward to a brighter future. I loved this story, the strength of each character, their good hearts and even their misguided lies of omission. A little mysterious, a little dark, but the ray of sunshine that shows through is colored with a romance that cannot be denied. I received a complimentary ARC edition from WebMotion! This is my honest and voluntary review. Series: Gothic Love Stories - Book 4 Publisher: WebMotion; 2 edition (August 23, 2019) Publication Date: August 23, 2019 Genre: Historical Romance Print Length: 390 pages Available from: Amazon For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Isa Lavinia

    arc received from Intrepid Reads through netgalley tw: attempted child rape, mentions of abuse Violet Whitechapel, a teacher at an orphanage for girls, saves one of her charges from a brutal crime and, in doing so, murders the perpetrator. To avoid the gallows, she takes what little money she has and runs away, eventually reaching Waldegrave Abbey, home to Alistair Waldegrave. Waldegrave Abbey is a dismal place, one the villagers swear harbours a demonic creature: a vampire. In fact, Alista arc received from Intrepid Reads through netgalley tw: attempted child rape, mentions of abuse Violet Whitechapel, a teacher at an orphanage for girls, saves one of her charges from a brutal crime and, in doing so, murders the perpetrator. To avoid the gallows, she takes what little money she has and runs away, eventually reaching Waldegrave Abbey, home to Alistair Waldegrave. Waldegrave Abbey is a dismal place, one the villagers swear harbours a demonic creature: a vampire. In fact, Alistair lives in reclusion and darkness, searching for a cure for his daughter Lilly's illness: a rare and extreme sensitivity to sunlight, making exposure to the sun as good as fatal. A fugitive from justice, Violet agrees to be Lilly's governess. I must admit this all sounds a lot like Alejandro Amenábar's The Others, starring Nicole Kidman: shuttered windows, skeleton keys and doors being firmly shut as soon as they're opened, darkness everywhere, and a child who cannot withstand sunlight. And though it could have followed the film's atmosphere this never really became a a gothic mystery. Since we get Alistair's POV along with Violet's, whatever mystery there was - even if it remained as such to Violet, was not a mystery to the reader. It is, however, gothic fiction: a decrepit abbey, darkness, tales of horror, and plenty of melodrama. I have a tendency to nitpick, but bear in mind that, in this case, everything I point out though it may be a failing in the book, in no way hinders the delight of the reading experience. This is a good book. A 3 star rating, for me, means "I like it!" - and I really did like this book. First the things I didn't much care for: Violet is a woman who has known nothing but abuse at the hands of men since her earliest childhood. She distrusts them, and with good reason. Which is why it's so jarring and difficult to believe when she has trouble containing her lustful thoughts when meeting the strange and creepy (let's admit it) Alistair. Here is a man who, at first, she isn't even sure has an actual daughter - Violet thinks he made the child up to lure her into staying so he could rape her. With this in mind, she sits by him and dreamily admires his aristocratic features, and wonders how his lips might feel upon her skin. I mean... what. Of course, Lilly, Alistair's daughter is quite real, and as it turns out Alistair may, in fact, be a genuinely good man... who suffers from really unsettling mood swings, abandoning Violet in complete darkness in a maze of tunnels, shouting at her, ripping a dress from her hands and tearing it to pieces and basically acting like a complete psycho. Pardon the neuronormative ableism, but... really. The Heathcliff-crazy thing is just not attractive. Then there's the fact that Violet's side of the romance progressed too quickly, as I've pointed out - she was abused, she's worked all her life with abused little girls, and suddenly she's all over this man she just met literally 92 pages ago, most of which she spent with his daughter, or with him acting unbalanced? And on that topic, I found it extremely unsettling that the passionate moments Violet and Alistair shared with each other would, 9 times out of 10, start with him making a tearful confession about his fatherly feelings for his ill daughter, I mean, literally: “This miracle you wrought, it’s... How can I... There are no words for... Oh, did you see her? She actually—” Violet rose on her toes and pressed her lips to his. No, girl! There is a time and a place for sexy times, and it's not when you interrupt a dude talking about his sick child's progress towards a somewhat less dismal existence! Come on, now! Then there's the fact that Violet suspects she may be a prisoner in the abbey. She confronts Alistair about this, asking him if he'd lock her up to keep her from escaping, and he jokingly says yes, and she finds this funny, and one more reason to trust him... Like, if I were living with a dude and I went, "LOL J/W WOULD YOU LOCK ME AWAY FOREVER?" and he went, "LMAO I WOULD". My first reaction would not be, *fist-bump* "TRUST!" Obviously that's not how it actually went down in the book, but basically... you get my point. BUT! Alistair, for all his weird, creepy, unbalanced behaviour, does evolve into a normal person and even I, a notorious reviewer for finding fault in every thing, ended up liking him. And Violet was a lovely character, she was a survivor through and through, and she really wanted to help others who had been in her situation. And of course, best of all, there is Lilly. Lilly is 9 years old and has been a prisoner inside her own room for the entirety of her existence. She knows going out into the sunlight would kill her, but she's reached the point where she just doesn't care. It took great writing skill on Ridley's part to write Lilly - she acted out, she did deplorable things, biting, hitting, kicking, ruining people's efforts to care for her, but she was always sympathetic. That takes talent. Pity Lilly will most likely eventually die of skin cancer, though... Furthermore, yes, I did complain about Violet being all over Alistair way too soon in the book - but no one need fear that this is insta-love or that the romance is rushed. Lust, perhaps, but the romance is slow and a delight to read. As is the progression in these characters' relationships with each other. If you like gothic fiction with a well-developed plot and a nice romance, be sure to read this book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pamela(AllHoney)

    Violet Whitechapel has had a hard life and now she's on the run. She ends up at an old abbey and finds herself the governess of a nine year old girl. Alastair Waldegrave is a father who wants only the best for his child but a horrible medical condition forces them to live in seclusion in the old abbey. I really wanted to like this more but I found it hard to get through it. The plot was interesting but it didn't reach its potential for me. It was barely okay for me personally but other readers se Violet Whitechapel has had a hard life and now she's on the run. She ends up at an old abbey and finds herself the governess of a nine year old girl. Alastair Waldegrave is a father who wants only the best for his child but a horrible medical condition forces them to live in seclusion in the old abbey. I really wanted to like this more but I found it hard to get through it. The plot was interesting but it didn't reach its potential for me. It was barely okay for me personally but other readers seem to like it so it may be one of those "it's me not you" things.

  5. 5 out of 5

    K.S. Marsden

    After being involved in a murder, Violet only thinks of running. When she is discovered at Waldegrave Abbey, she is drawn into its shadows, its secrets, and potentially more. I received a free copy of the Gothic Love Stories box-set from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. When defending one of her vulnerable students from some lecherous gentlemen, Violet is not sorry to have had a hand in their deaths. Knowing the law won't hesitate to punish her for her crimes, she runs away, seeking to After being involved in a murder, Violet only thinks of running. When she is discovered at Waldegrave Abbey, she is drawn into its shadows, its secrets, and potentially more. I received a free copy of the Gothic Love Stories box-set from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. When defending one of her vulnerable students from some lecherous gentlemen, Violet is not sorry to have had a hand in their deaths. Knowing the law won't hesitate to punish her for her crimes, she runs away, seeking to live long enough to hire a lawyer who might moderate her sentence. She runs as far as she can, before collapsing on Waldegrave land. Violet is taken within the dark walls, and given the chance to live a dark life, with monsters and vampires. Alistair Waldegrave hadn't been planning on adding to his staff, but he will try anything to bring happiness to his feral daughter, even assigning the mysterious Violet as her governess. In his over-protectiveness of his ill daughter, he has allowed Waldegrave Abbey to become a tomb, with its inhabitants merely existing. They need Violet to break the cycle, as much as anything else. I really enjoyed this one. This is the fourth and final book in the Gothic Love Stories box-set, and it was a perfect story to end with. It is beautifully gothic, with the darkness and secrets, with the rumours of demons and vampires; and one little girl in so much pain it hurts everyone around her. I loved that this was focussing on both members of the Waldegrave family, not just the romantic storyline of Violet and Alistair. I don't like children, they are horrible creatures, but Alistair's daughter Lillian has to be one of the most well-written and emotionally-moving side-characters I have ever read. She is not there as a token character, or to help move the main plot along, she is the plot. Lillian is a main character in her own right. I really liked Alistair, he would go to the ends of the world for his daughter, but he is tired of being seen as the villain, for trying to keep her safe. He's stuck in the past, putting his whole life on pause, ready for the day when his daughter will be well again; but months have turned into years and he is losing hope. He is great for Violet, and I did a little cheer when there were a a few moments that could have gone down the usual judgey-romantic-angst trope, but instead he was perfectly supportive. I loved Violet as our main character. She came from nothing, a street urchin, who found a passion in art and teaching young girls. She lives each day as if it were her last and never has regrets. With her own troubled history, Violet is wonderfully sympathetic to her students, encouraging them to live again. She brings this positivity to the dark halls of Waldegrave Abbey, and she can't help but fall for Alistair and his daughter. I did more cheering as Violet is completely independent and doesn't need a man to swoop in and save her. She makes her own plans and sees them through. I very much enjoyed this finale to the box-set, and I'm looking forward to reading more of Ridley's work.

  6. 4 out of 5

    AnnMarie

    Too Wanton to Wed is the fourth and final book in the Gothic Love Stories series by Erica Ridley. Like the others, it can easily be read as a standalone. Violet Whitechapel is on the run for a crime she committed in self-defence. Knowing that she would need to pay for a barrister if she has any chance of proving her innocence she runs away in the hope of finding somewhere safe to live and work. That place ends up being Alistair Waldegrave's home. She thought she was seeking sanctuary in what looke Too Wanton to Wed is the fourth and final book in the Gothic Love Stories series by Erica Ridley. Like the others, it can easily be read as a standalone. Violet Whitechapel is on the run for a crime she committed in self-defence. Knowing that she would need to pay for a barrister if she has any chance of proving her innocence she runs away in the hope of finding somewhere safe to live and work. That place ends up being Alistair Waldegrave's home. She thought she was seeking sanctuary in what looked like a monastery or nunnery but the gothic building turned out to be owned and lived in by Alistair. When she turns up on his doorstep she keeps secret why she is there, but he doesn't mind. He realises that she will make a perfect governess for his daughter. Alistair keeps her locked up for her own safety, the tiniest bit of sunlight blisters her skin and if she burns too much she would die. She is resentful of her father and attacks him whenever he enters her room. He hopes that with a female companion and teacher she might not be so angry. Violet is happy to take on the position, not only does she feel safe, but she soon realises that the little girl needs her. She settles into a nice routine and the more time she spends with both father and daughter the more she finds herself loving them. She can't have a future with them with the hangman's noose looming though. She is earning enough to pay for a London Barrister but she dreads the day that she has to leave to face the music. Will Alistair ever forgive her lying to him, even if it is by omission, will her life be worth living without him even if she does prove her innocence? I am not telling! What I will say though is that this book, in my opinion, is the very best of the series. The atmosphere was set from the start both with the tragedy at the beginning of the story, to the gothic home of Alistair. Its catacombs and dark rooms all boarded up really set the scene. Then there was the poor child, Lily, who couldn't go out into the sun. Alistair's need to find a cure for her bordered on obsession. Keeping her safe was also at the forefront of his mind. Seeing the light and love that Violet brought to the house was wonderful and when she and Alistair gave into their passion I could have cried for them both. They were so perfect for each other but neither could see a future for themselves together. I did cry at one point in the book, a couple of scenes involving Lily really got to me. But don't worry, there may be dark, sad moments in this story but there are some equally wonderful happy ones too that will have you smiling. I loved this story and really am very happy to recommend it!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Dark Surrender by Erica Ridley is a 2014 Intrepid publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. When Violet Whitechapel, an orphan that thought she had finally found a place to land comes upon a child in danger she rushed to intervene and commits a terrible crime in the process. Now on the run from the authorities, Violet finds refuge in a crumbling Abbey as a governess to a nine year old child named Lillian. Lillian has "sun sick Dark Surrender by Erica Ridley is a 2014 Intrepid publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. When Violet Whitechapel, an orphan that thought she had finally found a place to land comes upon a child in danger she rushed to intervene and commits a terrible crime in the process. Now on the run from the authorities, Violet finds refuge in a crumbling Abbey as a governess to a nine year old child named Lillian. Lillian has "sun sickness" and must always remain in the dark. She is difficult to handle because she has never been properly socialized and does not understand her father's actions. Alistiar's sole purpose in life is to find a cure for his daughter's malady. He also lives in the dark and spends his time contacting scientist and doctors searching for a way to cure his daughter. Violet's appearance in his life changes so many things for him and his daughter. The attraction between Alistair and Violet grows daily and the progress Lilly makes is slow but promising as Violet helps father and daughter overcome some of the resentfulness and misunderstandings they have. Violet will learn that she is being sought after by the law and they are much closer than she thought. She will also learn she is not the only one with a few dark secrets. This historical romance that raises a toast to the Gothic genre, has a dark and moody tone mixing traditional Gothic with traditional historical romance and it turns out to be a good match, at least in this instance. Fiercely loyal staff, rumors of vampires, suspicions, a dark shadowy abbey and a man that has left his wife's room like a shrine but finds himself falling in love with Violet sets the stage for this unique story. Alistair doesn't know Violet's story of course and although she will eventually have to come clean about how she came to be at the Abbey, other areas of her young life remain obscure allowing Alastair to continue on with a fantasy about who Violet really is, all the while harboring some pretty dark secrets of his own. The old double standard comes into play as Alastair makes judgments about Violet that are hypocritical to say the least. This attitude will have far reaching and devastating consequences for Lily who has blossomed under Violet's care. Being a huge fan of Gothic novels I couldn't resist this one when it was offered on Netgalley. I wasn't disappointed. My hats off to Erica Ridley for attempting such a difficult task. Mixing Gothic and more modern romance expectations would have to be a challenge. I thought she did a wonderful job of staying true to the Gothic genre while keeping the historical romance readers happy at the same time. Yes, this is a much more somber romance and atypical from what most of us think of when we think of Historical Romance. The younger readers may also be completely unfamiliar with true Gothic stories and hopefully this book will inspire some to discover this genre and maybe even help bring it back to popularity again. This one gets 4 stars. ( Besides the obvious Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights Gothic literature that so many think of , try looking into the "horrid" novels Jane Austen mentions in Northanger Abbey and then check out Dorothy Eden, Barbara Michaels, Dorothy Daniels, and other Gothic Romance authors from the 1960's and 70's. Some of these do have supernatural elements, but most do not. It's more a an atmospheric tone than anything else. )

  8. 4 out of 5

    Georgie-who-is-Sarah-Drew

    I'd read The Viscount's Christmas Temptation and thoroughly enjoyed it - it was an energetic & funny read - so I was keen to read more by Erica Ridley. Unfortunately, none of her other books seem to have the same sense of wit & character as that novella. This - and her other full-length books - sacrifice character coherence to plot. There is so much plot, so many incidents (not all of them logical, even), that there is no room for character development. The central relationship is barely credibl I'd read The Viscount's Christmas Temptation and thoroughly enjoyed it - it was an energetic & funny read - so I was keen to read more by Erica Ridley. Unfortunately, none of her other books seem to have the same sense of wit & character as that novella. This - and her other full-length books - sacrifice character coherence to plot. There is so much plot, so many incidents (not all of them logical, even), that there is no room for character development. The central relationship is barely credible, and I found it difficult to care about any of the characters, when the author clearly didn't. A pity, as I thought I'd found an author to follow.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kagama-the Literaturevixen

    This was recommended to me by a friend who knew about my love of historical romances and gothics. I am sorry but I didnt feel it :/ Review to come-

  10. 4 out of 5

    Coco.V

    🎁 FREE on Amazon today (11/7/2019)! 🎁

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karla Brandenburg

    For lovers of Gothic romance Ms. Ridley has fashioned yet another fine Gothic romance. Impossible choices, who is trapped and who seeks sanctuary? The only criticism might be more steam than was absolutely necessary, too much "nippling" and in the end (spoiler alert) she gives him head and they all live happily ever after. A strong story, and I'm not averse to the steamy parts, but Victoria Holt managed to write dozens of Gothics without any. For lovers of Gothic romance Ms. Ridley has fashioned yet another fine Gothic romance. Impossible choices, who is trapped and who seeks sanctuary? The only criticism might be more steam than was absolutely necessary, too much "nippling" and in the end (spoiler alert) she gives him head and they all live happily ever after. A strong story, and I'm not averse to the steamy parts, but Victoria Holt managed to write dozens of Gothics without any.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    If you are looking for high action, fainting damsels and a tale that scampers in and around the Ton of London, you won’t find it in Erica Ridley’s Dark Surrender. What you will find is a dark romance with a gothic feel in a world shrouded in darkness, secrets and the kind of love that transcends the ages; the love of a parent for their child that opens the door to the magic of loving the soiled angel that has graced this existence. Young Lilly has ever only seen the sunshine once, and the pain i If you are looking for high action, fainting damsels and a tale that scampers in and around the Ton of London, you won’t find it in Erica Ridley’s Dark Surrender. What you will find is a dark romance with a gothic feel in a world shrouded in darkness, secrets and the kind of love that transcends the ages; the love of a parent for their child that opens the door to the magic of loving the soiled angel that has graced this existence. Young Lilly has ever only seen the sunshine once, and the pain it caused has sent her into a world of boarded up windows and darkness. Her father, Alistair has sworn to find a cure for her rare condition, but the small village their Abbey overlooks fears a vampire is in their midst. Enter Violet, bedraggled and near complete exhaustion after having run from a crime she committed in an effort to save an innocent young girl from the brutal attentions of tow wealthy and powerful monsters. Lilly is unmanageable, wild, and miserably unhappy until the desperate Violet comes into her life and brings joy and color to her bleak world. Seeing the magic Violet has brought into their home, Alistair finds he is attracted to a woman he cannot possibly deserve. Violet has secrets that may be uncovered at any time. Alistair has been living a lie for as long as his daughter has been alive. Will their lies keep them apart, will words spoken in anger be the straw that breaks the fragile tendrils of their love or will a nine-year-old open their eyes with the wisdom of her words? Erica Ridley pulled me back in time, when proprieties were ever so important, gossip and fear of the unknown spread like wildfire and medical science was as much myth and guesswork as anything else. Violet’s life has been harsh, made her the woman she is today, skittish around men and their intentions, but she does know what she wants. She is a survivor up against the wall. Alistair has been a hermit for so long, locked up in his darkened house, all he knows is the love he has for his daughter. He is strong, yet insecure, very caring, yet unable to show his feelings. Ms. Ridley has created the perfect amount of darkness shrouding the world of these characters, the bleak existence is painful to read about, and the gossip from the village has me wondering if this young child was in fact, a vampire of sorts. She has set a pace that is smooth and lingering, reflecting the mood of the story and the desolation of the characters’ existence. Beautiful, deep and darkly enchanting, Dark Surrender comes to life under Erica Ridley’s guidance. I received this ARC edition from Intrepid Reads in exchange for my honest review. Early Publication: February 28, 2014 Publisher: Intrepid Reads ISBN: 9781939713209 Genre: Adult Historical Romance Available from: Amazon

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elodie

    Can two persons keeping secrets from each other find a way to another heart and trust. So this is the last one in this re-edited series, here, no paranormal aspect, only a dark house looping over its inhabitants and their own darkness. It was also a romance with not two but three protagonists, the incommensurable love of a father for his ill child, the fresh love of the woman who takes care of this child and the newly found love between the father and this woman. It was a lovely story, each one wit Can two persons keeping secrets from each other find a way to another heart and trust. So this is the last one in this re-edited series, here, no paranormal aspect, only a dark house looping over its inhabitants and their own darkness. It was also a romance with not two but three protagonists, the incommensurable love of a father for his ill child, the fresh love of the woman who takes care of this child and the newly found love between the father and this woman. It was a lovely story, each one withholding the blackness of their past, afraid they may push back the other. The tale is articulated around Lily’s care and how love and understanding succeed where everything else failed. Violet is no damsel-in-distress nor shrinking violet, she has a past, and innocent she is not having grew up in the slums of Whitechapel but she won’t let wealthy peers get the better of her just because they have their rank for them. This is how during her escape she stumbles upon this desolated edifice and in the life of its residents. Alistair has molded his life to the rhythm of his daughter’s. For her he has sacrificed everything but alone he is unable to convey his love to her when she sees herself as his prisoner. Lily suffers from a severe affliction with unable her to see the light of the sun. Because of past burns, her father keeps her locked after she might hurt herself more, not seing the damage it does to her own view of their very particular family. Violet’s arrival is the fresh breath they needed. But she also awakens pains and demons they thought buried. This was a lovely tale of second chance, with very flawed characters whom love will bring on the right path. 4.5 stars I was granted an advance copy by the author but I had previously preordered the whole series. Here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?stor...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    I have read this book under the previous title Dark Surrender but enjoyed reading it again. Violet Whitechapel found safety teaching art at Livingstone School for Girls, but when a new heir takes over, she is forced to defend a girl from two men. Certain the men were dead, she ran for her life until she stumbles wearily upon a crumbling abbey. Alistair Waldegrave’s daughter had an unknown disease and the villagers call her “demonic” due to her reaction to sunlight. Violet understands Lily and is I have read this book under the previous title Dark Surrender but enjoyed reading it again. Violet Whitechapel found safety teaching art at Livingstone School for Girls, but when a new heir takes over, she is forced to defend a girl from two men. Certain the men were dead, she ran for her life until she stumbles wearily upon a crumbling abbey. Alistair Waldegrave’s daughter had an unknown disease and the villagers call her “demonic” due to her reaction to sunlight. Violet understands Lily and is hired to tutor her, bringing a lightness to the household. Will Violets past catches up to her and will Alistair overcome the villagers fear and his daughter? This was a great book and I loved the characters and the love that grew between Lilly and Violet.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karma♥Bites ^.~

    * ARC provided by author/publisher via NetGalley (via anthology/box set, Tempted by His Touch)* Query: I bought this box set but brilliant soul that I am, forgot & requested from NG. So technically, FTC disclosure required or no? *ponders* ________ OK, getting back on saddle & returning to this book, started about a month or so ago... b4 RL decided to not play nice. Good news is no back-tracking required b/c I still remember much of the storyline. Which says a LOT, no? :) * ARC provided by author/publisher via NetGalley (via anthology/box set, Tempted by His Touch)* Query: I bought this box set but brilliant soul that I am, forgot & requested from NG. So technically, FTC disclosure required or no? *ponders* ________ OK, getting back on saddle & returning to this book, started about a month or so ago... b4 RL decided to not play nice. Good news is no back-tracking required b/c I still remember much of the storyline. Which says a LOT, no? :)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    Gothic? I didn't think this was a dark or gothic story. A good read, which was entertaining and enjoyable. I liked it. 4☆ Gothic? I didn't think this was a dark or gothic story. A good read, which was entertaining and enjoyable. I liked it. 4☆

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cinzia

    This book took me a little bit back in time, in a period in which I was a little fixated with the Gothic genre. Violet Whitechapel committed an unspeakable crime to save a child. To escape the hangman’s noose, she takes refuge in a crumbling abbey with secrets darker than her own. When its master offers her a temporary post, Violet cannot say no. Just as she begins to see him in a new light, her past catches up to her and endangers them all. Alistair Waldegrave keeps his daughter imprisoned in th This book took me a little bit back in time, in a period in which I was a little fixated with the Gothic genre. Violet Whitechapel committed an unspeakable crime to save a child. To escape the hangman’s noose, she takes refuge in a crumbling abbey with secrets darker than her own. When its master offers her a temporary post, Violet cannot say no. Just as she begins to see him in a new light, her past catches up to her and endangers them all. Alistair Waldegrave keeps his daughter imprisoned in the black heart of his Gothic abbey. As he searches for a cure to the disease the villagers call demonic, his new governess brings much needed light into their lives. But how can the passion between them survive the darkness encroaching from outside their sheltered walls? I always loved these dark settings, full of mystery and secrets. Dark Surrender doesn't have anything paranormal in itself, although some details of its characters could make it to believe, even ... in a few moments the descriptions of certain contemporary realities are all too realistic, such as the less-than-rosy life of orphaned children, grew up on the streets of London, and abuses of which they were victims. The beginning of the book is very tough. I loved all the characters in this book. Violet, as she likes to call herself is a survived the horrors of her childhood, and she is really willing to do anything to prevent other children from face a life similar to her. An exceptional woman, sensitive and full of talent and thanks to her experience is able to "read" the emotions of Lily, she understands what this child feels about her condemnation from birth to live segregated due her rare disease. Alistair, Lily's father is truly amazing, so devoted body and soul to protect his daughter and try to find a cure for her, while receiving in return from Lily the most complete indifference, if not her outbursts of anger, and words that can truly hurt deeply. Violet manages to give these people a chance to find a meeting point to make them move and try to built a relationship that seems to be compromised at all. Alistair tries to ignore the deep attraction he feels for Violet and puts her on a pedestal from which the woman sooner or later is bound to fall. Violet's past once came to the surface could lead her away from Lily and Alistair, but the woman is not the only one hiding secrets and sooner or later the nodes come home to roost. It's a nice story, really well written and I loved it. Thanks to Netgalley and Intrepid Reads for the book. Questo libro mi ha riportata un po' indietro nel tempo, in un periodo nel quale ero un po' fissata con il genere gotico. Violet Whitechapel ha commesso un crimine terribile per salvare una ragazzina. Per sfuggire al cappio del boia, trova rifugio in un'abbazia in rovina che nasconde segreti più oscuri dei suoi. Quando il proprietario le offre un posto di lavoro temporaneo, la donna non può dire di no. Non appena Violet comincia a vedere l'uomo sotto una luce diversa, il suo passato viene scoperto, mettendoli tutti in pericolo. Alistair Waldergrave tiene la figlia imprigionata nel punto più nascosto e inaccessibile della sua abbazia. Mentre è alla ricerca di una cura per una malattia che le persone del villaggio credono essere legata a qualcosa di demoniaco, la sua nuova governante riesce a portare con la sua presenza la luce di cui avevano bisogno nelle loro vite. Ma come può sopravvivere la passione che nasce tra di loro, alla oscurità che li minaccia al di fuori dei muri dell'abbazia? Ho sempre amato queste ambientazioni cupe, ricche di mistero e segreti. Dark Surrender non ha niente di paranormal in sé, anche se alcuni particolari dei suoi personaggi potrebbero farlo credere, anzi... in alcuni momenti le descrizioni di alcune realtà dell'epoca sono fin troppo realistiche, come per esempio la vita tutt'altro che rosea dei bambini orfani, cresciuti per le strade di Londra, e gli abusi dei quali erano vittime. L'inizio del libro è molto tosto. Ho amato i personaggi di questo libro. Violet, come ama definirsi lei è una sopravvissuta agli orrori della sua infanzia, ed è disposta veramente a tutto per evitare che altri bambini debbano affrontare una vita simile alla sua. Una donna eccezionale, sensibile e piena di talento e grazie alla sua esperienza riesce a "leggere" le emozioni di Lily, capire quello di cui ha bisogna questa bambina, condannata Sin dalla nascita a vivere segregata a causa della sua rara malattia. Alistair il padre di Lily è veramente eccezionale, si dedica anima e corpo a proteggere la figlia e tentare di trovare una cura per lei, pur ricevendo in cambio da Lily la più completa indifferenza, se non i suoi scoppi di ira e parole capaci di ferire nel profondo. Violet riesce a dare a queste due persone la possibilità di trovare un punto di incontro per farle avvicinare e tentare di recuperare un rapporto che sembra oramai essere compromesso del tutto. Alistar tenta di ignorare la profonda attrazione che prova per Violet e la mette su un piedistallo dal quale la donna prima o poi è destinata a cadere. Il passato di Violet una volta venuto a galla potrebbe causare il suo allontanamento da Lily e Alistair, ma la donna non è l'unica a nascondere segreti e prima o poi i nodi vengono al pettine. È una bella storia, veramente ben scritta. Ringrazio Netgalley e la Intrepid Reads per il libro.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Dear Ms. Ridley: I don’t buy any romance novel unless I’m certain, based on past experience, that I’ll enjoy it. But you were offering a free novella and I like the price of free. I downloaded it from Amazon and read it in a quick evening. Nice story, loved the heroine, wish it could have been fleshed out into a novel. With sex scenes next time? Sigh. All in all, a decent morsel, but I wanted a meal. And you certainly gave me the solution. The last pages of the novella included a link to your webs Dear Ms. Ridley: I don’t buy any romance novel unless I’m certain, based on past experience, that I’ll enjoy it. But you were offering a free novella and I like the price of free. I downloaded it from Amazon and read it in a quick evening. Nice story, loved the heroine, wish it could have been fleshed out into a novel. With sex scenes next time? Sigh. All in all, a decent morsel, but I wanted a meal. And you certainly gave me the solution. The last pages of the novella included a link to your website to sign up for discounted pricing on new releases. Me, I love a discount. I’m a sucker. If you tell me I’ll receive 50 cents off a refrigerator by joining an email list, I will do it and stare proudly at the 50-cent discount once I’ve purchased, like I accomplished something clever that was only reserved for the privileged. I dutifully signed up for your mailing list, confirmed my email, and received an unexpected bonus: another free story. Oh, you’re good. You know me. I downloaded it immediately, mailed the file to my Kindle app on iPad and iPhone both, and settled in. And it was great. Okay, you proved yourself. I was ready to buy. I decided to read the second in your Dukes of War series, since the free book from Amazon was the first in that series. But I don’t just start a book all helter-skelter like the young kids do, without looking before they leap, without considering the full state of affairs amongst story and author and series and characters. You don’t just push in without any context. That would be wrong. One must engage in foreplay to properly facilitate a smooth entrance into new territory. Was that crude? I was referring to sex. That was a sex joke. Before I start reading a book, I analyze the summary. I also read the Amazon reviews (taken with a billion grains of salt). I also tend to read every single page on the new-to-me author’s website. And their Amazon author page. And at least one or two (or five) pages of the author’s blog. Okay, sometimes I read all the pages. That’s how I roll. So as I was performing due diligence before reading the second in the Dukes of War series, I got distracted by your marketing video for Dark Surrender, posted on your author page on Amazon. It was the third in a series that included two paranormal historicals (one of my favorite genres!), except this third in the series wasn’t paranormal. Your description of the heroine intrigued me: You described her as a strong-willed woman who had experienced everything already and was not ashamed of her past. She wasn’t ashamed of her upbringing, of not being a virgin, of experiencing horrors. To be honest, I am not a fan of heroines who grew up in the streets. Sometimes it works but usually it’s an awful jumble of cliché and bad accent attempts. There is almost always a sense of inferiority combined with trite feistiness, and your average author cannot pull this feat off without repeating all the same things hundreds (thousands, these days) of authors before her did. Still, my interest was piqued. I flitted around your website until I found the Dark Surrender page. I promise I meant to return to the Dukes of War pages, but I happened to see an excerpt. A three-chapter excerpt. I started reading, figuring I would just get a glimpse of this heroine and pop back to see her later, after the Dukes of War series. Nuh-uh. By the end of the first chapter, I already loved the heroine. By the end of the second chapter, I was a fan of the hero. By the third, I was a wild fan of the hero’s daughter, of the heroine, and of the hero all at once. This wasn’t fair. I basically had a gun to my head, telling me my only option was to pay you 99 cents for the whole novel and immediately read it all. Well, 99 cents isn’t going to break the bank—not this month, anyway—so I paid my dollar and I opened my iPad and commanded it to download the book. There is a primal satisfaction in seeing a download-in-progress become an actual book to read and experience. Ms. Ridley, I am ashamed to say I didn’t even visit the website pages for the first two books in the series. My whole meticulous system fell away in the face of impatience to read the fourth chapter. Chaos, I say. I finished Dark Surrender that night. If I were to summarize this book, I would say Violet, a woman down on her luck and wrongly accused, crawls into an old abbey, which turns out to be the lair of our hero and his daughter and their servants. Classic gothic start. The hero, Alistair, is desperate for someone to watch his daughter because she’s basically a horrid child who is impossible to deal with. Bear with me; it’s not as trite as you think. Violet ends up being the only person the child can stand (she despises her father) and the father is both jealous and impossibly grateful to the heroine. So grateful he would do anything to keep her there. Here’s your salary, and here is your salary again. And just in case, here you go: it’s your salary a third time. And a fourth. And a fifth. Not enough? Let me know. Violet’s the only one Lillian will talk to in a civil way. Violet inspires Lillian to finally learn to read. Violet is teaching Lillian how to draw and paint. Violet is magic. Violet must stay. Violet, here: it’s your salary a sixth time. 22% into the book, you just wrecked me. I loved them so much. The father/daughter relationship was so horrible, and yet so believable. I don’t even like children in romance. They’re annoying and cutesy and I feel obligated to like them or I’m a jerk. So what happens is that I don’t like them and I’m a jerk. Lillian was not annoying. She was awesome. I haven’t enjoyed a child in romance so much since Lord Perfect introduced me to Peregrine and Olivia. I took in every accusation flung by nine-year-old Lillian and I swallowed it all without the slightest hesitation. Every word was painful. So many words. That poor father. That poor child. Lillian was pretty much a terrible daughter, screaming and attacking and always insulting everyone, never letting anyone close. When I say this scene included the worst conversation she ever had with her father, that’s saying something. My heart: IN PIECES. I already mentioned I don’t like children in romance. Even more, I dislike problem child tropes. Yes, yes, the child just needs someone to communicate on their level, to accept them and love them, bla bla bla, Lifetime TV Original Series, weepy weepy, get a kleenex. Will the fake humanity never stop? But Lillian is a problem child for jerks like me. She was contrary and brilliant and stubborn and vicious and overall pretty damned fantastic. I also tend to avoid governess novels like all governesses have leprosy. Unclean, unclean. But Violet was so sincere in how she handled Lillian. She understood this sort of child. She immersed herself in the Lillian of things, and I knew, instantly, that she was going to make this family’s life better, and they’d complete her as well. And I wanted to see that. And this is the difference between two books, each employing tropes I dislike: the disliked tropes no longer matter, because what matters to me is these characters, and whether they’re okay or not, and anticipating the story that unfolds around them. Make me care about the characters and you could throw my most hated tropes at me—virgin wife in marriage of convenience comes in contact with estranged husband, rake extraordinaire and of course a duke with some hackneyed nickname related to the Devil or Sin or Wickedness, who mistakes his wife for an experienced whore and tries to tempt her to become his mistress, and she doesn’t correct him, and she doesn’t kick him in the balls, but instead goes along with it in some attempt to get payback, but instead she falls in love with the bastard, and he is laid low and comes back to the fold, and this blushing virgin bride is the best he’s ever had, and he always loved her, really, from the moment he first saw her, but just didn’t know it, and they lived happily ever after, but I didn’t get that far because I purged the book from my Kindle after half a chapter—throw that all at me and I will still love your book. All you have to do is make me care. I adored this heroine. She took nonsense from no one, and I am such a fan of women who speak their mind and won’t be walked over. Violet was brave and resourceful and most of all, she had a true heart. This heroine deserved the love she received. And Alistair was a man equal to her, devoted and loyal to the core—almost too loyal, really. He was so committed to his daughter. He read to her every night. He talked to her every day, attempting to teach her things, hoping she absorbed a tenth of what he said. The entire time, she was beyond rude, kicking, biting, pushing, yelling, ignoring. He came back every day. He brought flowers. He never quit on her. He understood she has reasons why she was angry and dreadful and he loved his daughter all the same. And he always came back. He needed someone to love him, and more importantly, he just wanted to be allowed to love his daughter and see her happy. And Lillian was very, very unhappy. She refused to give him an inch until Violet arrived and everything fell into place. They were a broken puzzle until they pieced themselves together and became a family. My only complaint is that the villain was like a cardboard cutout, checking all the vilest boxes. Liar, check. Rapist, check. Murderer, check. Denying poor orphan girls education because a sanitarium makes more money than a school, check. There was nothing decent in this man, nothing redeemable. He was so predictable in his evillainy (this is a word; I have made it one by telling Microsoft Word to learn the spelling) and I just didn’t care enough about anything he said or did. I also thought the villagers were a bit too cruel and ridiculous in their witch hunting. I dunno; they’ll all band together and kill the daughter if they know she’s living? Because she has an ailment that makes them think she’s possessed by a devil? Really? The whole town? Eh. But I can move past all that because other than those two elements, it was lovely. Dark Surrender was a satisfying and emotionally charged read from top to bottom, like bittersweet chocolate drizzled over…over…god, I suck at similes. It was good, people. It was really damned good. The prose was fresh and the emotion was solid and I’d like to live in a former English abbey now, please. It was a quick read, the sex scenes were hot, and most importantly, the people in this book mattered. They were good people. They deserved each other’s love, and they earned mine as well. A-. PS: As of this review’s publication, I’m caught up on all current Dukes of War books. Good times. I still liked this one the best. https://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/o...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Jo

    I'm so mystified by this series....and so absolutely FRUSTRATED! Unfortunately, I can't write my opinions of this novel without revealing spoilers... The novel started out great! Plenty of delightfully dark, gothic mystery. I was intrigued by the story from the first chapter and curious to see how our protagonists would resolve their problems. I was absolutely captivated by Violet and Alistair's plight. Constantly wondering if Violet was going to be discovered or if Alistair would ever find a way I'm so mystified by this series....and so absolutely FRUSTRATED! Unfortunately, I can't write my opinions of this novel without revealing spoilers... The novel started out great! Plenty of delightfully dark, gothic mystery. I was intrigued by the story from the first chapter and curious to see how our protagonists would resolve their problems. I was absolutely captivated by Violet and Alistair's plight. Constantly wondering if Violet was going to be discovered or if Alistair would ever find a way to free his daughter from her "prison." Since the Abbey made a perfect hiding place for Violet, I became entranced reading how she made such a drastic change to not only Lillian's life, but how Violet began to mend the relationship between father and daughter. It was beautiful and I was eagerly anticipating the happily ever after... Then came the last 100 pages... (view spoiler)[This is when it just felt like it all went wrong. Alistair became an absolute jerk. Like he was slipping into madness and lost all sense of rational thought. The deception he purposefully inflicted on Violet broke my heart. AND THEN came the "if you're not a virgin, you're not my perfect angel" scene. If the beginning hadn't been so perfect, I would have stopped right there. I was just furious with Alistair. At that exact moment he realized he didn't know her at all...ergo, he can't possibly have feelings for her! Why not? Talk to her! Ask her why! Did she act like a shy, virginal miss up until this point?!?!? From then on, it seemed like every other chapter I was mad at Alistair...then mad at Violet for forgiving him! And him not having the sun sickness after they went through all the other crap up until this point was just the final straw for me. And that lie wasn't "intentional"...I know this because when she was beyond mad at him for this lie, his excuse was that he lied about it for so long, he simply forgot. She sees him out in the sun, cutting flowers...and when confronted with why he never told Violet the truth...he simply forgot it was a lie. Ugh! Alistair!!!!! Both Violet and Alistair were deceitful...there is no getting around that. Both characters put more obstacles in front of them than I could count. BUT....BUT!!!! I felt Violet was lying with a sense of self preservation...she was trying to keep herself out of jail. Alistair's deceit came from a sense of misguided love. He had no idea how to love...he only knew how to control. At first it was endearing watching him realize this and seeing him try to make changes, but by the end it was maddening. He knew what was right...what was best...and no one was allowed to question his logic. He made so many stupid judgments and assumptions...it just made me sad. And the final episode where Lillian escapes...well I was just mad at everyone at that point. Violet and Alistair easily kissed and made up...which made me angry, but I was probably just angry in general about the book at this point. And to make it worse, there is no complete resolution of Lillian's problem. I. Have. So. Many. Questions!!!!!!!!! Will she just stay hidden forever? Never have any friends? Never marry? Do they never find a way to let her live without being exposed to direct sunlight? What if Alistair and Violet have children that don't have sun sickness? Are they condemned to live in darkness forever too? I didn't necessarily need a cure for Lillian, but I needed to know she had something more than the life of a "vampire." (hide spoiler)] Overall, a breathtaking beginning but such a disappointing ending. The first book in this series was amazing, the second I still haven't finished because I think the characters are so horrible. The third was ok, but this fourth one was just a mess. Three stars for a solid, perfect start but a part of me wishes I hadn't read it at all.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gaele

    I was excited to try another story by this author, having read a paranormal romantic comedy from her last year, and I was not disappointed by Dark Surrender. A gothic story with a heavy feel of the darker moments in Wuthering Heights, the unique elements and clever characterizations kept me devouring the pages. Violet Whitechapel has spent her life striving for an independent life doing what she loves: teaching and encouraging girls to use their brains and their own determination to fulfil their I was excited to try another story by this author, having read a paranormal romantic comedy from her last year, and I was not disappointed by Dark Surrender. A gothic story with a heavy feel of the darker moments in Wuthering Heights, the unique elements and clever characterizations kept me devouring the pages. Violet Whitechapel has spent her life striving for an independent life doing what she loves: teaching and encouraging girls to use their brains and their own determination to fulfil their own lives, with or without a marriage and family. When the benefactor of the school dies, and his heir takes over the management, things take a dramatic change. Violet doesn’t like the new management, or the changes, and when she encounters him abusing one of the girls in her care, she fights back to free the girl. Unfortunately, the abuser is killed and Violet runs, fearing she will be charged with murder. Her scampering from London leads her to seek refuge in a deserted (so she thinks) Abbey that looks over a small village. Imagine her surprise and shock when she finds the abbey is occupied by a strangely terse and pale man and his young and untenable daughter. Alistair has retreated to the dark, dank and isolated abbey to keep his daughter safe as he seeks a cure for her allergy to the sun. Yes, Solar urticaria is a real disease: exposure to sunlight for Lily means pain, hives, sores and discomfort. So, Lily at the tender age of 9 has never been outside to play, in fact she has rarely left her room as her well-intentioned father has confined her within the dark building. Lily is unhappy and bored, and exhibits those feelings by acting out: biting, scratching, screeching and rudely declining all efforts to ease her day. Alistair has reached the end of his rope: nothing he knows to do is working, and his deep love for Lily has her reactions paining him. Of course, he’s also feeling the pressure and hopelessness of parenting a child that cannot go outside, and the options for friends are limited as the little village believes him to be a monster. When he finds a bedraggled Violet, he offers her a governess position, well paid, to perhaps bring Lily some education and manners, and free him to seek a cure. It was hard to NOT empathize with all of the characters: one had only to read and feel their deep emotional pain and concerns, and to see their insecurities. Violet’s reaction to Alistair, even with her distrust of men was understandable, even if her actions were far more forward for the time. Alistair was moody, irascible and often subject to rage: but most of that I saw as the feelings of impotency regarding Lily and her condition. And Lily: while she was an unmitigated brat, you could not help but empathize with her: imagine a life full of darkness and no chance to go outside: to change the scene in front of your eyes every day. That would be wearing for an adult, let alone a child. These three become the only thing that they can: a family, often dysfunctional, angry and railing at one another: but their connection is real and valid and palpable. A slowly growing romance between Alistair and Violet, and the gradual ability to share their own past hurts and secrets felt real and viable, and the inclusion of interior point of view monologues from all of the characters helped greatly in their development and gives readers an appreciation of their own perspectives. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Received Arc from NetGalley and intrepid reads for an honest review. I have to admit that when I first read the book blurb I was unsure if this book would hold my interest but I have to say I was hooked within the first two pages. Our heroine Violet Whitechapel , is a strong young women, who has had a hard life , lived on the streets of Whitechapel off scraps an orphan , and at the mercy of adults who would take advantage of her at any and every turn . Until, she was given an opportunity to live Received Arc from NetGalley and intrepid reads for an honest review. I have to admit that when I first read the book blurb I was unsure if this book would hold my interest but I have to say I was hooked within the first two pages. Our heroine Violet Whitechapel , is a strong young women, who has had a hard life , lived on the streets of Whitechapel off scraps an orphan , and at the mercy of adults who would take advantage of her at any and every turn . Until, she was given an opportunity to live at a school for young girls. Her opportunity provided her food, shelter , education and later a position as an art teacher. Violet , loved working with the girls , using art to draw them out of there shells until the schools benefactor passed away. The heir Percy Livingstone took over , was forcing them all out and to make the day of his visit worse, Violet was forced to fight him and his freind off, whom she caught taking liberties with one of her students, believing she accidentally killed them saving herself and the student , Violet flees. Exhausted , out of money she finds herself on the doorstep of Waldegrave Abbey seeking shelter , surprised to actually find that it is inhabited. Waldegrave abbey Is a very dark, dismal place , the windows all double boarded and locks on every door , but even more disturbing is its owner Allistar Waldegrave he is pale , his clothing of fine quality , but at the very least ten years our of date, he claims the windows are boarded up to protect himself and his daughter from the sun since they suffer from an acute allergy to it, but she sees no daughter. Upon finding out that Violet is governess he offers her the position as one to his daughter for a sizable sum and she would have someplace to live and hide. Lilly Waldegrave at first is a wild , rude , unruly child But Violet sees through her to the heart of her, she sees the little girl who wants love, who wants safety.I have to admit that Lilly pulled at my heart strings and the relationship that her and Violet forms , helps to drive the attraction of Allistar to Violet. The more interaction you read between these three characters the more you realize that Allistair at first may seem more of Warden for his daughter , but actually loves her to the extreme and the past ten years of his life has been devoted to nothing but finding a cure for her and ensuring her safety in a world were people's fears put her in more danger! his protection of her though has put them at odds , but Violets influence starts to turn them into a family . Allistairs attraction to Violet over the months becomes more and more difficult to fight and Violets attraction to him surprises herself since herrevious experience with men has never been good. Can these two work through Violets secrets , Allistair secrets ? Can Allistair find a cure for Lilly? Will Violet be arrested for murder? So many questions , so worth the read to get the answers ! If I have not said it or inferred it , this book was great , definetly not what I expected at first which only goes to prove do not judge a book solely by its blurb. Er

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    Awww, who knew that Erica Ridley could write something so adorable? Well... Ok, I admit it, I knew. After having read two exquisite books from her, I swear I can expect romantic and hot and not be disappointed. Every. Single. Time. Violet Whitechapel is running from the law. Trying desperately to find a place to hide and start her life anew, she stumbles upon a couple of grave stones at an abbey's yard - and this is where her life changes. Meeting the lord of the abbey, Alistair Waldegrave, the w Awww, who knew that Erica Ridley could write something so adorable? Well... Ok, I admit it, I knew. After having read two exquisite books from her, I swear I can expect romantic and hot and not be disappointed. Every. Single. Time. Violet Whitechapel is running from the law. Trying desperately to find a place to hide and start her life anew, she stumbles upon a couple of grave stones at an abbey's yard - and this is where her life changes. Meeting the lord of the abbey, Alistair Waldegrave, the woman decides to strike a deal in order for him to let her stay. She has one month to act as his daughter's governess. If she makes things work, she may even be free of trouble sooner than she thought. But Violet's pursuers are not the only ones causing a mess in the quiet life of the abbey. And with her and Alistair getting closer, pasts and feelings will make things harder and more complicated. Can she trust the man not to hurt her? Or will he prove to be just like all the men in her life so far? Quite different from what I expected, and yet not one to disappoint, Dark Surrender was a sweet read that left me all warm and fuzzy inside - and yet, knowing Ridley, there was bound to be some sexual tension. And wonderful, toe-curling love-making. Oh, there was all of that. And then some! See, in this particular book, the reader gets to wait a long while before they're given the first TRUE sex scene. That would have been weird in many cases, but with the delicate spot in which both Violet and Alistair were, it was very understandable. And when it finally happened... Oh, I swear I saw stars! The only problem was with Alistair. I mean, yeah, I get where he's coming from, but there were times I thought he was the one wearing the skirts. All those hot and cold moments were nice, and worked perfectly for the suspense, but after some time, his attitude really called for someone to tell him to grow a set already. Violet, I have no problem with. The woman was wonderful, adorable, and made me cry many times thanks to her tremendous patience while people around her kept hurting her, expecting to be forgiven with a simple apology, just because she was way too kind and held no grudges. All in all, it was a nice story, longer than the others I've read from this author, but still a delight to read. Although a bit different from the usual, I admit it was nice to see that Ridley doesn't have a specific way to write, but embraces variety in her work - and the many plot twists and serious, less humorous than her usual, storytelling proved as much~ ***I was given a review copy from a LibraryThing Member Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.*** Find this and other reviews at: http://cupcakesandpopcorn.wordpress.com/

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Dark Surrender is not what it's cover may suggest. It's a dark Gothic flavored historical romance that enthralls the reader with its well written plot and diverse characters. Dark Surrender is atmospheric, the imagery and description outstanding. I for one, felt as if I was standing in Waldegrave Abbey. Violet Whitechapel has had a difficult life-having lived on the streets as a young orphan, having to depend on adults who would trick and manipulate her at every turn- Violet has finally found salv Dark Surrender is not what it's cover may suggest. It's a dark Gothic flavored historical romance that enthralls the reader with its well written plot and diverse characters. Dark Surrender is atmospheric, the imagery and description outstanding. I for one, felt as if I was standing in Waldegrave Abbey. Violet Whitechapel has had a difficult life-having lived on the streets as a young orphan, having to depend on adults who would trick and manipulate her at every turn- Violet has finally found salvation working in an orphanage as an art teacher;One of the students is attacked by the new owner in front of Violet and she gets the student back to safety and Violet runs away thinking she will be blamed. Exhausted , out of money she finds herself on the doorstep of Waldegrave Abbey seeking shelter , surprised to actually find that it is inhabited. Allistair Waldegrave, the disturbingly alluring owner of Waldegrave Abbey offers Violet a position as his daughters governess. Alistair's life ended on the day his daughter was born. Born with an extreme allergy to the sun, he keeps her locked inside. He is desperate to find a cure for his nine year old daughter. From Here, The mystery truly begins. There is a running theme of 'Surviving' throughout the book, Violet has survived her rough life and continues to thrive and keep moving forward. Allistair fights for his daughter every day. As a couple Violet and Alastair are good.For me, their romance was fueled by the father/daughter relationship of Allstair and Lily. All in all, This was a beautiful story with mystery, romance and humor. Though this book was really good and had great characters etc I felt something was missing. I will read more by Erica Ridley given the opportunity but this book didn't quite hit the mark for me. Plot: 3 Stars Interesting plot line that lures you in with it's mystery and alluring Gothic atmosphere. Writing:5 stars Erica Ridley enchants readers with her attention to character development and the atmospheric descriptions. Ridley weaves an intricate tale in this Gothic Romance. Cover: 4 Stars Characters:4 stars I dare you to try reading this book and finish it WITHOUT loving the characters. You can't NOT love them! The characters of DARK SURRENDER all had one very important thing: Sass. And let me tell you, My sass senses were tingling. The Only thing that I didn't like is that the heroine, Violet seemed too outspoken for a Victorian set novel. Don't get me wrong, I love outspoken heroines as much as the next person, I just didn't expect her, sort of like a sucker punch.

  24. 5 out of 5

    R J Mckay

    Violet Whitechapel , grew up on the streets of London, scraping to survive. It wasn’t until she found her way to the girls’ school run by Mr. Percy Livingstone that her life began to turn around. The school provided her with safety and security, as well as an education. It was there that she discovered her love of the arts. But when the school benefactor passed away, the new heir decided quickly to close the school. Reeling from this news, Violet goes to her studio, only to find this same man, a Violet Whitechapel , grew up on the streets of London, scraping to survive. It wasn’t until she found her way to the girls’ school run by Mr. Percy Livingstone that her life began to turn around. The school provided her with safety and security, as well as an education. It was there that she discovered her love of the arts. But when the school benefactor passed away, the new heir decided quickly to close the school. Reeling from this news, Violet goes to her studio, only to find this same man, along with his assistant, attempting to molest one of her young pupils. Between Violet and the girl, they were able to fight off the men, however, a fire started accidently. Thinking she caused the death of at least one of the men, Violet fled. Exhausted, hungry and dirty from running, she collapses on the property of Waldegrave Abbey where Alastair Waldegrave and his young daughter live. But it is not a typical house for a typical family. Lillian suffers from “sun sickness” and is unable to bear the touch of the sun on her skin. Hoping to keep her safe, her Father keeps her confined in one room of the house. All of the windows are boarded up, in an attempt to keep Lillian safe. But this results in Lily acting outrageously, kicking and biting anyone who comes near. Violet arrival is seen by Alastair as an answer to his prayers. And even more surprising, Violet and Lily hit it right off. Slowly, Violet is able to use her own life experiences to bring love and laughter into this dark and forbidding Abbey. But even as Alastair and Violet work toward creating a life for Lily, there are other problems threatening their happiness. The villagers, with their ignorance, think those who live in the Abbey are vampires and their fear threatens to spill over. And the man who Violet attacked, is using this fear to seek his own revenge. And both Alastair and Violet have their own secrets they are holding close. This story is a wonderful Gothic tale with romance and a bit of suspense thrown into keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    Too Wanton To Wed by Erica Ridley Gothic Love Stories #4 When you reread a book and it is as good as or better than the first time you read it then it is a good book. This is one of those good books for me! Violet Whitechapel has been given a life caring for young girls in dire straights – girls much like herself not so many years ago. She educates them in art and gives them shelter as she nourishes their bodies and minds until the man who set the school up dies and the inheritor arrives to make t Too Wanton To Wed by Erica Ridley Gothic Love Stories #4 When you reread a book and it is as good as or better than the first time you read it then it is a good book. This is one of those good books for me! Violet Whitechapel has been given a life caring for young girls in dire straights – girls much like herself not so many years ago. She educates them in art and gives them shelter as she nourishes their bodies and minds until the man who set the school up dies and the inheritor arrives to make things “different” and a whole lot less savory. In saving a young girl at the school she fears her own life may be in danger so...she runs. At the end of her resources – monetary and physical – she stumbles onto Waldegrave Abbey. When she wakes she is asked to become the governess for Lily, a nine year old child living in the Abbey. She believes the job will provide the money she needs to clear her name so agrees. This story has a father who loves his daughter so much that he is willing to do anything to keep her safe. It has a woman who has done what she must to survive but has always wished for a family. It has a little girl that suffers a congenital disease that is life threatening in some circumstances. It has some wonderful supporting characters and some evil ones, too. It also has a love story that drew me in much as it drew in both Violet and Alistair. It also has a little girl who wants a family willing to play matchmaker to get it. I loved this book...adored it, in fact! I am sure I will read it again. It will definitely stand the test of time. Thank you to the author for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    The story begins with the "unspeakable act" that involves Violet Whitechapel. Where the story becomes alive is when Violet arrives at Waldegrave Abby. Violet is running for her life and happens upon the Abby just as she is about to drop from exhaustion. She is taken in and offered a job as a governess to a heathen of a child, Lillian. Alistair Waldegrave is the master of the Abby and will sacrifice everything to keep his daughter safe. He is in search of a cure for a terrible disease that keeps The story begins with the "unspeakable act" that involves Violet Whitechapel. Where the story becomes alive is when Violet arrives at Waldegrave Abby. Violet is running for her life and happens upon the Abby just as she is about to drop from exhaustion. She is taken in and offered a job as a governess to a heathen of a child, Lillian. Alistair Waldegrave is the master of the Abby and will sacrifice everything to keep his daughter safe. He is in search of a cure for a terrible disease that keeps his daughter imprisoned in darkness and away from any sunlight. Alistair comes off as a bit of an ass at times and runs hot and cold so much, that poor Violet's head spins right off her head. He redeemed himself to me though. He was willing to try to be less of an ass, willing to eat crow and admit his faults and admit how clueless he is at relationships. I think Miss Lillian stole the show. She is so precious and lovely. She may have been forced to be a recluse but she had spirit and spunk. Lovely story of how the three started working together to be happy and overcome the hardships instead of snipping and blaming each other. Loved the supporting characters Mr. Roper, Ms. Tumsen, and Cook. I enjoyed the book. I will definitely read another book from this author. ARC provided thru Netgalley, publisher Intrepid Reads, author Erica Ridley - Thank you

  27. 4 out of 5

    iread

    I think this book in one of my very favorite. Violet Whitechapel is on the run for murder when she collapses on the front steps of an ancient Abbey. Little does she know that the man within is suspected of being a vampire. Has she run from one deadly situation into another? I think Ridley is a master at developing her characters into touchable, believable people. She layers them carefully, and then through the course of the story strips them down to the core of their hearts. Their motivations st I think this book in one of my very favorite. Violet Whitechapel is on the run for murder when she collapses on the front steps of an ancient Abbey. Little does she know that the man within is suspected of being a vampire. Has she run from one deadly situation into another? I think Ridley is a master at developing her characters into touchable, believable people. She layers them carefully, and then through the course of the story strips them down to the core of their hearts. Their motivations stay true to their understanding of their surroundings - true or false. I loved the tortured hero Alistair Waldegrave. “His black hair was shiny and thick, and curled slightly at the nape. His sooty lashes and dark eyes stood out starkly against the pale beauty of his face, but his most arresting feature was the wide, perfect mouth above his strong chin. He’d dressed for dinner in clothes equally as outdated as his earlier vestments, but nothing could hide the fine quality of both cloth and cut, or the leanly muscled figure beneath the costume. His movements were graceful, his every gesture confident and purposeful.” Ridley just hits it out of the park with this one. There are several steamy sex scenes. I have adored Ms. Ridley’s Regency romances - my favorite being Lord of Pleasure, but I certainly hope she is planning on writing more gothic romances. I was gifted a copy of this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Atunah

    This was a wonderful gothic flavored historical romance. We start with the grown up on the streets waif, running from the law, stumbling over gravestones at an Abbey that is inhabited by Alistair Waldegrave. Inflicted by something horrible, he and his daughter are basically boarded up in the dark inside the Abbey. There are catacombs, dark and scary corridors, suspicious villagers and of course secrets. This has all the drama that I want out of a gothic, murder, secrets, passion, villains. But This was a wonderful gothic flavored historical romance. We start with the grown up on the streets waif, running from the law, stumbling over gravestones at an Abbey that is inhabited by Alistair Waldegrave. Inflicted by something horrible, he and his daughter are basically boarded up in the dark inside the Abbey. There are catacombs, dark and scary corridors, suspicious villagers and of course secrets. This has all the drama that I want out of a gothic, murder, secrets, passion, villains. But what really got me the most was the emotional portrayal of the characters. The hero horribly tortured by life and circumstances and the heroine with her own scars. I really felt their despair, their longing and most of all, their loneliness. There were some scenes in here that ripped my heart out, right along with the characters. I love when I find authors that can give me that. I always am most satisfied reading, when an author can make me feel all of the emotions. And when the characters go through a lot and the payoff is absolutely worth it. I pretty much read this in 2 sittings. ** Thanks to Netgalley, Intrepid Reads and Erica Ridley for providing this novel for review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ionia

    "Dark Surrender" by Erica Ridley is another fine example of this author's ability to create stories that stay with the reader. Her books are atmospheric and ripe with chemistry and tension between her characters. What first caught my attention about this novel was the way the characters were introduced using a bit of mystery and intrigue. I was immediately taken with the main character and the recalling of her past that began to emerge as the story progressed. The dialogue was well handled in th "Dark Surrender" by Erica Ridley is another fine example of this author's ability to create stories that stay with the reader. Her books are atmospheric and ripe with chemistry and tension between her characters. What first caught my attention about this novel was the way the characters were introduced using a bit of mystery and intrigue. I was immediately taken with the main character and the recalling of her past that began to emerge as the story progressed. The dialogue was well handled in this novel, seeming appropriate for the setting and the tie period. The dark and Gothic feel of this book was not as strong as expected, but I thought it worked for the individual story. I did contemplate whether or not the main character would have become taken with her mysterious love interest so soon when she'd previously been treated so unfairly by men, but in the end that didn't make much difference to the overall story. There were a few unexpected plot twists and a lot of tense moments that made for good reading. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a bit darker and more complex romance. This review is based on a complimentary copy from Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Dark Surrender had an interesting plot with a little bit of mystery thrown in to keep things interesting. The characters were well-developed with Alistair, Violet, and Lillian (Alistair's daughter) interacting in realistic ways to the situations that they faced. These three characters took some time to trust each other and rely on one another, and given the hardships that they had faced, the slowly building relationships were more meaningful to me. The relationship between Lillian and Violet, pa Dark Surrender had an interesting plot with a little bit of mystery thrown in to keep things interesting. The characters were well-developed with Alistair, Violet, and Lillian (Alistair's daughter) interacting in realistic ways to the situations that they faced. These three characters took some time to trust each other and rely on one another, and given the hardships that they had faced, the slowly building relationships were more meaningful to me. The relationship between Lillian and Violet, particularly, was incredibly sweet. Alistair and Violet had some intense chemistry but their intimate interactions seemed terribly awkward at times. This element of the book did improve but I found myself upset with Alistair and his need to have everything and everyone around him be better than what was practical or realistic. He could be very harsh with Violet for real or perceived wrongs while being slow to recognize his own faults. However, he was also kind and relatively quick to forgive. I've read several of Ridley's short stories and novels and have enjoyed all of them. This was no exception. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.