Cat O’Connell, a fallen lady turned thief, has been commissioned to steal a diary. An item of great importance, but the reason why eludes her. In an unfortunate happenstance during the robbery, she meets the owner of the diary, Aidan, the Earl of Kilronan. Aidan is dismayed to see a thief trying to steal the key to his family secrets, but elated when he discovers Cat can decipher the mysterious language within the volume. The thing is, Cat’s not the only one that wants the diary and the information it holds. Aidan and Kat must work together quickly in order to decipher it’s secrets before forces of evil take the diary and its power.
Earl of Darkness is a rip-roaring good time. The novel features a wonderful universe and great characters that make this mysterious tale set in the early 1800s a great treat. If you like a little touch of mystery mixed in with a little dose of magic, this is the book to pick up next. Earl of Darkness combines all the right intriguing elements to make an interesting mix of paranormal craziness with a touch of romance to boot.
It is easy to feel a kinship to the heroine Cat as a woman making the best of the options left to her. Rickloff creates an intriguing woman who is educated and proper, but followed her heart which ultimately led to her ruin. Now this second chance at love with Aidan has made her more reluctant to trust her heart. That and the fact that society would never welcome their union. She is the character any reader can relate to because she is a fighter and survivor, forced to become sensible about the harsh realities of life.
Aidan is the dark brooding hero that drives you crazy. His past reveals he is the tortured soul that Cat longs to save…and to love. You will fall in love with just as easily as any other heroine. He has a strong sense of obligation that is attached to any dutiful hero set in a Regency historical, yet it is the paranormal touches that draw out the best in him. His family history with magic shows his that not all answers are black and white and that there is more to life than titles and honor. Both of them harbor wounded hearts which is what drives them together and strengthens their bond. They start off as an unusual partnership and their journey through this magical mess is how they start to mend those wounds to start again.
Not everything was wrapped up in this installment. Really, only a few things were completed resolved by the last page. Hopefully more questions will be solved and answered in the next installment Lady of Shadows. As for Earl of Darkness, this historical paranormal romance is a smart and exciting journey that will keep you enthralled until the very end. Alix Rickloff creates a universe you won’t ever wish to leave and one that will keep you turning the pages desperate to know the ending. The writing is vivid, that characters are sharp and the romance is steamy. This novel conjures all the right elements for a fantastic read.