Title: Mistress of Raghery
Author: Raine English
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Similar reads: Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” and Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw”
Mistress of Raghery is a beautifully written novel of suspense and dramatic romance. It is the story of Sheeva Desmond, who reluctantly accepts the position of governess for Ronan Quinn’s son Irial after being left at the altar by the influential Cedric because of her depleted fortunes. The governess’ position has been deserted before by a few women who have been scared away by the ghost of Catherine, Ronan’s late wife. The intrigue deepens when signs of Ronan’s accountability for the murder arise, especially Irial’s refusal to speak and his terrified attitude whenever his father is near. Nonetheless, Sheeva cannot help but fall in love with her employer and she vows to solve the mystery pervading the castle.
This novel is definitely a gothic romance. Expect the classic ghost, mind-dazzling castles, and dark mysteries that come with the gothic genre. The romance was also lovely; it had enough spice to get you eager for the development of the novel, but it’s well-paced nonetheless. There is also a spark of humor in the prose and I did find myself laughing out loud a few times. The dramatic tension through the novel almost deserves its own paragraph, but I will resist. It did sometimes topple into melodrama. If you cannot stand dramatic writing, then do not bother to pick up that book. Since heavy dramatic spins are my guilty pleasure in books, I did enjoy most of Sheeva’s reactions to the twists her life has thrown at her. Do expect to sometimes skip over paragraphs of desolation (or, if you’re like me, read ‘em anyways!!).
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. I didn’t see the plot twist coming. Catherine’s murderer’s identity definitely gave me a good shock and I left the book feeling satisfied by the resolution; everything made sense and was well-explained. There were no loose ends.
If you like dramatic gothic stories of ghosts and love starring an employee and employer with a healthy dose of suspense and drama throughout, then you will enjoy this novel! I’d recommend it to anyone.
Last thought: lovely cover art!
I would also like to thank Aspendawn Books, as well as Netgalley, for the free copy of this book to review.