Sweet Delight Review: The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen

Posted March 25, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews, Sweet Delight / 22 Comments

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Sweet Delight Review: The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen
The Darkling Bride

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Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Random House
Released on March 6, 2018
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

If you have the years on you or simply enjoy pulling some older dusty books off the library shelves, you might remember older gothic-flavored romantic suspenses by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, or Daphne DuMaurier.  I loved their writing that gave one a little chill, a harrowing adventure for a heroine, and a nice bit of legend or history altogether.  I say all that to share the fact that The Darklling Bride set in the mountains of County Wicklow, Ireland belongs in that illustrious group.


The Darkling Bride starts the reader in the present day when beginner scholar, Carragh Ryan, is invited to take a three-week temp job that is the job of her dreams- a chance to go to a real Irish castle and seat of the Gallagher family, catalogue the library, and maybe, just maybe find a lost manuscript by an intriguing Victorian novelist who was one of the great.

From there, Carragh discovers there is an unsolved murder from twenty years before and hints of a dark cursed history associated with Deeprath Castle and the Gallaghers.  The decision by Aidan Gallagher to put the castle and its contents into the hands of the National Trusts stirs up the past and now Carragh and Aidan must discover the secrets of the past to keep darkness from stirring once again.

There are flashbacks to two earlier time lines that help fill in what came before as answers are discovered one by one.  The author instilled a foreboding atmosphere and an eerie sense that the supernatural is close even though I was never sure about that.  Just like, when the family gathers, I was never sure who was innocent or guilty- or should I say, whose secrets were pertinent to the murders and castle secrets.  Even Carragh, a stranger in the midst has her secrets and ties to the family.

I enjoyed that several genre elements were present- gothic, suspense, romance, and historical fiction.  There are personal journeys that Carragh and Aidan and even the police officer are on to make peace with their own pasts, but also their budding interest in each other and, of course, the murders in the past.

There was a nice bit of local flavor, legend, and history, but it was organic to the story so that it never felt too much or distracting.  There is also a sense of connection and fun wink to several great romantic suspense writers from before so that the writing felt familiar even though this was my first time reading Laura Andersen’s work.

So, this was a wonderful, riveting read I picked up for a St. Patrick’s Day read that I can definitely recommend who love the old style mildly chilling romantic suspenses.

My thanks to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


Romance Roundabout #91 RS
Literary Pickers #79 fire hose
New Release #35
Books N Tunes #15  Batkinane Music’s The Hills Above the Valley Tune:  


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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3 years ago

Oh I like the idea of this one. It looks interesting to follow everything

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

It was very captivating, Melliane! 🙂

Melanie Simmons
3 years ago

This sound really interesting. I do like a good romantic suspense. Great review.

Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

I was so glad to find this one. They don’t write them like this anymore. 🙂

Ailyn Koay
3 years ago

so it’s not really a ghost story?

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Ailyn Koay

That would be telling. 😉 The ghost part is one of the mystery elements whether its real or not.

Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

That sounds like a really interesting story.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

I had a good time. There was a nice amount of chill and thrill to it to keep me guessing and pageturning.

Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!

OMG, that is my grandmother’s maiden name. We come from Ireland. THIS I have to read!!!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Oh wow! What a cool connection. Definitely one you have to read. 🙂

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

First. Honestly I think the thing my life has been missing is an Irish castle. It sounds really good. Love that she was able to work in local feel and history.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

So true! I’ll settle for a visit to an Irish castle, but owning one would do nicely. Yes, the author did a great job with the local color and atmosphere to really make this one keep me riveted.

Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer

Now this is something I could sink my teeth into. Adding to my shelf 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Heh, heh, it is a lovely surprise new release that I wasn’t expecting, but loved to death.

Nadene@Ttly addicted 2 reading

This sounds intriguing.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Glad to hook your interest, Nadene. 🙂

Vellum Voyages
3 years ago

This looks really really good! I miss those Gothic style romances!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Vellum Voyages

Yes, it was lovely to pick up an old-style gothic suspense again. Hope you get the chance. 🙂

Jess Haight
3 years ago

The cover drew me in right away. Sounds like an intriguing read. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Jess Haight

It does have a nice ominous tone. 🙂

3 years ago

Oh that sounds interesting how she stumbles upon an unsolved murder from 20 years ago. And that sounds nice how multiple themes/ genres got blended well in this book. And how there also is a bit of a personal journey and romance as well. I always like it when I am unsure who is guilty and who not and it sounds like the foreboding sense was well done in this book.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Yes, I was so glad I read this one b/c I really did love seeing all those elements together in this story. It was just suspenseful enough to give me some mild chills and had some good twists to keep me guessing.