The Ghost of Hillcomb Hall
by Joshua Ian
Landscape designer Jonas Laurence arrives at the cheerless and fog enswathed Hillcomb Hall, home to the Earl of Stanley and his family, to renovate their crumbling gardens. With a great storm crashing all around, his time is at the mercy of the house’s odd and mysterious occupants. Captivated by the hauntingly attractive portrait of Lord Stanley’s ancestor, which constantly seems to watch and taunt him, Jonas’s dreams become weird and distressing. And his waking moments are consumed by the strange stories and weird atmosphere of the manor estate. Ghostly visits in the night leave Jonas no choice but to accept his attraction to the otherworldly spirit from the painting. But is this affaire de coeur real? Or is it all just a trick of the mind, a sinister game being played by the inhabitants of Hillcomb Hall?
Releases September 23rd, 2020
The Ghost of Hillcomb Hall
By Joshua Ian
MMy Thoughts and Review
As humans, we are wired to expect certain things in life, such as the smell of coffee in the morning, ice-cream on hot summer days, warm fires in winter, and houses with fog and mist that hang about like nosy neighbors and give off a spooky “vibe” no matter its living inhabitants, to be home to one or two non-living inhabitants as well.
As Jonas, a garden architect from London, peers out of the windows, through the pouring rain at the winding drive, he begins to wonder what lies before him. Hillcomb Hall may only be a couple of centuries-old but it carries with it tales of hauntings and horrors. Now the Master of the home wants to bring it into the 20th century so slowly changes are being made. One of the changes includes the garden and grounds and this is where Jonas comes in.
Unfortunately, upon Jonas’ arrival only the Lady of the house, along with her mother and mother in law are in attendance. Lord Graham has been detained on business. Even though the women in the home are intelligent and delightful company Jonas has an uneasy feeling from the moment he enters the home. He constantly feels the eyes of the great portrait of Lord Graham’s ancestor on him. Dealing with his own ghosts and demons only exacerbate Jonas’ dilemma. Jonas begins to experience things that defy logic and he thinks perhaps the rumors of Hillcomb Hall must be true. Mustn’t they? Is this house really haunted or is all of this in his mind?
Ohhhh I do love a spooky story. I stumbled upon Joshua Ian’s “Harvest Moon,” book a while back and fell in love with it. When he announced there would be more of these in a series titled, “Darkly Enchanted Romance,” I was over the moon. When I received the email about this ARC a few days ago, it was like getting an early birthday present.
This is an excellently told haunting tale, with a bit of suspense, a dash of mystery and romance, a slightly Gothic feel, set in Edwardian England’s countryside a little over a century ago. It includes talk of the suffrage movement and themes of life in a home where Upstairs/ downstairs dynamics are very much a prominent way of life.
The characters are vibrant and alive, the landscape very “Bronte-esque” with its constant rain and fog making for quite the contrast between light and dark. I loved it!
I am already READY for the next book. 🥰
Sharonica Logic: 5.00 let’s-build-something-beautiful-stars
I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Booksprout in exchange for an honest review. 🌹