Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Title: Darker Still
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Publication Date: November 8th, 2011
Genre: YA - Paranormal Romance

"The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...
Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul." ~Goodreads
When I saw the cover of Darker Still I was immediately intrigued, it’s just gorgeous and then after reading the synopsis I was sold. You can tell from just reading the synopsis that it has a classical gothic flair and I was excited that the setting was the Victorian time period (one of my favorites).

I wasn’t disappointed; it was truly an interesting and captivating story. I adore the classics and you can definitely see that the author was inspired by some of the greats like Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, and even a bit of Charlotte Bronte. I loved the romance throughout the story as well. The writing was incredibly well-done; Ms. Hieber spun a brilliantly stunning tale through her words. I also really loved Natalie as the narrator of the story; her tone was witty, descriptive, and beautiful.

Speaking of Natalie I really enjoyed her character; I thought she was a strong, intelligent, and intriguing heroine. I also think the fact that Natalie is mute adds a lot of depth to her character and gives her a sense or realness because she is flawed. Lord Denbury…. where oh where do I start? He was somewhat dark and brooding, but he also had a sweet, kind side to him. I have to say I was enchanted by his character, he also reminded me a bit of the lovely Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre :) another character I adored was Mrs. Northe, I loved her sense of humor and her quirkiness. She had a motherly way about her that fit well into the story and I found her to be really endearing.

I had a few nitpicks with it, like there were some areas where the story dragged a little bit I suppose from a bit too much description, as well as a few places they didn’t seem to flow as smoothly as others. The one other thing I had a bit of a problem with is how it was somewhat condescending towards men at times, there were some unfair stereotypes mentioned about men during the story and I felt that it could have used a fair amount less of that. But overall I really enjoyed this book, it kept my attention to the very end and I’m so glad I got the chance to read it.

I think this book would appeal to most readers, and I know that personally I will definitely be looking forward to reading more by Ms.Hieber in the future!

4 Stars!


  1. Great review Taylor!

    That's so funny that you mentioned how you thought this book portrayed men in an unfair way, because I said the exact same thing in my review of the book, so I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed it! I also wasn't a fan of all the religious references in the book. Altogether, I was sort of disappointed with this one after looking forward to it for so long, but I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

    Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland

  2. Hi, Taylor! As if the synopsis wasn't intriguing enough, you had to throw out "Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, and even a bit of Charlotte Bronte" as well as "gothic flair." Now you've really got me yearning for this. Thank you for your review!

    New follower~

    Stephanie ~Misfit Salon~


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