The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark #1)
“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.”
Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.
Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.
Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.
“A wonderfully refreshing story of self-discovery, love, courage—and dragons . . . I was enchanted.”—Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Lovely
***This copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***
I absolutely loved this book! I haven’t read a book like this one in a long time and it is defiantly one of my favorite books so far!
The Sweetest Dark is true to its title. From the moment I began reading this novel, it became one of my sweetest, dark reads, and I could not put it down. Shana Abe stole my heart with this storyline and the dark characters, and I hope there’s going to be a second book as there was an opening left for a sequel, though The Sweetest Dark could be a standalone as well. This is my first time reading one of Shana Abe’s novel, but it’s definitely not my last. Abe is an awesome writer and her characters have a beautiful, strong personality. Lora (Eleanor) Jones is a fantastic heroine. She’s strong-willed, kick-ass, tough, and her way of thinking is a little on the sadistic side. I love Lora’s attitude, she not a whiner and she can take care of her own problems. You don’t want to mess with girls like her and by that I mean that she’s been raised in a pretty bad orphanage and spent time in an asylum. Yep, I love Eleanor Jones. She’s my kind of girl! Then there’s the two gorgeous guys, Jesse and Armand. Jesse is the golden boy/sweetheart, and Armand is the aristocrat, deep dark alpha. Shana Abe has done what I love to see in novels (Lora gets both guys) I’ll just give you that hint and leave the rest for you to read and see what I mean (no spoilers).
Lora is sixteen in the year 1915, and she has just spent the last six years in the Blisshaven Foundling Home for orphans, but now Lora’s luck is about to change. Because of the Germans’ air raids on London, the government is evacuating all the children out of London, so Lora is given charity endowment from the Duke of Idylling to attend the privileged boarding school of The Iverson School for Girls. It doesn’t take Lora long to realize there’s not any difference between a poor orphanage and a rich boarding school. When it comes to bad girl bitches, they’re all the same, but these spoiled little rich girls will learn that Lora is the queen of bad, and she has spent the last six years in hell—she has no intentions of going back there again.
Jesse is eighteen and the groundskeeper at the Iverson’s girl school. But that’s only what you see from the outside. Jesse is going to become the shiny, gold star in Lora’s life, and Lora will be the beloved of Jesse’s. A Love like Jesse and Lora’s will have sacrifices, and the nights they shared in the sweetest dark is the gift of love in their dreams. Jesse made my heart swoon and then it broke for him. But where there’s a fallen star, there’s also a dark, arrogant jerk to put it back together. Armand is the seventeen year old duke of Idylling. He has a dark side, but he too has a secret, and it’s one only he can share with Lora. Jesse will have to sacrifice everything for Lora and Armand’s secret so that Lora—his beloved—will be who she’s meant to be…even if it’s means she will be loved by another…
The Sweetest Dark is wonderously rich, dark, enchanting love story that will leave readers hearts aching in the aftermath. Written much in a style reminicent of Grimm fairytales, it is filled with gorgeous beguiling essence that will resonate with readers in a truly emotional fashion leaving them pining and gasping for more. It’s definitely a MUST READ of the year!