The year is 1838, the time when Jane Austen‘s novels are read throughout the whole of England, where young women dream of a match made in heaven, to fall in love and to live well. It’s a time when Eloise Morton has a suitor that is kind and gentle and would make a good husband, but she seeks something more… love. As Eloise contemplate this dilemma with her friends, Miriam and Georgiana, they move on to speculating about the new inhabitants of Pemberton Park. Perhaps Eloise would find love there? As the White’s make themselves known to the village, Eloise cannot help but be drawn to the extraordinary gentleman Dalour White and for some reason he seems drawn to her as well. Soon she starts dreaming about some scandalous scenes with Mr White, but of course she may do as she wish in her dreams and as such, she embraces the erotic dreams with her handsome Mr White. Unfortunately he’s not exactly as gentle or as noble as Eloise once thought and he leaves her in quite a horrid situation! Near death’s door she has to fight to come back and is transformed from an ordinary village girl into a gorgeous specimen that isn’t quite as human as she was before. It’s a fight for survival every day now and her deepest desire is to return to her Dolour’s arms and nothing will stop her.
Haunted Heart might sound like a vampire novel, but it’s much more tragic and haunting and hardly as straight forward as that. This Gothic romance will thrill those who enjoy supernatural plots and if ever you enjoyed the writings of Jane Austen, but fancied something a little darker, then this will certainly be the book for you. Written in the form of a diary, we immediately realise that author Tania Donald sets the tone for the story in the “Foreword” and as such, the teaser gives the reader something to look forward to. The three parts, which are coincidentally also parted particularly like that for a reason (like a butterfly’s life - caterpillar, crysalis, butterfly), are extremely well-written and edited and will captivate the reader from the beginning to the end. What’s more is that as far as erotic novels go, this is by far the most tasteful one that I’ve ever read, even though it gets a bit kinky from time to time… but who doesn’t like a bit of kink?
Unfortunately there are a few shortcomings in the novel… We have a great start to the Haunted Heart, which sets up for a magnificent plot, but the middle of the book leaves one wanting and although the third part of the novel gives us a bit of reassurance as to the point of the novel, it once again ends in such a way as to leave a person wanting more. Now, typically this is not necessarily a bad thing, for it sets up for a great sequel, but unless Tania Donald actually writes a sequel to Haunted Heart, I regret to say that it’s not a sufficient conclusion to Eloise’s story. Perhaps if there was an “Afterword” it would have given the reader something extra, sadly it’s in the author’s hands to give us a big bang sequel (frankly, I want it).
All in all, it’s a good read and will give you that “something other than a vampire novel” in your library. I liked it and would probably read it again in the future, but I do wish that there will be a sequel in order to smooth out a few edges.