Color of Darkness by Ruth J Hartman

Color of Darkness by Ruth J Hartman
Publisher: esKape Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (158 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Lydia Sullyard is not insane. Truly she’s not. To her horror, she’s trapped inside Bedlam Hospital against her will. There’s only one way for her to gain her freedom, but the consequences are unthinkable.

Stratford Bexley agrees to visit Lydia in Bedlam. But the thought of stepping into London’s cesspool makes him want to change his mind. And what it will take for her to be released would alter Stratford’s life forever.

Is Lydia’s love strong enough to rescue Stratford from certain ruin, or will he save her life instead?

I am not insane. Strange words to start a romance novel.

An unusual historical novel set mainly in Bedlam, the well known Regency madhouse in London. Lydia Sullyard is dragged away to Bedlam without any reason being given for her incarceration. Her family desperately try to obtain her release, but they are refused permission to see her. However, her brother-in-law’s cousin, Stratford Bexley, manages to gain admittance and then comes daily to visit her. Lydia had developed feelings for Stratford before her isolation from society, but knew the man would never feel the same about her.

The author has researched her subject well. The inner thoughts of Lydia could have been boring but instead Lydia’s thoughts and reactions to her situation are engaging and made me want to read on. I don’t know how anyone survived the hell of Bedlam in real life – the rats, the screams of truly mad people, the brutality of the wardens – but Lydia’s way of coping was truly inspirational.

I did however have one moment of confusion. Who arranged Lydia’s release?

A very good regency novel with the two main characters gradually growing to respect and understand each other. Lydia softens and Stratford becomes more human. Very good book.

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