Dark Season by Joanna Lowell

Dark Season by Joanna Lowell

Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (189 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Haunted by her Future.

Tainted. Degraded. Doomed. Doctors told Ella Arlington that her epilepsy would prevent her from living a normal life. When her cousin tries to put her in an institution, she flees to London, determined to control her own destiny. But while at a séance, Ella’s epileptic fit is mistaken for spiritual possession. Loath to reveal her scandalous condition, she goes along with the misperception, and soon finds herself attracting the attention of a devilishly handsome viscount determined to keep the past buried.

Tortured by his Past Viscount Isidore Blackwood’s fiancée died with secrets he’s vowed to keep, but nothing could have prepared him for the arrival of a mysterious woman who’s rumored to have contacted her ghost. He doesn’t believe for a moment that Ella possesses supernatural powers. Her presence, however, shakes him to his core and when he accuses Ella of being a con artist, sparks unexpectedly ignite between them.

When some surprising truths come to light about Phillipa’s death, Isidore concocts a plan to stage a spectacle of a séance for the ton with Ella’s help. Their devil’s pact might just flush out a killer, but will Isidore let his fury and guilt consume his own soul in the process? And can Ella trust him enough to gamble on a future she never thought she could have?

Dark secrets and dark emotions!

Dark Season begins in an eerie, scary, dark place with flickering candles, sickly, sweet smells, and haunting music—an atmosphere for a “Spiriting-rapping.” This setting stirs up a tumult in Ella’s brain that brings on one of her epileptic seizures.

She regains consciousness in the gentle care of Mrs. Trombly, who believes the spirit of her dead daughter Phillipa is trying to speak through Ella.  Ella tells everyone she is Eleanor Reed. She wants no word to get back to her despicable cousin Alford where she is.

When Isidore Blackwood, the man who was affianced to Phillipa, hears of Ella, he is determined she will not take advantage of the sweet, grieving Mrs. Trombly that he loves like a mother.

The conflicts and undercurrent of dark secrets tug the reader into a tangled web that keeps one turning pages. What a mess these people have made!

Isidore, Viscount Blackwood, surely doesn’t come across as “hero” material when the reader first meets him. He did indeed have a tough row to hoe to wiggle his way into this reader’s good graces. However, what he overcomes and how he overcomes it makes for tension-filled, stay-up-late reading. His struggles give him a depth of understanding that eventually make him ideal for Ella who struggles to make a life for herself without family support while all the while coping with her little-understood epilepsy.

Joanne Lowell named the novel well. The title foreshadows the dark, dreadful issues that plague not only Ella and Isidore, but also many of the secondary characters, especially Clements, Isidore’s longtime friend and Daphne Bennington, who had been Phillipa’s best friend.

This author does a wonderful job of creating a sense of place as she lets the reader feel the distressing emotional undercurrent tied to the death of Phillipa and immerses the reader into the doings of the characters.

Isidore has to dig deep to redeem himself, but he does. Moreover, he affirms Ella and lets her know, without a doubt, she is worthy. He is a true “hero.” Dark Season has a unique, special happy-ever-after.


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