Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Dark Before the Rising Sun by Laurie McBain

Dark Before the Rising Sun 
by Laurie McBain
Series:  Dominick Trilogy #3
Pub. Date:  May 1, 1982
Re-Released:  Oct. 6, 2015
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages:  518
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Lady Rhea Claire Dominick, fair and flawlessly beautiful daughter of a Duke, was stolen from her father's house -- and shipped to the Colonies as a slave.

Dante Leighton, who squandered a Marquis' inheritance in his dissolute youth, pursued his fortune at sea -- and found his destiny in the amethyst eyes of a fascinating woman.

They sailed the West Indian isles, discovering fabulous riches... and the raptures of a love more precious than treasure. On a secluded shore, in an idyll apart from the world, they surrendered themselves to ecstasy. But on returning to England, their joy was beset by a tempest of scandal, spite and murderous peril -- which was the end of their happiness, or the dark beforethe radiance of their love....

I am so happy there was a continuation of Rhea Claire and Dante's story.  This installment answered all the questions that were left dangling in Chance the Wiinds of Fortune, plus some.  We really got into the bones of the love story in this installment and, while it was not steamy, it was great to see the relationship evolve as it did. 

I cannot say enough how much I love this heroine.  She is not one of the headstrong or tomboy type heroines that I sometimes like in romance - she is every inch the gentle lady.  Usually these type of characters and their feminine wiles really drive me crazy (think Caroline and Bess).  But Rhea Claire is a genuinely nice person and always has a kind word for everyone. As she promised she would, she stuck by Dante through thick and thin.  When she was presented with something that would send most heroines running, she approached Dante and they talked it out like adults. I love love love when characters show this type of maturity in a story.

We learn a lot more about Dante and his tragic past.  He goes home to Merdraco with family in tow determined to face all his demons. Going home to face two whole towns that think the worse of him took some gumption, but Dante stood strong in the face of adversity. The townfolk see they may have judge the lordling harshly fifteen years ago and cannot help but respect the brave man who has returned. Dante is no longer acting cold toward Rhea; he loves her openly and without restraint.  It was nice to see him as a doting and loving husband.  At the same time, his alpha male comes out as he stands up to old bullies and takes back what is his. And who doesn't love an alpha male with a little bit of vulnerability?

I continue to love all the secondary characters in this book.  Rhea's family and Dante's shipmates really come to life and add so much to the story. The villains add a lot to the story as well - they were described in great detail and I have such a good picture of Kate, Miles and Jack Shelby from this series. You also get something totally unexpected happening at the end that threw me for a loop - but it was a great surprise.  If you like long sagas, sit down with this series for a weekend and dig in!

We don't have an array of covers for this book (unless you look to the non-English versions). Which of these do you prefer -  the original cover or the re-release?

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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