Tuesday, August 30, 2016

NetGalley REVIEW - The Dark Heart Series by Pat Esden

The Dark Heart Series
by Pat Esden
Published by: Kensington
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
A Hold on Me
The Dark Heart, #1
Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Every secret brings her closer to him.

The Book Junkie Reads . . . Beyond Your Touch (The Dark Heart, #2) . . .
I am telling you when I got this book. I had already read several chapters in the second book because I was not clear on the fact there was a first book when I began it. Once I was into it and felt sufficiency lost I looked for book one. Smart to read book one first. 

Now A Hold on Me . . . I got me a Gothic read with splatters of romance with the forbidden. Annie was more than I was expecting. She showed her strength and her loyalty to her family. Her determination to get her mother back. Even if it meant obtaining help from someone she does not know, Chase. 

Chase was the unknown. He was mysterious. He kept his personal life personal and close to his vest. There are some twist to how things become connected. There are secrets revealed that may have consequences down the line. 

I felt more equipped to re-enter my read of book two after reading book one. Book one did not end of a cliffhanger. Big Plus.
**This ARC was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

She never wanted to return.
He wants nothing more than for her to leave.
But the fire between them is as strong as the past that haunts them.
Annie Freemont grew up on the road, immersed in the romance of rare things, cultivating an eye for artifacts and a spirit for bargaining. It's a freewheeling life she loves and plans to continue--until her dad is diagnosed with dementia. His illness forces them to return to Moonhill, their ancestral home on the coast of Maine--and to the family they left behind fifteen years ago, after Annie's mother died in a suspicious accident.

Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. The next time Annie sees him, he's a bizarre, violent shadow of his former self. Confused, she turns to an unlikely ally for support--Chase, the dangerously seductive young groundskeeper. With his dark good looks and powerful presence, Chase has an air of mystery that Annie is irresistibly drawn to. But she also senses that behind his penetrating eyes are secrets she can't even begin to imagine. Secrets that hold the key to the past, to Annie's own longings--and to all of their futures. Now, to unlock them, she'll have to face her greatest fears and embrace her legacy…

Beyond Your Touch
The Dark Heart, #2
Publication date: August 30th 2016
One promise could separate them forever.

The Book Junkie Reads . . . Beyond Your Touch (The Dark Heart, #2) . . .
Mystery, suspense, intrigue, romance, deception, misdirection, illusions, and a bit of confusion.  I did not read book one and must admit to having a few questions on things here and there. 

I found the scenery vividly described and the characters’ scope wide. The relationship between Chase and Annie had deep connection. With the introduction of a new female more dynamic undertones the paranormal aspects pick-up and intensify.  Annie for me shows her strength, courage, and establishes her resolve. She did allow for doubts to linger for a long period of time. She took charge and did what she had to do. Her focus needed to be on the task at hand. Complications of a relationship and the added jealousy and twist was not needed. 

I found much to enjoy about this read but felt that I did need to have book one under my belt before tackling this one.  I felt like I missed a a chapter or two. Walking in on the act was not endearing but did allow for me to find a series to follow more after attaining book one. I look forward to book three but I do recommend reading book one before jumping in to book two. You just don't know what doors were open before and need to be closed or opened again.

**I did later get book one for this series and it did supply me with answers to questions and gave me a background for Chase and Annie that just was not there in book two (Beyond Your Touch). Book one A Hold on Me was dark, rich, deep, and surprise filled (If I hadn't read book two first). In book one I could feel the Gothic tones mentioned by the author in our interview. In book two not as deep a feel but they tone was still there. The dark makes for a more intense reading for these two books. 
**This ARC was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

The Dark Heart series:
A Hold on Me - The Dark Heart, #1

Beyond Your Touch - The Dark Heart, #2

Reach for You - The Dark Heart, #3 coming soon

She wants more than he can promise.
His desires could lead to betrayal.
But without each other, neither can survive the dangers ahead.

Annie Freemont knows this isn’t the right time to get involved with a man like Chase. After years of distrust, she’s finally drawing close to her estranged family, and he’s an employee on their estate in Maine. Though she never intended to stay on the estate for long, her father’s illness and the mysteries surrounding her family made leaving impossible. And now with the newfound hope of rescuing her long-missing mother, Annie’s determined to be involved with the family’s plans one way or another.

If only she could keep her mind off Chase and focus on the impending rescue. But there’s something about the enigmatic Chase that she can’t resist. And she’s not the only woman. Annie fears a seductive stranger who is key to safely freeing her mother is also obsessed with him. As plans transform into action and time for a treacherous journey into a strange world draws near, every move Annie makes will test the one bond she’s trusted with her secrets, her desires—and her heart.

Author Info
PAT ESDEN would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.
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