Curse of the Moors by Muriel Newsome

(No Series)

Orphaned but proud, Laura Parkinson arrived at Carnaugh to deliver a letter to her Aunt Minna. But her welcome at the Scottish castle was marred by the chilling cry of a child - and the chilly reception from her aunt's housekeeper.

Stranger still was a shocking accident that ended in death - and the mysterious man whose veiled warning saved Laura's life. Laura wanted only to fulfill her mother's dying wish. But soon she was caught in a swirling maelstrom of danger, dark passions, and betrayal....

As far as Gothics go, this one is just okay. The writing is a little awkward at first, almost as if the author is finding her footing, but it evolves into the best thing about the book eventually. That comfort Gothic tone and feel. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the plot, which is bare bones.

Laura is an average, simple girl who lives at her aunts now that her mother has passed. In a grand estate, she's confronted with a tediously rude and aggressive housekeeper, her shifty brother, and a strange little child she's oddly close to. Her aunt finally comes on board, and she is a likeable enough character, but this book needs more juice to spruce it up. Of course there's a local man she falls in love with, but there's a long standing feud fighting that.

Really very little happens - there isn't any creepiness, a few almost deaths that aren't that interesting, and some tales and legends of the area that I cared little about. This lends gothic atmosphere, which this book is filled with, but without a plot or reason to care further, it's just not that enjoyable.

Laura is decent, but she really blends in like wallpaper. The hero she's in love with doesn't make sense as they don't see each other often at all and I don't get the attraction. It's an insta-love with no reason case. The motives of the villains is spotty at best, poorly executed (what clumsy death attempts) and with no other characters that stand out, this one sadly sinks ship.

It was readable because of the gothic feel and gothic writing feel, but ultimately never picks up or has enough to flesh it out.

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