REVIEW: In the Dark Heart of Winter- Mere Rain

In the Dark Heart of Winter Book Cover In the Dark Heart of Winter
Mere Rain
LGBTQ Fantasy, Lesbian Fiction, Fantasy
JMS Books
Dec 23, 2023

Isabeau is having history’s worst honeymoon. Heart-broken when her lover and best friend Margaret married and moved away, she accepted the proposal of a distant cousin, but she regrets this decision even before he insists on taking her to his cold and ruinous ancestral home. Horace does not seem to care about her, either, and soon she begins to wonder about his motives.

Her fears are compounded when strangers arrive seeking refuge from the snow, and her husband's behavior becomes strangely hostile. Vairya and Ranat seem friendly, but why are they in this isolated region at all? It can't be coincidence that they come from Persia, where her husband was until recently stationed as a diplomat.

Eventually one visitor confides in Isabeau, but her claims are so wild they cannot be true. Can they? Should she trust her heart, and perhaps her survival, to this stranger who seems to share her forbidden desires?

Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

It is 1860 and Isabeau is married and is with her new husband Horace Bourke leaving for their honeymoon. Isabeau has no love for her new husband, a distant relative. He came to her parents’ home to meet new relatives and when he asked to marry Isabeau her parents were thrilled.

Isabeau’s best friend Margaret married and moved away without informing her and there were hints that Margaret was more than just a friend.

Horace took Isabeau to his manse in the middle of nowhere, freezing and covered in snow. The staff did not hide their contempt for her, and her new husband did not come to her bed or invite her into his. The housekeeper does as little as possible for the new madam and her food is barely fit for the animals. This marriage and honeymoon were the worst mistakes in Isabeau’s life, but she walked into it with her eyes wide open hoping she would have a good marriage, but it was not to be.

When strangers knock asking for help Isabeau happily welcomes them. Vairya Gilani and his sister Ranat need a place for Ranat to get well and Isabeau welcomed the first people she feels comfortable with. She gives her room to Ranat since it is warm, and she needs warmth and comfort to heal. Ranat insists that the two women share the bed which was big enough for them and Isabeau for the first time since arriving finds herself comfortable and safe.

Vairya and Ranat are from Persia and although Ranat was hurt they would have come because the house was their destination from the start. They are looking for something that Horace helped himself to when he visited Persia, something that is evil and needs to be destroyed. Horace’s reason for marrying Isabeau is revealed and there is just one more despicable thing he is capable of.

Secrets, surprises and a young woman who grew up in a happy home, sweet and innocent never touched by evil until her honeymoon where she discovered she was stronger than she thought and was ready to help fight the evil that they are all facing.

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