Sunday, May 03, 2009

Day 148 - Step Into Darkness

Step Into Darkness
Naomi Bellis

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis: [from back cover]

At the height of the French Revolution, a viscount's daughter enlists the help of a man who turns out to be a perilous threat to her family...

Sarah Leaford is desperate to rescue her father from the dungeons of Paris, and it seems that her success depends on one man: Gentleman Jack, the greatest thief in all of London. What she doesn't know is that Jack is already well acquainted with her father...

Years ago, Lord Carleigh framed Jack for murder, leaving him a ruined man destined for the gallows. Now Jack has a chance for revenge - but to take it, he must resist falling for the beautiful noblewoman and her mysterious, untamed magic.

Drawn together by a dangerous mission, they must not surrender to the passion that flares between them. Sarah and Jack are not simply a maiden and a thief, and more lives than theirs are in peril. So much is at risk that even the dead take notice...


The year is 1793, and Lady Sarah Leaford will do anything to save her father, Lord Carleigh, from a Paris prison. With some encouragement from her deceased mother, Sarah finds herself requesting the help from Gentleman Jack, London's most notorious thief. Jack declines for a couple of reasons. Even though he wants to help the alluring Sarah, he has prior engagements that keep him tied to London. He also knows Sarah's father, and has a huge grudge against him. Why should he save one of his enemies?

Sarah turns elsewhere determined to find someone who can help her. Stephen Layton comes from a rich and well-to-do family and he graciously offers to help rescue the viscount if Sarah will agree to marry him. Sarah accepts the offer despite the fact that she doesn't love Layton. She'll do anything to save her father.

Meanwhile, Jack's sub-consceience of a friend, Gabriel d’Aubrigny, tries to talk Jack into reconsidering Sarah's request. Years ago, Jack was falsely accused of killing Sarah's grandfather and Lord Carleigh refused to help clear his name. Jack spent some time in a prison called Newgate and the memory still haunts him. After thinking it over, Jack decides this is the perfect opportunity to uncover who really set him up. After informing Sarah that he has changed his mind, Jack finds himself propelled into his mission that Sarah ends up joining herself.

As a passion builds between the two, the story unravels to show just how intertwined their lives are. Secrets are revealed, the danger is paramount, and the attraction is hot. Step Into Darkness was a fun and quick-paced adventure that involved a tiny bit of magic with a decent storyline. I was a little disappointed with the amount of "paranormal spice" that was sprinkled into the story. I was hoping for a bit more but I wasn't that upset with it.

As the characters go, I both liked and disliked them. At the beginning of the book I felt Jack was this tough and gung-ho kind of guy. But as he fought with Layton in the beginning, he seemed clumsy and not nearly as precise in his actions. It was like he too wasn't confident with his abilities. As the story progressed and his emotions took over he finally showed some spirit and he became the tough guy I was looking for. I enjoyed Sarah, she was a perfect lady but had a spunk about her that I loved. Watching her develop was a real treat. Gabriel had to have been my favorite character. Everytime the frenchman popped in a scene I found myself smiling. The smaller, secondary characters (Desmartines and the Master) were well put together and I found myself really enjoying them.

I enjoyed the story enough to definitely pick up the other two books by Bellis, Draw Down the Darkness and Theft of Shadows. These novels are in the same world as Step Into Darkness but I don't think the books are an actual series.


Melissa said...

This sounds interesting. Might just have to add it to my wishlist at some point. :-) Great review!!

LuAnn said...

Sounds like a good book. I really like the cover design. It has almost a classic feel to it.

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