Friday, January 4, 2013

Modern Gothic Romance Novels: The Cards of Life and Death; The Shop of Shades and Secrets by Author: Collen Gleason

What's not to love?

I've just finished the second book I've read by Collen Gleason. She writes modern gothic romance novels (among other romance genres) that are excellent.

In the book an uptight lawyer named Diana travels to the small town of Damariscotta when she inherits everything from her Aunt Belinda whom she hasn't seen in years.

Aunt Belinda was a psychic tarot card reader. Diana thinks that she believes her mothers teaching that none of that is real and one must only trust in what is seen on the surface.

Things keep getting in the way of her nice, safe beliefs, though. The High Priestess keeps turning up all the time.

Ethan Tannock: "Do you know what that card means?..."
Diana shakes her head.
Ethan Tannock: "I'll get Belinda's book...There's nothing to be upset about, Diana. Tarot cards don't have psychic abilities; people do."

But is Ethan a good guy or a shyster or something even more sinister? One thing for certain - he is sexy:
"Aunt Belinda sure had good taste in gardeners...broad-shouldered back, well-toned with muscle and glazed with a light sheen of sweat. It narrowed to a slim-hipped waist, covered with a loose pair of shorts that looked like chopped off sweatpants. Regardless of the fact that they were loose, they covered a very pleasing, well-defined rear end. His legs were long, lean and muscled from thigh to calf."

Picture that mowing your yard.

The book has a compelling, intense story line filled with danger, romance, tarot cards, 2 very sneaky cats and a neighborhood cast of characters who are characters.

For example, there's the group of ladies who quilt. Diana's deceased Aunt Belinda was a beloved member. So is pushy, cranky Helen Galliday, speaking here on Ethan's voicemail:

"Ethan? Ethan Tannock, is that you?...I tell you, I don't like these confounded machines, you know...Are you there?...Young man, I don't know where you've been off to for the past few weeks but there's trouble brewin' up here and you need to do something about it!..."

Mysteries are solved, murderers are caught and Diana and Ethan head for a very plausible HEA.


The first book I read by Colleen Gleason:

was equally compelling and intense.

I can't pull it up in my kindle app right now for some reason so here's the summary from amazon:

"When Fiona Murphy inherits a small antiques shop from an old man she met only once, she's filled with surprise, confusion and delight - and a little bit of terror at having a new responsibility in a life she prefers to be free and easy. As she takes over ownership of the quaint shop, odd things begin to happen. Lights come on and off by themselves, even when they are unplugged...and there is a chilly breeze accompanied by the scent of roses even when the windows are closed. Gideon Nath, III, is the stiff and oh-so-proper attorney who helps settle Fiona's inheritance, and despite her quirkiness and fascination with all things New Age, he finds himself attracted to this fun, sexy woman. After she finds an unpleasant surprise in one of the shop's closets, scares off an intruder in the store, and uses her skill at palmistry to read Gideon's future--of which she appears to play a part--Fiona begins to realize that her free and easy life is about to change...whether she wants it to or not."

If you like modern gothic romances, these two are excellent. Check out the rest of her books as well. There are historicals and vampire books for those of you who love them. There is also a futuristic series set on a post-apocalyptic Earth that I will check out as it seems very intriguing.

ALSO SAW THAT ANOTHER OF HER BOOKS IS FREE ON KINDLE RIGHT NOW: Lavender Vows: A Mini-Novel (The Medieval Herb Garden Series)

I seriously love MODERN gothic romance novels. Do you read them? If so, who do you read?


  1. Wait wait wait WAIT!
    Cats in this book?!
    Would it be possible for me to PRETEND they were dogs?

    I'm terrible at genre definitions. I just know what I like and what I don't like.
    So let's say that my answer would be: SURE!

    1. Julie - I think you could pretend they are dogs. They don't spend very much time on the page anyway. They basically hide except to come out and help her fend off the bad guy.

  2. I may have read one modern gothic, so I'm not sure if I like the genre or not. Guess I'll have to try.

    1. I don't remember who recommended them. I definitely enjoyed them, though.

  3. This sounds interesting - I will have to check it out.

    1. Let me know what you think. She writes like I want to write.