Ruined Innocence by Melinda De Ross
An interesting set up for what inherently is a tale romance. Your typical characters are on display here with the male being the strong brooding type with an air of mystery. The female with a sense of naivety, play and hardship from previous relationships.
This opposites attract scenario is played out with the main characters as work colleagues producing a documentary about the grisly goings on in a historical castle by a deranged countess.
Instantly images of things going bump in the night the pair uniting in love come to mind.
However the author’s strength of writing witty conversations lead you to get to know the characters well. Even more fascinating is the underlying revealing of the disturbing history in the castle being filmed for the documentary.
The locals have that small town isolated feel and though they play an important part in the story. The obvious part they play doesn’t always reveal their back story and interplay.
There is a particular plot twist that shakes the story well and certainly makes you question your concept. Though it slightly edges on the side of being unbelievable, but none the less works as it happens in real life.
With the reader waiting for the romance to develop, this is played with the usual teasing and revelations of their personal life. This is entwined with a growing whodunit mystery. With subtle references from the start the perpetrator is easy to figure out. Despite a few plot twists to throw the reader by the author.
This leads to a quite rushed ending that could do with being more fleshed out to raise emotion levels of the reader. The initial suspense is too quickly resolved to have a strong impact.
As if often the major factor with these style of books it is all about empathy for the characters. This the author handles well with reference to common failings and desires of both sexes.
With this being important the writing focuses highly on gaining your affection for the characters that makes the story. Leaving the other characters slightly underdeveloped, which is the next step for the evolution of this talented author.
A recommended read for horror romance readers and even straightforward romance lovers who can take a darker side of the common love story scenario.