Cover Image: Lost in Darkness

Lost in Darkness

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What a stunner! This book has me rethinking the usual 5 star rating system, because it certainly deserves MORE! I've loved all Griep's historical novels and read most of them more than once. This story is darker, gothic, well off my usual bookshelf. But the layered characters and fascinating research behind this tale lured me in, and though I probably gained a few more gray hairs, boy, was it worth the ride! Strong, principled protagonists, damaged and questioning their past choices. Emotional and spiritual struggles as they rethink their place in worlds temporal and eternal. A villain you'd like to slap (or push off a tall building). And not everyone gets their happy ending. Even as I was covered in goose-bumps I reveled in Griep's buttery prose that wove pathos and passion. Prayers, poetry, passages from Scripture - and every chapter foreshadowed by an appropriate quote from Shelley's Frankenstein. I couldn't decide whether to turn more pages or put it down to make it last! Amelia, Colin, Graham, and an interesting cast of supporting characters won my heart and drove me on. This book left me emotionally exhausted, yet determined to cultivate that patience and compassion and bravery I saw in the heroes of this tale. My thanks to Barbour Publishing and Netgalley for an early copy of this book; I was not required to post a review, but do so heartily.
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I hate horrors, books or movies, just can't stand them at all but a historical gothic tale I'll take any day. Lost in Darkness fit the bill perfectly for me, it was haunting, sad and eerie! While no blood pumping thriller, I could feel my anticipation building throughout until I was positively buzzing by the end. And what an ending! Nail-biting and unpredictable! Lost in Darkness was one of those books where they're so interesting that it almost detracts from the book. I don't know how many times I paused reading so I could quickly Wikipedia something I'd just read about; Mary Shelley, shock therapy, frontal lobs, acromegaly.....just pure fascinating! The story had such an interesting cast of characters. It reminded me of a Charles Dickens novel, how he always had such an eclectic cast of characters in his books. I'm not spoiling anything by saying I've never hated a villain so much in my life! You'll understand when you read it....Amelia is wonderfully strong and independent but not in a loud arrogant way. She's just quietly amazing yet not afraid to speak out when necessary. Graham is such a caring yet tortured soul, trying his best to right all the wrongs in the world. And that first kiss *sigh* pretty sure I saw a little waft of steam come off the pages....
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“Only God heals the past, but I have learned that kindness makes the present all the sweeter.” -Amelia 

What a deeply profound story. I have to say that this is Michelle Griep best work yet! She gave powerful examples of a persons strengths and weaknesses. The narrative had a strong, brave heroine who survived outside the norms of society. And an honorable, compassionate hero. I loved the relationship that developed between them with just right amount of chemistry needed for a blooming romance. The best part is that the story was held together by examples of God’s mercy and grace. 
The book lived up to every promise. And I found in entertaining and encouraging. I highly recommend it. 
Thanks Bourbon Publishing via NetGalley.
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Michelle Griep is a true artist with words. The quality of writing in this book is absolutely excellent. The mood is dark and slightly creepy, while still feeling romantic (do note, however, that this is an inspirational romance and therefore does not cross the line for fans of this genre, myself included). I was swept away from the first chapter. In fact, I think this book tops each of her previous works that I've read to date (and I've devoured several). As expected, the characters in this novel are well crafted and complex. Even the villain was exceptionally done! I would highly recommend this book if you're in the mood for a slightly dark or creepy read. But, then again, this is Michelle Griep, so anyone who enjoys historical fiction should read this. Period.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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This author Michelle Griep is on my TBR list. Her books are well written, well researched, and have interesting characters. This book is no exception. I have never been pulled to read Frankenstein, but I picked up the ARC because I like the author. This book utilizes quotes from that story and writes a story that parallels it. I thought the information on medical practices was very interesting. Most people would enjoy reading this book, but due to a death in my family, it was not the book for me. I have a very low tolerance for horror. I received a free copy of the ebook from Netgalley. This is my honest and voluntarily given review.
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Will this surgery answer really to all the hope they put into it…

Oh my!
What a moving heart wrenching journey the author embarked me in. I am still a bit shaken by the bittersweet ending.
Amelia while she played the perfect miss is not so flawless she lets appear. To protect herself, she left behind her family, and while she has no real affection left for her sire, she also in some way abandoned her young brother.
Now she wishes in her own way to make amends by accompanying him while he faces a life turning surgery.
Graham is a man of principles, thus how he was dismissed from the navy. So he needs now to recoup himself and set his path on a new venture. He thinks his best option is becoming the associate of a well renowned surgeon. Yet as the honorable man he is, he struggles with some of his colleague’s methods. Even more as they affect the brother of the woman he has come to cherish more than anything.
Those two are still running away from their past and the wounds they bear in their soul, they tries to assuage their guilt and correct what they see as their faults, and even if it is misguided, they think it is the right thing to do. As their feelings for one another deepen, they will have to explore the content of their heart, to determine what is worth living or leaving.

There is a third character in this tale, as while it is a romance, it is also a gothic tale, and while the beast took the feature of Amelia’s brother, Colin, he is no evil, just a young man, judged and condemned for his appearance. And not all evils present themselves as monstrous. My heart ached and broke for him, for his young life spent in hiding, for everything he was denied.
So beware, the monster is lurking in the shadow.

The author constructed a clever tale, slowly increasing the tension, darkening the shadows, tensing the atmosphere until it reached its peak.
All the while her heroes dig into their soul, questioning their actions and altering their expected course.
Be forewarned, you will shudder, shriver, weep, be devastated, be upset or angry to finally see hope at the end of the road. This is no straight lined tale, but a complex heartbreaking story of loss and love.
5 stars 

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 kisses

I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher Barbour Books, here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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Lost in Darkness is a captivating story of cruelty and greed, love and loss, forgiveness and redemption.  This tale will lead you into England 1815, where certain types of people had little to no worth.  What I loved about this story is that it reminds us of God's definition of our worth, no matter our station, malformities, or health.  I loved the characters of this story!  From Amelia, who fled from her father's harshness, but left her brother behind in the process.  To Colin, who has a physical deformity that makes him feel like a monster and scares away people.  But he's so loving and gentle with so much to offer the world.  Then there's Graham, who lives buried under a mountain of regret.  He desperately needs to realize Christ's forgiveness and realize his own worth!  What a heart-wrenching story that I'm so grateful I read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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This is book that hooks you on the first page and doesn't let go. It's a chilling read that will keep you guessing until the end. I don't usually read this type of book but I've loved every book I've read by this author so I requested an ARC copy. I'm so glad that I was approved because this book keep me turning the pages to see what happened next. This book might not be for everyone but I loved it. 5 stars all the way!!
I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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This book was uniquely captivating in a chilling and unexpected way.  I always enjoy a plot that keeps me guessing and I truly was hanging on every word to see how this story would unfold.  The characters in this book were exactly what they needed to be. Graham and Amelia were both strong characters who provided moments of lightness with their budding romance while also adding depth to this story with their individual personal struggles to overcome. Colin, sweet Colin was my favorite part of this story. The reader cannot help but become attached to this gentle soul. The entire book I was anxious about the outcome of his story and if I could change something about this book I most definitely would when it comes to Colin.  The horrible villain was positively chilling and slowly reveals his character as the chapters progress. I would say this book is not for everyone as it is very gothic in feel and does have a bit of a darker tone to it, however I enjoyed the unpredictability of the unique plot and it was so well written.  No spoilers, but this story doesn’t exactly tie itself up with a pretty bow in the end, but the author did a great job of concluding this tale in a realistic way.
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Gothic novels are not usually my first reading choice, but I have read Michelle Griep in the past and enjoyed her books. The description, combined with the mysterious looking cover, convinced me to request this book from NetGalley. 
I did enjoy the book, but this genre is still not my favorite. I like happily ever afters with sunshine, rainbows, and butterflies. Instead, Lost in Darkness is filled with sadness, depression, and pride.
The main characters are Amelia, her brother Colin, and a young doctor, named Graham. Colin is horribly disfigured to the point that he hides away from everyone or faces shouts and abuse. Graham has recently allied himself with the famous Dr. Peckwood. It was Amelia and Colin's father's dying wish that Dr. Peckwood be allowed to operate on Colin's face and hopefully let him live a normal life. But Dr. Peckwood has a secret agenda of his own that has disastrous consequences for everyone. 
I liked the characters, and the author is very good at setting and describing the scene. She gives vivid glimpses into 18th century England life. I could tell that she did a lot of research to write this novel. The only thing I didn't like, besides the not so happy ending, was that Colin, who has the greatest faith in the whole book, suffered the most. I know in this world we will have troubles, but he seemed to have more than his fair share.
Though not my favorite Michelle Griep book, I will continue to look for and read her latest novels.
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This Regency Era page-turner is another inspiring, entertaining gift from master storyteller Michelle Griep penned with her signature rich, expressive prose.  Within the pages of this book awaits an alluring story that is bound to captivate and satisfy.  The multi-layered plot is exciting and suspenseful slightly reminiscent of the classic Frankenstein.  The characters are well-developed and beautifully memorable.  Amelia and Garrett are a wonderfully heartwarming couple.  I also loved Colin, Nemo, and Mrs. Bap.  The inclusion of Mary Shelley as a character in the fictional narrative is brilliant and adds authenticity and interest.  Madness tempered with faith, loss tempered with hope, and maliciousness tempered with tenderness lightened the darkness of the gothic atmosphere. I greatly appreciated the encouraging spiritual truths flowing throughout the story.  The author’s historical notes at the end are an enlightening bonus.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
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This was an unusual book.  Amelia's brother is grotesquely disfigured but content with his hermit lifestyle.  When their father dies and makes arrangement for a drastic surgery in his will,  Amelia and Colin don't know what to do.  

The type of doctor care Colin receives is horrific at best.  It's crazy to think that this kind of thing ever happened. Dr. Peckwood and his secretive ways become more sinister as his motives are revealed.  

I really liked Colin and his heart for God and for a mysterious little friend. He didn't let his disfigurement harden him in the least.  He's a beautiful man as is Graham.  

Interestingly, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin  (the future author of Frankenstein) comes to visit the countryside.  It's fascinating seeing one way of how she might have been inspired for her gothic tale.

This was a fascinating book.  It was a little slow at times but still a great read.  Thank you to Barbour Fiction for providing me with a free e-copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.
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Normal is but a state of mind, Sister. Trust must ultimately rest on God.

London 1815 - Try to imagine what life was like at that time. Amelia Balfour is a travel writer, spending time in the most exotic places for months at a time. Enter the promise to care for her brother, and everything changes. Colin, who suffers from a grotesque disfigurement, has had a tough life thus far. Now there is hope he will be able to be seen in public, if he will just have this experimental surgery. I must admit, my hackles went up immediately as I read this, and the willingness to give this doctor some of his own medicine was very great.

The author has once again created characters to love and perhaps some to hate. Decisions, regrets, love and loss are all part of this tale of faith and forgiveness. Add a little romantic tension and suspense and you will not tear yourself away from this story until it reaches the end, when you can decide if the conclusion is what you hoped for. 

This ARC was received through Barbour Publishing and NetGalley. These impressions and comments are my own and were in no way solicited.
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I love Michelle Griep and was highly anticipating this book. The cover alone is absolutely delicious, and I loved the premise. However, this story fell kind of flat for me. 

I loved all the characters individually, even Peckwood had his moments. I liked that Amelia is a bit older and independent. She’s smart and driven, not an inexperienced young lady. Graham is so humble and doesn’t realize what a good man he is. That quality made him such a swoony hero. And then there is Colin who I related most to. He is so sweet and kind and really just wants to be loved. He feels a lot and you can see that in the way he treats others. 

So why did it fall flat? I think I expected more tension between Amelia and Graham. There was very little conflict between them. I didn’t feel the sparks. They’re okay together, not great. 

I thought there would be more suspense and really hoped Peckwood would be more nefarious than he was. This story moves pretty slow, then there’s an intense scene and that’s it. I wanted more action and grit. Still, the writing was great in the technical sense, and I look forward to more from Michelle Griep.
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The two main characters in Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep are travel writer Amelia and surgeon Graham. Amelia is called home after her estranged father passes away to care for her brother, Colin, who has terrible physical deformities which resulted from an accident when he was a child. He is scheduled for surgery soon. She hasn't seen her brother for many years. The book takes place in the early 1800's and there are many dark scenes concerning medical practices at the time.

I enjoy reading historical fiction and look forward to the end of a book which shares historical facts. Some of this book is based on actual people and facts.

There is mystery and romance in the book. I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing and Net Galley and was under no obligation to post a review.
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Lost in Darkness had me captivated from the beginning. Reminiscent of a Frankenstein tale, its main character, Colin Balfour, is a flawed character with the heart of a child. Loving and tender, he only wishes to change his outward disfigured appearance.

The story is entertaining with a sweet building romance and is brilliantly written, typical of Michelle's unique style. It brought out many emotions as my fingers flew through the pages; tears, joy, along with tender moments of compassion.

Lost in Darkness will touch your soul and you will remember its story long after you close the last page. Another winner and not to be missed.

I received a complimentary copy from the author and willingly choose to review it.
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As the days get colder, and the nights are longer, what better thing to do than to curl up with a gothic novel? Michelle Griep has written a terrific novel, Lost In Darkness. It is a bit darker in tone than I usually read, but I found myself caught up in the story. I really enjoyed the literary and scientific references sprinkled throughout the book. Amelia and Graham are great main characters and I liked Colin, Betsy, and Nemo. Many other supporting characters add to the story. I loved the theme of redemption and forgiveness. So brew a pot of tea, grab some cookies and settle into your favorite reading nook for a suspenseful, intriguing read.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.
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A terrific tale with the essence of a classic! A sister's love for an ailing brother brings her back home, putting her own career on hold, until her brother heals. Medicine in 1815, England was on the edge of discoveries, yet not all healers shared the same code of ethics.

“Hope is a precious gift.”
This author creates great characters, worthy of a Dickens tale, adding in faith and hope to counter the darker elements of the plot. Cameos of historical figures lend authenticity and give it the feel of a classic. Mystery and a bit of romance round out the story, and an edge of danger kept it intriguing. The dialogue includes brief discussions of faith and spiritual struggles, leading to personal redemption. It was particularly inspiring coming from Colin who had suffered so much. 
“Trust must ultimately rest on God.”
Recommend to readers who enjoy a gothic-type tale with inspiration, mystery and a bit of romance. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
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The was a moving tale potent with deep themes, evocative settings, and complex characters. Definitely one of Griep's best.
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Amelia Balfour, an independent travel writer in 1800s England, finds herself torn between embarking upon the adventure of a lifetime and returning home to care for her younger brother during his recovery from a much-needed surgery. Graham Lambert is a former naval surgeon now seeking to partner with another doctor in private practice. When Graham begins treating Amelia’s brother, the attraction he feels for Amelia is instant and powerful. When Graham’s medical partner, Mr. Peckwood, behaves unethically and tragedy strikes, will the love between Graham and Amelia be strong enough to weather the outcome? Find out in this intriguing novel which gives a nod to Mary Shelley, famous author of the classic, Frankenstein.
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