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The Cruel Dark

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Member Reviews

"The Cruel Dark" by Bea Northwick delves into the depths of human resilience and the haunting aftermath of tragedy. Northwick's prose is hauntingly beautiful, capturing the raw emotions of grief and loss with exquisite detail. The story unfolds with a quiet intensity, drawing readers into the lives of its characters as they navigate the complexities of survival and redemption. While the subject matter may be heavy, Northwick's deft storytelling and vivid imagery make "The Cruel Dark" a compelling and ultimately hopeful read.

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I recently had the pleasure of delving into this book, and I am beyond impressed with the mesmerizing world that the author has crafted. From start to finish, the intricate plot weaves a tapestry of suspense, emotion, and unexpected twists that kept me eagerly turning the pages.

One of the standout features of this book is undoubtedly its characters. Each one is meticulously developed, breathing life into the narrative with their unique personalities, motivations, and flaws. The protagonists are not just names on paper; they are relatable, complex individuals with whom readers can form a genuine connection. The antagonist, too, is not a mere foil but a multi-dimensional force that adds depth to the story. The author's ability to create such well-rounded characters is a testament to their storytelling prowess.

The plot unfolds seamlessly, drawing the reader into a richly layered narrative that expertly balances tension, drama, and moments of poignant reflection. The pacing is impeccable, maintaining a perfect rhythm that keeps the reader engaged without sacrificing the depth of the story. The author skillfully navigates through various plot arcs, interweaving them with finesse to create a cohesive and satisfying whole.

What sets this book apart is its ability to tackle profound themes while maintaining an accessible and engaging narrative. The book seamlessly combines suspense and emotional depth, making it a truly immersive experience. The author's prose is both elegant and evocative, painting vivid imagery that lingers in the reader's mind long after the final page is turned.

As I reached the conclusion, I found myself yearning for more from this talented author. Their ability to craft a gripping plot and bring characters to life is truly commendable. I eagerly anticipate future works and would wholeheartedly recommend this book to any reader who appreciates a masterfully told tale. If you're searching for a book that seamlessly blends captivating characters with a compelling plot, this is a shining example. I can't wait to explore more literary worlds crafted by this exceptional storyteller.

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The Cruel Dark

⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Cruel Dark
Bea Northwick

“Strange things bloom where grief lives.”

THIS NEEDS TO BE A MOVIE. 🤷‍♀️

Honestly though. I was not prepared for how this ended. Like I am still SHOOK.

Spooky/ghostly/psychological thriller.
It was fantastic!!!!

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As someone who doesn't read much historical fiction or romance, the dark side of this story is what piqued my interest, and I'm glad it did!

I had a hard time putting this one down. The characters were likeable but also had enough hidden that I had to keep reading to uncover their secrets.

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I was SHOCKED that this is a debut novel AND that it is not being talked about more.
The major twist was a little predictable but honestly, who cares. This was such a good read.
With dark, gothic books having their moment they are feeling a little redundant but this book does it right. The romance was also well intertwined with the story, it was a good plot point but wasn't the only plot point.
I'm very interested what more this author will put out, definitely one to watch.

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The Cruel Dark by Bea Northwick. The first thing you need to know about this book is that there is so much shagging in it. These two are at it quite literally all of the time. I’m pleased for them, really pleased but I’m not entirely sure why they needed to do it so often. Millie has lost a couple of years of her life and takes a job with a professor in his creepy house and then she starts going mad, in between shagging sessions obviously. I think the idea of this was really good and the plot twist was interesting but it feels like this book was written without an ending and then Bea went shit I have to think of one. I think a lot wasn’t tied together at the end and it’s a nice ending but it felt rushed and a bit messy. My take away from this is don’t accept drinks from strangers.

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Ich habe es leider nur geschafft ein Drittel des Buches zu lesen, bevor es archiviert wurde, war aber sehr begeistert von dem Drittel! Ein spannender Einstieg in die Geschichte!

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Oh my goodness, the twists and turns! 😱

Millie gets a job assisting a professor in organizing his research in his dilapidated estate. As time goes on, she learns more about his and the home's past. What is real? What is in her mind?

I had zero idea how this would end. Just as you think you're on to things, there's a curveball. Wow! So much in a relatively short book. The writing is descriptive and allows you to feel like you are watching things unfold.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book for an honest review.

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I liked the creepy vibes in the book and who can say no to Gothic romance when it’s written pretty well not this girl, so if those are your vibes, then I would say that you will definitely enjoy it. It was a captivating tale.

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2.5 stars
This wasn’t really bad. I was just disappointed in what it turned out to be. I was expecting more fantasy overall. This had more of a mystery feeling by the end of it. The twist wasn’t completely surprising, somewhat expected.
Multiple spicy scenes. Explicit and descriptive 18+
This set up to be really good and then just kinda flopped for me. Once the twist happened everything came out. Felt a lil hurried.

Special thanks to Netgalley and Northwick Books for this digital ARC.

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Gothic and spooky and at places a bit scary and disturbing to read - I dont read this genre ever, and I wanted to try something new... and this was a good choice - tho' i quickly shifted to reading this in the afternoons and not at night.
It is well written, and I loved the fairy tale elements.

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This was an interesting premise with a twist I didn’t quite see coming. I enjoyed the idea of the assistant and researching fairy tales, like a way to bring them back together. The ghosts and visions were creepy but plaid a good part in the plot.

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This book has peaked my interest up until the end. I was so invested as I went through each part of the book as it was amazing. I was so shook at the ending. This book was well written and absolutely thrilling.

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Okay, I know that The Cruel Dark has been out since Halloween, but I’ve known about it quite a bit even before then because one of Bea Northwick’s teaser posts showed up on my Instagram feed and I very much liked what I saw! So I followed her, saved the post so I wouldn’t forget about it, and while I didn’t pick it up until just now, it’s never really left my mind completely. What can I say? I love gothic-type romances.

Anyway, I’m hoping to read more books on my TBR this year instead of just checking out the Discover section of my kindle, so I was looking through my books and I’d clicked on a few that I just wasn’t in the mood for at the moment and then something made me think of The Cruel Dark. I would say that I read a preview before deciding to read it, but I think I only read the first sentence before I was fully on board with it. I know you might think it was kind of silly to even bother with the preview at all since I decided pretty much immediately to read it, thereby making it seemingly useless, but I just prefer to look at samples because I have my settings to recent and it takes me back to the beginning whenever I open a book, so it just saves time to do it that way. The important thing is that The Cruel Dark got my attention and held it the whole time — I absolutely loved this book!

It didn’t have the same gothic atmosphere like the kind of 1800s settings that I’m used to reading, but it did definitely have a gothic feel and oh my gosh, there were a couple of scenes that even scared/creeped me out! Granted the first time it happened was when I was reading in the dark right before bed, but yeah, I had to turn on my phone light before I could fall asleep. So kudos to Bea Northwick, she really got that gothic, spooky vibe down! That was seriously amazing, she didn’t get me with the mystery(ies), but that wasn’t a negative at all because I love when I figure things out and it was still a very compelling journey to get to all the revelations and when we did get them, they were intense and gripping.

The Cruel Dark was just really amazing! I had had to stop for a period of time when I got to 74 percent, but once I resumed, I could not tear myself away. This was such an exciting read, it was steamy and if you’re someone who doesn’t gravitate towards historicals as often because you prefer a modern setting with a somewhat rough hero, I think this book will be perfect for you. Though I will say that while Callum is little rough and broody, he can also be gentle, compassionate, and sweet to Millie. It’s so obvious that he’s completely gone for her and I just loved their relationship. But Millie was no slouch, she was so strong and brave and smart — I loved them both so much! I completely adored this book and I can’t wait to read more from Bea Northwick!

~ Sonja, 5 Stars

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This was so freaking spooky 😂 I had to keep closing the book cause I was reading at night and getting spooked. The writing was lyrical. Made me look for other books with this vibe.

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This was so entertaining and good i had such a great time reading this
If you’re in the mood for something moody then this book is definitely for you
Thank you netgalley for the arc🫶🏻

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Sorry for the delay in reviewing this; I have found this a really tricky book to pin down. Firstly, and most importantly, I enjoyed reading this book. I loved the gothic atmosphere which built up so well in the first half of the book. I debated whether it was going to be more like this book or that book which I had read before, and ultimately I was delighted to discover it was its very own story. There is a turning point around halfway as the romantic story takes prominence. I found some of this a bit jarring but I can see some other reviewers preferred this part of the story. The plot twists and turns with plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. It left me thinking about it afterwards but some of it didn’t quite add up, which I found a little disappointing, though perhaps I missed something. 3.5 stars, rounded up because I enjoyed it despite that.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read an ARC.

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This dark gothic horror romance has an incredibly interesting plot with a complex FMC named Millie. She suffers from amnesia following the traumatic deaths of her parents, and she struggles to find work as a result of being discharged from the hospital. (And it’s 1928) The author did a great job in incorporating spice, mystery, and darkness into this book. It was a quick read that kept me wanting more from this author! I will definitely be reading pretty much anything Bea Northwick writes going forward.

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This book was really good! So when I signed up to read this arc, all I saw was gothic romance and I was sold. But what I didn’t expect was all the edge of my seat suspense! I was hooked from the beginning and absolutely loved all the mystery!

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The Cruel Dark by Bea Northwick

Dark, grim, gothic romance reminiscent of Laura and Jayne Eyre ~ a compelling riveting read!

What I liked:
* The plot, pacing, setting, atmosphere, and writing
* Millicent Foxboro: strong, survivor, abused as a child, hard worker, has a bit of a temper, drawn to her new employer, amnesic memory of several years of her life, learns a lot and comes out stronger by the end of the book
* Callum Hughes: wealthy, professor, business owner, loving husband who lost his wife tragically, passionate, drawn to Millicent, works hard, dedicated to what he believes in, intriguing and deserving of happiness
* Dr. Hannigan: friend of Callum’s father and of Callum’s, intelligent, caring, capable, healer, cares about his patients, may be in love with Ms. Dillard
* Ms. Dillard: Willowfield’s housekeeper, capable, more than what she first appears to be, ended up quite liking her
* Being drawn into the story and liking the characters while I hoped that it would all work out for the good ones…eventually
* The fairy tale elements…loved fairy tales and still do
* The plot twists and turns and how all the threads finally were woven together at the end of the book

What I didn’t like:
* Who and what I was meant not to like
* Millie’s abusive mother and rather weak father along with all that she suffered as a child and later

Did I like this book? Yes
Would I read more by this author? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Northwick Books for the ARC – This is my honest review.

4-5 Stars

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