The Cruel Dark

Narrated by Madison Mitts and Theodore Zephyr
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Pub Date Apr 22 2024 | Archive Date Jul 17 2024

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"Northwick presents a dark love story that sparkles with elements of gothic horror and more modern romance." - Kirkus Reviews

Millicent Foxboro is haunted.

Not by ghosts, but by the anguish of her past and the uncertainty of her future. After all, even in the progressive year of 1928, most people would balk at hiring a woman who’d spent two months in a mental ward for traumatic amnesia. So when an uncommon assistantship to a reclusive Professor of mythology falls into her lap with an ungodly salary attached, her desperation for stability overrides her cautious nature.

To Millie’s dismay, the widowed Professor Callum Hughes and his estate, Willowfield, are more than she bargained for. The once magnificent home, known for its sprawling gardens and dazzling parties, is falling to pieces after the death of the professor’s fragile wife. What’s more, the staff has been reduced to the only three people not frightened away by rumors of ghosts, leaving the halls empty and languishing in bitter memories.

The professor himself is a grim, intense man with unclear expectations, unpredictable moods, and hungry eyes that ignite Millie’s own dormant passions. The closer she finds herself drawn to Professor Hughes and his strange world of flowers and folklore, the more the house closes in, threatening to reveal her secrets. But the professor is keeping secrets of his own and the most dangerous of all is hers to discover.

"Northwick presents a dark love story that sparkles with elements of gothic horror and more modern romance." - Kirkus Reviews

Millicent Foxboro is haunted.

Not by ghosts, but by the anguish of her past...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook
ISBN 9098988473800
PRICE $17.46 (USD)
DURATION 8 Hours, 2 Minutes

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 89 members

Featured Reviews

Bea Northwick's "The Cruel Dark" plunges readers into a gripping tale of suspense and horror that leaves an indelible mark long after the final page is turned. With masterful storytelling and vivid imagery, Northwick crafts a narrative that is as haunting as it is compelling.

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If given the choice between listening to the audiobook or reading the book, do yourself a favor and go for the audiobook.

I tend to switch back and forth, typically because I have a long commute, but I listened as I painted my living room. The narrators are perfect, but be prepared to blush as you listen!

The genre of this is hard to pin down. It is certainly romance and gothic historical fiction, but there are some other vibes: some thriller, some horror, and a feeling of the paranormal. The twists and turns kept me guessing, and while I had figured out pieces, I was still surprised at how masterfully it all came together.

I am not a huge thriller fan, but one of my book clubs loves thrillers, and I think this would be a great book for them!

This book had strong Beauty and the Beast vibes with some Jane Eyre and Rebecca thrown in for good measure.

I am excited to read whatever Bea Northwick puts out next!

Thank you to Victory Editing Net Galley Co-op and Net Galley for the audioARC! All opinions are my own.

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„The Cruel Dark“ follows Millie, who moves to Willowfield to be the new assistant to a reclusive Professor of mythology and botany. Tragedy has struck Willowfield a couple of years ago, when the wife of the Professor died under mysterious circumstances. While Millie did come to Willowfield to save up for a new start, she soon starts falling in love and is being haunted by the ghost of his deceased wife.

The audiobook was incredible!

The story is gripping and dark. We follow Millie’s POV and the edges of reality soon start to fade. Millie starts to doubt herself and it is disconcerting to feel untethered. The twist at the end is a masterpiece!

This book has all the right vibes AND substance! Dark Academia, Gothic Romance, Historical Fiction, Mythological Creatures and some Spice. An intriguing mix of Beauty and the Beast, Rebecca and Belladonna. I’m already thinking about a re-read (or rather re-listen).

The book is read by Madison Mitts and Theodore Zephyr. Theodore’s dark voice fits perfectly and gives the book an even more gothic vibe. Madison portraited Millie’s confusion, fear and detachment from reality perfectly.

One of my true 5 star reads this year and a clear recommendation! I can’t wait to read more from Bea Northwick.

Thank you to Netgalley for the audiobook download!

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Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the audio ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Strange things bloom where grief lives”

I ate this up so quickly. It was everything I needed in a spooky vibes book. I am still wowed and shocked. Although I suspected the twist at the end, it still left me speechless. The book is well written, charming, and haunted that I was so spellbound from the very beginning to the end. The writing, imagery, the characters, and the romance were perfect. I never believed I could listen to it in just one day, my 8 hours were well spent listening to it.

I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’ll just say this, expect ghost, psychological thriller, dark academia, Irish folklore, and gothic historical romance.

If you enjoy books in the above-mentioned genre, then you need to read THE CRUEL DARK!

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