Book InfoHeron Mill by K. L. Taylor-Lane
Series: The Blackwell Brothers #1
Genres: Dark Romance
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
Mother says I'm strange.
After hiding me away in a school for twelve years, her new husband wants me home. To be a family.
Out in the middle of nowhere, the Blackwell family's stone mansion stands tall. Heron Mill is hidden, tucked away deep in the forest, surrounded by nothing but trees. Something nefarious hides here. A sinister secret decaying in its basement.
And then there's him.
My new stepbrother is unusual.
The things he does, different. His behaviour, curious. The way his dark eyes watch me from the shadows when he thinks I don't notice, unnatural.
I can feel the darkness inside of him, cold and vicious. A sickness, something contagious, a poison seeping into my bones, disturbing something that long lay dormant. Something inside of me is starting to awaken and I'm really not sure it's something good.
*Please read with caution, the characters in this book do not and will not conform to society's standards or normalities. This book does have a happy ever after.*
Heron Mill - My Review
WTF have I just read? Hours after reading the final page of this book I’m still asking myself that question and the answer is I don’t really know, except that it was bloody brilliant. The blurb is vague and it doesn’t prepare you for the twisted beauty of Heron Mill and its mysterious inhabitants.
The book takes its gothic vibe incredibly seriously. From the first paragraph, the reader is consumed by the oppressive seduction that K L Taylor-Lane conveys with her descriptive prose and imagery. Words play with mystery, alluding to characters’ previous situations but never openly admitting what has happened to them. The reader is left to jump to conclusions and wonder whether they’re making the right assumptions or if their imagination is taking them to a far darker place than the author intended.
The author’s note makes a point of stating that the characters in the book do not conform to society’s standards or normalities. That is apparent very early on in the story when you realise that the FMC, Grace, may not have the educational capacity to consent to much of what happens to her. Despite having turned 18 she has spent over half her life at a special ‘school’ which has taught her nothing but how to endure pain and remain quiet and subservient. Despite this and her whimsically childlike ways and innocence, Grace grows and learns quickly and, as she realises who she is once freed from the shackles of school and her mother, develops into a unique character.
As for Hunter and the other five Blackwell brothers, it says a lot that they’re acquainted with the Swallows from the Swallows and Psychos series. These guys are in the disposals business, and we’re not talking about rubbish or scrap metal – Hunter has a morgue table in his basement. Heron Mill is the perfect setting for the unusual darkness that resides in his mind.
Grace and Hunter are explosively twisted, each one’s darkness fuelling the others’ until there’s nowhere for it to go but out. Together they’re primal and savagely dangerous, both sadistic and masochistic, and utterly consumed by each other and the fire that burns between them. It’s beautiful and tragically co-dependent and leaves you wondering how long it will take before they destroy each other.
Despite its inherent taboo, the story is sinfully hot in a way that I’ve not encountered in a long time. It’s dark, depraved, and caters to the fantasies very few want to admit. It’s also balanced by love and adoration which perhaps softens the shadows a little.
Heron Mill is an amazing story but I can guarantee that it won’t appeal to everybody. If you loved Purgatory and Penance but wished that they went deeper into the dark unhinged side, or if you like your romance with a side darkened modern Gothicism then this book is for you. If you’re the sort of person who questions how dark they can go then I’d pass this one by. Just be aware that if you do leave it, you’re missing one hell of a tale.