With questions neither asked nor answered, Andalin Durante’s father whisks her away during the night to Braitwood Hall, the home of Ellison, Baron Cadogen, aka the masked Dark Rider of local myth. There she is to become the Baron’s ward—taught dancing and social etiquette and be presented in Society as a lady in search of a suitable husband. At first, the masked Ellison is intimidating, brooding, and secretive, but as time goes on Andalin sees a softer side and craves his company as he comes to need hers. One night she follows him on one of his midnight sojourns into the Black Forest and learns more than she would wish to know.
The sinister forest backdrop is atmospheric and the mystery surrounding the Baron and his lost family creates a diverting, gothic read with supernatural elements. The romance arcs towards a natural conclusion, but the author’s techniques add tension which makes the inevitable very beguiling. The manor house staff members are all integral to the story. Themes of self-forgiveness and trust are dealt with compassionately, integrated into a very well-thought-out tale. Recommended for readers who love a clean romance with a difference.