Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Darkest Garden by Stacy Claflin
Narrator: Tina Wolstencroft
Series: Brannon House #3
Published by Tantor Audio on February 16, 2021
Length: 6 hours, 17 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook
Kenzi Brannon has always dreaded going down to the dark basement of the old Brannon house she grew up in. Now an adult, she’s returned home to find her apprehension has intensified. She avoids that locked door and the secrets beyond in hope that ignoring the problem will keep long-forgotten horrors buried.
A neighbor’s obsession with her house and history has rekindled Kenzi’s old fears. And reconnecting with someone from her past may force her to face what she’s been running from her entire life. And that might not be the worst of it.
The garden her family is restoring could conceal something far more terrifying than anything inside the house. Something that could rip her newly found family apart.
Some people say the truth will set you free. Kenzi can’t help but feel that it will destroy everything.
Kenzi and Ember are settling into the house and apparently it is huge as they continue to find new rooms and places. I’m surprised how well they get along with Jack and that he is able to live with them and not have problems. He spends a lot of time enjoying working in the garden.
The family mysteries continue. Ember waffles over whether to talk to Graham to figure out if he is her father. Kenzi starts looking for a lost half sister who she was convinced by her parents was imaginary. I am not a fan of Bella so far. These parents and step-parents were majorly messed up. So we learn more family secrets in bits and pieces.
Kenzi seems to be interested in a relationship with Graham but between his injury (in the last book), the is he Ember’s father question, and some of his issues, they don’t spend any time together until briefly at the end of the book. Meanwhile, she has a big offer from a client and has to decide whether to take it.
The nosy neighbor gets more demanding and shows up more often. As I suspected, he turns into a real problem. There is a lot of action and progress on multiple fronts jammed in at the end of the story.
The Darkest Garden is fairly short. The pacing felt uneven to me and transitions between scenes was kind of choppy. The Brannon House series is one I would read in order, as I think you’d be lost otherwise. There are still some unknowns here and one more book, Shattered Pieces to read. It is already available in ebook format in Kindle Unlimited currently. Each book certainly is surprising in its topics and secrets unveiled.
This narrator is the same throughout this series, so now I am familiar with her. I still feel like Ember’s voice is lower or deeper than Kenzi’s voice which felt odd to me, as Ember is younger. I was comfortable with the performance overall and able to stay in the story. I listened at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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