Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Gossamer in the Darkness by Kristen Ashley
Narrator: John Hartley, Stella Bloom
Series: Fantasyland #5.5
Published by Brilliance Audio on April 19, 2022
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Length: 9 hours, 4 minutes
Their engagement was set when they were children. Loren Copeland, the rich and handsome Marquess of Remington, would marry Maxine Dawes, the stunning daughter of the Count of Derryman. It’s a power match. The perfect alliance for each house.
However, the Count has been keeping secret a childhood injury that means Maxine can never marry. He’s done this as he searches for a miracle so this marriage can take place. He needs the influence such an alliance would give him, and he’ll stop at nothing to have it.
The time has come. There could be no more excuses. No more delays. The marriage has to happen, or the contract will be broken.
When all seems lost, the Count finds his miracle: There’s a parallel universe where his daughter has a twin. He must find her, bring her to his world and force her to make the Marquess fall in love with her.
And this, he does.
Only Kristen Ashley could make a novella that is 344 pages or 9 wonderful listening hours. She is kinda ridiculous like that and you might be thinking that is a long book for a story that is supposed to just be set in a world she has created. The funny thing is that the Fantasyland series books were soooo long. Like epic fantasy long and I think each was 650ish pages, so I guess compared to that Gossamer in the Dark is shortish.
There are two parallel worlds and the people of one have a twin in the other. With the use of magic people from our would can be pulled through to this crazy magical place where there are dragons, animals talk to you and everything is still a bit on the Victorian side of life.
Fantasyland is a romantasy series I completely loved. Loren is a man with a few demons in his past while working in an elite assassin squad for his King. He has also been in contract to marry a certain woman since birth practically, a woman he does not know and has been kept secreted away from him. But the time has come, the woman in question has to show up to fulfill the contract soon or Loren is saved and need not marry her.
Maxine of our world has just been kidnapped and told she must marry Loren and produce an heir or her mother, also kidnapped from our world and Maxine’s Fantasyland twin will die. So now Maxine is off to pretend to be her in the Fantasyland world and woo the man she is contractually betrothed to. Her father of the Fantasyland world is the man who kidnapped her and there is no telling what he will do to her family if she doesn’t cooperate. Also she can’t tell anyone she is from another world, lest she be cursed, but even if she could who would believe her.
I definitely liked Maxine. She took it all in stride and made the best out of her situation. She really was fun and some of the stuff that came out of her mouth was hilarious. Loren was also pretty hunky and easy to like if you enjoy slightly broken characters like I do. As they get to know each other it is clear to see they really are a couple perfectly fit for one another and I loved getting to know them.
Usually, KA has something fun I think she puts in for just her. In Gossamer in the Dark, it was the hats. The big ridiculous, decorated hats that she had a lot of fun dressing her characters up in.
You don’t need to have read the other Fantasyland books, although it really would help to be able to enjoy this story. Still if you have read other books of the Fantasyland series I think you will be happy to see a few of your favorite couples along with one of the couples from her other series set in the same world. She does like to throw in cameos for her fans and I always love to see Lan and Cercei.
This would be a good book to decide if you might like Kristen Ashley’s Romance/Fantasy hybrids.
Stella Bloom is a staple in a few of Kristen Ashley’s series and she has a fantastically sultry voice that is wonderful for romance. She and John Hartley are a good team for the narration of Gossamer in the Darkness Hartley is suited to giving good Alpha male while Stella Bloom is great at the fiery and quirky Maxine. I listened to this book at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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