The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing... Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.
I am not a fan of historical fiction. I don't have a good reason for this, other than it's just not my thing. For that reason I almost passed this one by. Of course, that cover is just gorgeous and it had me intrigued enough to look a little further into it. Since this wasn't just straight up historical and had some paranormal elements, plus quite a few positive reviews, I decided to give it a go. I am so glad that I did. It was such an unexpected delight!
The story is told through diary entries, by our heroine Natalie. I really liked this format, because it allowed for additional little insights into what she was thinking and reading someone else's diary always seems like a fun idea. Natalie is one of my favorite characters that I have read recently. She had some disadvantages in her life, but despite that she was tough and stuck up for herself. She wasn't your typical girl who just sat around and waited for someone to save her or help her out of a terrible situation. This girl took action and did it with spunk! And Lord Denbury, what to say about him? First of all, SWOON! Seriously, I'm pretty sure guys like him from the 1800's are why they invented swooning in the first place. He was stuck in a pretty terrible situation, but in the end all he really cared about was Natalie's safety. Their love pretty much seemed impossible, considering he was trapped in a painting, but the connection they had was indestructable.
I was so excited to finish the story and see how this chapter turned out for Natalie and Lord Denbury and it was a terrific ending to this part of their story. I will be patiently, or maybe not so patiently, waiting for the next book so I can continue the adventure with these two wonderful characters. Definitely check this one out :0)