Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Pen Review: Heirs to Darkisle


Heirs to Darkisle Darisle Book 1 by Cassandra Pierce

Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Siren Publishing

Rating: star4a.gifstar4a.gifstar4a.gifstar4a.gif

What I liked: Loved the entire book! The chemistry between Briana and Sebastian is amazing, you can feel it every time they are together in a scene. The dialogue just runs so smoothly and keeps you entertained and wanting to know what happens next. Cassandra Pierce is an author to watch for. I can't wait for the next installment.


Sebastian and Ruby Morgan arrived in the small seaside town of Darkisle, claiming to be the grandchildren of the reclusive Edgar Morgan, who recently died at the age of 108.

From the beginning, Briana Dempsey has her doubts the Morgans are who and what they claim to be. She is, however, certain of one thing. Sebastian Morgan unnerves her in ways she's never experienced before. His skin is cold, his eyes are hypnotic, and he seems to have no heartbeat. Yet all she can feel when she's with him is an all-consuming fire that fills her with desire.

When a local woman is murdered and Briana is implicated because of her involvement with the Morgans, she must confront the truth about the mysterious man she has fallen in love with. Is he the lover of her dreams, or the architect of her nightmares?


A pair of French doors opened onto a small patio overlooking the rock-strewn beach. Noticing her interest, Sebastian pushed them open and motioned her outside. Briana headed straight for the sand. He caught up to her as she made her way toward the water.

Finally, things were falling into place tonight. They were alone. The Morgans’ private beach was quiet and romantic. Even the weather was cooperating. The moon was glowing a vibrant amber, and the wind was blowing off the ocean, strong but pleasant.

Sebastian tilted his face and let the salty gusts tousle his hair. “Storm’s coming. I can feel it.”

Briana nodded. “Well, we get a lot of those in the spring. One of the bird-watchers at the motel told me the winds can get strong enough to blow tropical birds up here. Amazing, isn’t it? You might wake up to find a flamingo on your roof.”

“Unlikely, though appealing.” He smiled, but looked back as if to make sure. “So how do you like Morgan House, with or without rare ornithological specimens?”

“Makes me realize how small my own place is. I’d be embarrassed to show you around the way you just did for me.”

“Not at all. I would be delighted to be your guest.”

“You know…I feel I should do something for you, considering all you’ve done for Todd. I’m not much of a cook—my idea of a big meal is a frozen pizza—so I don’t quite dare to invite you for dinner.”

“A meal would not be necessary. I’d enjoy your company without any food at all.”

“That’s nice of you to say. Have you met many people since you got here?”

“Your brother and Ami were the first. Aside from you, though, none have been as memorable.”

Briana hoped the darkness obscured her hot blush. “This probably isn’t the easiest place to start over. Darkisle is one of those towns where everyone knows everyone else, as the old saying goes. If you haven’t lived here all your life, it can be tricky to fit in. Boredom is another issue. Fall and winter get pretty dreary, believe me.”

“Yet you choose to stay,” Sebastian observed.

“Mostly because I don’t know any other way of life. My family has lived here for generations, just like yours.” She paused as a sudden thought came to her. “I wonder if they knew each other, way back when.”

“An intriguing possibility.”

“I doubt my great-grandparents traveled in the same circles as yours. Still, it’s an amusing thought.”


They had strayed close to the waves. The sand here felt wet and hard.

“I’m going to take off my shoes,” she said. “The water will destroy them.”

Sebastian watched her pull off her boots and socks and toss them as far as she could onto dry land. With a murmur of pleasure, she thrust her bare toes into the sand and burrowed them in deep.

“Do you like the water?” she asked Sebastian.

“I’m afraid not. I prefer to observe from a distance.”

“I can deal with boats as long as the waves aren’t too rough. But you’re right. Looking at it from here is perfectly fine.”

He murmured noncommittally and slid his hands into his pockets. Briana casually swung her gaze along the water and ended up staring right at him. There was no question which view pleased her more.

“You probably won’t mind spending the winter here. I get the feeling the isolation won’t bother you at all.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because you always seem so content, so self-assured. Like now. You look like someone who prefers being alone.”

He removed his hands from his pockets and gingerly stepped through the rocks, making his way cautiously toward her. He settled himself beside her, careful not to submerge his feet the way she had. “It may look that way because I am so used to being alone.”

“Then I’m wrong?”

“Not entirely. I admit I’ve spent most of my…existence…on my own. With solitude comes safety. You’ve probably discovered that for yourself.”

Briana nodded. “To some extent.”

“I won’t deny my interest in self-preservation. At times, it has become an obsession. I have desired it above everything else—money, position, even love. That particular door closed for me long ago. I made a conscious decision never to pry it open.”


He turned his face to the night sky, and Briana took the opportunity to study his profile. By now, everything about him had begun to arouse her: the firm, aristocratic planes of his cheekbones, the graceful way he moved, the controlled rhythms of his speech. He was utterly unlike any man she had ever met.

“Over the years, I’ve come up with a number of reasons. Perhaps I should call them justifications. No doubt some seemed legitimate, at least at the time. Strangely enough, at the moment I can’t remember a single one.”

“I’m glad to hear that.”

Suddenly, he fixed his eyes directly on hers. That she felt herself drawn into those mysterious, dark green depths came as no surprise. What she did find inexplicable was the giddiness that crept over her, the slight blurring of her own vision that accompanied his interest. She felt grateful for the solid rock beneath them.

“Sebastian,” she whispered. Her voice grew husky with need.


She fell silent. The longer his gaze held hers, the more lightheaded she became. She didn’t move as his right hand came to rest on her shoulder, fingers stroking the side of her neck. The contact only intensified the need that swept through her with the force of a wave swamping the rock they perched on.

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